Fall Fertilizer Tips To Set Your Calendar By

fall fertilizing

Fall is right around the corner. That means it’s time to play football, pick out pumpkins and prep our lawns for the cold winter months ahead. Fall fertilizing can set your lawn up for success year-round, but timing does matter. Drill down on the best practices for fall fertilizer with the experts from Spring-Green, your neighborhood lawn care professionals since 1977. The dates of the first frost in your area will vary by region, but here’s what you generally need to know for fall lawn care.

Answers to the Most Commonly Asked Fall Fertilizing Questions:

  • Do I need to fertilize my lawn in the fall? Fertilizing your lawn in the fall is more important than any other time of the year. In fact, fertilizing your lawn in the fall can be critical to maintaining a healthy lawn, especially if you have cool season turf grasses like bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass.
  • Why does fall fertilizing matter? One key reason to fertilize your lawn in fall is the benefits you’ll gain this spring. Setting your lawn up for good health during the coldest months of the year will ensure you have a lush, green lawn come spring and summer as well as reduce your maintenance requirements after the winter thaw.
  • When should I fertilize my lawn this fall? Now that we’ve established that fall is an essential time to fertilize the lawn, a next commonly asked question is, does the exact time in fall matter? The answer is, in a word, yes. Your first fall fertilization should be in late September to early October and then apply a second treatment of fertilization in November.
  • Does time of day matter when I fertilize my lawn? And, yes, the time of day that you fertilize your lawn this fall matters as well. The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening. Both times of day help you avoid the warm daytime temperatures that can often work against the effectiveness of fertilizer.
  • Should I keep mowing in the fall? Fall fertilizing efforts will be most effective after your last mow of the season. This is the equivalent to creating a clean slate right before you add fall fertilizer. Feel free to leave a bit of grass clippings behind to help the roots of your grass.
  • Should I avoid fall fertilizing if it’s been raining a lot? Rainy fall days are not beneficial to fertilization efforts. If it has just rained, it is best to wait until things dry out to apply fertilizer to your lawn. You can, hopefully, avoid runoff by checking the weather forecast before you fertilize.
  • How much fertilizer should I use? As a rule of thumb, it is better to apply to little fertilizer than too much. Nitrogen and phosphorous are not absorbed by your lawn past a certain amount and can get washed into storm drains and watersheds if over-applied causing nutrient pollution.
  • Is there a benefit to calling in a professional to help? Yes! Many variables come into play when determining how to best fertilize your lawn this fall. An experienced lawn care professional can take into account the variables such as your region’s unique climate, your lawn’s unique makeup and your goals for your landscape. While the DIY approach is always available, a lawn care professional can set up for success this season and many to follow by eliminating trial and error.

During fall, best practices say that September is the best time to fertilize your lawn. So that means, right about now you should be taking steps to get your lawn ready for fall and winter. Even more important than the September fertilizer application is the second one that should take place at the end of October or early November.

This last application of fall lawn fertilizer before the winter can make all the difference in the health of your lawn next spring. Taking the time to fertilize in the fall will strengthen your plants’ and lawn’s roots, giving them a strong base on which to thrive next spring.

The team at Spring-Green is here to help you prep your lawn for fall and winter with fertilization services and so much more. Since 1977, we’ve helped our customers care for their residential and commercial lawn care with an unwavering dedication to quality. For any of your lawn care needs, contact one of our neighborhood lawn care professionals to get started.

Contact your neighborhood Spring-Green lawn care professional today.

Answers to the Top 4 Questions Everyone Is Asking about Fall Mums

fall mums

Chrysanthemums, more commonly referred to as Mums, are a top choice for the fall garden. Fall Mums are a go-to way to add zest to the garden as summer draws to close because of their beauty and hardiness. However, there are a few tricks of the trade to keep these stunners making a splash in your garden even when your more delicate summer flowers are beginning to fade away.

Confusion about how to plant Fall Mums doesn’t have to scare you away from your garden goals – especially since now you have all the answers to your top questions right here at your disposal from the pros at Spring-Green.

Here are tips on fall mums to keep your garden looking spectacular this fall and year-round.

Everything You Need to Know about Fall Mums

1. Does it even make sense to plant Mums so late in the year? In a word, yes! While other flowering plants in your garden are fading away for the winter, Fall Mums are a powerhouse of color and vibrancy for any garden. The cooling temperatures of fall don’t bother mums. Their colors get bolder, and their blossoms will typically last until the first extreme frost.

2. How exactly do I care for my Fall Mums? Caring for flowers is not hard, but it may require developing a new vocabulary! Master these terms and your Fall Mums will flourish throughout late summer and fall.

  • Pinching – By pinching off the top of the plant, you’ll gain a sturdy, bushier plant with lots of blooms. The rule of thumb for pinching is about one to two inches at a rate of every three to four weeks until early July in cooler climates, the end of July in warmer gardening zones.
  • Deadheading – Deadheading, while it might sound like it refers to a popular rock band from the 60’s, is really a term that refers to one of your gardening chores. It is the removal of dead or fading flowers from living plants and is a critical function of your Fall Mums success in your garden if you live in a warmer climate. For those living in cold areas, the arrival of the first frost typically makes this step unnecessary.
  • Feeding – Not a new term, but one to keep at top of mind to ensure your Fall Mums’ success. Fall Mums are heavy feeders that require rich soil to thrive. You should feed your Mums every three to four weeks to improve flowering results.

3. Do Fall Mums come back year after year? Mums are considered tender perennials, which means whether come back year after year is dependent on when they were planted. If planted in spring or summer, they are likely to overwinter and become perennials. It is still possible for your Mums to be perennials if planted in the fall if the temps are warmer while the set their roots. The later they are planted and the colder the temps may change them to the category of annuals.

4. What types of Mums Are There? Many varieties of Mums exist, all beautiful but offering different things to the gardener who know what he or she wants to accomplish. Let’s examine a few popular gardening goals, and which types of Mums can help accomplish them.

  • Make a statement: The spider Mum is a stunner standing over three feet tall with reddish blossoms demand to be noticed.
  • Add bold color: Plant the Jessica Mum with bright yellow blossoms in your midseason to add a splash of color to any garden.
  • Add function and beauty: The French Vanilla Mum is a classic favorite with big white flowers that add classic elegance but also work perfectly when creating a mixed border or cutting garden.
  • Overcome the cold temps: If you live in a cold climate, the Minnautumn Mum varietal is a great cold-hardy choice for you, and its vivid orange-ish red flowers are showstoppers.

The best Fall Mums bloom schedules will vary based on the type of mum you desire and your climate, but best times to plant generally run from September through October. In other words, it’s time to plant your Fall Mums!

For more information on caring for your lawn and landscape, visit our lawn care guide or contact your neighborhood lawn care professional today at Spring-Green.