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  • Wait to Fertilize Your Lawn

    Posted on April 17, 2015

    With warmer temperatures finally here, you may feel the urge to work outside and maybe even fertilize the lawn.  But now is not the time to fertilize! Too much fertilizer in the spring stimulates leaf growth at the expense of root growth.  Without good roots, the lawn suffers more from summer drought.

    The best place to start a lawn fertility program is with a soil test. If you haven’t had a soil test in three or more years, consider having your soil tested. Soil test results give you the soil’s pH, a nutritional analysis of your soil, and fertilizer recommendations for improving your lawn.  UW-Extension Waukesha County offers information on soil testing. See https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/uwex/hort/yardandgarden/

    Lawns benefit from a regular fertilization program and fertilizing twice a year is usually adequate.  Follow a “holiday” lawn fertilization schedule and it will make it easy to remember.  When fertilizing twice a year, fertilize in late May (Memorial Day) and early September (Labor Day).   If you prefer to fertilize more frequently, an additional fertilization treatment can be added in early July (Fourth of July). 

    Questions? Contact the UW-Extension Waukesha County Horticulture Helpline at 262/548-7779. (Hours are limited in spring and increase in summer.) Or e-mail your questions to uwex1@waukeshacounty.gov.  

    Return to Horticulture Homepage

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