Does your lawn need to be winterized? Winterizing your lawn calls for the application of fertilizer that has high levels of potassium.
Potassium is a very important nutrient for plant health. It helps the cellular level of the grass plant to strengthen and harden. This makes them more tolerant of cold weather and cold temperature stress. The nutrients also help plants to absorb other nutrients. So it is an important element of balanced feeding for a lawn.
Other nutrients essential for a healthy lawn include nitrogen. It encourages growth of leaves and stem, and phosphorus to ensure healthy roots and fruit production.
Commercial winter fertilizers commonly include higher levels of potassium and lower levels of nitrogen than fertilizers that are used earlier in the season.
Do You Need To Winterize Your Lawn?
It may not be necessary to winterize your lawn with potassium fertilizer. It is advised that you perform a soil test. If the test shows that there is an adequate amount of potassium, then you don’t need to winterize.
If you have used a fertilizer consisting of a balanced level of nutrients through out the season, then you probably don’t need to winterize the lawn. There is plant of potassium present to supply the soil during the fall before the lawn goes dormant.
Cool season grasses benefit most from a fall serving of winter fertilizer. But you can also use another fertilizer as long as it includes both nitrogen and potassium. This is a way to prevent the need for winterizing, as long as you feed the lawn with potassium from organic sources throughout the growing season.
If your lawn features warm-season grasses, then it is advised that you wait until late spring to fertilize. Be sure to feed the lawn a balanced level of nutrients.
Be aware that commercial chemical fertilizers do not improve your soil and actually need to be supplied again during the next season.
Also be aware that gardening companies offer winterizing fertilizer as the last of their fertilizer line. Look at the bag and you will see that the earlier fertilizer contains mostly nitrogen because it makes grass green and thick.
Winterizing fertilizers are sold in the fall to offer the potassium that was left out of the earlier fertilizer. This may be great marketing on the part of the fertilizer manufacturers. But it sure costs the consumer more. It is recommended that you use a slow-release fertilizer that is more balanced with nutrients than the typical summer blend and cut down on the number of applications.
It is recommended that you feed established lawns with at least three parts nitrogen for every one-part potassium. At least half of the nitrogen should be in a slow-release form. Many commercial fertilizers contain little or no phosphorus because of pollution issues.
Lawn fertilizer should be used during peak growing season in the spring for warm-season grass and in fall for cool-season grass.