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How Often Do You Need to Fertilize Your Lawn

When to Fertilize
To grow green and healthy, your lawn depends on high-quality fertilizer and regular feedings. When applied at the right times, a high-quality lawn fertilizer gives turf essential nutrients that help it grow thick and resist environmental stresses, weeds and pests.

How often you feed your lawn depends on grass type and your climate. For best results, follow these fertilizing guidelines:

Identify Your Grass

Grass type determines when to fertilize. There are many varieties, but only two main types—cool-season and warm-season grasses. In general, cool-season grasses grow in northern states and warm-season grasses grow in southern states.

In about a third of the country identified as transitional, both types of grasses are grown. This region ranges from coastal states in the east, such as Maryland and Delaware, to Southern California on the west coast.
Regional grass map of United States
Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses generally remain green year-round when grown in cool and transitional areas. Such grasses do best in climates that have cold winters and warm (but not hot) summers. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, these grasses grow best in regions with temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and grow throughout the year, except for mid- and late-winter months.1

Cool-season grasses include:
  • Bentgrass
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Fine/tall fescue
  • Perennial/annual ryegrass
When to Fertilize

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service recommends feeding cool-season grasses twice in the fall, in September and November, and then again in the spring, in May or April, after the first flush of growth.2

Warm-Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses grow best in regions with temperatures 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They brown or go dormant in winter, depending on your climate. Winter dormancy lasts three to five months.

Warm-season grasses include:
  • Bermuda
  • Bahia
  • Buffalo
  • Zoysia
  • St. Augustine
  • Centipede
When to Fertilize

Feed warm-season grasses during active growth periods, but not during the hot midsummer months. Apply the fertilizer in three phases: first when when the grass starts to green in early spring, next in late spring, and once again in late summer.

High-quality Pennington products that will help you fertilize your way to a healthy, green lawn*:

Pennington Ultragreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4Apply on all types of lawns when you aren't in need of weed control. This product boosts nutrient uptake for a lush, green lawn.

Pennington UltraGreen Weed & Feed 30-0-4: Use if weeds are a problem. This product kills more than 250 different types of weeds when they are actively growing. Apply to cool- and warm-season grasses* in the spring, when many weeds are present.

Pennington UltraGreen Crabgrass Preventer Plus Fertilizer III 30-0-4: Use to prevent weeds from germinating. Apply on cool- and warm-season grasses* in the late winter or early spring to prevent crabgrass from appearing in the spring and summer.

Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4: Apply when establishing new seeded and sodded lawns, as it is formulated to stimulate strong root and foliar growth.

Pennington UltraGreen Winterizer Lawn Fertilizer 22-0-14: Apply to warm-season grasses* in the fall to help your lawn resist the effects of cold winter weather and ready for a healthy spring.

* Always consult product labels for Complete Directions for Use.

Pennington and Smart Seed are registered trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc.


1. Mike Goatley, Jr., "What grass should I grow for my lawn?" Virginia Cooperative Extension, March 2008.

2. Aaron Patton, University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.

Pennington Fertilizer Resources