Winterizer Fertilizer – What Is It and When To Apply

winterizer when to apply

Winter is one of the toughest times for our lawns, and ensuring that the grass gets through the colder months and has enough food to flourish in spring is important.

Luckily, winterizer is designed to do just that. Knowing when to apply a winter fertilizer and what brands to choose are critical in ensuring the success of your prized lawns.

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What is Winterizer Fertilizer?

“Winterizer” is a term that has been used for almost 30 years now by some of the biggest fertilizer brands. The term refers to special blends of fertilizer that are designed to be applied to lawns from mid August through to the end of November. Another common term used is winter fertilizer or winter lawn fertilization.

Depending on what brand you choose, each winterizer contains different ingredients, but most well known brands contain mostly Nitrogen Fertilizer.

The label on your winterizer should list the nitrogen as a quick releasing water soluble nitrogen (WSN). Avoid fertilizers that list water insoluble nitrogen (WIN).

Winterizer is designed to do two things:

  • Help your lawns store food for the winter
  • Ensure that there is enough food stored to encourage rooting and growth in the spring

It should be noted that winterizer is not designed to encourage the growth of grass, it is simply designed to prepare your lawn for the winter and ensure it has enough food to start its rapid growth in spring.

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When To Apply Winterizer Fertilizer

applying winterizer fertilizer

You should apply winterizer when the grass stops growing in the fall, but while it is still active in the root system. You can tell that your grass is still active by the the strong green color.

Your location will depend on when exactly this is, but it is usually mid-late November. On rare occasions, it could even be early December.

When you stop needing to mow your lawns regularly, it is time to apply winterizer.

The calendar below shows a handy visual representation of when to apply winterizer as well as other important lawn care tasks.

lawn care calendar

How To Apply Winter Lawn Fertilizer

It goes without saying that you should read the instructions that come with your winterizer, however the following are some general tips to get the most out of it.

  • Use a fertilizer spreader to ensure even coverage.
  • It is generally advised to use a little less than the label instructs, this reduces the chance of any un-adsorbed nitrogen leaching into groundwater.

For an in-depth guide on fertilizer spreaders, and how to use them – see this guide.

I recommend using this handy lawn care planner to help you keep your lawn looking great.

The Best Winterizer Fertilizer

When it comes to choosing the best winterizer fertilizer it really comes down to personal choice, however, I have always had great results with Espoma EOFW30 Fall Winterizer. I get consistent results and my lawn stays nice and healthy throughout the year, no matter the conditions (even when the nights are below freezing).

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Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer, 30-Pound
  • Made from feather meal poultry manure and sulfate of potash
  • Extra potash for next year's spring greening
  • 8-0-6 formulation30 lbs
  • Feeds up to 5,000 sq ft
  • Made from feather meal poultry manure and sulfate of potash
About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

6 thoughts on “Winterizer Fertilizer – What Is It and When To Apply”

  1. Is there a more specific time that is better to apply Winterizer Weed and feed than “Fall”? Is September better than October or vice versa?

  2. Pam, Fall is a great time to overseed your lawn. You cant put down weed killer or the grass seed won’t germinate. Be sure to also put down pre emergent in the early spring so the crab grass doesn’t come back.

  3. We have a lot of clover, crab grass & chick weed in our lawn. We just applied Scott’s Winterguard Lawn Food. We were afraid to put a weed killer down as there might not be much grass once all the weeds are gone. Any suggestions for Spring?


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