Florida: The Best Times to Fertilize your Lawn
It goes without saying that lawns can be hard to figure out and difficult to maintain. This is especially true for those living in regions with warmer climates like Florida where grass can grow year round. Trying to map out rainy seasons, restrictions, and seasonal nutrient needs for your annual care plan can be overwhelming, so here's your Florida grower's guide to the greenest lawn in the neighborhood.
For starters, we recommend an educated approach to properly and responsibly fertilize. This approach will always begin with a soil test kit. Since Florida soils tend to be higher in phosphorus and require more potassium, we recommend soil testing to know what your soil DNA looks like and what nutrients you need in your core fertilizer. Once you’ve had your soil tested, you'll want to know whether you can fertilize year-round or if there's a dormant winter period for your region where it's best to hold off on applying for a few months.
12 month growing season
Since grass grows year round in this region, it's best to fertilize every 30 days to ensure a healthy, rich soil and sustained grass growth. Ideal core fertilizers and additional nutrient needs vary significantly from lawn to lawn, even in the same neighborhood, but generally you want to strike the right balance between applying essential nitrogen for growth and organic matter and potassium for root development.
Throughout the summer, your soil is better able to get nitrogen naturally from the environment. Proper care plans are designed with summer products to combat heat stress and address other nutrient deficiencies during this period. Our South Florida Lawn Plan takes into account all this and more, and is tailored to your soil profile based on the results of your complementary soil test kit.
7-10 month growing season from mid-spring through fall
While you'll still want to fertilize just as regularly while grass is growing in this region, it's important to avoid applying while your grass is dormant, from late fall to early spring. It's best to wait until late April or early May to begin fertilizing and plan your final fall application for early September, so that your grass has a 4-6 week period of active growth before the first fall frost.
January to April is usually rainy season in North Florida, and frost is still common as late as the first week of April. If you fertilize prior to frost melting, you're wasting your fertilizer and can seriously damage your grass. A late fall application is less harmful and can still help winterize your roots, but it's still best to avoid applying with a frost in the forecast.
Whether your grass goes dormant or grows all year, you'll want to do a soil test before choosing fertilizers for the upcoming year. With Gnome's soil test, you receive a PDF of your professional lab testing results and an easy-to-read summary of your soil condition and nutrient needs, including recommended products and a fully customized care plan.
If you have any questions shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to help provide more information.