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How To Fertilize Lawn

In Fall Season

From September to November, you should really be thinking about how to fertilize lawn in Fall! Protecting the lawn before the winter is critical for having a strong green lawn next spring. Here are some Fall Lawn Care DIY Tricks & Tips that you can do on your own.

How Does Grass Grow In The Fall?

Grass grows excellent in the spring and summer breeze, but it needs a little help in the fall season. That is because cold air obstructs plant maturity.


Deep under the ground, your grassroots are still alive because the soil is warmer than the cold crisp air.


The grass during this time takes sun rays and transforms them into food which is stored for spring.


Now knowing this, nurturing your lawn in the fall will expedite this process and allows your roots to grow while it’s cold!

So when spring comes around, they are ready to produce robust green grass.

What Kind Of Grass Is In Missouri

Understanding what kind of grass you have will help you tons. Turf in Missouri like St Charles & St Louis is considered ‘cool-season’ grass.


Some popular grass types in Missouri are Fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and Bermudagrass.


These Missouri grasses do well in the fall and spring, so fertilizing during that growth peak time will ensure strong roots in the spring.

How To Fertilize Lawn In Fall - tall fescue grass
Tall Fescue Grass

When Is The Best Time To Fertilize The Lawn

The best time to fertilize the lawn is in September!


Use a slow release well-balanced fertilizer with ~1lbs nitrogen per 1000 square feet.


This helps to keep the roots strong and healthy for the cold winter months to come.

Fall Lawn Care Schedule


  • The best thing to do in August is seeding!
  • You should be developing your seedbeds during this time.
  • After that, remember to proceed to water the lawn and implement insect control. If you want to rip off all turf, use a glyphosate application.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Fall - watering lawn in august
Lawn Watering In August


  • September is the best month to fertilize your lawn!
  • Try to plant new sod and keep it nice and wet.
  • During this time, start lawn aeration when needed.
  • Along with aeration, this is the time to rake up leaves, clean up the yard, kill weeds, and remove thatch.
  • Herbicides for weed control work best towards the end of September, so try to apply some during this time.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Fall - seeding lawn in September
Fertilizing Lawn In September

October & November

  • During October & November is the perfect time to maintain the lawn!
  • Start by mowing the grass until it stops growing. Usually 1/2 an inch.
  • When it’s cold outside, start applying fertilizer to slow down growth. By applying fertilizer now, you can promote root fullness.
  • The best kind of fertilizer to use in October is ones with soluble nitrogen.
  • Try to keep leaves and sticks away from suffocating the grass.
  • After all of this, make sure to leave your lawn moist before it goes dormant.
  • As the ice starts to form, use calcium chloride instead of salt as that damages the grass.
How To Fertilize Lawn In Fall - thatch in lawn october
Thatch On Lawn In October

Try to use high-nitrogen fertilizer, like a 25-5-5. This helps to go deep into the ground to reach the roots.

After!  You want to always make sure to fertilize the lawn AFTER it rains because you want the ground to be wet so the fertilizer soaks in. If you add fertilizer before it rains, the rain might wash it away. 

You should always try to fertilize the lawn once in the fall season, between August – November. 

Fall Lawn Fertilizer Application Tips

  • Pick the correct fertilizer. Read the bag and make sure it has the best ingredients you need. For St Charles lawns, it’s best to go with a slow release.
  • Rain. The best time to spread fertilizer is when the ground is moist! If it rains, use the fertilizer the day after, but make sure it’s at least 24-48 hours until the next rainfall; otherwise, it will wash away before the soil drinks it.
  • Grab the right machine. Picking the perfect fertilizer machine is important for better growth. Rotary fertilizer machines work properly with big lawns. If you have a small lawn, a drop spreader machine works best. If you have a tiny lawn, maybe just try using your hands!
  • Clean up the lawn. Thatch is all over the lawn, so try to clean up debris and leaves so the fertilizer can seep through better.
  • Watch your step. When you start to apply fertilizer, try to walk slowly and carefully. This will ensure an even coat.
  • Get rid of excess. There will be chances your fertilizer will end up on the driveway and sidewalk. Push that into the lawn, so it doesn’t ruin your hardscape.

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