How To Apply 13-13-13 Fertilizer To Your Lawn? (The Right Way)

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Are you a beginner looking to transform your lawn into a lush, green paradise? 13-13-13 fertilizer is a balanced granular fertilizer, containing equal parts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), which are essential nutrients for plant growth. It is commonly used for promoting a healthy, green lawn by providing vital nutrients required for optimal growth. However, when I was a beginner, I found it hard to crack the method to apply 13-13-13 fertilizer to my lawn. By now, I’ve discovered the secret to it.

To apply 13-13-13 fertilizer to your lawn, begin with measuring the lawn’s needs, determining the fertilizer’s quantity, ensuring the environmental appropriateness, and then go ahead with preparing the lawn to apply it. 10 lbs for 1000 sqft of lawn is the common proportion of 13-13-13 fertilizer used.

In this blog post, I’ll guide you through the process of applying 13-13-13 fertilizer step by step, making it easy for even the most inexperienced gardeners. With each step completed, you’ll see visible improvements in your lawn’s health and vitality. Let’s get started!

Step By Step Guide To Apply 13-13-13 Fertilizer

Step 1: Determine Your Lawn’s Needs

Before applying any fertilizer, it’s crucial to determine your lawn’s specific needs. Start by conducting a soil test to understand the existing nutrient levels and pH balance. Soil testing kits are readily available at garden centers or online, and many local extension offices offer soil testing services as well.

Step 2: Calculate the Amount of Fertilizer Needed

Once you know your lawn’s nutrient requirements, it’s time to calculate the amount of 13-13-13 fertilizer needed. To do this, measure your lawn’s area in square feet (length x width). The general recommendation for 13-13-13 fertilizer is 10 lbs per 1000 square feet, but you can adjust this according to your soil test results. I’ve written an article just about how much 13-13-13 fertilizer you need for your lawn.

Step 3: Choose the Right Time for Application

Timing is essential when it comes to applying fertilizer. The best time to apply 13-13-13 fertilizer is during the early spring or fall when the grass is actively growing. Avoid fertilizing during hot, dry periods or when the ground is frozen, as this can cause the nutrients to be wasted or even damage your lawn.

Note: The secret lies here! Never underestimate or ignore the impact of a season on the growth of your lawn. If you want to know more, check out my article about when to apply what kind of fertilizer.

Step 4: Prepare Your Lawn

Before applying the fertilizer, mow your lawn to its recommended height and remove any debris, such as leaves or sticks. This ensures that the fertilizer granules reach the soil and are properly absorbed by the grassroots.

Step 5: Apply the Fertilizer

To apply the 13-13-13 fertilizer, use a broadcast or drop spreader, which can be purchased or rented from a garden center. Fill the spreader with the calculated amount of fertilizer, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for settings and walking speed. If you’re wondering what the numbers on a spread mean, check out this article here.

Like this one:

Photo 175401938 | © RjGentry |

Begin by walking the perimeter of your lawn, and then move back and forth in straight lines, slightly overlapping each pass. After applying the fertilizer, water your lawn thoroughly to help dissolve the granules and carry the nutrients into the soil.

Upon completing each step, you can expect the following improvements in your lawn:

  • A better understanding of your lawn’s nutrient needs.
  • A calculated fertilizer application rate, tailored to your lawn’s requirements.
  • Optimal timing for fertilizer application, ensuring maximum benefit.
  • A well-prepared lawn, ready for effective fertilization.
  • Proper application of 13-13-13 fertilizer, leading to a healthier, greener lawn.

Dos & Donts While Applying 13-13-13 Fertilizer To Lawn

Now that you know the exact way to apply 13-13-13 fertilizer to your lawn, it’s time to be cautious of dos and don’ts so you don’t encounter the mistakes that most beginners do.

Honestly, I’ve committed those mistakes too and knowing them prior would’ve changed the entire experience to me.


  • Do conduct a soil test: A soil test helps you determine the specific nutrient needs of your lawn, allowing you to apply the appropriate amount of fertilizer for optimal growth.
  • Do measure your lawn: Accurately measuring the size of your lawn ensures that you apply the correct amount of fertilizer, avoiding under- or over-fertilization.
  • Do choose the right time for application: Apply 13-13-13 fertilizer during early spring or fall when grass is actively growing, avoiding hot, dry periods or frozen ground.
  • Do prepare your lawn: Mow your lawn to its recommended height and remove debris before applying fertilizer to ensure proper absorption by the grass roots.
  • Do use a spreader: Utilize a broadcast or drop spreader for even distribution of the fertilizer granules across your lawn.
  • Do water your lawn after application: Water your lawn thoroughly after applying 13-13-13 fertilizer to help dissolve the granules and carry the nutrients into the soil.


  • Don’t apply fertilizer without a soil test: Applying fertilizer without understanding your lawn’s nutrient needs can lead to over- or under-fertilization, potentially damaging your lawn.
  • Don’t apply fertilizer to wet or dew-covered grass: Applying fertilizer to wet grass can cause the granules to clump and not distribute evenly, leading to uneven growth.
  • Don’t fertilize during extreme weather conditions: Avoid applying fertilizer during very hot, dry, or freezing conditions, as this can waste nutrients or damage your lawn.
  • Don’t guess the application rate: Always calculate the correct amount of fertilizer needed based on your lawn’s size and nutrient requirements.
  • Don’t apply fertilizer by hand: Applying fertilizer by hand can result in uneven distribution, leading to patchy growth or potential nutrient burn.
  • Don’t allow children or pets on the lawn during application: Keep children and pets off the lawn during fertilizer application and until the fertilizer has been watered in and the lawn has dried to ensure their safety.


How often should I apply 13-13-13 fertilizer?

Typically, 13-13-13 fertilizer should be applied twice a year, during early spring and fall. However, depending on your lawn’s specific needs and soil test results, this frequency may vary.

Is 13-13-13 fertilizer safe for pets and children?

Generally, 13-13-13 fertilizer is safe once it has been watered and the lawn has dried. However, it’s best to keep pets and children off the lawn during application and until the fertilizer has been thoroughly watered into the soil. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions to ensure the safety of your loved ones.

Can I use 13-13-13 fertilizer on other plants in my garden?

Yes, 13-13-13 fertilizer can be used on various plants, including vegetables, flowers, and shrubs. However, the application rate and frequency may differ depending on the specific plant’s needs. Always consult the label or a gardening expert for the proper application rates for different plants.


Applying 13-13-13 fertilizer to your lawn is a simple, beginner-friendly process that can significantly improve your lawn’s health and appearance. By following these steps, you’ll better understand your lawn’s nutrient needs, apply the right amount of fertilizer at the correct time, and ensure your lawn is well-prepared for optimal growth. With each step completed, you can expect visible improvements in your lawn’s health and vitality, resulting in a lush, green paradise for you and your family to enjoy.

Now that you know how to apply 13-13-13 fertilizer effectively, why not give it a try and see the difference it can make in your lawn?

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