Should You Fertilize Your Lawn in the Spring? Yeah, Probably

Should You Fertilize Your Lawn in the Spring

There is no better season to fertilize your lawn than in Spring. The temperature may reduce the soil humidity, but it will certainly make the grass grow. The major challenge lots of lawn owners face is the question of how to go about this.

Excessive fertilizer will not just make your lawn to overgrow; it will burn the life out of it. And this is why you’ve got to do it the right way. In this article, we’ll be discussing the essential things you’ve got to know about fertilizers as it concerns Spring.

What Are Fertilizer Numbers

Fertilizer numbers tell the proportion of the elements present in the fertilizer. The three basic elements in fertilizer are Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

The three of them are called N-P-K in this order. Every bag of fertilizer has N-P-K boldly written, as well as the fertilizer numbers under each of the alphabet.

These numbers are the percentage composition of these elements in the fertilizer. For instance, a fertilizer with 20-5-10 has 25% nitrogen (N), 5% phosphorus (P), and 10% potassium (K). These elements have filler materials that enable an even distribution of the elements on your lawn.

You shouldn’t just settle for a fertilizer arbitrarily. Each of these elements has the role they play in your lawn. And you’ve got to apply the fertilizer that best suits your needs.

  • Nitrogen helps your grass to grow, and it also promotes the rick green color you want.
  • Phosphorus enables your lawn to take better roots. It also improves flowering.
  • Potassium is like a stimulant that enables the lawn to be more receptive to Nitrogen.

With this knowledge, you have to carry out a soil test to ascertain what element your lawn needs. And it’ll also show you the PH level of the soil.

The N-P-K composition of the fertilizer you should eventually opt for is dependent on the result of the soil test and what you seek to improve in your lawn.

See the following pages for more on what nitrogen does for grass and what potassium does for the grass.

Types Of Lawn Fertilizers

Different brands produce lawn fertilizers. Irrespective of the manufacturers, there are three types of fertilizers. Each of these types can have as many proportions of N-P-K as you can imagine.

Their classification is based on the mode of application and how easy the nutrients enter the soil.

#1. Slow-Release Fertilizer

This fertilizer is often coated with a sulfur-based polymer or plastic resin, which takes time to decompose into the soil. Despite the inorganic coating, this fertilizer itself is mainly organic or natural.

The delay ensures a small quantity of the fertilizer is released into the soil per time. In the long run, it may take months for the fertilizer to decompose fully. You may apply this fertilizer only twice or thrice in the entire Spring.

#2. Controlled-Release Fertilizer

This fertilizer is so named because it doesn’t release its nutrients into the soil quickly. It is similar to the slow-release fertilizer, except that in this case, the gradual release is because the chemicals used are not very soluble. It, therefore, takes time for it to dissolve fully. That way, you wouldn’t need to fertilizer your law very often.

#3. Granular Fertilizers

This can be a slow-release fertilizer or controlled. They are very easy to apply and are water-soluble. So with a hose, you can feed your lawn easily with this type of fertilizer. If you want to introduce nutrients into your soil in a fast manner, you should opt for this.

How To Apply Fertilizers In Your Lawn In The Spring

Spring starts towards the end of March, but the sun is not at its peak around that period. It is always advisable you begin to apply your fertilizer when the soil temperature clocks 55 degrees Fahrenheit. From that period, you can fertilize your lawn three to five times before Spring wraps up.

Slow-release fertilizers are arguably the best type of fertilizer to use in the Spring. It will help you avoid issues like the over-application of fertilizers. Also, ensure it’s graduated so that the fertilizers will be evenly distributed.

Please note that this article is just a portion on my full Spring lawn care guide which you can see here. Alternatively you can simply scan the Spring fertilization schedule here.

First Application

Apply the first fertilizer around the middle of April or late April, depending on when the soil temperature gets to 55 degrees. Another way to know the ripe time is to take note of when grasses begin to grow in Spring.

Second Application

The rising heat will make the fertilizer decompose faster. So the second application should be four weeks after the first. That should peg it around the middle of May.

Third Application

This should come six or eight weeks after the last one. But as opposed to the lawn fertilizer you’ve been using, shift towards organic manure.

Other Applications

Keep fertilizing your lawn at intervals of six to eight weeks, till November. Note that Fall starts in September, and by then, the roots of the grass would have gone deeper. They will be in more need of fertilizers in this period than in any other period of the year.

It is advisable to use fertilizers that have higher concentrations of phosphorus and potassium than Nitrogen. More Nitrogen will make them grow faster this period. This is something you don’t want, except if you don’t mind mowing the lawn a couple of time every week.

► See more best practices of tending to your grass here.

Should I Water My Lawn During Fertilizer Application

A common misconception among many folks is that watering a lawn after a fertilizer application period is bad. I honestly can’t tell where this bandwagon theorem came from but it is being talked about by some people.

The answer is yes. You should water your lawn in the Spring, especially if you aren’t getting enough rain but regardless of your rain you should usually water in your fertilizer applications in most cases.

The water will get the nutrients into your soil instead of sitting on top of it dry.

Another reason to water a bit extra around fertilization periods is that your grass will grow more after getting fertilized and that will mean that your lawn will need more water to keep up with the extra growth.

Depriving your lawn of water is a way of starving it. However, you’ve got to read the application guide of any fertilizer you choose to use. Some of them require you water after fertilization, while others recommend the opposite.


It’s advisable to fertilize your lawn in the Spring, as there is no better season of the year to do so. With the right choice of fertilizers, you will see your lawn blossoming so well with ultra-green grass.