When Should You Not Fertilize

There are certain times when fertilizing should be avoided. During periods of drought, you want to avoid applying fertilizer as the extra moisture needed for it to break down into nutrient form won’t be available. In addition, using too much fertilizer in hot weather can damage or burn grass and plants.

Proper timing also matters; fertilizing during the summer heat is not ideal as it can cause rapid growth that will make lawns more susceptible to pests, weed growth, and diseases. Applying a high nitrogen fertilizer late in the growing season, just before winter sets in, can produce lush, succulent winter grass that may freeze and die during cold months.

It’s important to pay attention to the lawn and establish when the best time for application is- especially for slow-release types of fertilizer which need additional water for the breakdown; wet conditions are often best, but if the soil is already saturated, leave fertilization until drier weather returns.

Finally, check product labels carefully; many nitrogen fertilizers are temperamental in cold temperatures, so wait until warm weather comes back around for seasonal use. Also, read label warnings about possible state regulations regarding desired application intervals and restrictions on types of fertilizer used.

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