When Should I Fertilize My Lawn in New Jersey

When Should I Fertilize My Lawn in New Jersey

Are you looking for when to fertilize your lawn in NJ? State law dictates times when you’re allowed to fertilize your lawn here in New Jersey. The team here at Chris James Landscaping has put together this guide so you know how and when you should apply fertilizer to your lawn in New Jersey.

The Best Times to Apply Fertilizer

You’re going to fertilize your lawn a few times during the year. The more you water the lawn and the faster it grows, the more you’ll fertilize. Below you will find our fertilizer schedule!


You’ll want to pay attention to the temperature to see when you’ll apply the first fertilizer of the year. The best time to apply fertilizer in the spring is when the soil temperature reaches about 55 degrees. You’ll know it’s the right time because the grass will come out of hibernation and start to grow again and the lilacs will start to blossom. Most of the time, this happens around mid-April here in New Jersey.


The fall application is also important to take care of your lawn before winter. Cool-season grasses that are grown here will remain green during the winter but will go dormant and won’t need fertilizer. 

Other Times

After your first fertilizer of the season, you’ll want to fertilize about four other times. You’ll also want to fertilize about 4 weeks after the first application and then about every 6-8 weeks after that. If you use a sprinkler system then you’ll water about every 6 weeks. If you manually water then you can stretch it out by 2 weeks.

What Kind of Fertilizer to Use

It’s important to buy the right kind of fertilizer for your lawn. Here are some tips to use when buying fertilizer for your lawn in New Jersey:

  • Pay attention to the numbers. You’ll want a mixture with a percentage of 20-5-15
  • Get granulated fertilizer as this is much easier to evenly spread
  • Use a slow-release fertilizer
  • For one application use organic material such as animal manure
  • Make sure the fertilizer you use in the middle of summer doesn’t have nitrogen since the grass slows its growth rate during the heat 

How to Apply Fertilizer

You’ll want to invest in a broadcast spreader which will evenly spread the fertilizer over your lawn. Areas of concentrated fertilizer will burn your lawn. After you fill your hopper with fertilizer, you’ll want to walk at a consistent pace over your lawn. Also, make sure you go in even strips across your lawn to avoid over-fertilizing areas.

It’s better to apply too little fertilizer than too much. You’ll also want to check the forecast and make sure you apply it when there will be a dry day so that the fertilizer doesn’t get washed away. Also, pick a day when you won’t be mowing soon so it has time to settle into the ground. Start with the perimeter of your lawn and then work your way towards the center. Then re-apply in the opposite direction to create a criss-cross pattern. 

Should I Water After I Fertilize?

Read the instructions on your fertilizer before you begin. Some fertilizers need water to break down the granules. Other fertilizers need time to soak into the lawn before you water. Make sure you give your lawn a good soaking when the instructions specify for you to water.

Call Us to Set Up Routine Lawn Maintenance

We hope this guide on when to fertilize your lawn here in NJ was helpful! The team here at Chris James Landscaping can help maintain your lawn for you in Allendale, Wyckoff, and the surrounding areas on NJ. We offer routine lawn maintenance to all of our neighbors here in New Jersey! If you don’t have the time to take care of your lawn then give us a call today. Our amazing staff can answer any of your questions, such as “Does grass stop growing?”