Fall Turf Fertilization: Are You Sure My Property Needs This?

The kids are back in school, temperatures are cooling, the leaves are turning and it won’t be too long before we wake up to a morning frost. Yes, the world of plants and grass is slowing down. A number of important landscape operations are performed at this time of year including leaf removal, fall bulb plantings and irrigation system shutdowns. When mid to late November arrives, holiday lights and seasonal decorations will be coming to commercial properties in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

However, a critical operation which may be overlooked at this time of year is fall turf fertilization. Hey, wait a minute…just exactly why is the grass being fertilized now? And, by the way, is this a wise use of precious budget dollars?

Yes, the turf will go dormant in late fall and will no longer be pushing growth. However, as your grass enters dormancy, it’s essential to have nutrients taken up at the root zone level to be stored in the plant. Those nutrients allow your property’s turf to make its way through the severe winter and be readily available for take-up in the spring. Late November and early December days can be chilly, but the soil temperatures are still moderate, allowing the critical nutrient exchange and storage to take place. It’s just exactly the right formula to help the turf overwinter and be ready for green-up as the early spring days get longer and the warmer temperatures return.

Everyone knows that strong foundation is critical to a building’s structural integrity. In many ways, the fall fertilization is the foundation to next season’s spring green-up and turf health. By next March and April, it will be easy spot the properties whose turf has a strong “foundation.”