Winter in Northwest Indiana is brutal on your lawn. Now consider the stress your grass faced from the summer heat. Rather than building strong roots and storing nutrients in preparation for winter, your lawn is still in recovery mode. It’s like getting ready to run a marathon after fighting the flu for months.
Let’s face it, your lawn needs a healthy solution to survive and prosper in the future. The good news is modern science has developed special fertilizers specific to the condition of your yard and soil composition. Today, you’ll learn why the combination of fall fertilizer and winter fertilizer, also called winterizer, is the most important lawn fertilizer ever!
The secret to a remarkable green lawn is this!
The secret to having a remarkable lawn next year depends on if your grass absorbs and stores nutrients all the way up until the ground freezes. In the article, ” Why Fall lawn fertilizer is the secret to next year’s greenest grass ever”, we learned why fall lawn fertilizer is critical to the health of your yard and why it affects how your yard will look next year.
We learned from Perma-Green’s Steve Daly that a successful fall lawn care program is a two-step fertilization process, with each fertilizer independently working together to prepare your grass for winter. These two treatments work in tandem to get your roots that last bit of nutrients before going dormant. That way, when spring hits, your yard has the nutrients it needs to wake up and continue to be strong and healthy.
Today, you’ll take a closer look at the second step of a Fall Treatment called winterization. You’ll also learn why most experts agree, winterizer is the most important fertilizer you can apply to your lawn.
Almost every lawn care technician will agree….winterization is the most important lawn fertilizer ever!
These days, nobody seems to agree on anything. Republican vs Democrat. Cubs vs Sox. Porter County vs. Lake County. While nobody ever seems to agree anymore, when it comes to your lawn, most certified technicians actually agree on two things.
First, watering your lawn correctly is key to a healthy lawn in the summer months. The second is that a lawn winterizer is key to a healthy lawn throughout the year.
While watering your lawn in the summer is a practice most homeowners will happily do, winterizing is often skipped. People often neglect this essential step in a lawn program because they think it’s unnecessary. They think the season is coming to an end and the grass is about to become dormant. But most lawn pros will disagree. According to Steve Daly, winterization is a game-changer.
What do winterizer fertilizers do?
Winterizer is designed to do two things:
- Help your lawn store food for the winter
- Ensure that there is enough food stored to encourage rooting and growth in the spring
Is winterizer fertilizer necessary?
Yep! Winterizer, which is also called Winter fertilizer and winter lawn fertilization, affects the health of your lawn throughout the year!
While this critical step might have the endorsement of virtually every seasoned lawn care professional, the secret to a great lawn is knowing what kind of winterizer to use, when to use it, and how much to use.
When should I put winter fertilizer on my lawn?
For best-practice lawn care, you should apply winterizer when the grass stops growing in the fall, but also while it is still active in the root system. You can tell that your grass is still active by the strong green color.
Fall vs Winterizer Fertilizer – What’s the Difference?
A Fall lawn program is a two-step fertilization process. They work as a team for a common goal. But each fertilizer is independent of the other-both serving a very important role. Just look at the difference and you’ll gain insight as to why the new fertilizers need each other.
Fall fertilizer is specially designed to stimulate the growth of new roots. It has a precise balance of potassium and phosphorous that helps nurture deep roots. This is critical to preparing your lawn for the rough Northwest Indiana winters.
According to Steve Daly, “Fall fertilizer sets the stage for the lawn’s roots to make full use of the winterizer fertilizer that will be added at the appropriate time. Fall fertilizer should be applied to soil when the temperature has dropped to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, yet it will not be as effective if applied when the soil temperature dips below 55 degrees”.
Daly recommends you consider a variety of other factors in determining the optimized time to apply winterizer. “The condition of the lawn is one factor to consider. Knowing the lawn’s soil composition and the condition is a big factor. This is one of the reasons why we assign our Perma-Green technicians to each customer’s lawn. Besides accountability, our techs know the homeowner’s lawn condition, soil composition, and other factors that need to be considered when determining the best ratios”.
Most lawn care experts are adamant that fall treatments, including winterizer, are the most important of all fertilizers. Winterizer helps the roots of the grass absorb and store nutrients. The roots continue to grow until the ground eventually freezes. These nutrients are stored and ready to go, so when spring comes around, your lawn hits the ground running.
According to Daly, “Perma-Green typically applies winterizer fertilizer about four to five weeks after the application of the fall fertilizer. This usually occurs at some point in October or November, but factors need to be considered in determining the optimal time. At this optimized time, the new (but empty) roots have developed and the ground is close to freezing. Winterizer contains high levels of nitrogen to promote the build-up and storage of carbohydrates before the ground freezes. This nitrogen is on reserve during the winter months, ready to go when the soil thaws and the spring growing season begins. Winterizer fertilizer also contains more potassium than regular fertilizer. The potassium is used to boost the grass’s tolerance to freezing temperatures and enhance the root systems”.
Winterizer fertilizer also feeds the grass throughout the winter. It even helps keep your grass healthy. You’ll also notice your yard will look much greener during the winter months. When the right amount of winterizer fertilizer is applied at the right time, your grass will look amazing when spring rolls around. In addition to improving how green your grass looks in winter and spring, the stored nutrients contribute to much faster growth in early spring.
Winterizer fertilizer ratio | The mystery is revealed!
Have you ever wondered what the winterizer fertilizer numbers mean? Seems a little over my head, but I figured that as long as we had access to Steve Daly, why not ask? Steve is the most knowledgeable lawn care guy you’ll ever meet when it comes to growing grass. He also loves to help people and can tone down the technical talk so that anyone can understand.
So when I asked Perma-Green to interpret the winter fertilizer numbers, I was given an answer even I can understand…
“Just about all bags of fertilizer have three numbers on the front. Each represents one of the primary ingredients within the fertilizer”.
“These ingredients stand for nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). In general, lawn fertilizer formulas typically have formulas such as 28-0-6. This means that the fertilizer has 28 percent nitrogen, 0 percent phosphorous, and 6 percent potassium. Phosphorous is usually readily available in Northwest Indiana soils and only needed when establishing new seed. Understanding how many pounds of each ingredient is in your bag and the rate you want to apply it at is the key, not the percentage. The goal is 2-2 1/2 pounds of Nitrogen per thousand square feet in the late fall. Both fall and winterizer fertilizers stimulate root growth and plant storage. However, each contains its own unique mix of potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen”.
-Steve Daly | Perma-Green
Why Winterizer is the most important lawn fertilizer ever!
Special thanks to Perma-Green’s Steve Daly for helping us understand why winterization is the most important fertilizer ever. For those that enjoy the benefits of a full season lawn care plan, make sure not to skip this necessary step. It’s a real game-changer and critical to next year’s remarkable lawn. For those that saw their lawn struggle to survive the heat stress of summer, the future of your lawn might hinge on starting next year’s lawn care plan today.
Written by Jim Jano Janesheski