With our lawns in west Toronto temporarily green with the recent warm spell, is there anything amendments we can make before spring, for winter? It’s hard to believe but the Canada Blooms show is just 120 days away. Thank you.
A late season application of fertilizer to your lawn helps ensure good winter survival and healthy growth in the spring but timing is critical. The fertilizer should be applied when the grass has stopped growing but is still green. The roots are still active at this point and will take up the nitrogen in the fertilizer but not promote succulent growth that would make the lawn susceptible to winter injury. The nitrogen in fertilizer applied to late is of no benefit to the lawn.
So is it too late? I think it is even though my lawn is still looking green as that early snow melts away. If you’d really like to do some amendment at this point, consider applying a thin layer of compost or composted manure. These amendments contain smaller amounts of nitrogen than a fertilizer formulated specifically for lawns so you won’t be losing a lot if the roots are unable to take it up. They do contain lots or organic matter which will improve the water-holding capacity and soil structure of your lawn.
If you’d like to read more on why late season lawnfertilization is so beneficial, I’m including below a link to a good article from OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs). See you at Canada Blooms!