In the first warmer days of spring your lawn will start growing again. Here you will find out how to properly prepare your lawn for the new season after winter and what you should consider when fertilizing lawn in spring.
After winter, when sunlight and warmth are scarce and it often freezes too, most lawns look rather worn out. Spring is therefore perfect for fertilizing the lawn for the first time. But first we should clarify a few important questions: Why exactly should a lawn be fertilized in spring and when is the right time for fertilization? You can find all the answers in this article.
Fertilizing lawns in spring: why is it necessary?
Lawn grasses have a high need for nutrients. Malnutrition would be disadvantageous, especially in spring after the long winter: If the grasses are not in optimal shape right from the start, moss and wild herbs, which have lower demands on temperature, lighting and nutrient supply, or even these circumstances can spread out between the plants to prefer. In addition, severe frost or poor fertilization in autumn could also have damaged the lawn: If it appears yellowish, muddy or otherwise not vital, something may have gone wrong when preparing the lawn for winter. Too late or vigorous nitrogen fertilization in autumn or too late mowing are possible reasons. A light yellow tinge of the lawn and weak growth are of course quite normal for a lawn shortly after winter. In any case, it is now important to fertilize the lawn in spring to create optimal conditions for growth in the new year.
If wild herbs (here Lamium purpureum ) sprout out of the turf, a lack of nutrients may be the reason
Tip: Some lawn grasses that are sensitive to frost, such as German ryegrass ( Lolium perenne ), can “hibernate” in autumn due to frost and late nitrogen fertilization. This means that this lawn grass will almost completely disappear from the lawn. This is then shown in a weak, very light sward. Spring is a good time for simple lawn reseeding, in which Lolium perenne is specifically mixed in again. For example, you can use our certified Plantura lawn reseeding.
When should you fertilize the lawn in spring?
The effectiveness of lawn fertilization in spring is also determined by the timing. This depends on the type of soil, type of fertilizer and weather. We have broken down the effects of these factors individually for you below:
Soil type : Light soils with low nutrient reserves are fertilized for the first time in March or April to stimulate growth. Heavy soils have sufficient reserves for the first budding. You should therefore not fertilize lawns on heavy soils until the end of May to the beginning of June, when the natural growth spurt has subsided. Otherwise there is a risk of over-fertilization. Soils with properties between these two extremes are fertilized for the first time in April or May.
Weather : In a long winter, fertilization is done later, as otherwise frost damage is possible. If spring arrives early and is unlikely to be broken by severe late frosts, fertilizer can also be applied earlier.
The overwintered lawn plants cope better with late frosts than freshly sprouted greenery [Photo: Marek Walica / Shutterstock.com]
Type of fertilizer: Mainly organic lawn fertilizers are used a month earlier in the spring, as they do not take effect immediately after being spread.
The best lawn fertilizer for spring
In order to ensure the advantage over wild herbs, a fast-acting portion of mineral fertilizer is often used. The better choice, however, is a primarily organic slow release fertilizer that keeps the soil and thus the lawn healthy over the long term.
The maintenance of the soil with a primarily organic fertilizer such as our Plantura organic lawn fertilizer begins as early as the end of February, i.e. a little earlier than with mineral lawn fertilizer. This is due to the fact that mainly organic fertilizers release nutrients for your lawn slowly, but over the long term and evenly. In this way, the fertilization of nature is modeled and overfertilization is excluded. Organic lawn fertilizers are harmless to insects, the soil, the groundwater and all garden animals. The regular use of organic fertilizers also improves the soil under your lawn and provides the green with optimal nutrients.
General information on organic fertilizers and their composition can also be found in our special article.
By the way: Did you know that choosing a site-specific lawn seed mixture and using primarily organic lawn fertilizers prevent moss from appearing in the lawn? You can find out which lawn type is right for your location here.
Nobody wants a mossy lawn in the garden [Photo: P. Qvist / Shutterstock.com]
Tip: As you have already learned above, your lawn can sprout quickly on its own in spring on well-supplied soil. The maintenance of the soil with an organic autumn lawn fertilizer with a long-term effect – such as our Plantura organic autumn lawn fertilizer – can make mineral fertilization as a start-up aid in spring completely superfluous. In this way, the beneficial microorganisms are also promoted – a full benefit for your garden.
Fertilize lawn properly: Instructions for ideal application
So that you can start supplying your lawn with nutrients right away, we have put together precise fertilization instructions below:
- Light, sandy soils are fertilized with mainly organic fertilizers from February. Heavy, clayey soils can only be fertilized in May or June, when the first growth spurt has subsided. Normal, sandy loam soils are mainly supplied organically from the beginning of March. Anyone who fertilizes with mineral fertilizers does this about a month later. Mow the lawn to about 3 to 3.5 centimeters and remove leaves from the area. If scarifying or aerating the lawn is necessary, this is the optimal time.
- Distribute the amount indicated on the fertilizer packaging by hand or with a fertilizer spreader. For our Plantura organic lawn fertilizer, for example, this would be 40 – 60 g / m2 for normal spring fertilization or 70 g / m2 after scarifying.
- Water the lawn extensively if there is no rain forecast for the next few days.
Tip : You can easily measure our Plantura organic lawn fertilizer: a volume of one liter corresponds to 650 grams.
If you are looking for information on mowing, scarifying and further maintenance of the lawn after winter, you will find it here. You can also find more information on various lawn fertilizers here.