Save the fertilizer for fall, not spring

Don’t rush out to fertilize your lawn yet. I know the horticultural products are on display at the garden center, but the swimsuits are also on the racks at the mall. Are you buying those? Probably not — because in Indiana it’s too early.

Instead I recommend you visit the “Lawn & Turf” section of Purdue’s Education Store online. You’ll quickly realize that fall is the No. 1 time for applying fertilizer. The second most important time is after the last mowing of the year, but while the grass is still green.

To be specific, your lawn will benefit most when you apply the majority of nitrogen fertilizer from late summer through fall. So I’m not saying that spring fertilizer application is bad. It just shouldn’t be high on the priority list. When you apply nitrogen fertilizer during the spring, use slow-release fertilizers to minimize excess growth. Applying too much quick-release fertilizer will cause a flush of growth and keep you extra busy mowing all summer.

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