Fall Lawn Care

In our area, they tell us (the “they” being the University of Connecticut, the closet thing we have to an agricultural college in our state–but hey, it did get its start as an Ag college) that if we are only to feed our lawn once, it should be in the fall and it should roughly be around September 15 but in any event no later than October 15th. That means I’m already a bit late with this post but between the earthquakes and flooding and general Armageddon, I think I’m forgiven.

But don’t just plunk down any old fertilizer–or as my non-organic husband, the Spoiler, said to me after he came back from the Big Box store while I was off happily having a reunion with some of my garden center friends on Saturday, “Hey, you know, Scotts doesn’t really make a winterizer anymore–and the bag says you can put it down until November.”

“Yes, dear, ” I say patiently (this being one of those marriages where the wife says “yes dear” instead of the husband) ” but the “November” date is for the folks who live in Florida and Texas.”  That flummoxed him a bit but I think he was so glad I didn’t launch into my organic tirade that he stayed quiet.

I did not look at the bag he brought home but a look at the bags on the Scotts web site tells me that perhaps he is right–these are no longer the “winterizer” fertilizers I was familiar with when I was working retail–and that furthermore I really should supervise him more closely because these fertilizers have a “nutritional” content of 32-0-10.  I’m glad they have no phosphorous so we don’t have to worry about any run-off into our lake.

But in the past the “winterizer” fertilizers I remember had a formula something like 0-0-32.  The last number was highest because that went to strengthening the root production for fall and winter.  You didn’t want the first number high because you didn’t want the grass growing in the fall.   I’m wondering why the change–perhaps because everyone overseeds?

In any event, it won’t be much of a catastrophe if he truly gets it down in the next week or two.  If he waits until November, that nitrogen will just runoff into the water supply–and that will be bad.  So I think a little re-education is in order about how this new fertilizer works.  He’s going to love it.

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