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When Should I Fertilize my Lawn in Colorado?

Fertilization as recommended by Colorado State University is as follows:

County Line Lumber & Hardware carries Revive and a number of other products to fertilize your lawn. For more information, call 303-828-0102, send an e-mail to or stop in the store at 4047 N.E. County Line Road, Erie, CO 80516.

2 When grass is still green.

  • Optional N applications shown in (). Use extra nitrogen applications where a higher quality turf is desired or on heavily used turf.

  • Make the final fall nitrogen application (October-November) while the grass is still green and at least two to three weeks before the ground begins to freeze in your area.

  • On very sandy soils, do not fertilize turf after late September. Nitrogen can leach into groundwater during the winter months. Use slow-release nitrogen fertilizers (sulfur-coated urea, IBDU and natural organic-based fertilizers) on sandy soils throughout the year to reduce the potential for leaching losses.

  • Nitrogen application can often be reduced by 1/4 to 1/3 when grass clippings are returned to the lawn during mowing. Nitrogen and other nutrients contained in the clippings are recycled into the lawn as they decompose. Grass clippings do not contribute to thatch accumulation in lawns.Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for promoting good turf color and growth. Do not overstimulate the turf with excess N, especially during the spring and summer. Table 1 suggests nitrogen application programs for various lawn species. To obtain a high-quality, water-resistant turf with greater pest resistance, follow the suggestions in the table.

Overfertilization can contribute to thatch buildup and increased mowing requirements. Avoid underfertilization of bluegrass and ryegrass. These species can become unhealthy if not fertilized properly. Turf that does not respond to nitrogen fertilizer may be lacking in other nutrients, such as phosphorus or iron. Get the soil tested to determine which nutrient(s) are deficient.

Balanced or complete fertilizers contain various amounts of phosphorus, potassium, iron and sulfur. They are a good safeguard against a potential nutrient deficiency. If you leave clippings on the lawn, these nutrients are recycled from the clippings. If you remove clippings, this type of fertilizer is appropriate.

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