Tips from Toby: Fertilizing your lawn in the fall

Toby Tobin says just about every week he gets a call on his radio show, “Toby, my lawn looks terrible! What should I do?” Tobin always asks, “How many times a year do you fertilize?” He says the response is usually only once or twice. If you want to have a beautiful lawn, you need to fertilize three times in the fall, Tobin said.

Fertilizing the average lawn takes about 15 minutes of your time, and by giving your lawn the nutrition it needs with three applications in the fall, you are going to save yourself time, money and hassles next spring.

Today’s higher quality fertilizers contain nutrients that will help your lawn with beautiful top growth, deeper root structure and it will thicken up as it tillers and rhizomes which will fill in those bare or thin spots. But you must fertilize three times this fall to give your lawn the total nutrition it needs all winter, according to Tobin.

By fertilizing three times this fall you are spoon-feeding your lawn so that it has plenty of food to heal from the hot summer and grow all winter so that your lawn is in great shape next spring. In other words, you’ll be six months ahead with a strong, beautiful lawn that has been getting proper nutrition from September all the way through March and you won’t be playing catch up next April and May. Winterizer fertilizers release their nutrients more quickly than those you use in the spring, so they feed your lawn right now to beef it up before the ground freezes.

Fertilization is also your best weed control. A thick lawn will smother out many of the new weeds as they emerge over the winter. You’ll also need less water and most likely won’t need to put down any grass seed.

Next week Tobin will be showing you the proper fertilizer combination to use over the fall and give you a schedule that is very easy to follow. When you consider that you only need to spend about three hours’ worth of work to fertilize this fall and how much time and money you will save next spring, fall fertilization is simply a no-brainer, Tobin said.

Tobi said the last couple of years he’s been working with a fertilizer company to formulate a fertilizer that you can use in September. Right now it is called Fall Lawn Starter. Get it down as soon as you can for a great lawn, Tobin said.

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