When and Why to Fertilize Your Lawn in Minnesota
Lawn fertilization is critical to having a lush, healthy yard, but if you don’t do it at the right time of year, or do it incorrectly, you risk wasting time and money on a project that won’t turn out how you wanted. This is especially important in Minnesota, where the spring and fall growing seasons are condensed and leave little margin for error.
Homeowners have different goals from one another to maximize their outdoor spaces, but the chief reason for lawn fertilization is to improve grass and soil health while making your yard less of a target for weed infestation. To get the most from your fertilizer applications, follow the best practices below so your lawn gets maximum nourishment, when it needs it.
Basics of Lawn Fertilization
The time to fertilize your lawn is when your grass is actively growing. For Minnesotans, who typically grow their lawn using cool-season grasses, this means most grass growth will occur in the spring and fall months.
For homeowners who use a granular fertilizer with a rotary or broadcast spreader, the best time to fertilize is doing an application in April or May, followed by at least one more application, typically in September, once the summer heat has passed. However, it’s often ideal to fertilize at least once during the summer, especially if you can fertilize during an extended cooler period. This is because fertilizer is rich in nitrogen, and you don’t want to introduce nitrogen-rich products to your lawn when it’s really hot outside. If you use liquid fertilizer, which is the preferred professional method that some homeowners utilize using a garden hose attachment, additional applications are needed throughout the season for best results.
If you take a do-it-yourself approach, take care not to overfeed your grass. If you use too much fertilizer, or don’t follow the outlined instructions found on the label of the fertilizer product you purchase, you risk burning portions of your lawn. If you see yellow or brown scorch marks in a yard, that usually means part of their lawn was overfed by fertilizer.
Avoiding overfeeding is one of the top reasons many homeowners choose to have professionals fertilize their lawns for them. In addition to it being a convenient option, stress is reduced as you don’t have to worry about doing everything perfectly, or at the right time.
Should I Mow My Lawn Before Fertilizing?
The shorter your grass, the easier it will be for fertilizer to reach and penetrate your soil. Longer blades of grass will keep much of the fertilizer from penetrating, however you don’t want your grass too short, as the blades generate shade that shield grass from direct sunlight, which is significant during hot, dry months. Keep in mind, as a general rule, mow no shorter than 3 inches to avoid scalping your lawn. Mowing to approximately 4 inches is ideal.
As for exact timing, it’s fine to fertilize your lawn as soon as the grass has been mowed, but if convenient it’s fine to wait a day or two, that’s fine, just don’t want too long, otherwise the grass will grow long and lessen the impact of your fertilizer application.
When Can You Mow After Fertilizing?
It’s best to wait at least a couple days after fertilizing before you mow again. This is because the nutrients coming from your fertilizer — such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium — absorb into soil over time. If you mow before those nutrients absorb, you aren’t getting the full effects of your fertilizer application, meaning you wasted time and money.
If you hire a professional residential lawn care service, such as Green Stuff Lawn, we test soil to learn which nutrients your yard lacks, so that we give you the right fertilizer, in the right amount, to ensure your outdoor spaces are healthy and thriving.
Fertilization Service From the Experts
Minnesota-based Green Stuff Lawn follows a six-step process for all fertilizer applications. As part of a thorough care plan, each of our lawn care customers get: Planning, testing, the fertilizer application itself, monitoring, and future adjustments to ensure we’re flexible to your lawn care needs. We use liquid fertilizer, which ensures the even spread of nutrients into soil, and it works faster than the granular fertilizer you will find at your local hardware store or garden center.