Updated on
December 13, 2021

Winter yard fertilizer: what you need to know

Lawn care
Winter Fertilizer

We all want to keep our yard looking the best it can all year long. However, we often end up neglecting our yard in the winter and spend loads of time trying to revive it in the spring. The truth is, a little investment in winter lawn care and winter fertilizer can help keep your lawn in great shape even during the coldest months. There's some great products out there there that can protect your lawn and make sure that whether it's during the winter, spring, those harsh summer months, or the fall, it stays looking it's best.

In this post we'll talk the proper way to fertilize your lawn in the winter and what fertilizing your lawn can do to improve the health of your lawn once the grass stops growing as well as the appropriate time to fertilize, how to cut down on weeds, what nutrients to use, and what to do during a drought.

What is Winter Fertilizer and Winter Lawn Care?

If you're not much into landscaping, then you might not be aware of what winter lawn care and winter fertilizer or winterizer is. Your lawn doesn't just take a break in the winter, you have to continue taking care of it and preparing it for spring if you want the lush green lawn that you hope for.  

Winter lawn care consists of preparing your lawn for when it goes dormant during the late fall. When this happens your lawn stops growing and begins to live off of nutrients that it has stored during the spring and summer. With proper preparation though you can give help for your lawn throughout the winter months so that it can survive and be ready to grow again once the season changes. With enough care your lawn will come back greener than ever.

One of the best ways to prepare your lawn for the winter months is by using a winter fertilizer or winterizer. These special mixes are formulated with different levels of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that help sustain your grass even during times when it is dormant, times of drought,  frost, and even when the ground  freezes.

A winterizer fertilizer is the best choice to keep your lawn healthy, but there are many things to consider when thinking about applying fertilizer to your lawn.  If you are using a company like JC Landscapes to treat your lawn for you, it's likely that they've already taken this into account with your program.

Preparing a Healthy Lawn

There are many things that it helps to know to keep your lawn healthy year round. While a lawn winterizer helps to bring your lawn back from the cool season, extremely cold weather can be incredibly damaging to an unprepared lawn.  Here are some tips to prepare your lawn to survive no matter whether it's the warm season or the cool season.

Start Preparing in Early Spring

While you won't put on winterizer in the spring, there are things you can do to make sure your lawn is as healthy as possible before that time of the year.  One of the things to get a head start on is applying new grass seed to help repair any previous damage to your lawn and cover bare patches.  It's important to note that if you get pre-emergent applications through your lawn care provider (like JC Landscapes) or plan to apply it yourself, please skip this step because the pre-emergent will kill your seed as it germinates.

When the weather is warm it is a great time to start promoting new growth.  You may also focus on weed control such as pulling weeds, and using herbicide to kill weed seeds and prevent weeds from sprouting to make sure you keep a beautiful lawn.

Checking the ground and soil quality is an important step to make sure your grass will grow properly, especially in harsher conditions.  Cool season grass as you'll find in our area (Lewisburg, PA) fairs better in cool weather in fall and winter.  That's why it's so important to water through the hottest parts of summer to relieve stress.  However, even the hardiest of grass may not fair well in extreme cold.

Make sure to keep your mower handy to control growth of your lawn throughout the warmer seasons when growth conditions are optimal. Fertilizer is great to apply in other seasons as well, just make sure you use the optimal type for your lawn, the season and your soil and grass types. For instance, a spring fertilizer may contain different levels of nutrients than one for summer or winter. Many folks forget how important fertilizer is for helping their grass grow and for promoting root system growth. Strong roots equal strong grass. As always, try to avoid walking on your grass and make sure to water it regularly as well.

Applying Your Winter Fertilizer

Most winterizers are designed for late fall application, right before the grass goes completely dormant and is still green on top. The timing can be tricky depending on the product you use; but if you apply the fertilizer in this window, you will give your lawn what it needs to survive.

As far as which winter fertilizer to choose, your most important consideration is the nutrients in the fertilizer. Ideally you want to look for fertilizers with high concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally you'll want to see if you can find a formula that is slow release. Unfortunately, the number of fertilizers with all of these features is relatively low so you'll have to do some shopping around, or simply go with a lawn program that includes this.  JC Landscapes' fall formula is an extremely slow release formula that is designed to be held in the roots of the plant and release over several months' time.  This makes it an ideal candidate for safely putting your lawn to bed for the season.

If you decide to handle the fertilization yourself, a bag of organic fertilizer will go a long way in helping your lawn come back green and help promote growth when spring arrives. Quick release nitrogen is helpful to revive your grass and give it the boost of nutrients it needs, but since your lawn will be relying on the stored nutrients it has available to make it through the winter, you want to find one with the right balance and a slow release time.

Final Thoughts

We hope these tips on finding the right winterizer fertilizer have helped you to take better care of your lawn.  Lawn care is all about paying attention to the important parts of your lawn like the grass type, roots, and soil conditions.

Our best advice is to work with a professional and get a proven program to take care of your lawn properly.  JC Landscapes works with only the best products we can get our hands on, and provide top-notch customer service to boot!  Give us a call at (570) 523-7772 to get started on your lawn program.