What a great question! The answer is a little more complicated than just picking a time, as there are a lot of factors involved. Here is brief a guide to help you decide.
Lawn Fertilizing Expectations
What are your goals for your lawn?
What is your fertilizing budget?
Should you hire a fertilizer pro?
Can your fertilize your own lawn?
Knowing the answers to there before reading on will help you choose the best time and the method of fertilization.
Fertilizing usually happens more than once a year to ensure the best results, as each fertilization also has it's own purpose/benefit.
The first occurring in the early spring,
The second in late spring,
The third in mid-summer,
The fourth in early fall, and
The fifth fertilizer application in late fall
Typically in Maryland a winter fertilization isn't necessary unless we have a very mild winter (much like last year in 2019-2020).
Applying fertilizer in spring
The first two applications of the year will have a fertilizer to boost the growth of the turf.
A post-emergent to kill the weeds that have germinated, and also a pre-emergent to prevent the weeds from germinating in the summer. These first two applications are the most important as they will set you up for success. If they are not properly applied, then you may not have very good results.
Mid-summer fertilizer application
The mid-summer lawn fertilizer application is generally a light fertilizer to promote color and growth through the sometimes hot and rough summer heat.
Fall lawn fertilizer application
The fall applications are applied in conjunction with seeding to promote seed germination and also eliminate any weeds that pop up in the fall.
Challenges of fertilizing your own lawn
One of the main challenges to tackling this yourself is the spraying of the weeds that have already popped up.
The pros have big tanks of spray that they use, but you will have to use a granular weed and feed. This product will not work unless you apply it doing the very early morning while the grass is still wet from the dew, as the particles have to stick to the leaves of the weeds in order to be effective in killing the weed.
If you are in the Maryland area and considering hiring a local business to handle your lawn and landscaping needs, including fertilization, consider chatting with Rooted In Nature by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 443-846-0199. We are happy to assist you!