Fall is the ideal time
for feeding your lawn and garden to promote
a beautiful, healthy
gardenscape in the spring.
Fall Fertilization Facts
Cool fall temperatures can make many plants appear dead or dormant however, there is actually is a lot going on under the ground with roots actively growing. Fertilizing in the fall strengthens plants’ and lawns’ roots, giving them a strong base on which to thrive next spring. When temperatures drop to 40 degrees, plants are stimulated to produce higher concentrations of amino acids, sugars and other things that help the plant resist freezing. In other words, they are hungry this time of year getting ready for their winter dormancy and fertilizing in the fall will help plants to be more winter hardy when the temperatures drop.
- N = Nitrogen the first number, represents the amount of nitrogen in the fertilizer. Nitrogen promotes the growth of the foliage.
- P = Phosphorus the second number, represents the amount of phosphorus in a fertilizer. Phosphorus is what stimulates root growth in plants and promotes blooming.
- K = Potassium the third number, represents the amount of potassium (or potash) in a fertilizer. Potassium is important for proper cell function, absorption of trace elements and overall plant health.
- Perennials benefit from a high phosphate fertilizer with low nitrogen content.
- Applied in the fall, it supports stronger plants in the spring with greater flower production.
- A high nitrogen fertilizer with added potassium supports enhanced rooting, cold hardiness, and disease resistance.
- Fall fertilization helps lawns recover from heat-induced dormancy from the summer.
- Fall fertilization promotes the storing of carbohydrates which help grasses resist winter injury and disease.
- Late September thru Mid-October is generally the best time to apply fertilizer, 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes.
TREES & SHRUBS
- Fertilizing trees in the fall is important particularly for deciduous trees, as many key nutrients are used up earlier in the year, producing leaves and fruit.
- Only fertilize in the fall when the soil is around 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent unseasonal growth that can damage the tree, generally in late fall after they have lost their foliage for the year.
Large, established trees do not require fertilization unless the tree exhibits symptoms of a deficiency.
- Fall Bulbs (Bulbs planted in September/October that bloom in the Spring)
- Bulbs need phosphorus applied at the root level to help them get established before winter sets in. Phosphorus is best applied while planting the bulbs.