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When To Apply Scotts Step 4 [And How To]

Growing and maintaining a lush, green lawn can sometimes seem impossible. Do you want to try using Scotts 'Step 4' lawn system but have no idea where to begin? Is Scotts a reliable lawncare brand? We will answer these questions and many others below in this article.

For those ready to use Scotts Step 4 on their grass, you want to apply it 4-6 weeks after applying their 'Step 3' product.

This timeline should fall between August and November, so anytime during fall.

Furthermore, the main purpose of Scotts Step 4 is to ensure your lawn returns healthy in the spring, so that's something to remember while applying it.

As we start, we will cover all things Scotts products and discuss when and how to use their Step 4 program. Whether you're new to growing grass or need to spruce up your yard, we're here to offer some assistance. With that said, let's dive right into this post below!

a bag of Scotts Southern Weed and Feed leaning against a Scotts Spreader, When To Apply Scotts Step 4 [And How To]

When Is The Best Time To Use Scotts Step 4?

In general, you want to apply Scotts Step 4 between August and November. According to their website, this can be any time from Labor Day until mid-October.

As we covered, Scotts Step 4 is more of a strengthening lawn product, which ensures your grass gets through winter and returns in the spring.

When you look for this product in-store, it will typically be in the category of "fall lawn food." So, you don't want to try and apply it during summer, winter, or spring.

Another important thing to remember about this product is that it works to increase the roots in your lawn. This can be beneficial through tougher seasons and keep your grass healthy.

Even if you live with moderate winters, Scotts Step 4 will work for your property.

Feeding lawn with granular fertilizer for perfect green grass

Scotts LawnPro Step 4 Lawn Fertilizer

This fertilizer comes in a 12.5-pound bag, should be applied in the fall, builds stronger, deeper roots during winter, will increase your grass's color, and has excellent online customer reviews.

Check out this product on Amazon here.

How Do You Apply Scotts Step 4?

Now that you know the basics, it's time to apply your Scotts Step 4. To do this, you want to wait until the weather is clear and calm.

The milder, the better your product will set into the ground and get to work. Moreover, this fertilizer doesn't require water (unless there is a drought), so that's good to know.

According to the brand, it's also best to use their 'Scotts Spreader,' which works to disperse your product over your grass evenly.

Furthermore, applying Scotts Step 4 to a wet lawn is okay. So, this is perfect for those who prefer to water before or after fertilizing.

The key is allowing your product to reach the soil. If the Scotts plant food can't seep into the ground, you aren't going to see amazing results when spring hits.

We also recommend using a spreader versus applying this by hand, as this can take a while.

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader

This mini broadcast spreader works for Scotts Step 4, holds up to 5,000 square feet of lawn product, comes pre-calibrated and assembled, and comes in a few sizes.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Can You Seed After Using Scotts Step 4?

A Scotts seed and fertilizer spreader on a lawn

Yes, if you would prefer to seed after using Scotts Step 4, this is fine. Considering this fertilizer doesn't contain any weed prevention, your new grass shouldn't have a problem growing.

In addition, you might even want to seed beforehand so your new grass gets the boost for the winter. Typically, it's beneficial to seed before the spring, as this ensures your lawn comes back green and full once the temperatures rise.

Depending on your winter extremity, planting grass seedlings can be very helpful. Again, some people prefer to seed in the spring, but feel free to do this in the fall as well!

Can You Put TurfBuilder And Grass Seed Down At The Same Time?

For those wanting to seed and apply fertilizer simultaneously, it's best to do these separately. Many experts recommend against doing this because your lawn can grow patchy.

The reason for this is that when you lay down seeds and fertilizer together, it can cause an uneven distribution of your turf builder.

For example, if you lay down many seeds in one section and not the other, adding fertilizer to the mix will only make this problem worse.

Therefore, it's generally better to wait a few days between seeds and plant food: whichever you choose first. Many lawn pros recommend laying down seeds shortly after fertilizing, but again, this is your decision.

Do I Have To Fertilize My Grass In The Fall?

Although you don't technically "have" to fertilize in the fall, doing this is a good idea. One of the benefits of applying Scotts TurfBuilder or Step 4 is that it will strengthen your grasses' roots during the winter.

In addition, fall weather tends to help your lawn absorb the product better, so it's a win-win.

You also want to consider that your grass can build stamina with fall fertilization. That can make a significant difference in how it returns in the spring or how it sustains itself through a milder winter.

Considering that almost all grasses grow their best in the springtime, why not set yours up for success?

According to HGTV, it can be beneficial for people with cool-season grass to fertilize in the fall, so if you fall into that category, we recommend grabbing some Scotts.

Some cool-season grasses include:

  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Fine fescue
  • Tall fescue

Can I Use Scotts Step 4 In The Spring?

If you forgot to apply Scotts Step 4 before winter, we don't recommend applying it in the spring. As their website mentions, you want to use this product before the cold, as it will strengthen and multiply the roots under your grass.

Therefore, you should instead use a regular Scotts fertilizer in the spring if you want to. Even though it can feel silly, following the instructions on your plant food will keep your grass the healthiest.

According to Scotts, you can use their 'Step 2' fertilizer instead during April through June, so that's a good alternative to consider.

If you haven't noticed, the brand makes grass fertilizer for all four seasons: Scotts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

With that said, you don't have to stick with Scotts for your year-round lawn care, but it is certainly one of the better companies in terms of quality and results.

How Often Should You Fertilize Grass?

Dewy Grass close up shot

In general, you want to fertilize grass 5-6 times per year. Many experts recommend doing this periodically throughout the four seasons to ensure your lawn remains healthy and green.

According to Moyer, you want to consider the type of grass you have when creating a fertilizing schedule.

For example, cool-season grasses don't usually need as much fertilizer as warm-season options. However, depending on the weather, you may be able to fertilize them in the later spring.

Scotts recommends fertilizing every spring, between February and April, regardless of grass type. Again, this is your lawn's main growing season, so when in doubt, apply plant food in the fall and spring.

You might even be able to fertilize multiple times throughout spring, but this varies by product.

Can I Fertilize My Lawn Every Two Weeks?

If you're feeling overzealous and want to feed your lawn every two weeks, this can lead to trouble. Usually, over-fertilizing grass can cause it to burn and essentially die in sections.

You may even see parts of your lawn grow faster than others, giving it a patchy appearance.

According to The Turf Grass Group, adding too much fertilizer to your grass can even cause polluted water, leading to toxic algae growth.

From an environmental standpoint, this can be a major problem for your land and others nearby. So, we recommend aiming for once-monthly fertilization or whatever timeline your product gives you.

Is Scotts A Reputable Lawn Care Brand?

Fertilizer pellets spraying from spreader

For anyone still debating Scotts products, we are here to assure you they are worth it. Besides having great customer reviews, Scotts has been in the game for decades.

An interesting fact about Scotts is that they belong to The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, which also owns Hyponex, Earthgro, and Ortho.

Of course, just because a brand owns many companies doesn't mean they work. However, Scotts is best known for its fertilizing products, such as the Step 1-4 program.

The brand also makes its own lawn care products, like spreaders for you to use. Think of this like a one-stop shop for your grass needs, all without breaking the bank.

According to Green Lawn Fertilizing, Scotts has a 4.3 out of 5.0 from a survey of over 600 users. That indicates that most brand customers enjoy and see results from their lawn products.

One drawback to this company is that they use chemicals in their formulas. So, we wouldn't recommend Scotts products if you're after something all-natural.

To Finish

a bag of Scotts Southern Weed and Feed leaning against a Scotts Spreader

Whether you want to make your grass greener or create a fertilizing schedule, knowing the basics of the Scotts Step 4 program is always good.

From what we found, you want to apply this product in the fall, between August and November. Think of this timeline as starting from Labor Day until mid-October.

Furthermore, you don't need to fertilize more than 5-6 times each year. So, avoid feeding your grass more, as this can do more harm than good.

Made it to the end? Check out these related garden posts below!

5 Best Fertilizers To Get Dark Green Grass Growing

How To Keep Grass From Sticking To Lawn Mower Wheels

Can I Put Topsoil Over Existing Grass And Reseed?