Asked November 25, 2019, 1:25 PM EST

What is best type of fertilizer to use right now on lawns. Winterizer ? Weed & Feed? Also is it still okay to apply lime?

Prince George's County Maryland

1 Response

The ideal time to fertilize lawns in our area will depend on the type of grass grown; if Fescue, then late summer to fall is best. That said, a soil test should always be done first to determine the nutrients needed and the current pH. Test results give recommendations for the amount of fertilizer and/or lime needed for turf based on the size of the lawn. This page gives more information about lawn care in Maryland (in this case, Fescue lawns): https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-maintenance-calendar-maryland-home-lawns
Maryland's Lawn Fertilizer Law prohibits lawn fertilizing between November 15 and March 1. This is intended to limit the runoff of excess nutrients into the Bay, as lawn grasses will not be using enough nutrients during this time to prevent runoff. "Weed and Feed" products may vary in the weeds controlled, so identifying the types of problem weeds in your lawn will help determine which approach to their control is best. Because they contain fertilizer, they are also restricted from use at this time.

Lime can still be applied at this time, though earlier in fall is recommended. As with adding nutrients, knowing your starting pH will determine not only if you need to lime, but at what application rate.

This page has more information about lawn care in Maryland: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawns

If you are unfamiliar with soil testing, this page gives more information as well as locations of soil testing labs, as the University of Maryland does not offer this service: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing