Time to prep your yard for winter

Using right fertilizer formula matters


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that temperatures have cooled off, you can make one final fertilizer application before winter sets in around the end of December.

The shorter days are already slowing down the growth rate of plants and some of us may be skipping the weekly lawn mowing.

Fall fertilizer timing is important and it is critical to use the correct formula for your plants and yards.

We have already passed September’s optimal time to lay down nitrogen-rich fertilizer formulas here in north Florida, but a high-potassium fertilizer would be best for establishing strong roots over the winter months.

This will promote healthier plants during the spring warm-up. Just avoid applying too much nitrogen to encourage tender new growth which could lead to overall plant decline as colder days become more common.

Most importantly choose a fall fertilizer that uses slow-release formulas with lower nitrogen numbers on the bag. Lesco and Florikan are brands used by professionals that have formulas suited for Florida lawns.

You can look on the bag for three numbers like 24-0-11 which represent the percentages of Nitrogen(N)-Phosphorus(P)- and Potassium(K).

Phosphorus is abundant in Florida lawns and doesn’t require extra supplements while Potassium will encourage stronger roots.

Be sure to water in the fertilizer after application but remember plants only require watering once a week during the winter season and regulations for home only permit watering on weekends.

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