Spring Lawn Care Tips - When To Start Fertilizing and Mowing Your Lawn In The Spring

hello everyone and thank you for joining

me for this video today we're gonna be

talking about when to start fertilizing

and mowing in your lawn so spring is not

arriving as quickly here where I'm

located in central Iowa as I would like

it to be so hopefully where you're

located things are getting started a

little more quickly but it's kind of

dragging its feet right now as far as

spring goes and the lawns not doing a

whole lot here but I thought it'd be a

good time to talk about some of the

things going on with spring lawn care

and what you need to do in the early

spring I've been getting some questions

about fertilizing about one start mowing

things like that so I thought I would

make a video touching on those topics I

also recently made a video about soil

temperatures and some of those things

can help us make some decisions and if

you're a little bit lawn nerdy like I am

then you might be interested in doing

something like that so check out that

video I'll have a link to it in the

description if you'd like to know more

about taking some temperatures in the

soil so first and foremost what you're

probably eager to get out into the lawn

and that's completely understandable but

when talking about fertilizing there's

one main important thing that we need to

do first and that's make sure that the

ground isn't frozen so we don't want to

be putting any fertilizer on the ground

if it is frozen because it's not going

to do any good it's kind of a waste of

money and also a waste of product that's

probably going to get washed away into

the sewer system this is pretty easy to

tell most people when they're walking on

their lawn will be able to tell if it's

frozen or not at least for the first

couple inches but you can just poke

something into the ground if you have

one of those thermometers like I use in

my soil 10 - it this way as well but

essentially just make sure that the

ground is not frozen at least four to

five inches down into the lawn so then

people have been asking me a lot about

nitrogen in the spring and these are

just my personal thoughts on it but

things that I've done in the last few

years is tried to wake up the lawn

naturally in slowly and what I mean by

that is that I don't put a whole lot of

nitrogen down in the early spring and

the reason that I don't do this is

because what you're going to have happen

is the grass is just starting to kind of

wake up and if you really are forcing it

to wake up with nitrogen then you're

going to get a lot of the top growth

that's happening and you're not going to

get a lot of growth into the soil where

we need to start building those roots so

because of that I don't do much in the

early spring as far as nitrogen if you

wanted to I probably just go with

something a little bit less intense on


this is also going off my lawn where I

did proper fertilization in the fall and

all of that so if you didn't do anything

the fall if you're just getting started

now you could do an early fertilizing in

the spring but just keep that in mind as

the years go by and you start to build

up and do the proper things in your yard

that when you're adding a lot of

fertilizer in the fall this is the best

time to do it for cool season grass then

it's gonna kind of wake up naturally in

the spring you don't need to force it to

do that the other thing people then

asking me about is putting down

milorganite and or putting down

milorganite with fertilizer so again

okay it kind of my same thoughts there

as far as nitrogen goes however

milorganite doesn't work quite as well

in the early spring just for my

experience it kind of breaks down by

microbe activity in the soil which

doesn't happen as much at lower

temperatures so I don't tend to put any

down until about Memorial Day time frame

which is late May or so and that seems

to work well for me however some people

put it down earlier they say that it

works well for them it all kind of just

depends on your area and how quickly

things warm up so if you do happen to

put it down right now not really a big

deal it'll just sit in the soil there

and it will just kind of sit there until

it's ready to be broken down now putting

it down with another fertilizer again I

would just probably try to limit the

amount of nitrogen as far as the

synthetic fertilizer goes so don't put

down something too crazy and then also

put down milorganite with it but at the

same time if you already did that or if

you were thinking about doing something

like that then just remember that

milorganite is probably a little bit

slower right now anyway so you're

probably going to get the results from

the synthetic first the milorganite is

going to kind of sit there and then over

time that will start to break down

slowly again also look at your

fertilizer and hopefully there's some

slow release in there as well because if

you put down something what's called

urea or something that has a lot of just

urea nitrogen in it then that's going to

be the fast release stuff so you're

going to get a real flush of growth for

a week or two and then that kind of just

backs off and so prefer for it to be a

little bit more broad and kind of slow

down a little bit when it comes to the

nitrogen another option for a lower

nitrogen fertilizer would be to use

something like starter fertilizer and

most people think that this is only for

when you're seeding and depends on some

regulations in your area so you might

- look at that but if you want to build

the root zone then this is a good option

as well and for me every pretty much

every fall I do sum over seating or I

have been for the last couple years so

in the spring I usually put down a

little bit of starter fertilizer again

because that grass isn't even a year old

and we want to keep building it before

we get to the summer months so that's a

good option because it has a little bit

lower nitrogen content so we're not

trying to grow the grass too quickly and

I find that to be a good option for me


so the reasoning again why you might not

want to put down too much nitrogen in

the spring moves us into what we're

talking about on when to start mowing

the reason behind all that nitrogen talk

that I just did is because we don't want

to break the one-third rule as much as

possible and what that means is we don't

want to cut off more than one-third of

the grass blade at a time if you're

going to put down a lot of nitrogen in

the spring then you're going to get that

flush of growth it's going to be a

little bit more difficult to follow this

rule now if you don't follow this rule

all the time it's not the end of the


however the grass plant is going to be

the healthiest if we follow this rule

and it's going to have the least amount

of stress when it comes to mowing so

what also happens when you put down all

that nitrogen in the spring is you get

that flush of growth and also what

happens in the spring as most of you

know is typically a lot more rainy as

far as where cool season grasses grow

and because of that then you're going to

get a lot of growth maybe a week goes by

you can't mow it and it's 5 inches 6

inches tall at that point and you're

gonna want to lower it but you can't mow

and you just run into all those things

so that's why again I try to wake up my

grass a little bit more slowly so that

we're not getting so much growth in the

spring that we can't even keep up with

the mowing so 1 2 start mowing is

basically kind of up to you the grass

will tell you right now in my yard you

can tell the grass is kind of a little

bit confused because it's getting a lot

of sunlight or it's getting a lot of

light in general for longer periods of

time but the temperatures aren't really

getting to a point where it should be

growing so it's a little bit confused

I'm getting some green grass growing and

the other day I did a little bit of an

experiment to mow just a few strips in

my backyard we have some cold weather

coming up so I wanted to kind of see how

it's going to react to that to know what

I can do in the rest of my yard so I'd

love to be out mowing but right now I'm

holding off a little bit because of the

weather forecast and speaking of weather

forecasts just for me this is my

personal opinion and things that I

follow but as far as weather goes I kind

of look at the weather forecast for the

next 10 days do I see any low 20s in

there do I see a lot of 20s in there as

far as lows and when I see that I tend

to not want to mow or go out and do a

whole lot in the yard and the reason for

that in my opinion is just because of

hard freeze is still happening and

although I think it could probably

survive those things fine you know the

golf courses and baseball fields and

things like that that are already going

in the springtime right now so if you

probably survived those things with

mowing and doing those things however

I'm just not trying to stress out my

grass as much as possible right now so

it's up to you kind of look at your

spring forecast and see what you prefer

but as far as the mowing goes I don't

like to do too much mowing when I'm

seeing a lot of 20s for Low's now as far

as that first mowing goes what I like to

do a little bit if possible is cut just

slightly lower than I normally would

you're gonna have a lot of that Brown

dormant grass on top and the green

blades are gonna be underneath trying to

get out of there so if you cut that off

a little bit lower first off you're

going to cut off a lot of that Brown and

so the greens gonna emerge and look a

little bit better but secondly you're

also going to be getting a little bit

more air sunlight all those things down

into that new growing grass which is a

very good thing if you can do that

that's kind of personal preference but I

just got a little bit lower and that

helps to get the green up of the grass

going a little bit more quickly


I hope that covers some of the questions

that you might have had if you have any

additional questions please leave them

in the comment section below thanks for

watching we'll see you next time