When to fertilise your lawn

Golf course lawn

Fertilising your lawn can help reduce weeds, pests and diseases, and encourage strong growth. But it’s important to know when to fertilise your lawn, as applying fertiliser at the wrong time can actually do more harm than good.

Lawn fertilisation can be tricky, but following these simple tips can help you get it right. Keep reading for all you need to know about fertilising your lawn.


What Is Lawn Fertilisation And Why Is It Important? 

Lawn fertilisation is the process of adding nutrients to your lawn to help it grow and stay healthy. Just like any other plant, grass needs specific nutrients to survive and thrive. 

These nutrients often include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which you’ll usually see abbreviated as NPK. Nitrogen helps grass grow quickly and green up, phosphorus helps grass develop strong roots, and potassium helps grass withstand stress and disease, as well as build a tolerance to drought and improve cold hardiness. 

In addition, some fertilisers also include other elements such as Sulphur and Iron. Sulphur enhances colour, density and growth and helps Nitrogen to be used more efficiently due to its direct relationship with nitrogen. Iron is necessary for chlorophyll formation, good colour, and resistance to disease. 

Zoysia grass seed up close

While most lawns will have some of these nutrients naturally, they might not have enough to reach their full potential. That’s where lawn fertilization comes in. Lawn fertilization can give your grass the extra boost it needs to stay healthy and look its best year-round.


The Benefits Of Fertilising Your Lawn

There are plenty of reasons to fertilise your lawn. A healthy lawn is not only more aesthetically pleasing but it can also: 

Help prevent weeds and pests: A thick, healthy lawn is the best defence against weeds and pests. Weeds have a harder time taking root and spreading in dense grass, and pests are less likely to find a comfortable home on a well-nourished lawn. 

Improve the quality of your soil: Adding nutrients to your lawn can help improve the quality of your soil over time. This is especially important if you have poor quality soil, to begin with. 

Make your lawn more drought-resistant: A healthy lawn is better able to withstand periods of drought than an unhealthy one. This is because strong grassroots are able to reach deep into the ground for moisture, whereas weak roots are more easily dried out. 

Help your lawn recover from damage: If your lawn has been damaged by disease, insects, or heavy foot traffic, fertilisation can help it recover and become healthy again. 


When To Fertilise Your Lawn 

The best time to fertilise your lawn depends on what type of grass you have. For cool-season grasses like bluegrass, fescue, and rye, the best time to fertilise is in autumn. 

That’s because cool-season grasses go dormant in the winter and don’t need as much nitrogen. Applying fertiliser in autumn helps grass store nutrients over the winter so it can green up quickly in the spring. 

garden lawn

If you have warm-season grass like bermuda grass (couch), kikuyu grass, buffalo grass or zoysia grass, the best time to fertilise is in the spring. That’s because these grasses go dormant in the winter and need a boost of nitrogen to green up in the spring when soil temperatures start to rise. 


Choosing The Correct Fertiliser

Lawn fertilisers can be granular or liquid formulations and may be formulated for specific use cases. Not all fertilisers achieve the same results, so it’s vital that you select the right fertiliser for your lawn.

When choosing the right lawn fertiliser for your grass, it’s crucial that you consider the following :

  • The type of grass you have – different types of grasses have different nutritional requirements.
  • The time of year – lawns need different nutrients at different times of the year.
  • The condition of your lawn – if your lawn is in poor condition, you may need a higher-quality fertiliser to help it recover.
  • Your budget – lawn fertilisers vary in price, so it’s important to find one that fits your budget.

The different fertilisers that are available include the following:

Granular fertilisers

Granular fertilisers are solid, dry pellets. They are popular as they are easy to apply and can be blended into ratios to provide a specific mix of nutrients for your lawn.  Granular fertilisers can also contain slow-release coatings to the pellets that can gradually feed the turf for up to 12 weeks.

Foliar (liquid) fertilisers

Foliar (liquid) fertilisers are applied to turf either via hose applicators or spray equipment which allows the operator to achieve even coverage of the lawn. Foliar fertilisers deliver a faster response from the turf as the nutrients are absorbed through the roots or leaves. We recommend using liquid fertiliser if you have a smaller lawn area as it can be applied more accurately.

Speciality fertilisers

Speciality fertilisers are unique products that offer specific solutions to common turf problems. Enhanced with phytochemical engineered formulas (which basically means they’ve been designed to be super effective), these products are safe for the environment and your lawn. Some are specifically designed for warm grasses that maximise growth and development so that your lawn can fight back against any weeds or pests that try to take it over.

Others contain a balance of extracts and natural fermentation materials to encourage healthy plant development under any environmental, chemical or mechanical stresses. High in nitrogen and iron, these products will also give your lawn a deep, green colour.

Some specialty fertilisers provide nutrients for healthy turf in low light and shade. They are packed with NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) to encourage growth and hardiness in the turf and are very effective when you need to give your lawn a boost.

Finally, if you’re looking for a product to optimise energy, vigour and growth in your lawn, consider using a liquid potassium fertiliser. Potassium is an important macronutrient that helps turfgrass to develop strong cell walls, resist disease and tolerate stress. It’s also essential for the photosynthesis process, which helps the plant produce food for itself.


How To Fertilise Your Lawn 

Now that you know the most suitable fertiliser to use and when to apply to your lawn, it’s time to learn how. The key to successful lawn fertilisation is to use the right amount of fertiliser and apply it correctly. 

If you use too much fertiliser, you could end up burning your grass or causing other damage. And if you don’t use enough, you won’t see the desired results. 

To get started with fertilising your lawn, you’ll need to get your hands on some lawn fertiliser. At Specialist Sales, we offer a wide range of fertilisers for a variety of needs.

When choosing a fertiliser, look for one that’s specifically designed for lawns and contains NPK & other elements in the right ratio.  Selecting the right NPK ratio will depend on your desired outcome, for example for quick growth a higher nitrogen (N) component is advised whereas a deep green colour will be achieved with higher iron (Fe) levels.


Granular fertiliser application

If convenience is what you are after you have probably settled on a granular fertiliser and now, it’s time to start applying it. The best way to do this is with a broadcast spreader or drop spreader. A broadcast spreader will evenly distribute the fertiliser over a large area, while a drop spreader is more precise and can help you avoid wasting fertiliser. 

Golf course lawn

When using a broadcast spreader like Solo Granular Spreader, it’s important to calibrate it first. You can also apply the fertiliser by hand,  but this isn’t recommended unless you have a small lawn. 

Once you’ve chosen your spreader and calibrated it, it’s time to start applying the lawn fertiliser. Start at one end of your lawn and make your way slowly across, overlapping each pass by about half. 

If you’re using a drop spreader, be sure to release the fertiliser in a steady stream as you go. Once you’ve reached the end of your lawn, turn around and make another pass in the opposite direction. 

fertilised couch grass lawn

When you’re finished applying the fertiliser, water your lawn deeply to help it absorb the nutrients. You should also avoid mowing your lawn for at least 24 hours after fertilising. 


Foliar fertiliser application

Foliar fertilisers can be applied in many ways including from hose applicators, watering cans, pressurised pump units or a boom spray.  Reading the product’s instructions before use is important as foliar fertilisers require a particular amount of fertiliser to be evenly applied over a specified area of turf in a minimum amount of water.  For example, this may be 100mL per 10L Water over 100m2.  Some foliar fertilisers may require additional watering after application or before mowing takes place.  Foliar fertilisers are especially popular if a nutrient deficiency or stress-related issue is being addressed or to just quickly boost the overall health of the turf.    


How much fertiliser do you need to apply for optimal growth?

The amount of fertiliser you need to apply will be listed in the directions of use included with every product. If your lawn is stressed or suffering from nutrient deficiencies or your lawn health is not ideal, this will dictate the amount of fertiliser required. 

It’s imperative t to follow the product’s directions of use to avoid over or underfeeding your lawn.


What Kind Of Fertiliser Should You Use For Your Lawn Type? 

The type of lawn fertiliser you use will depend on the type of grass you have. For cool-season grasses, look for a lawn fertiliser with higher nitrogen content. This will help your grass green up quickly in the spring, as nitrogen is the nutrient that helps grass grow. 

If you have warm-season grass, choose a fertiliser with lower nitrogen content. This will help your grass store nutrients over the winter so it can green up quickly in the spring.  

You should also consider the time of year when choosing a fertiliser. For example, if you’re fertilising in the autumn, look for a fertiliser that contains slow-release nitrogen. This form of nitrogen is released more slowly into the soil, so it won’t burn your grass. 

In winter, we recommend using a fertiliser with a higher phosphorus content. This will help your grass develop strong roots, which is crucial for surviving the winter. 


How To Fix An Over-Fertilised Lawn?

If you’ve applied too much fertiliser to your lawn, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to fix the problem and get your lawn back on track. 

First, water your lawn deeply and frequently. This will help dilute the lawn fertiliser and prevent it from burning your grass. 

Next, mow your lawn short. This will help reduce the number of grass blades that are exposed to fertiliser and prevent them from being damaged. 

Finally, wait a few weeks before fertilising again. This will give your grass time to recover from the over-fertilization and allow it to grow back healthy and strong. 


Popular Lawn Fertilisers

Choosing a high-quality lawn fertiliser is vital for getting the best results. High-quality lawn fertiliser ensures that your lawn gets the nutrients it needs to stay green and healthy. There are many different types of lawn fertiliser available, so it is important to do your research and choose the best one for your needs.

Here are some of our favourites:


Granular Fertiliser

ProTurf Fertiliser – this professional-grade lawn fertiliser features a high nitrogen content with controlled slow-release technology. Over a period of 8-12 weeks, this fertiliser works by gradually releasing nutrients into the soil, providing a consistent and steady supply of nutrition for your lawn.

Super Grass Lawn & Garden Fertiliser – If you’re looking for an organic lawn fertiliser that can be used in many situations, Super Grass Lawn & Garden Fertiliser is a great choice. This fertiliser contains both slow and quick release pellets, providing a complete and enriching nutrient solution for your lawn.

Golf Course Green – Want to have a healthy, nutrient-rich lawn without the extra mowing? Golf Course Green is perfect for you! This high-quality lawn fertiliser is made from a unique blend of minerals and nutrients, which work together to give your lawn a deep green colour.

Six Iron Professional Fertiliser  – This fertiliser offers controlled nitrogen release, which is perfect for lawns that need a little extra boost. Six Iron Professional Fertiliser, Turf Gold Fertiliser and Poly Supreme Fertiliser also contain potassium and iron, which work together to give your lawn a deep, green colour. Plus, this fertiliser is great for Australian lawns, as potassium encourages drought resistance including lawns. 


Foliar Fertiliser

Knife Plus Turf Biostimulant – High nitrogen & iron for growth and colour. We recommend Knife Plus Turf Biostimulant for use on all lawn types, as it is a non-staining, high performing product that will give your lawn a deep green colour.

LiquiMaxx N-MAXX 40, and LiquiMaxx GreenMaxx Fertilisers – these foliar (liquid) fertiliser is formulated for stress tolerance, which makes it ideal for harsh climates and times of high heat or cold. Spike Foliar Fertiliser also contains plant hormones to help with root development, making it perfect for newly established lawns.

Carbon Tiger – Packed with NPK,  Carbon Tiger is perfect for use on all lawn types, as it will green your lawn quickly and help to improve its overall health. 

Nutri-Gro Plus – Offers a complete fertilising solution for your lawn. It’s made with 100% natural ingredients and contains a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.  This fertiliser is ideal for use on all types of grass, including Bermuda, Buffalo, Couch, Kikuyu, and Rye. 


Speciality Fertiliser

High Five Turf Biolstimulant – this is the biostimulant for ensuring optimal growth and development in your lawn turf. It maximises photosynthesis and root efficiency, resulting in a healthier, more vigorous lawn.

ProteSyn Turf Biostimulant –  Is your lawn in the shade or does it get minimal sunlight? If so, then ProteSyn Turf Biostimulant is the ideal biostimulant for you. It helps to promote healthy turf growth in low light/shade conditions, resulting in a lusher, more vibrant lawn.

Fights On Liquid Potassium –  Looking to optimise energy, vigour and growth in your lawn? Then look no further than Fights On Liquid Potassium. This highly concentrated liquid potassium fertiliser helps to encourage strong root development, increased disease resistance and better water uptake.


Final Thoughts

In summary, fertilising your lawn is important for maintaining a healthy, green lawn. The amount of fertiliser you need to apply will depend on the condition of your lawn and the type of grass and soil you have. 

This blog post discussed everything you need to know about when to fertilise your lawn, including the best time of year and the best type of fertiliser for your lawn. We also shared some tips on how to fix an over-fertilised lawn. 

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our friendly staff for advice. 

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