In the Mid-Atlantic region fall is a great season to do any sort of lawn maintenance, and this includes a fertilization regimen. Fescue grasses, blue grasses and ryegrasses all benefit from a fall fertilizing. The hot, dry summers in our area are hard on lawns, preventing much needed water and nutrients from reaching the roots. A good fertilization program beginning in the month of September will provide these nutrients and help to restore vigor and hardiness in your lawn.
Due to the cooler temperatures present in the fall, your grass will have much less competition from weeds, insects, and diseases. This ensures that your lawn will be able to use the maximum amount of nutrients possible from a regular fall feeding.
Another advantage to a fall feeding is that you are preparing your lawn for the harsh conditions of the following summer, ensuring that you will have less problems. Even during the dormant months of winter your lawn’s root systems are continuing to grow. The nutrients provided by a fall feeding will help these roots develop thicker and deeper, while at the same time storing carbohydrates that can be released in the spring to produce the lush, green color that we all crave in our lawns.
Not all fertilizers are equal, and it can be confusing navigating the huge selection of fertilizers available to the home gardener. We at Meadows Farms recommend using Pennington’s Signature Lawn Starter Fertilizer (18-24-6) for both new and existing lawns during the fall season. This fertilizer’s high phosphorus content is great for encouraging root growth and vigor throughout the season, while its nitrogen content is great for greening up your lawn and recovering from any summer damage that may have occurred.
Follow the recommended application rate of any fertilizer when applying to lawns and read all instructions thoroughly before applying to your lawn. Meadows Farms recommends fertilizing in September and then again six to eight weeks after the first fall application before the onset of the winter months.