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Question DetailsAsked on 4/6/2014

what lawn fertilization is required on an average northeast lawn

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You can get good advice at your state's Cooperative Extension Service - each state's has a lawn care recommendation webpage, which also discusses the best grass types and recommneded cutting length and so forth.

When we lived there (upstate NY) and now (in far Northwest) I put down Weed and Feed fertilizer (the type with pre-emergent week killer - typically about 21-2-4 mix, so high nitrogen) per instructions on bag in the fall - after first snow so the grass was in hibernation for the winter so the fertilizer did not kick the grass into growth mode, but before seasonal snow cover of course - as I recall was typically about Halloween in NY. That put the quick growth nitrogen fertilizer and the weed killer in the grass so as soon as the ground started thawing out in the spring and before weeds started growing it was there to stop the weeds from growing even though part of the lawn might still be under snow due to shade or snow berms, as well as for the fertilizer to be in the soil to kick-start the lawn growth as soon as the grass starts growing, even if it is too wet to use a spreader yet. Typically I got/get a TOTAL of about 10-30 weeds per year in the lawn that I have to go in and pull/dig by hand - in roughly 5000-8000SF of lawn !

Course, if an an area without winter snow cover and especially if your ground is not frozen solid winter-long, hold off on the weed and feed till the early spring otherwise most of it will wash away or down into the ground with the snowmelt and rain during the winter.

Then, in NY (longer growing season) I refertilized annually with a balanced (16-16-16) at the start of the "summer" season (so late May or early June) - every 2-3 years in Pac Northwest. Lime if needed based on soil test kit done at same time, and moss-killer as needed at same time in very shady areas.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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