When to Feed a Lawn?

We all pine for a beautiful lawn year-round, don’t we? It’s pretty straightforward to grow grass but like many jobs around the garden, prevention is better than cure when it comes to dealing with issues with its appearance. 

You can save your lawn from looking a little frazzled after being sat on, stomped on, played football on - and let’s not forget about THAT heatwave, with some season-specific love and attention.

Fertilising newly germinated or established grass can help it stay healthy, encourage leaf and root growth, reduce troublesome weeds, and aid in recovering lost nutrients.

Want to know how and when to fertilise your lawn like a pro and make it the envy of your neighbours? Then keep reading!

Conditions for feeding a lawn

Adequate soil moisture

When the grass is in ‘grow-mode’ and the soil is moist, then you’re good to go.  If it hasn't rained for a while (apparently that does happen in the UK, occasionally), you should water your lawn a few days before you fertilise just in case it’s suffering from drought stress. 

You also need to make sure the grass is completely dry before applying any lawn care products to avoid burning.

Lastly, you’ll have to “water in” the fertiliser. This will rinse the grass blades so that they won’t burn, and the roots will fully absorb the feed. Give it a good drink, enough that the fertiliser and soil become thoroughly moist, but not so the water begins to form puddles or wash away the nutrients. 

Apply after mowing

Apply fertilisers after mowing your lawn, and not before to give it time to soak in before the next cutting.

It is best to feed your lawn with fertiliser soon after you mow, so it has at least a few days to absorb the product before you cut it again. 

Wait about a week after feeding before you drag the mower back out of the shed and leave the box off the first time if you can. You don’t want all that goodness and nutrients being sucked up and chucked away.

Lawn Feeding According to the Season

Spring Lawn Feed

Your local weather is the deciding factor on when to feed your lawn in Spring. A general rule of thumb is to plan to do it sometime in late April. This is around the time you see the daffodils are in full bloom and you’ve already cut the grass a couple of times.

If it has been a mild, wet winter, you might even have a moss epidemic on your hands. So, choose a product containing feed, weed killers, and a moss control ingredient.

Always remember to rake the lawn to remove leaves and other debris before applying any fertilisers.

After you’ve banished those unruly weeds and/or moss, and when your grass is thriving, switch to just a lawn feed to keep it looking lush and green. 

Fast, effective, and easy to apply, liquid lawn feeders are a great gardening hack. Simply attach to the end of your hose and get spraying. And as the weather gets drier in late spring/early summer, you save time by feeding your lawn and giving it the water it needs all in one go.

Summer Lawn Feed

Heat, drought, and foot traffic all put a lot of stress on your lawn. So, around 10 to 14 weeks after the spring treatment, you can gingerly think about applying fertiliser.

If there is a long, dry spell of weather, grass stops growing. Do not try to fight nature by putting down any treatment. It will be a waste of time as it won’t be able to use the feed and there is also an increased chance of scorching your lawn. This will mean more care and attention from you later on. And none of us like extra work if we can avoid it.

Instead, hold off until it rains. Wait a few days to allow the soil to suck up the water and then feed the grass with a granular or liquid fertiliser. You can feed throughout the summer at 6-8 week intervals, depending on the weather.

So, just sit back, bask in the sun and enjoy your lawn in its finest hour!

Autumn Lawn Feed

Autumn feeding is actually the most important feed and integral part of lawn care as there is time for the grass to respond before the temperatures get too low. 

Your lawn is bracing itself for winter. Get ahead of the game by feeding so that it can withstand periods of wet and dark weather. This will also save you time and energy come the spring. 

Pencil in September for applying your autumn fertiliser. When, exactly, hinges on the temperature and weather patterns, so wait until the rains start in late August or September. 

If rain is on the horizon, you can use a granular feed. However, if it doesn’t rain for a few days after applying it, you should water in the granules, so they don’t burn the grass blades. If, on the other hand, your lawn is dry, you can opt for a liquid feed.

Winter Lawn Feed

It’s time to put the lawn to bed properly and focus on building snowmen. Well, not exactly. 

In Winter, your lawn is under siege. Constantly battling for its survival underneath all that rain and frost. 

There’s not much you can do during this season. However, try to give it a rest by avoiding walking on your lawn, when it is wet or frozen, as this can harm the fragile grass. Put boards down if you are wheeling any heavy loads over it.

You don’t have to stop mowing either, weather permitting. In fact, doing so will help any fallen leaves to decompose quickly and add organic matter to the soil. This will also stop them from smothering the grass.

If you want to strengthen the grass and give it some long-term nutrients, go for a fertiliser containing low nitrogen but with plenty of potassium and iron. Make sure to apply it during a mild spell for maximum results.

If your lawn fertiliser levels look good but you want to give it a little green boost, you can try a couple of medium applications of Ferrous Sulphate. This is also going to help keep the moss at bay during the cooler and wetter months.

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