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When to Fertilize Your Lawn in Michigan

When to Fertilize Your Lawn in Michigan

One of the best parts of living in Michigan is that the climate is perfect for cool-season grasses. Still, a proper fertilizing schedule will get the most out of your blue grass, red fescue or perennial ryegrass. Like any turf, giving a Michigan lawn the right nutrients at the right time will help it be strong from the first signs of spring until the winter winds start blowing. Fit Turf’s schedule for when to fertilize your Michigan lawn, along with proper application and irrigation, will give you the gorgeous lawn you crave.

If you want a truly spectacular front yard, terrace or garden, we recommend a five-stage fertilizing program. When exactly to apply them depends on that year’s weather — the warmer and wetter the spring is, the earlier you should start. In most cases, we recommend a slow-release fertilizer with a 20/5/10 nitrogen/phosphorus/potassium ratio. This will give a lawn sustained nutrients without over-growing. Here’s what a good schedule might look like:

First Fertilizing in Spring

Your first round of fertilization should be in March or early April — especially if you were lax the previous fall. Providing nutrients early will help give a lawn a jump start after it wakes up hungry from the winter. It will also help grass while it strengthens its roots in preparation for the main growing season. Early spring is also the right time to apply crabgrass preventer and get rid of holdover weeds.

Late Spring Feeding

This is when the real growing season begins, and your grass needs a good meal for its ravenous appetite. Apply your second fertilization in May or June roughly 6-8 weeks after the first round. This will help improve the turf’s color and density as it hits hyper-growth mode. Broadleaf weed control should also be applied during this feeding so that dandelions don’t also take advantage of the nutrients.

Summer Fertilizer Application

Keep your Michigan lawn going strong through the hot summer with a third round of fertilizer in late June or July. This feeding, along with adequate irrigation, will help grass battle the heat, foot traffic and insects that it faces during its prime growing months. It will also promote good color for your grass without causing it to grow too fast.


Begin preparing your turf for the winter early. Applying fertilizer treatment in August or early September will thicken the lawn and stimulate new root growth as growing conditions enter their second growing season. This is also a good time for another round of broadleaf weed control.

Applying Fertilizer in Fall

Fall in Michigan is the most important time to apply fertilizer. The weather in September and October is perfect for cool-season grasses with its warm days, cool nights and morning dew. Take advantage by feeding the lawn while it is aggressively growing. This is also the one time of year where we recommend using a fertilizer with higher nitrogen content. Doing so will help your turf strengthen its roots and start storing extra nutrients for the rugged winter ahead.

Fit Turf can create and provide a custom fertilization program for your Michigan lawn that will help it stay healthy year-round. Contact our experts to learn more!

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