Late season nitrogen fertilization has been practiced by professionals for some time, but new evidence shows the wisdom of this technique. Late season nitrogen fertilization, sometimes referred to as fall fertilization, has been utilized by turf managers for years. This type of fertility program involves the application of much of the season’s nitrogen during the late season months of September through December.

Late season fertilization has become popular because many of the agronomic and aesthetic advantages attributed to its use supposedly are not realized when spring and/or summer fertilization are practiced. Purported advantages of the late season concept include: better fall and winter color; earlier spring green-up; increased grass shoot density; improved fall, winter, and spring root growth; and enhanced storage of energy reserves (carbohydrates) within the turf plant.

Choosing a Fall Fertilizer analysis similar to a 32-0-10 is your best bet. Be looking for a high number in the front of the analysis and apply when temperatures will stay consistently cooler during the day and at night in the months of September through December.