When To Fertilise Lawn

When To Fertilise Lawn

A well-maintained lawn upgrades the value of your home, enhances the beauty of your property, and provides a comfortable space for your family and pets to enjoy. Fertilisation is a crucial component of lawn care that helps keep your grass healthy, green, and thriving. 

Fertilisers provide essential nutrients that grass needs to grow, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients play vital roles in plant growth, including root development, photosynthesis, and disease resistance.

Fertilising your lawn not only makes your grass healthier and more resilient but also helps maintain the yard's overall health. A well-fertilised lawn is less susceptible to pests, diseases, and weed invasions, as the grass is better equipped to defend itself against these threats. Read on to learn more about when to fertilise your lawn. 

Identifying The Right Time To Fertilise Your Lawn

The timing of lawn fertilisation is crucial to its effectiveness. Applying fertiliser at the wrong time can result in excessive growth, wasted nutrients, and even harm to the environment. 

Timing your lawn fertilisation depends on several factors, including location, climate, soil type, and grass species. The appropriate time to fertilise the lawn is during its active growth periods. 

For cool-season grasses, such as fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass, the ideal time for fertilisation is in the fall, followed by early spring. In contrast, warm-season grasses, such as Couch, Buffalo, and Zoysia, should be fertilised in late spring or early summer when they are actively growing.

Factors To Consider Before Fertilising Your Lawn

Before fertilising your lawn, there are several factors to consider to ensure that your lawn receives the proper nutrients in the right amounts.

Soil test

Conducting a soil test is crucial in determining the type and amount of fertiliser your lawn needs. A soil test helps identify the pH level of your soil, which can impact the availability of nutrients to your grass. 

The test also measures the levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, in your soil and provides recommendations for fertiliser types and application rates.

Grass type

The type of grass in your lawn also determines the type of fertiliser and application rate needed. Cool-season grasses require a fertiliser with higher nitrogen content. In contrast, warm-season grasses such as Sir Walter DNA-certified Buffalo Grass need a more balanced fertiliser with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.


The climate in your area also influences the timing and frequency of fertilisation. In areas with long, cold winters, fall fertilisation is essential to help the grass store nutrients for the winter. In contrast, areas with hot, dry summers may require more frequent fertilisation to help the grass cope with drought and heat stress.

Application method

The method of fertiliser application is also essential in ensuring that your lawn receives the right amount of nutrients. Applying too much or too little fertiliser can harm your grass, the environment, and your wallet. 

The two primary methods of fertiliser application are broadcast and spot application. The broadcast application method spreads the fertiliser evenly over the entire lawn, while spot application targets specific areas that need extra attention.

Various Types Of Lawn Fertilisers and Their Benefits

Several types of lawn fertilisers are available in the market, each with unique benefits and drawbacks:

Granular fertilisers

Granular fertilisers are the most common type of fertiliser used in lawn care. They come in a solid form that is easy to apply using a spreader. Granular fertilisers release nutrients slowly over time, providing a steady supply of nutrients to your grass. They are also cost-effective and have a long shelf life.

Liquid fertilisers

Liquid fertilisers are another option for lawn fertilisation. They are fast-acting and can provide an instant boost to your grass. Liquid fertilisers are applied using a hose-end sprayer, which allows for more precise application. However, liquid fertilisers are more expensive than granular fertilisers and require more frequent application.

Organic fertilisers

Organic fertilisers are made from natural materials, such as bone meal, blood meal, and compost. They are a more sustainable option for lawn care as they do not contain synthetic chemicals that can harm the environment. 

Organic fertilisers release nutrients slowly, which helps promote healthy soil and root development. However, they may not be as effective as synthetic fertilisers and require more frequent applications.

Slow-release fertilisers

Slow-release fertilisers are designed to release nutrients slowly over an extended period, reducing the risk of fertiliser burn and providing a stable supply of nutrients to your grass. Slow-release fertilisers are available in granular and liquid forms and are popular for professional lawn care.

How To Apply Fertiliser On Your Lawn

Applying fertiliser to your lawn is a straightforward process that requires careful attention to detail. Follow these steps to ensure your lawn receives the proper nutrients.

Calculate the application rate

The first step in applying fertiliser is to calculate the application rate based on your soil test results and grass type. The application rate is the fertiliser required per square foot of lawn. Applying too much or too little fertiliser can harm your grass and the environment, so it's essential to get this step right.

Choose the right spreader

The type of spreader you use depends on the size of your lawn and your personal preference. There are two kinds of spreaders: broadcast and drop spreaders. Broadcast spreaders are more efficient for large yards as they cover a wider area, while drop spreaders are more precise and are better suited for smaller lawns.

Calibrate the spreader

Before applying fertiliser, it's essential to calibrate your spreader to ensure it dispenses the right amount of fertiliser. To calibrate your spreader, measure out a specific amount of fertiliser and spread it over a particular area. Adjust the spreader settings until you achieve the desired coverage.

Apply the Fertiliser

Once you have calibrated your spreader, it's time to apply the fertiliser. Begin by fertilising the edges of your lawn, then move on to the centre, making sure to overlap the spreader pattern slightly to ensure even coverage. Keep the spreader constantly moving to avoid over-applying fertiliser in certain areas.

Maintain A Healthy Lawn With Regular Fertilisation

Fertilising your lawn is only one part of maintaining a healthy lawn. Below are some practical tips to help you keep your grass green and healthy year-round.


Regular mowing is essential to promote healthy grass growth. Mowing should be done at the right height for your grass type and regularly, especially during the growing season. Mowing too short can stress your grass, while mowing too infrequently can encourage weed growth.


Proper watering is critical to maintaining a healthy lawn. Your grass needs around 1-2 inches of water per week from rainfall or irrigation. Watering should be done early in the morning to allow maximum absorption and prevent disease and pest issues.

Weed control

Weeds can be a significant problem for lawns, competing with your grass for nutrients and water. Regular weed control is necessary to prevent weed growth and maintain a healthy lawn. 

You can use herbicides, manual removal, or other methods to control weeds. Even with grasses such as Eureka Kikuyu and Sir Walter grass, you will still be prone to problems with weed invasion.


Aeration creates small holes in your lawn to allow for better nutrient and water absorption. Aeration should be done once or twice a year, depending on the type of soil and grass you have. This process can help prevent soil compaction and promote healthy root growth.

Soil Testing

Regular soil testing is crucial to determine the right type and amount of fertiliser to apply to your lawn. Soil testing can also help identify any nutrient deficiencies or soil imbalances that must be corrected. You can use DIY soil testing kits or send your soil samples to a professional lab for analysis.

Top Mistakes To Avoid When Fertilising Your Lawn

While fertilising your lawn is essential to keeping it healthy and green, it's easy to make mistakes that can harm your grass and the environment. Here are the mistakes to avoid when fertilising your lawn.


Over-fertilisation is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when fertilising their lawns. Applying too much fertiliser can lead to fertiliser burn, where your grass turns yellow or brown and dies. It can also lead to nutrient imbalances, encouraging weed growth and pest infestations.


Under-fertilising your lawn can also be problematic, as your grass may need more nutrients to grow healthy and strong. This can lead to poor root growth, thin grass, and weed growth.

Incorrect Timing

Applying fertiliser at the wrong time can also be detrimental to your lawn. Fertilising too early or late in the season can lead to ineffective results or encourage new growth that may not survive the winter. Fertilising during periods of drought or extreme heat can also harm your grass.

Choosing the wrong type of fertiliser

Not all fertilisers are created equal. Choosing the wrong type of fertiliser for your grass type or soil conditions can lead to nutrient imbalances, weed growth, and pest infestations. Always select a fertiliser specifically designed for your grass type and soil conditions.

Applying fertiliser incorrectly

Misapplying fertiliser can also be problematic. Fertilisers should be spread evenly and at the correct rate for your lawn size. Using too much or too little fertiliser can lead to nutrient imbalances and harm your grass.

Best Practices for Fertilising Your Lawn

Following these best practices and guidelines will ensure your grass gets the appropriate nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. If you need help or clarification on any aspect of lawn care, consider consulting with a professional landscaping supplier or lawn care specialist who can provide expert advice and guidance. 

With proper care and attention, your lawn can be the envy of the neighbourhood and a source of pride for years to come. Moreover, you should choose the right type of grass for your lawn. For stress-free maintenance, you can select either Sir Walter DNA Buffalo Grass, Kikuyu Grass, Zoysia or Couch Grasses.

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