In the colder regions of the world, spring brings the promise of relief from the chilly weather. Similarly, for our lawns, it is the phase of revival.

Therefore, for the lawn to be luscious and colourful again, it’s a good time to give it a dose of spring lawn fertilizer.

Sadly, you can’t choose the best lawn fertilizer for spring till you try it for yourself. Most importantly, the lack of knowledge about fertilizers can damage your lawn in the long term.

To save you from this turmoil, we have written this guide to help you select the best lawn fertilizer for spring.

Read More: 11 Spring Lawn Care Steps to Follow in 2024

Which Fertilizer Ratios Are Ideal for Your Lawn in the Spring?

An infographic explaining each letter in the NPK fertilizer ratio

If you choose to fertilize your lawn in the spring, 30-0-4 is ideal. 

Remember these spring lawn fertilizer numbers if you have decided to fertilize during springtime.

You can fertilize both cool-season and warm-season grass on your lawn in the spring. 

Fertilizer should always be used in the early spring when the weather is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the winter has thawed.

But when the weather gets warmer during the warm season, that’s when grass grows at its best. 

Therefore, fertilizing them later in the season, when the temperature reaches between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, is always a great idea. 

When buying a spring lawn fertilizer, take into account the NPK ratio of the product. 

You will see this ratio on every spring lawn fertilizer in the market.

The NPK ratio is the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium percentage all lawns need. 

The first number in the ratio is particularly significant because nitrogen is the nutrient most lawns require.

Every yard is different. The type of spring lawn fertilizer being used, the environment, and the type of grass being cultivated are some factors determining how often a lawn needs to be fertilized.

For in-depth knowledge on fertilizer numbers, read our blog, “Lawn Fertilizer Numbers Meaning for Every Season in Canada.”

Using Spring Lawn Fertilizers in the Correct Manner

An infographic on how to use spring lawn fertilizer

Fertilizing your grass is an easy DIY project that you can complete on your own. 

The steps for using the best spring lawn fertilizer are as follows:

Wet the soil: Make sure to irrigate your lawn for a day or two before applying fertilizer. Making the soil wet will stop the dry option from burning the grass.

Read the label: Examine the fertilizer label, then divide the quantity into two parts and begin the procedure with a spreader or any other equipment of your choosing.

Apply the fertilizer: Start by sprinkling the grass’s first section using your selected equipment. Then, move to the next section.

Applying fertilizer horizontally and then vertically is the most effective method. It will assist with uniform lawn distribution and prevent overfertilization of any particular region.

Watering: The lawn has to be well-watered after fertilization. It will assist in creating soil that readily absorbs fertilizer and thus provides the greatest possible foundation. 

Why Do You Need to Choose the Best Spring Lawn Fertilizer

An infographic on how to begin early spring fertilization in Canada

The best fertilizer for grass not only promotes healthy development and gives your lawn a vivid green hue, but it also helps suppress bug, moss, and weed growth. 

Certain organic spring lawn fertilizers lack extra features. 

Look for the spring lawn fertilizer that:

  • Eliminates common weeds
  • Terminates the crabgrass
  • Manages the moss
  • Eliminates grubs, bugs, and insects
  • Boosts color

How Much Spring Lawn Fertilizer is Required?

Prior to using any kind of spring lawn fertilizer, you should evaluate the nutrient content of your soil. Other than that, recognize other elements such as soil type, soil depth, and the kind of crop or pasture you are currently using.

Formula: Amount of fertilizer kg/ha = kg/ha nutrient ÷ % nutrient in fertilizer x 100

You can use a grass seed calculator if you’re unsure of how much fertilizer you need as well.

Whether you employ lawn care professionals or do it yourself, fertilizing your lawn is not complicated.

As soon as the spring growth season starts, set up an adequate spring lawn fertilizer routine to develop a thick, lush lawn.

Overfertilizer will cause the soil to become overly salted, poisoning it for plants.

On the flip side, the plants will take up and utilize the nutrients they require if the fertilizer does not include enough of them. 

Gradually, they will begin to exhibit signs of nutrient deficiency.

Some of the nutrient deficiency symptoms are:

  • Yellow foliage
  • Brown or yellow leaf margins
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Leaves turning reddish-purple in colour
  • Tiny or distorted leaves
  • The leaves appear burned or burnt
  • Stunted roots
  • Spots of brown or yellow on grass
  • Twisted or asymmetrical leaves

Other Factors to Consider When Applying Spring Lawn Fertilizer

An infographic on the factors to consider when choosing spring lawn fertilizer

Apart from the quantity, you need to take several factors into account when applying spring lawn fertilizer:

1. Timing

A spring lawn fertilizer won’t work till your lawn has completely emerged from its dormant state. 

Instead, take this time to begin researching fertilizers that will be appropriate for your grass. 

To establish root systems, homeowners who choose organic fertilization techniques can apply a synthetic fertilizer in the early fall. 

Most people may not use any fertilizer at all in the spring and summer, relying instead on the nitrogen from mulched grass clippings to nourish their lawns.

Applying two or three light treatments per growing year may benefit homeowners using conventional fertilizer.

This includes one application in the spring, one in the midsummer, if needed, and one application in the early fall.

The precise time depends on the kind of turf grasses in your area. 

Once the optimal time has been determined, attempt to schedule the fertilizer application during a brief period of precipitation. 

If not, you will need to water your grass with at least a quarter of an inch when applying the fertilizer. 

But avoid applying fertilizer right before a storm. Spring lawn fertilizer nutrients are more likely to enter storm drains and streams during a downpour.

2. Form of the Spring Lawn Fertilizer 

Granular or liquid spring lawn fertilizers are the most common forms. 

Granular fertilizers have slow-releasing formulations and are typically less expensive, allowing for a single spring application that will span the entire growth season. 

Applying liquid fertilizers is simpler. Many are in bottles that you just clip onto the end of your garden hose. 

They sink into your lawn right once, but you may need to apply them more than once. 

Liquid fertilizers are typically preferable as beginning fertilizers for spring seedlings since they contain less salt. 

Because they include a lot more salt, roots prefer to avoid coarse fertilizers, especially when they also contain a lot of potassium and nitrogen.

Learn More: 6 Easy Gardening Hacks You’ll Regret Not Knowing

3. Fertilizer Ingredients

Generally speaking, fertilizers include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), which are the three main macronutrients that plants require to grow. 

Three digits are listed on the label of every fertilizer, usually directly above or below the product name. 

The N-P-K ratio of the fertilizer, or the percentage by weight of the three primary constituents, is represented by these three digits. 

Season to season, the ideal N-P-K ratio changes depending on what nutrients turfgrass needs in preparation for the impending weather and temperature. 

To stimulate turfgrass growth early and aid in its recovery from the harsh winter conditions, many spring lawn fertilizers have a higher concentration of nitrogen.

Wherever you live, you may have cool-season grass, such as bluegrasses, ryegrasses, and fescues. Or the warm-season grass types like Zoysia or St. Augustine in humid regions or Bermudagrass in hot, desert conditions. 

To ascertain the most active growing season when your lawn requires additional nutrients, you must be aware of your turfgrass kind and growing region. 

These times of year are early spring and early fall for cool-season grasses. They occur for warm-season grasses every four to eight weeks throughout their active summer growth. 

Various fertilizer formulas also promote the growth of different grass species. Applying the incorrect mixture in the spring can do harm to your grass during its vulnerable growth stage.

4. Soil Composition

Your lawn’s ability to thrive from spring to fall depends primarily on the condition of your soil, which supplies the necessary nutrients. 

If you are unsure of the nutrients that might be deficient in your soil, get a sample for analysis. Based on the outcomes, select a spring lawn fertilizer.

When applying a liquid fertilizer, wait a few hours before watering to enable the fertilizer to dry. That is because you don’t want to wash it away with rapid watering. 

Additionally, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for when and how much to water before or after applying the fertilizer. 

Water as soon as possible to activate the fertilizer grains using granular fertilizer. 

Make sure to evenly water the grass and soil, but avoid getting so saturated that puddles form. 

After that, wait a day or two before watering again to allow all of the nutrients to seep into the soil, where the roots of the turf can access them. You can get back to your regular watering regimen after that.

Difference Between Natural and Artificial Spring Lawn Fertilizer 

Whether the nitrogen and other nutrients in the fertilizer are produced artificially or originate naturally doesn’t matter to your lawn.

So, it is usually about the preference of the homeowner. Some like to go for natural solutions for their lawn, and others don’t mind applying chemical products.

Synthetic spring lawn fertilizers are made to be easily absorbed by the roots of the lawn and often break down in the soil rather rapidly. This indicates that the fertilizer accelerates growth.

There are many sources of organic fertilizers, including processed sewage sludge. The plant-based materials include grains and leftover distillers’ grains, and animal-based resources are manure, bone, or feathers.

Usually, a mix of synthetic and natural fertilizers will work best. 

To see results more quickly, you should definitely feed your plants with synthetic spring fertilizer if your lawn looks dry and patchy. 

Organic fertilizers typically decompose more slowly. Plus, organic needs fewer reapplications as it is accessible to the lawn for longer. In the long run, it restores the health of your lawn.

Read More: Pest Control Organic Methods: Protect Your Lawn & Family


Which month is best to apply a spring lawn fertilizer?

The best time of year to apply fertilizer varies depending on your area. It may be February in warmer climates and April in places with very cold winters. The greatest time of year is when the grass begins to grow again actively, turns green, and appears to be ready for a first cut.

What occurs to lawn grasses when excessive fertilizer is applied?

Using spring lawn fertilizer in excess may lead to an accumulation of nitrogen and salt in the soil, which can harm the root structure of your turf or cause the grass to die. The grass may have burnt or yellow tips, or it may appear crispy, burned, and yellow.

Should I apply spring lawn fertilizer during rain?

The ideal time to apply fertilizer is a day following the rain. The fertilizer may be washed away by a strong downpour before the grass has a chance to absorb it.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, to find spring lawn fertilizer, you need to consider the nutrients that your lawn lacks.

Besides that, the application amount, timing and techniques also matter.

Speak with a knowledgeable representative at Falcons Landscaping for information on the best suggestions for your region.