When to Fertilize


Should I cycle feed large amounts of fertilizer less often when I fertilize my lawn or spoon feed my lawn with less fertilizer but regularly? The easy answer is preference.  Both techniques will result in a good-looking lawn.  However, is one better than the other? Yes!

Fertilizing your lawn by spoon feeding will always be better for its health long term.

Why? Because your lawn can only digest so much at a time, similar to our bodies.  Is it healthy for us to only eat one time per day? Not really, but our bodies will adapt by slowing our metabolism and we can survive. 

If you ask any body builder or strength trainer, they will tell you to eat multiple times per day with protein at the base of each meal.  Why is this? Because your body can only process so much protein at a time, but if you want major results you need lots of it.  The same can be said for your lawn fertilizer schedule.

If you want your lawn to thrive it needs a lot of Nitrogen.

Your lawn can only process so much at a time.  Therefore, spoon feeding your lawn will deliver better results over time.

The single limiting factor to spoon feeding is that it takes time, and a lot of it.

The ideal spoon-feeding program requires you to apply fertilizer every 2 weeks to 1 month during active growing season vs. cycle feeding which allows you to apply every 2-3 months.

Pros of Spoon Feeding:

  • Gives your lawn proper amount of nutrition on a regular schedule.
  • Allows you to spend more time in your yard to diagnose other problems.
  • Can be more customized based on need.
  • There is no soil loading of nutrients, or in other words no leaching.
  • Provides you with the best source of Vitamin D and good exercise…Lawn Bod!
  • Less product going out means it takes less time per application.
  • Spend more time outside and off social media.
  • Reduce the chance of misapplications and burn.

Cons of Spoon Feeding:

  • It requires more applications.
  • If you miss an application, your lawn will notice.

Although it may seem like it is going to take much longer to spoon feed than to cycle feed, it really doesn’t.  Since you are feeding more often, you can apply less product per application.

Spoon Feeding a 1,000 square foot lawn

  • Fertilizer – 12 oz of Simple Green 20-0-0
  • Water – 244oz
  • Spray Time – 2-3 minutes
  • Frequency – 8-10 times per year
  • Nitrogen – 1.5 to 2 pounds per year

This means you could spray a 5,000 square foot yard in less time it takes to decide where you want to go out for dinner. If you add in some other goodies like Simple Aeration 0-0-8 and Simple Enhance 1-1-1, and you have a full program that is sure to impress.

See our full season program guide.

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR FLORIDA: For most of Florida there is a Nitrogen Blackout from June 1st – September 30th.  During this time, you can only apply Potassium and Micronutrients (Minors).  The beauty of Florida Summer weather is every time there is a thunderstorm (every day), your lawn is getting natural Nitrogen from the atmosphere.  THAT IS FREE FERTILIZER!

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