Lawn fertilizers commonly sold here were formulated for a different climate zone than our zone 7 or 8. These fertilizers promote the top growth of grass so the lawn needs mowing more often than it should. Have a different plan this fall to grow a better-looking lawn.
When the rain has deeply saturated your turf in late September or in early October, have the lawn plugged. A heavy-duty plugging machine will remove cylinders of turf 2’-3’ deep. These plugs do not need to be raked up. Holes made by the machine will allow fertilizer to reach the grass roots. Fertilizers spread on the surface may not reach the deeper grass roots and can be washed off the soil before being absorbed into the soil.
Look for a lawn fertilizer with the lowest nitrogen content that you can find. Nitrogen is the first number on the formulation in the bag. Ideally this number will be between 10 and 20. The second number is Phosphorus; ideally, it should be 0, but not over 5. The third number is Potash and you would like that to be over 5.
Apply this fertilizer after the lawn is plugged and then again a month later. This should be completed before Christmas. Do not fertilize the lawn again until April. The fertilizer that you have applied will grow the plant roots.