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:

When to Fertilize Cool-Season Grasses

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:

When to Fertilize Warm-Season Grasses

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*:

* Always consult product labels for Complete Directions for Use.

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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