Fertilizer Spreader for Winter Lawn Fertilizing
Fertilizer Spreader for Winter Lawn Fertilizing

The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing

The winter lawn fertilizing is another one of the necessary tasks that an amateur gardener needs to accomplish in order to continue to enjoy the view of an attractive lawn, green and lively, which can perform beyond aesthetic and the important functional role that it plays in the small or large garden.

Winter fertilization comes to complete and / or to open the annual turfgrass feeding program. It is no less important and valuable than fertilizations that are made at other times of the year and of course it is not unnecessary.

And it is not unnecessary for all those species that make up a lawn and do not go through the normal phase of dormancy in winter.

Which are these species, as well as what categories of fertilizers are used, and in what quantities is mentioned below.

And this is a very important reason for the amateur gardener to continue reading this article – if of course he/she has nothing better to do.

One of the most used plant of the cold season grasses for the creation of lawn are the species and varieties belonging to the genus Festuca, to which the winter fertilization is applied.

Fescue Grass whitout Deficiencies of Nutrients
Fescue Grass whitout Deficiencies of Nutrients
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Which Types of Grass Need Winter Fertilizing

Winter fertilization occurs only for lawns that composed of the species belongs to the large group of cold season grasses.

This group include the species of the genus Fescue (Festuca sp.), the Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis), the Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne), the species of the genus Bent or Bentgrass (Agrostis sp.) and their mixtures.

On the other hand, the warm season grasses which include the lawns created by the plants of Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon), Zoysia Grass (Zoysia sp.), Paspalum (Paspalum sp.), Penisetum (Pennisetum sp.) and St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) are not appropriate for winter fertilization except of the non-grass plant Dichondra (Dichondra repens) – occasionally known as Mercury Bay Weed in New Zealand and as Kidney Weed in Australia.

The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing

Lawn Feeding by Hand & Using Gloves
Lawn Feeding by Hand & Using Gloves

Categories of Fertilizers Used for Lawn Fertilizing

Fertilizers who generally applied to crops and both to lawns can be divided into two major basic categories, organic and inorganic.

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers have the advantage, inter alia, not so much of the gradual release of nutrients into the soil and thus of the plants uptaking by the root system – as certain types of inorganic fertilizers can do – but of stimulating, enhancing and rejuvenating the beneficial microorganisms of the ground.

By the existence, the variability, the number and the activity of beneficial microorganisms, however, depend to a great extent the health of the soil, and therefore the health of the plants – in this case the species of Lawn – and the gradual release of the nutrients guarantees their uninterrupted and continuous feeding with the necessary macronutrients, micronutrients and trace elements.

Inorganic Fertilizers

The technology regarding the manufacture and synthesis of inorganic fertilizers has now advanced enough to be able to offer products that:

  • They have minimized the loss of nutrients (leach) in the soil and thus in the aquifer, with a negative impact on the environment and the health of the ecosystems
  • They provide the nutrients, then and when the plants really need them, dramatically increasing the nutrient use efficiency

These advanced technologically inorganic fertilizers includes among others slow or controlled release, which gradually release the necessary nutrients to plants.

The Choice

Both of the abovementioned categories of fertilizers are equally effective for turfgrass plants nutrition.

The choice of one or the other category consists, for the most part, in one’s perception of the two main streams of cultivation and plant protection, namely organic and conventional.

In other words, the amateur gardener, if he has not resorted to the advice of a specialist and weighed the advantages and disadvantages of each form of cultivation, can freely choose among them – if of course he/she has nothing better to do.

The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing

Winter Lawn Fertilizing - Recommended Fertilizer Rates for Lawn
Winter Lawn Fertilizing - Recommended Fertilizer Rates for Lawn

Quantities of Fertilizers for Winter Lawn Fertilizing

The amounts of fertilizer to be applied to the lawn depend on several factors, such as:

  • The species or mixtures of species that consists the lawn
  • The age of that
  • The stress of using
  • Whether or not other seasonal fertilizing took place
  • Of the soil type

If no soil analysis has been carried out, for winter lawn fertilization, the following quantities per stremma (1/10 of hectare) of lawn are indicated:

  • 12-15 kg N (Nitrogen)
  • 3-5 kg P2O5 (Phosphorus)
  • 12-15 kg K2O (Potassium)
  • 2 kg MgO (Magnesium)

The exact period of application of fertilizers depends on the climatic conditions of the area:

  • The warmer the winter, the later the application of fertilizers – until the end of January
  • The colder, the earlier – from late autumn to December


In any case, it is not superfluous for the amateur gardener to carry out at least one soil analysis every 3 to 5 years. He/she saves valuable time and money, makes fertilization more efficient and offers work to scientists specializing in the field.

The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing

Dead Grass by Excessive Concentration of Fertilizer
Dead Grass by Excessive Concentration of Fertilizer

The Application of Fertilizers to the Lawn

An extremely fun way to apply fertilizers by the amateur gardener, and in winter season, is by hand. Utilizing this method, its main objectives are:

  • To cover the entire area of the lawn with fertilizer
  • To spreading the fertilizer evenly across the lawn
  • To don’t burn the lawn
  • To don’t burn its hands

Of course, the adoption of such a method of application of fertilizers

it requires a certain degree of experience and some basic knowledge of these ‘caustic’ effects – especially of the non-insoluble substrate ones – so the use of protective gloves, not necessarily for the safety of the lawn but for the protection of the hands of weak characters, may be necessary.

A second way, admittedly less fun but more secure and accurate than the first, is with fertilizer spreaders that include a metering mechanism.

Regardless of the fertilizer method selected, either by hand or by the fertilizer spreaders, before the fertilizers spreading always must mowing the lawn, and just after applying the fertilizer always must followed watering – plenty of watering.

The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing

Feeding the Lawn with a Fertilizer Spreader
Feeding the Lawn with a Fertilizer Spreader


The References to the greening – as soon as possible – article, which carries the – at present – cold title The Necessary Winter Lawn Fertilizing, are presented by the excellent troubadour J.J. Cale, with its excellent song I’m a Gypsy Man.

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