The fall is a good time to fertilize your plants because it helps them prepare for the winter months. The cold weather can cause roots to die back and leaves to turn brown or drop off, which makes it harder for the plant to absorb nutrients from the soil. This is why fertilizing your plants in the fall will help them grow strong through those winter months.
In addition, winter is an excellent time to fertilize plants because they have fewer responsibilities due to the lack of sunlight and temperatures that are too low for growth. Fertilizers can help replace nutrients that would normally be absorbed by photosynthesis during warmer months.
There are several factors to consider when deciding on the best fertilizer for fall and winter lawn care. Winterizer should contain higher levels of nitrogen and potassium, which will encourage grass blade development and deep green color. Potassium and iron will help maintain soil moisture. Also, winterizer should contain higher amounts of phosphorus, sulfate of potash, and sulfur, which promote healthy soil nutrients.
Winterizer fertilizers contain higher levels of potassium
Commercial winterizer fertilizers contain higher levels of potassium than other types of fertilizers. Some brands of these products contain as much as fourteen percent more potassium than standard fall and winter fertilizers. These products are best applied at least six weeks before the first frost is expected. In Wayne County, the first fall frost is on October 30. The best time to apply potassium fertilizer is in mid to late September.
To determine which winter lawn fertilizer will best suit your lawn, you must take a soil test. You can either do this yourself or pay for a lawn care service to perform the test. You should use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 16-4-8%. For cool-season grasses, fall and winter fertilizers will suffice, but you may need an additional product in the spring or summer.
Winterizer fertilizers also contain more potassium than fall and summer fertilizers. Potassium can help your lawn withstand freezing temperatures and boost the growth of its root system. Potassium is soluble in water, so it can leach into the soil and runoff. Potassium is generally not toxic to humans and does not deplete oxygen in the water. However, it can cause problems in rainy and snowy regions.
A quality winter fertilizer will contain a 2:1 ratio of potassium to nitrogen. The nitrogen will restore your lawn’s carbohydrates and provide it with energy to survive the winter and come back stronger in the spring. Potassium provides the nutrients it needs to survive cold weather and keep it green. In addition to nitrogen, winterizer fertilizers contain higher levels of potassium than fall and winter fertilizers.
Nitrogen favors grass blade development
In the spring, cool-season grasses require a boost to make them green first and compete with weeds. For this, winter lawn fertilizers should have a high amount of nitrogen, as this promotes grass blade development. TurfGrassPro Blade Iron 15-0-0 fertilizer supplies both the nitrogen and iron needed for a deep, rich green color. During the winter months, the nitrogen in this fertilizer will remain in the roots, promoting rapid blade development.
The importance of nitrogen in plant growth was noted by several researchers. The British Grassland Society published a handbook on sward measurement. In addition, G. Lemaire edited Diagnosis of nitrogen status in crops, published by Springer-Verlag. The purpose of the handbook is to help plant managers determine if their fields are providing enough nitrogen for grass blade development. In addition, a study of the effects of nitrogen on grass growth suggests that the presence of nitrogen during spring planting is necessary for optimal blade development.
Recent findings have provided clues that N fertilization can enhance forage grass productivity. It may also reduce the risks of water pollution and reduce the cost of production. New research on grass physiology could help researchers develop new tools for improving N utilization efficiency. Using a model of N dilution, for example, the decrease in N concentrations per unit of plant biomass is described. The index of N nutrition is calculated as the measured N concentration divided by the critical N concentration.
Iron promotes a deep rich green color
The appearance of a beautiful emerald green lawn is always welcome, but how do you ensure your lawn stays healthy, vigorous, and beautiful? A healthy lawn is rich in iron, and if you add at least 20 percent of the dietary mineral to your lawn’s top dressing, you will have a lawn that is healthy and vigorous. Also, iron-rich soil will minimize losses of water and nutrients and improve the characteristics of the soil.
Rates of application
The fall season is a prime time for applying a good fertilizer. It’s important to avoid using too much nitrogen since your grasses will likely need more nutrients than that. Use the table below as a guide to the right rates. A typical fall application is a two-pound application of nitrogen per thousand square feet. Rates for winter-hardy grasses should be between half and two pounds per square foot of grass.
Late fall is the best time to apply nitrogen, but don’t forget about spring-time rates. Fall N rates are generally cheaper than spring-time levels, and custom applicators’ workload is much lighter. Late fall N applications can still improve yields and stand density. During spring, you should consider using additional fertilizer rates in order to reach maximum forage production. Forage crops can’t absorb nitrogen during this time, so a late fall application may be more beneficial.
The fall application should contain a nitrogen source that is independent of soil temperature and microbial activity. Colder air temperatures in late fall affect nitrogen release. The most effective nitrogen sources include urea, sulfur-coated urea, and IBDU. Soil moisture and nitrogen availability will determine the rate at which nitrogen is released. If the nitrogen application is too late, your grass may not benefit from it.
Fertilizers for late fall and winter should be applied near the last mowing of the season or during the first two weeks of November. Late fall fertilization should be made when the grass is still green and before the soil freezes. According to Purdue University research, nitrogen needs to be absorbed by the plant before winter. Quick-release nitrogen sources are best suited for late fall fertilization.
Common problems with winterizers
During the cold winter months, it’s critical to apply a winterizer to your lawn. While grass blade growth slows down during this time, its roots keep growing. Using a winterizer will help your grass survive and thrive through the harsh winter months, while also protecting it from many common winter diseases. The added benefit of having a greener lawn in spring is an extra dose of nutrients. Here are some common winterizer problems and solutions.
In choosing the right winterizer, make sure to read the label and decide how much you need. Most winterizers contain a 2:1 ratio of potassium and nitrogen. This ratio will help the lawn store the nutrients and provide energy. Make sure to use a water-soluble quick-release fertilizer rather than a slow-release one. It is also important to check the winterizer’s ingredients to see how much it contains of each of these elements.
Regardless of the brand name, many winterizer products contain a large percentage of nitrogen fertilizer. For best results, apply the winterizer two months prior to the first average date of frost, which is around August 15 for the Upstate and September 1 on the coast of South Carolina. However, do not delay application to avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. If you are concerned about the application timing, make sure you apply the winterizer in November or early December.