While your grass can survive without any lawn feed, it’s certainly recommended if you want to encourage the healthiest growth possible. With regular feeds, your lawn becomes thicker, fuller, and greener while being less susceptible to weed outbreaks, making it well worth the effort.
Plus, feeding a lawn with fertiliser isn’t complex, as you can easily incorporate it into your regular lawn maintenance routine and your grass will be all the better for it. However, it’s important that you use the best lawn feed at the right time and in suitable conditions, otherwise it may not be that effective.
Here’s a complete breakdown for when to feed the lawn throughout the year:
Make Sure there is Enough Soil Moisture
You always use lawn feed when the grass is actively growing and the soil has enough moisture. This means there needs to have been rain recently to use it, so if you are going through a period of drought (which is common in summer) then avoid using any feed until it has rained or you’ve watered the lawn.
It does take a while for soil to completely dry of moisture so you won’t need to worry too much unless it hasn’t rained for several weeks, although many products need you to water the fertiliser after applying it, so bear this mind and keep an eye on the weather forecast!
Related: Grass seed buying guide
Use After Mowing
It is recommended that you use a lawn feed right after cutting the grass. Doing so ensures that enough time has passed before your next cut, allowing the fertiliser to settle in properly and get to work.
Feeding a Lawn in Spring
Spring marks the start of growing season so you will probably want to feed the lawn once during this time, usually around April. The goal is to apply the feed once the weather has started to warm up and the grass is actively growing, so the best time for doing this can vary from location to location.
For instance, if you live in a cooler part of the country like Scotland or Northern England, then you may need to wait until later in April for temperatures to pick up. People living further south or around coastal regions may find the best time is early to mid-April, so it all depends on the conditions where you live.
Feeding a Lawn in Summer
Your first lawn treatment in spring should last several months (usually around 10 to 14 weeks), so your next treatment will be due in the summer, which is why you want to keep a note of when you applied the first feed.
The summer usually brings periods of dryness though, so if it has not been raining for several weeks then you will want to hold off using the lawn feed. Remember, soil needs adequate moisture for lawn fertiliser to work!
Related: Compost buying guide
Feeding a Lawn in Autumn
Autumn is a prime time for lawn feed, with the ideal time being September. It’s still relatively mild while the rain should bring ample moisture, providing perfect growing conditions for your lawn. Add in some fertiliser and you can expect your lawn to look better than ever and be well prepared for the upcoming winter.
Again, the timing will differ depending on the weather where you live. Sometimes this means applying earlier during late August or holding off until October, although make sure you don’t hold off much later as you won’t want to use any feed come early winter.
Feeding a Lawn in Winter
Grass goes dormant in winter so you won’t need to use any lawn feed. However, many people take this time to apply moss killing lawn treatments, in which case you need to ensure that you’ve left enough time from your last fertiliser to your first moss killer treatments.
If using a moss killer like ferrous sulphate you can start as early as April and continue applying it throughout winter to remove moss growth. Iron, the main ingredient in many moss killing products, kills moss in almost any condition, so you can apply it during the winter, although you do need to wait for a dry period before using!