As a lawn care enthusiast, I’m often asked – Can I fertilize my lawn every 2 weeks?
No, you should not fertilize your lawn every 2 weeks. Fertilizing that frequently risks over-fertilizing, which can damage your grass. Most lawns only need 2-4 fertilizer applications over an entire year. Fertilizing every 2 weeks would result in 26 applications annually, which far exceeds recommendations. Fertilizer requires time to properly break down so your lawn can absorb the nutrients. Too frequent applications do not allow for proper nutrient absorption.
Instead of every 2 weeks, follow the instructions on your fertilizer bag or label for ideal application frequency and rates. Allow 4-6 weeks between fertilizing to prevent over-fertilization.
I totally get the desire to have a perfect, deep green, lush lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood.
But over-fertilizing comes with some risks. In this post, I’ll dig into the ideal fertilizing frequency for a healthy lawn, and whether fertilizing every 2 weeks is recommended.
How Often Should You Fertilize Your Lawn?
When determining the ideal fertilizing frequency for your lawn, there are a few key factors to consider:
- Type of grass – Recommendations vary for cool season grasses like fescue vs warm season grasses like bermuda.
- Time of year – Fertilizing schedules are different in spring, summer, and fall based on growth cycles.
- Type of fertilizer – Quick release fertilizers provide a fast boost but don’t last as long. Slow release fertilizers provide longer-lasting nutrition.
According to lawn experts, the general recommendations are:
- Cool season grasses: Fertilize 2-3 times per year (spring, fall, mid-summer)
- Warm season grasses: Fertilize 2-4 times per year (early summer, mid-summer, fall)
Of course, it’s always smart to test your soil first. A soil test can pinpoint any nutritional deficiencies and ensure you apply the right balance of nutrients your lawn specifically needs.
Signs Your Lawn Needs More Fertilizer
How do you know when it’s time to fertilize your lawn? Here are some telltale signs your grass is hungry for nutrients:
- Yellowing, thin, or lackluster grass growth
- Weeds invading your lawn
- Overall dull or discolored appearance
- Soil testing shows major nutrient deficiencies
- Slow recovery from season change or high traffic
If your grass seems to lack its usual vibrancy or is getting overtaken by weeds, it may be time for a fertilizer feeding. But hold off if your lawn still looks full and healthy – no need to overdo it.
During the peak growing seasons, you may need to fertilize every 6-8 weeks. But anything more frequent than that risks over-fertilizing. Let’s look at why that’s detrimental.
Dangers of Over-Fertilizing Your Lawn
It’s understandable to want your lawn to look its best with frequent fertilizer applications. But just like with most things, you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to fertilizing.
- Fertilizer burn – This is when the salts in fertilizers build up and literally burn grass blades, turning them brown. It can leave unsightly dead patches.
- Excessive growth – Too much nitrogen from fertilizer can cause grass blades to grow too fast. This results in frequent mowing and thick, matted turf.
- Environmental impact – Runoff from over-fertilized lawns pollutes groundwater with excess nutrients. This can harm lakes, streams, and aquatic life.
- Wasted money – Over-applying fertilizer doesn’t mean better results. It just means wasted product and money. Sticking to optimum schedules ensures nutrients get properly absorbed.
- Pest and disease – Faster growing grass can become susceptible to fungal diseases. It also draws in pests who feed on tender new growth.
As a general rule of thumb, more isn’t better when it comes to fertilizing. Too much too often taxes the grass and surrounding ecosystems.
Fertilizing Too Frequently Can Damage Your Lawn
Many lawn owners think more frequent fertilizing, like every 2 weeks, will create better results. Unfortunately, that overzealous schedule can backfire.
Here’s why you should avoid fertilizing too often:
- Exceeds recommended applications – Most lawns only need 2-4 fertilizer applications over an entire year. Fertilizing every 2 weeks would result in 26 apps annually!
- Increases risk of fertilizer burn – Salts from too many back-to-back applications can build up and burn grass.
- Doesn’t allow proper nutrient absorption – Fertilizers need time to break down so your lawn can properly take up the nutrients. Too often doesn’t allow this.
- Promotes excessive growth – Fast-growing grass from a heavy fertilizer schedule needs frequent mowing and is more susceptible to issues.
- Nutrient runoff and leaching – Excess nutrients from over-fertilizing washes away before your lawn can use them. This wastes money and pollutes groundwater.
The bottom line is fertilizing every 2 weeks is simply too often for the majority of lawns. You’ll get the best results by following the instructions on the fertilizer package or bag.
Slow-release fertilizer can provide longer-lasting nutrients if you want to extend the time between applications. But for most normal lawns, an annual schedule of 2-4 applications is ideal.
Key Considerations for a Healthy Fertilizer Schedule
When developing a smart fertilizer schedule for your lawn, keep these tips in mind:
- Do a soil test – This will tell you exactly what nutrients your lawn needs, ensuring you don’t over or under-apply fertilizer.
- Follow grass type schedules – For cool season grass, fertilize during spring, fall, and mid-summer if needed. Warm season grasses do best with early summer, mid-summer, and fall feedings.
- Allow 4-6 weeks between applications – This gives your lawn time to properly absorb nutrients. Any more frequently risks over-fertilizing.
- Use slow release fertilizer – The extended nutrient release reduces the need for frequent applications.
- Recycle grass clippings – Leave clippings on your lawn to decompose. This returns helpful nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
- Sweep any spills – If fertilizer spills on sidewalks or driveways, sweep it up instead of hosing it into storm drains. Prevent runoff.
- Follow label instructions – The label provides guidance on proper application rates and schedules. More isn’t better.
- Adjust for weather – Avoid fertilizing right before heavy rains, which can cause runoff. Schedule applications for dry periods.
Proper timing and frequencies are key for a successful fertilizer schedule. Understanding your lawn’s needs makes all the difference.
Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every 2 Weeks?
Now let’s directly address the original question – can I fertilize my lawn every 2 weeks?
The short answer is no, you should not fertilize most lawns that frequently. Here’s a recap why:
- Exceeds recommended applications per year – Most lawns only need 2-4 fertilizer applications over an entire year. Every 2 weeks would be 26 apps annually.
- Doesn’t allow proper nutrient absorption – Fertilizers require time to break down so your grass can properly take up the nutrients. Too often doesn’t allow for this process.
- Increases risk of fertilizer burn – The salts in fertilizer can build up when applied too frequently, burning grass blades.
- Promotes excessive growth – Fast-growing grass from heavy fertilizing needs frequent mowing and is prone to issues like fungal diseases.
- Nutrient runoff and leaching – Excess nutrients from frequent fertilizing washes away before your lawn can use them. This wastes money and harms water sources.
Instead of fertilizing every 2 weeks, I recommend following the instructions on your fertilizer bag or label.
This will provide guidance on ideal application rates and frequency. If you want to extend the time between feedings, use a slow-release fertilizer.
But for most normal lawns, fertilizing every 4-6 weeks during peak growing seasons is sufficient.
Actionable Tips for Proper Lawn Fertilization
Ready to fertilize your lawn for lush, healthy grass growth without overdoing it? Here are some actionable tips:
- Do a soil test to understand your lawn’s specific needs
- Choose a fertilizer with nutrients your lawn requires
- Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag/label
- Apply slow-release fertilizer to extend the time between feedings
- Fertilize during periods of active grass growth based on season
- Allow 4-6 weeks between fertilizer applications
- Sweep any fertilizer that spills onto sidewalks or driveways
- Leave grass clippings on your lawn so the nutrients decompose back into the soil
- Adjust your schedule if heavy rains are forecasted to prevent runoff
- Apply Iron or magnesium supplements if soil test shows deficiencies
- Overseed and aerate your lawn in fall to maximize fertilizer effectiveness
Proper fertilizing techniques combined with reasonable frequencies promote healthy grass growth without risk of over-fertilizing. Let your lawn’s needs and fertilizer labels guide your schedule.
Conclusion and Summary
Determining the ideal fertilizing frequency for your lawn takes a balanced approach. You want to nourish your grass with nutrients for vigorous, green growth without going overboard.
Fertilizing too aggressively by applying every 2 weeks can damage your lawn through fertilizer burn, excessive growth, pest issues, and nutrient runoff.
It simply exceeds the recommendations for most lawn types.
For the healthiest, most cost-effective results, have your soil tested and follow fertilizer package instructions.
Apply treatments during periods of active growth based on the season and your grass type. Allow 4-6 weeks between applications for proper nutrient absorption.
While it may be tempting to overdo it with fertilizer for fast results, moderation is key when it comes to feeding your lawn.
Be strategic with fertilizer applications by understanding your grass needs and sticking to ideal frequencies.
Your lawn will thrive with a consistent schedule focused on nourishment over excess.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I fertilize too much?
Over-fertilizing can burn grass blades, cause excessive growth, and allow unused nutrients to leach into groundwater. Stick to the recommended frequencies and rates.
When should I fertilize my lawn in hot climates?
For warm season grasses like bermuda, fertilize in early summer, mid-summer, and fall. Avoid fertilizing in peak summer heat.
Can I use organic fertilizer as often as synthetic fertilizer?
Yes, organic fertilizers are gentler on lawns and less likely to burn. But organic or synthetic, it’s still best to follow label instructions.
If I miss a scheduled application, should I double up next time?
No, stick to the normal rate even if you skipped an application. Doubling up over-applies nutrients which can damage your lawn.
How soon before or after seeding can I fertilize?
Wait until new grass is 3-4 inches tall before lightly fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can burn tender new seedlings.
Is liquid fertilizer better than granular?
There’s no evidence that liquid fertilizers are superior. Follow label instructions for any formulation. Granular is generally easier to evenly apply.