The Ideal Lawn Fertilizing Program

First Feeding in March or Early April
This is the time to give your lawn the most important feeding of the year. Make your application just as soon as the snow has melted, the frost is out of the ground and the surface of the lawn has dried a little. There’s a very important reason for this extra early feeding. Once the soil temperature rises above 32° F (0°) in the early spring the grass plants start to grow and are immediately in need of feeding. Fertilizer applied at this time when the soil temperature is too cool to permit the release of nitrogen already in the earth, will prevent the grass plants from starving in March and April.

  • Over the years our horticulturists have correctly realized that, while home gardeners fervently wish a bright green lawn, they don’t want it to grow too fast, necessitating frequent mowing and an excessive build-up of thatch.
  • In developing our lawn fertilizers we have always kept in mind that in any complete lawn fertilizer the most important plant …. food element is nitrogen. Adequate nitrogen ensures excellent growth and the development of a rich green turf. But make no mistake about it, other plant food elements are needed as well. Phosphorus is included in any complete lawn fertilizer to stimulate root growth. Potash is added in quantity because it is a catalyst which acts like growth. Potash is added in quantity because it is a catalyst which acts like vitamins in you and me, promoting the overall health of the grass plants.
  • Iron Plus® and the other Guardian Lawn Fertilizers are also truly unique. They are formulated with chelated iron which is not only essential to chlorophyll production in the leaves, but also helps turn the grass green without stimulating excessive growth.
  • The best fertilizer for this initial feeding and for the rest of the gardening season is Iron Plus® 12-4-8 applied at the rate of 4 kg (8.2 pounds) per 100 sq.m. (1000 sq.ft.) of lawn area. You will be feeding your lawn the one pound of actual nitrogen required for each of the four feedings it needs each year. There’s no need to waste time and money applying extra nitrogen that’s not needed by the grass plants and will wash away with water if not immediately taken up by the grass roots.

Second Feeding in May or Early June
If your lawn is free of dandelions, plantains and other broadleaf weeds, you again feed with Iron Plus® 12-4-8 at 4kg (8.2 pounds) per 100 sq.m. (1000 sq. ft.) of lawn. For lawns with broadleaf weeds wait until early June when the air temperature is around 70° F and use instead, Iron Plus® Weed and Feed at 4kg (8.2 pounds) per (1000 sq.ft.) of lawn.

Third Feeding Middle of July to 15th of August
Apply Iron Plus® 12-4-8 at 4kg (8.2 pounds) per 100 sq.m. (1000 sq.ft.) of lawn area.

Fourth Feeding August 20th to October 15th
This is the time to give your lawn its second most important feeding of the year. During this period as the sun sinks lower and lower in the southern sky the weaker blue rays of the spectrum needed for the top growth of the grass plants are screened out, allowing the longer red rays to come through. Careful scientific testing has shown that the red part of the spectrum has no effect on top growth but does strongly stimulate root growth. At this time of year it also causes the grass plants to discard their old roots and replace them with new ones. This means that lawns fed from August 20th to October 15th will have deeper, huskier roots which are also winter and drought resistant. It also helps the grass plants to develop rhizomes and tillers which assists in food storage.

  • Lawns that are free of broadleaf weeds should be fed with Iron Plus® 12-4-8 at 4kg (8.2 pounds) per (1000 sq.ft.) 100 sq.m. of lawn.
  • Where dandelions, plantains, creeping Charlie and other broadleaf weeds are a problem, this is the best time of the whole gardening season to eliminate them and at the same time provide the grass plants with their vital fall feeding. Check with the weather forecasts to make sure it won’t rain for the next 24 hours. Rain will wash off the plant hormone contained in the Weed and Feed which is absorbed into the life stream of broadleaf weeds, causing them to grow so fast that their biological systems cannot keep up. The result is quick kill.

Here we have an annual grass which ruins more lawns each year in southern Ontario than any other cause. Just a few years ago there was no control over this pest but now it can be easily controlled with Iron Plus® Crabgrass Control. Crabgrass only survives in the lawn from year to year because of it’s remarkable ability to re-seed itself.

  • The seeds are able to lie dormant on the surface of the lawn soil over the winter and start to germinate in April or May just before the forsythia come into bloom. Home gardeners always have difficulty distinguishing crabgrass from the desirable lawn grass until late July or early August. During the later months, the plants develop matted patches which choke out other regular lawn grasses. At the same time they also produce distinctive purple coloured seedheads which spoil the appearance of the later summer lawn and garden.
  • Fortunately, there’s an easy way to control crabgrass and that’s to apply Iron Plus® Crabgrass Control Fertilizer early in the Spring. This product contains a pre-emergent chemical which kills the crabgrass seeds as they germinate. Iron Plus® Crabgrass Control should be applied at the rate of 4kg (8.2 pounds) per 100 sq.m. (1000 sq. ft.) of lawn area by mid May. Provided application is made by this date the White Rose Iron Plus® Crabgrass Control can be used in place of either the first or second feeding of the lawn.

All lawn fertilizers should be applied carefully and evenly. Careless distribution can result in serious burning, uneven growth and colour. For medium and large sized lawns the best type spreader to use is the Cyclone or Broadcast. A couple of excellent cyclone spreaders are for sale at our nursery. A word of warning, scattering lawn fertilizers by hand or with a shovel can be disastrous and often results in burning.

  • Divide the amount of Iron Plus® Lawn Fertilizer in half so you can make two passes over your lawn, adjusting the setting on your spreader so that it applies half the recommended amount. Apply half the amount in one direction and make a second application at right angles to the first pass. Be sure to cut off the flow of fertilizer at the each turn to prevent over application. In applying any fertilizer, be certain to follow the directions on the bag.


Courtesy White Rose Nursery.