Lawns in Ontario generally consist of one or more cool-season turfgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and ryegrass. Lawn care experts recommend that cool-season lawns be fertilized once a year and that this be done in the fall.

Advantages to fertilizing in the fall

As the days shorten and temperatures drop, grass responds by slowing its growth and shifting nutrients from its leaves to its roots, which remain active in the soil throughout the winter. By fertilizing your lawn in the fall, you ensure that the roots have ample nutrients during the winter months. And when spring arrives, the grass leaves will tap into these stored nutrients, giving you a green, lush lawn.

Choosing a date for fertilizing

It’s important to fertilize at the right time, when the grass leaves are still absorbing nutrients. This ensures that your grass reaps the full benefits of the fertilizer. Once the ground is frozen or the grass is no longer growing, it’s too late to apply fertilizer.

The ideal time to fertilize is two to three weeks before the ground freezes, or more generally, in mid-October.

You’ll want to fertilize in the late afternoon or early evening, as direct sunlight can cause grass to burn when it’s just been fertilized. Also, be sure never to fertilize your lawn before a heavy rain, as this will cause runoff.

Choosing a fertilizer

Use a fertilizer designed for your type of grass and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Or, for best results, choose a fertilizer that corresponds to your lawn’s unique nutritional needs. Determine what these are by performing a soil test using a home soil test kit, or soil pH test kit, which are available at lawn and garden stores.

Applying fertilizer effectively

Before fertilizing your lawn, ensure that it’s been well-mowed. And leave behind some grass clippings, as this helps to nourish the roots.

For the best coverage, use a spreader to apply your fertilizer. This ensures that it’s spread evenly and that no spots get missed.

Landscaping equipment in the GTA

For over 25 years, Hitch City has been helping home and business owners in the Toronto area maintain beautiful lawns and yards. We supply a large range of top-of-the-line landscaping equipment at competitive prices, including lawn mowers, spreaders, aerators and leaf blowers — everything you need to prepare your lawn for winter and care for it come spring.

Visit or contact one of our three locations in the GTA to get more information about our landscaping equipment.

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