Lawn Fertilizer Schedule for the Midwest’s Greenest Grass
6 Steps to Love Your Cincinnati Lawn
At Paramount Lawn + Landscape, we recommend a 6-step lawn fertilizer schedule. Midwest lawns experience the extremes of all four seasons, from deep-freeze winters to parched summers. Weeds and insects also thrive in our environment. And the Cincinnati area also contends with heavy, clay soils that benefit from lawn aeration.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Early Spring
In March, you’ve probably seen the early signs of dandelions around the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas. That’s why our lawn fertilization schedule starts in early spring to both feed your grass and control for broadleaf weeds.
It’s also the time to take action against crabgrass before it takes hold. Crabgrass will usually germinate and start to grow in April, so the Paramount technicians prevent it in our first application. Crabgrass can quickly take over a lawn and ruin both the aesthetics and health of the turf.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Late Spring
Late spring is the second round in our lawn fertilizer schedule. Midwest weather is notoriously unpredictable. Officially:
“A temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit has officially been recorded as late as May 25th in Cincinnati, May 16th at Columbus and May 21st at Dayton.”
Often, annual plantings need to wait until the threat of frost is past. Of course, your grass greens up long before then, and is hardy enough to withstand some freezing weather. And weeds are even hardier! So, we make sure to fertilize the grass and continue to control for weeds.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Early Summer
We next visit your lawn in early summer, with the goal of preventing insect and grub infestations. Grubs are white, worm-like larvae of beetles. As they grow, they feed on roots, causing large, dead patches of lawn. Prevention is important for several reasons:
- It takes time to repair damage done to your lawn by grubs, requiring re-seeding and frequent watering
- By the time your grass starts to suffer, the grubs are well-established and more difficult to manage
- Depending on the beetle, grubs may have a three-year life cycle. They won’t cause much damage in the first year, so it’s nearly impossible to know they are in the turf
Early summer is also another good time to apply fertilizer. By this time, your lawn should typically be weed-free. But our technicians are always on the lookout and will apply herbicide if needed.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Late Summer
When the hotter weather starts, that’s when your lawn’s fertilization and irrigation needs start to really ramp up. Depending on the type of grass, your lawn may start to feel the stress of the heat earlier or later. In Cincinnati, we usually grow cool-season grasses that can withstand our winters. But some handle summer better than others.
- Kentucky bluegrass: Moderate drought tolerance, but grows slowly from seed. Needs irrigation
- Fine fescue: Prefers limited sun, but has a high drought tolerance
- Tall fescue: Can tolerate some shade and has high drought tolerance, susceptible to over-watering
- Perennial ryegrass: Prefers full sun and irrigation, but has moderate drought tolerance
The 4th round in our lawn fertilizer schedule for the Midwest focuses on fertilization to keep your lawn green during hot, dry conditions.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Early Fall
In the Midwest, the lawn fertilizer schedule needs to account for early fall having the potential to be some of the driest weather of the year. Often, this is accompanied by hot temperatures. Grass can easily become stressed without the right amount of water and fertilizer.
The early fall application is critical for keeping your lawn at its greenest right up until winter.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Late Fall
In late fall, it’s time to prepare your lawn for winter dormancy and greening up again in the spring. Our lawn fertilizer schedule for the Midwest includes a slow-release fertilizer that will feed your turf throughout the end of the year and until the cycle starts all over again in the early spring.
Lawn Fertilizer Schedule Midwest: Overview
Here’s an overview of our recommended lawn fertilizer schedule.
Are you ready to have the greenest lawn in the neighborhood? Get an instant quote from Paramount Lawn + Landscape for your Cincinnati-area lawn. Check out our Lawn Fertilization Resources for more information about healthy lawns.