Lawn winterizing products are already being offered in some retail stores. As a result, lawn “officianodos” are beginning to consider applying these fertilizers to strengthen their lawn for winter. My advice, “back away from the fertilizer and no one gets hurt.” Using any winterizing fertilizer can be more harmful than beneficial if incorrectly applied.
Typically, many products marketed as “winterize fertilizer” contain a high percentage of nitrogen. The nitrogen fertilizer will promote shoot growth at the same time the plant is beginning to slow down its growth. This can possibly lead to fungal disease (brown patch) and possibly winter kill.
If you need extra color on home lawns for the fall, apply foliar iron spray or granules. The only other fertilizer to consider is murate of potash (0-0-60). Use about 1 pound per 1000 square feet. Apply to a dry lawn and water in. Apply in September or October. Consider this only after a soil test. There is no advantage to applying excessive amounts.
Keep in mind, our winters are mild and short. Mowing and watering properly are steps to a healthy fall lawn. Back away from the fall fertilizer and you won’t get robbed of your beautiful lawn.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture