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When is it too cold to fertilize lawn?

The best time to fertilize your lawn and how often to do it will depend on the type of grass you want to grow. When your grass is actively growing, it needs enough nitrogen and nutrients in equal supply throughout the season to do well. Fertilizing the grass when it is dormant is not recommended. But when is it too cold to fertilize a lawn?

Generally, the ideal time to fertilize the lawn is in the spring. This is because the best temperature to fertilize a lawn is around 120C and rising. Anything below that and it will be too cold to fertilize your lawn. Understand that the temperature is that of the soil and not the air.

Spring is when the grass begins to grow, and the lilacs are blossoming. Depending on your location, the first application of your choice of fertilizer is in mid-April. Moreover, a fall application can serve your lawn well either as a starter or winter feeding for the grass.

Can you fertilize when it’s cold?

During the cold season, especially in the winter months, the grass tends to be dormant. At this time, many people do not irrigate their lawns. Fertilizing will not help either since you will be providing the grass with nutrients before it completes its dormancy period. Therefore, the grass will not make use of the nutrients in the fertilizer.

When should you put down winter fertilizer?

Winterizing a lawn

Photo: Pinterest

The best time to apply winter fertilizer is when the grass has stopped growing in the fall. However, the growth should be active in the root system. You will know the grass is actively growing because of its green color. Ideally, the first application should be in mid-to-late November.

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Is lawn winterizer fertilizer necessary?

Winterizer fertilizers are essential for lawns because of different reasons. These include:

  • They help the roots to absorb more nutrients and store them. This means that even when the ground freezes, the roots will continue to grow.
  • Provides nutrients that keep the lawn ready to grow when spring comes.
  • Winterizer has a lot of potassium that boosts grass tolerance to freezing temperatures.
  • It enhances the root system of the plants.
  • Helps to feed the grass throughout the winter and keep it healthy.

Winterizer also has high levels of nitrogen that help to promote the build-up and storage of carbohydrates before the ground freezes. By reserving the nitrogen during the winter, the grass will be ready to use when the soil thaws and the growing season begins in spring.

What month should I fertilize my lawn?

If you are using a winterizer, the best time to fertilize your lawn is after the grass stops growing in the fall. That is between mid-to-late November or early December.

Apply spring lawn fertilizer between February and April. This is when the grass is starting to green up and growing actively. Make sure to spread the fertilizer around when mowing your lawn.

Is it too hot to fertilize a lawn?

Dry lawn

Photo by FotoDuets

It is safe to fertilize your lawn during the summer without risking lawn burn. Most fertilizers are slow-release products. In other words, they release essential nutrients slowly. As a result, the microbes in the soil break down the nitrogen over time, releasing nutrients evenly over at least six weeks.

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You should not over-fertilize your lawn in the hot summer or you might have to mow more often. Furthermore, fertilizing at the wrong time can lead to irreversible damage to the lawn. If you want to take care of your lawn throughout the hot season, watering and mowing should be enough.

Additionally, applying too much fertilizer in hot weather encourages the growth of weeds. A rule of thumb is to know the type of grass in your area.

For example, do you have warm-season or cold-season grass? If you have warm-season grass, fertilize it during its optimal growth period. That is between late spring and summer. The temperatures should be between 270C and 320C.

For cold-season grass, fertilize it during the spring and fall. The average temperatures should be between 150C and 210C. Furthermore, the grass should be experiencing its active growth. Fertilize your lawn heavily in the fall and lightly in early spring.

Should I fertilize before or after the rain?

You should apply fertilizer after the rain. The lawn will receive enough nitrogen from the rainwater, thus improving the general health of your grass. Furthermore, after it rains, the grass is not stressed out. The nutrients will help to enhance the effectiveness of the fertilizer and ensure the lawn grows and thrives.

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It is counterproductive to fertilize the lawn during a drought. That is because the grass is weak and stressed out from dryness and heat. Also, feeding the lawn a few days or hours before heavy rain is unnecessary. Rain will wash away the fertilizer or pool it in one area before the roots and soil can absorb the needed nutrients.

Rather than fertilizing before heavy rains, here are some guidelines you should follow:

  • Avoid fertilizing before the rain, unless you expect gentle rain. In that case, only apply the fertilizer mildly. Alternatively, consider feeding your lawn at least two days before rainfall.
  • If you fertilize before the rain, ensure to add at least half-inch of water to the lawn within 24 hours of applying the fertilizer.

If you want the best results, fertilize at least 24 hours after it rains. Also, look at the local weather forecast and ensure there will be enough sunshine after application. Sunshine helps to increase photosynthesis. It also enhances the fertilizer and creates a healthy environment for the grass to grow.


So, when is it too cold to fertilize your lawn? The best time to feed the grass is when it has stopped growing in the fall. You can use a winterizer around mid-to-late November. If the temperature is too hot, it will lead to lawn burn.

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