Fertilizer is food for your lawn. The more you feed it (up to a point), the more it grows. But when you feed it makes a difference, too.
The right time: North: Feed in fall and spring. South: Feed in spring and summer.
Why timing matters: Grass needs to be fed when it's actively growing. For cool-season grasses -- bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass -- this primarily means spring and fall. For warm-season grasses such as zoysia, bermuda, and St. Augustine, late spring and summer are the prime growing times.
In addition, cool-season grasses benefit from feeding in late fall (October or November), when growth has slowed but the grass is still green. The result is earlier greening and better appearance the next spring. Experts agree that this may be the most beneficial time to feed a cool-season lawn.
Warm-season lawns should not be fed in fall unless they've been overseeded with winter ryegrass. Also, avoid fertilizing any dormant grass, either in winter or summer (drought can cause grass to go dormant in summer); the application will be wasted.
Continued on page 3: Aerating