The Six Steps of Fertilizing

Written by Greenwise Team
Published on August 14, 2020

Greenwise organic fertilizer

The following six steps detail the organic fertilization process that Greenwise uses. These are the ideal steps to fertilize your lawn!

1st Step: Awaken (Early Spring)

Awaken is our first fertilization step of the spring and our earliest turf care service of the season. It’s a corn gluten meal-based fertilizer that provides lots of slowly released organic nitrogen for turf emerging from dormancy. Awaken also acts as an organic pre-emergent weed control by inhibiting broadleaf weed seeds from germinating. If you or your pet are allergic to corn, please let us know and we won’t apply it to your lawn. We think of Awaken as setting the groundwork for a successful season. Within a few weeks of applying this first step, the soil will be ready for our season’s first overseeding. Our turf technicians are always interested in learning more about your lawn, especially in the early spring. If you are home when our turf tech arrives, please let them know what area of the lawn you’d like to see improved. They’ll be looking for signs of turf damage from the winter, such as salt, plows, shovels, and snow mold.

2nd Step: Thrive (Mid-Late Spring)

In mid to late spring, we apply our second step, Thrive. This fertilizer is a turkey litter-based blend, which we typically apply around the same time clients receive their first overseeding. Our turf technicians will bring seed with them during this fertilization step and take the time to put seed on any bare spots in your lawn. This time of year is prime time for tipping the scales toward establishing healthy turf and helping your lawn out-compete weeds. If you are signed up for our Weed Management program, our turf techs will also spot-treat any weed problem areas they see, too.

3rd Step: Sustain (Early Summer)

Sustain, Our early summer 3rd Step may use different blends, depending on when it’s applied and how your lawn is responding to the summer conditions. The late blend is designed to inhibit summer crabgrass from germinating. This is the time of year when we start to see fungal issues, drought stress, and insect damage. Our turf techs will bring seed and a hand-held sprayer for our clients who are also on our Weed Management program to spot and treat any problem areas. They will also closely monitor your lawn because, as with most things, early detection and diagnosis help address the issue before it has a chance to get out of control. Common issues we see at this time of year include drought stress, sod webworm moths, and Japanese beetles (grub indicator). This is also the time of year when proper watering can have a huge impact on the turf. It’s important not to overwater, which could set you up for fungal issues, especially if the turf isn’t drying out on humid nights. Click here for watering tips during the summer.

4th Step Rejuvenate (Late Summer-Early Fall)

Rejuvenation is our fourth step of fertilization and one of the most important steps in terms of long-term growth and establishment. Fall is the prime time for cool season grasses and it’s the time of year when macro-nutrients (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) or NPK for short) and micro-nutrients, such as boron, iron, magnesium, and zinc are necessary to feed the growing turf as it recovers from the summer heat, drought stress, and dormancy. Our fourth step coincides with our fall turf services, including aeration and overseeding. The major difference between our fall turf season and spring is that in the fall, turf has a prolonged period of gradually cooling temperatures, which aid recovery and establishment as our lawns head into winter dormancy. During this early fall period, we expect to see lawns recovering from fungal issues and drought stress. When needed, we will spot seed. And, we’ll be on the lookout for grub damage. Detecting grub damage early saves everyone time and money later on in the season.

5th Step Bolster (Mid- Late Fall)

As our temperatures continue to fall, Bolster, our 5th step continues our fertilization process by providing vital nutrients throughout the fall. We expect your lawn to look great at this time of year, and we will continue to seed bare spots as needed. As the leaves fall, our 5th step continues to work. The fertilizer is designed to break down with moisture and move under the leaf coverage into the soil and root zone. Water helps all of our fertilization steps to break down the nutrients and make them accessible to the growing turf grass.

6th Step Prepare (Late Fall/Early Winter)

Prepare, our 6th step, is extremely beneficial during long fall growing seasons when temperatures don’t dip below freezing until later than usual. Even if the first frost arrives at the normal time and turf goes into dormancy, this last round of fertilization will still provide viable soil-based nutrition whenever the conditions warm again. This late application of fertilizer can also inhibit the germination of weed seeds that may be lying dormant throughout the winter.