Menu Close

Why, When, and How to Apply Fall Fertilizer

fall leaves on green grass Salisbury Landscaping

Your lawn is a significant factor in your home’s curb appeal. However, as most homeowners know well, a lush and healthy lawn requires ongoing care to look its best. When it comes to maintaining your Edmonton front yard landscaping, some tasks go a long way toward avoiding more costly, time-consuming, and labour-intensive tasks later on. One such task is remembering to apply an annual dose of fall fertilizer to your lawn. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip this task on your fall checklist, and how to do it correctly!

Why do I need to fertilize in the fall?

We may not want to think about it yet, but in mere weeks, winter will descend on Edmontonians again. Fall fertilizer contains vital nutrients that will help prepare your lawn to overwinter and bounce back in the spring. If you skip this step, your lawn will be more prone to patches of dead grass, which will give weeds the upper hand in spring and make next year’s lawn maintenance more difficult.

What kind of fertilizer do you use in the fall?

Fall and spring lawn fertilizers are very different formulas because they serve very different purposes. In the fall, your goal is to help your lawn charge up nutrients and conserve them through the dormant period. In the spring, fertilizer is used to help the lawn bounce back to life and grow rapidly. As such, it’s important that you don’t use leftover spring fertilizer at this time of year!

Instead, choose a granular formula specifically for fall application. An ideal fall lawn fertilizer ratio is 12-25-12. (In other words, a high-phosphorus fertilizer.) This formula will help your lawn save plenty of energy over the winter to burst back to life in the spring.

How do you apply fall fertilizer properly?

The ideal rate of application is one pound of fertilizer per 1000 square feet of lawn. For an even application, pick up a spreader at your nearest garden centre. They are inexpensive and make it nice and easy to apply exactly the right amount to your landscape. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use less product. Too much fertilizer can harm your lawn.

man fertilizing lawn

When is the best time to apply fall fertilizer?

Depending on the fertilizer formula you use, you may want to feed the lawn once or twice. Some formulas recommend an application around Labour Day and again 6-8 weeks afterward, and others recommend just one application 2-3 weeks before the first hard frost. Both can be effective. It’s always best to follow the recommendations on the product packaging.

Should I fertilize plants in the fall?

With the exception of new plantings, such as fall bulbs, it’s not necessary to apply fertilizers to your garden beds in the fall. However, applying a few inches of compost or manure can enrich the beds nicely, which your spring garden will certainly appreciate. 

Purchasing and applying fall fertilizer is an inexpensive and quick way to make a big difference in the look of your lawn. Once the spring arrives, you’ll be pleased to see how quickly your lawn returns to its original colour, and how much easier it will be to keep weeds at bay. However, if your lawn is in bad shape, sometimes your best bet is to start with a blank slate. Our team specializes in sod and artificial turf installation to help you start over with an even, green look. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get your yard back to tip-top shape!

Posted in Landscaping Tips

Related Posts