Episode 10: When Should I Fertilize My Lawn?


About This Episode

On this episode of Ask Grumpy, Steve Bender, also known as The Grumpy Gardener, breaks down everything you need to know about turf grass fertilizing. Plus, one of the most popular perennials around, the hostas.

Question: When should I fertilize my lawn, and what fertilizer should I use?

Grumpy Gardener Answer: You need to fertilize grass every year to keep it healthy and vigorous. How often you do that and when you do that depends on the type of turf grass that you have. If you have a cool season turf grass like Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue, these are called cool season grasses, because they actively grow in cool weather, and they even stay green in the wintertime. You'll want to fertilize those when they're actively growing, which means you fertilize them in the spring, and most importantly in the fall, and that will keep them vigorous. For warm season grasses, that means that they're dormant in the winter, and you can tell this because they turn brown and they look dead even though they're not. You want to fertilize those, again, when they're actively growing – and that means when they're green. So you need to fertilize those first in the spring, but wait a couple of weeks until after they green up, then give them that first dose of fertilizer at the rate that it says on the bag. You'll also want to fertilize them a second time in mid-summer (July's a good time for that). And that gives them enough food and nutrients to go on to carry them all the way through into the fall. Don't fertilize them in the fall or in the winter.

Plant Of The Week

About The Hosta

There's a million different kinds of hostas, and they come in different colors: blue, gold. There's a lot of different sizes, a lot of different shapes of leaves, and also they grow well in the shade, and not a whole lot of plants do, so that's why people love them, There are new hostas being introduced every single year, you can go find catalogs that'll have 50 different kind that are featured there. There is something in there for everyone.

There's two different times of the year when you can dig up a clump of hostas and divide them. Dividing them is one of the best things that Grumpy likes to do, and he talks all about his tips and tricks in this podcast. Listen here.

About Ask Grumpy

Introducing Ask Grumpy, a new podcast featuring Steve Bender, also known as Southern Living’s Grumpy Gardener. For more than 20 years, Grumpy has been sharing advice on what to grow, when to plant, and how to manage just about anything in your garden. Tune in for short episodes every Wednesday and Saturday as Grumpy answers reader questions, solves seasonal conundrums, and provides need-to-know advice for gardeners with his very Grumpy sense of humor. Be sure to follow Ask Grumpy on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen so you don't miss an episode.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors.

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