As summer comes to a close, it may be time for a fall application of fertilizer. With the cooler temperatures, I decided to move my fall application up a few weeks. Here are the results of my experience.

Fall Pre-Emergent Fertilizer Experiment. 

On August 24, 2017, I did the unthinkable; I found the pre-emergent fertilizer I had applied in April and decided to apply it to my yard. The result can be summed up in one word, “Amazing.”

It was one of the best decisions I have made concerning my annual lawn maintenance. The grass grew a couple of inches in just a few day.

Factors that led to my decision

  • This summer in the midwest, (Omaha, Nebraska) the temperatures have been mostly in the 80’s with a few 90 degree days. We have also had periodic rains. The grass was occasionally dry but not overly dry with a couple of days of watering from the sprinklers.
  • I noticed that crabgrass was becoming an issue in some areas. This was very unusual for summer activity, but I attribute this issue to the cooler, wetter conditions.
  • The color of the grass was changing to a yellowish-green color from a lack of nitrogen. Pretty common for late summer. Just ask corn growers this time of year.
  • The temperatures for the week were going to be highs in the 80’s and lows in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s.


These conditions were just perfect for a pre-emergent fertilizer application listed. It appears these same conditions will be in place for the first part of September. I would highly recommend looking at a pre-emergent application to help control crab grass and give your lawn a shot of nitrogen for a nice thick look.

Again, I would not recommend this type of treatment every year, but when conditions are right, a strong fertilizer application can enhance a lawn in a short period. If you are concerned about over applying too much fertilizer, consider having your soil tested.