Fall Lawn Fertilizer

Asked September 1, 2018, 5:54 PM EDT

Hi, My lawn is three years old and I would like to apply a fall fertilizer to prepare it for winter (in October). I have read online that a good fall fertilizer would be 13-25-12. Do you agree and what fertilizer (brand and type) would you recommend to give me good root growth and prepare the lawn for next year? Lastly, should I apply a weed and feed fertilizer in the fall? Bob Reed Westminster, Maryland

Carroll County Maryland

1 Response

What you read online about lawn fertilizer most likely is not going to apply to MD lawns. Back in 2011, the Fertilizer Use Act was passed which impacts homeowner and commercial use of lawn fertilizers. This measure was taken to help improve the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
MD maintenance lawn fertilizers are manufactured without phosphorus (the middle number) because that is a major pollutant of the Bay. Phosphorus can be applied to lawns only if soil test results show that it is necessary. Any lawn fertilizer sold in the state has to comply with the law.
If you have never tested the soil that would be a good first step. The following link is to our soil testing information, http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/soil-testing

Here is the link to our lawn maintenance calendar, http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_docs/programs/hgic/HGIC_Pubs/lawn_pubs/HG112...

And lastly, a link that explains the fertilizer law, https://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Documents/fertilizerwebpage.pdf
And to answer your last question, yes you can apply a weed and feed product as part of your fall fertilization program as long as you do not plan on seeding.