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When Should You Fertilize? Fall Is A Fine Time!

Fall is the perfect time for fertilizing your landscape! The right fertilizer will help encourage strong root growth and help your garden and lawn survive the onslaught of winter. Here are some basic things to know about fertilizers:

The three numbers you’ll see on containers of fertilizers (e.g., 10-20-10) define the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium – in that order – in the fertilizer. So what do these nutrients do for plants and lawns?

Nitrogen – is used by plants to produce leaf growth and greening.

Phosphorous – promotes strong root growth and fruit development.

Potassium – is vital for plant hardiness and flower color and size.

Fall, is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn – in fact, it’s even better than fertilizing in the spring. As grasses naturally slow their green growth, more of their energy gets directed to root development and nutrient storage. Feeding your lawn in the fall supplies these vital nutrients, which, in turn, ensures your lawn will be less susceptible to summer stress and decline next year.

Two feedings in the fall are ideal – one around Labor Day, and another around Thanksgiving. If you haven’t had the chance to fertilize earlier this fall, don’t double up your feeding – a single application in late November will still provide great results. More benefits of fall fertilizing include:

  • Fertilizing in the fall doesn’t feed weeds like spring fertilizing does. Weeds will have less of a chance to grow in a robust, healthy lawn.
  • Increased root growth and turf density are a benefit of fall fertilizing.
  • Nitrogen fertilizers applied in the fall have an extended efficacy period, giving you and your lawn more for your application.
  • Feed your lawn this fall and you’ll see a more lush, uniform growth in your lawn next summer. (Bonus: a denser lawn combats weeds better.)
  • Fungicides are rarely needed for robust, healthy lawns, since they are naturally more disease-resistant.
  • Many grasses we typically have in New Jersey – fescues, bluegrasses and perennial ryegrasses – thrive with fall fertilizing, with an extended green period through fall and winter.

Here at Farmside we can help you assess the best nutrient balance for your landscape through soil testing and our professional assessment. Give us a call today and see how we can help you. And be sure to share your photos of your favorite garden successes this year with us!

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