For my full reno, I have prepared a 10-25-10. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. The ideal situation would be to collect soil and submit the sample(s) to a test lab as close to the time of establishment as possible. Memorial Day (the end of May): The application rate at this time is 32 pounds per 2,500 square feet. If your lawn consists of Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or perennial ryegrass, choose a product specially designed for overseeding thin lawns, like Scotts® Turf Builder® Thick’R Lawn™ Sun & Shade, which combines grass seed, fertilizer, and a soil improver into an easy-to-use product you apply … To keep the fescue green and growing, water regularly and apply fertilizer on a regular schedule. If you are applying the product after you apply grass seed, spread the product over the soil and water into the soil. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. When it comes to knowing how much starter fertilizer for the grass youíll need, Penn State Extension suggests taking a soil test. Just pour the required amount into a standard fertilizer spreader and evenly apply the starter fertilizer over the planting site. Sweep any loose granules on the sidewalk or driveway back onto the grass. What Fertilizer Do You Put on Fescue Grass in the Winter? Some nitrogen and phosphorus (as starter fertilizer) applied to the soil before the sod is laid should help hasten development of new roots.”, Landschoot notes, “Because soil-test levels of phosphorus don’t change much over short periods, you can collect soil samples and submit to a test lab to determine phosphorus levels within a year of establishing turf. quick-release nitrogen per 1,000 sq. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. If you are spot seeding, then yes fertilize with a starter(if needed). There are benefits to incorporating the starter fertilizer into the soil before planting. Regular slow-release fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen is best for planting sod or giving your existing lawn a boost. I’m leaning toward putting down milorganite at overseed time, since it’s slow release, at 1#/1000, then starter fert at 0.5#/1000 after a few weeks. ft. will speed up seedling development.”, When it comes to explaining phosphorus and its role Landschoot also notes, ‘”Phosphorus is included in starter fertilizer primarily to enhance root development. What is the best mix for a starter fertilizer? The test will note just what nutrients require beefing up in the soil to benefit your turfís growth and how much is required. Even properly applied starter fertilizer may not be enough food to maintain a healthy start for your grass. Starter fertilizers for lawns come in different compositions of the primary nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P-phosphate) and potassium (K-potash), or the three numbers listed on the package (NPK). (For best results, use a Scotts spreader!) When Time Is Right, Apply Starter Fertilizer You want to wait until the soil temperature falls to 50 degrees to 65 degrees Fahrenheit to get the best germination from your fescue seeds. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. However, if you desire, you can spread the starter fertilizer over the site immediately after spreading your grass seed. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. Leave the clippings on the grass. As with many things in life, too much of a good thing can be bad and too much starter fertilizer for your developing lawn can affect it negatively through burning. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. Used properly, it won’t be long before your bare feet are enjoying the feel of your healthy lawn. The three most important nutrients required for good growth and health of your turfgrass are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which a starter fertilizer contains. Peter Landschoot, Ph.D., professor of turfgrass science at Penn State Extension states, “Yes, both seed and sod. She writes a weekly garden column and authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden. so your lawn stays green through the cold season. One look at your local garden center’s fertilizer aisle and you’re inundated with choices for producing your vibrant lawn. In addition, nitrogen can easily be leached from the soil before the grass even has a chance to uptake its nutrients. For early fall or early September, you should apply fertilizer to revitalize the green blade color after the heat stress of summer. Although you can use a starter fertilizer for a lawn that is established, it’s better to use a well-balanced fertilizer designed specifically for grass that is established. It is best to overseed your lawn immediately after applying the fertilizer to prevent weeds from taking advantage of the extra nutrients in the soil. Probably not. Overseeding starter fertilizer is applied right before seeding. Generally, developing seedlings growing in compact soils during cold temperature periods are thought to benefit more from phosphorus in starter fertilizer.î. The holes provide excellent soil exposure for seeds and deliver fertilizer directly to the roots of your grass. Mixing grass seed with Milorganite is an effective way to spread seed accurately. buy it, spread it, drink a beer(s). It is best to spread the fertilizer just prior to planting the seed. Simply apply the starter fertilizer after overseeding the lawn. When to Apply Fertilizer Once your lawn has sprouted after about six weeks, an additional feeding of starter fertilizer is appropriate. In fact, you should wait six to eight weeks before applying another dose of balanced fertilizer to your grass after planting so it doesnít incur burning. "Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer How to Use Apply during final preparation of seedbed for planting seed, sod, sprigs or plugs. Put on safety gear, including shoes, gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask before applying the fertilizer. The all-purpose, non-burning formula feeds for up to 8 to 10 weeks. They just give numbers for each component, so I’m a little stuck. This process thickens your lawn and helps build deep roots along with reserves that help your lawn combat next summer's heat stress. This timing gives your new grass plenty of time to harden off and tolerate the summer of 2014. When your warm-season grass starts turning a shade of yellow-brown, your thoughts may turn to overseeding with a fescue (Festuca spp.) In the North, the best time to overseed your lawn is in the fall, when the soil is still warm but the air is cooler, and there are fewer weeds for new grass to compete against. Walk the spreader across the lawn in one direction and then again perpendicular to the first application. For maximum appearance of your lawn, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the most active period of your grass' growth. Addressing soils that aren’t amended with organic materials Landschoot continues, “In cases where soils are not amended with compost, nitrogen is almost always needed for rapid establishment. Starter lawn fertilizer helps your grass seedlings and sod roots establish rapidly in the soil, leading to a thick new lawn in a short period. Since your trees are starting to shed their leaves, there's plenty of sunlight. Application of a starter fertilizer is not a substitute for the phosphate and potash recommended on your soil test report.”, When it comes to situations where a starter fertilizer for grass isnít required, Landschoot advises, “In some cases, a 1- or 2-inch layer of good quality compost amended into soil before establishing turf will provide more than enough nitrogen and phosphorus for optimum establishment. I have seen few opinions about right timing for fertilizer while doing full reno/overseeding. I was thinking of getting bulk bags fromTSC, but they don’t label things the way Scott’s would. Obviously, this can vary quite a bit by region, so another way to tell when you begin is to pay attention to your lawn. Water thoroughly after fertilizing. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass (4.9 / 5 rating), GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer (4.8 / 5 rating), Jonathan Green Green Up Seeding & Sodding Lawn Fertilizer (4.8 / 5 rating), Lesco Professional Starter Fertilizer, 18-24-12 (4.7 / 5 rating), Tips for Watering Your Lawn in Philadelphia, PA, How to Landscape With Palm Trees in Phoenix, 2021’s Best and Worst States for Living Off the Grid, 10 Walkway Ideas for Your Yard and Garden, 14 Treehouse Ideas for Your Backyard Playhouse. Once the grass reaches 4 1/2-inches tall, mow to a height of 3 inches. Also, build in a few days to interpret the report and purchase the correct amount and type of fertilizer.”, If you didnít get a soil test to determine how much starter fertilizer for the lawn you should use, Landschoot writes, “Starter fertilizers should be applied at 0.5 to 1 lb. This Miracle Gro Lawn Food will fertilize all type of grass/lawn. Starters release slowly with successive watering nutrients to feed young emerging lawn grass. We’ve taken the mystery out of starter fertilizers for lawns, including how and when to use them, why they are beneficial and why you might not need to use one. 18-24-12. Penn State Extension notes that analyses of 15-10-10 or 10-6-4 are also acceptable used as starter fertilizers for grass, as they also promote good early growth and grass development. Overseeding after aerating is a no-brainer, and it is the best possible time to do so, according to our Gaithersburg lawn care partners.-Apply soil amendments: Lime, Fertilizer… Just be sure to allow time for the lab to process the samples and return your report with phosphorus recommendations. Apply at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. It can cover your fescue lawn to up to 7,000 square feet for 1 box. ft. can burn the young turf and result in poor establishment. You should not use starter fertilizer in areas where you cannot control runoff. When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. Nitrogen and phosphorus from indiscriminate use of fertilizers have caused such great environmental concerns that about half the states in the U.S. have imposed some sort of regulations on fertilizer use. Instead, use either a more traditional type fertilizer, or an organic, slow-release fertilizer such as an 18-1-8 formulation which is better suited for an existing lawn. (Best of the blues from seedland). Soil samples can be collected any time during the year as long as soil is not frozen. Should I Use Starter Fertilizer. If your fine fescue lawn (Festuca rubra or Festuca brevipila) sees a lot of foot traffic or it has been a long, hot summer, overseeding with a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) increases the lawn's ability to withstand kids, pets and summer heat. Generally speaking, the first time you fertilize in the spring will likely be sometime between the beginning of March and the middle of April. Secondly, while you are planting the seeds. Whether you are planting new grass from scratch or repairing bare spots, figuring out a proper fertilizer to get your grass off to the best start can be daunting. Lawn fertilizer packaging will include instructions on which setting to use on a spreader. Always check the rates on the bag as they vary among brands. Use your seed spreader to apply the fertilizer in two directions. When seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. I had my lawn care company put down a starter fertilizer instead of my normally scheduled fertilizer on Sept. 22. LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. Starter fertilizers will contain higher amounts of phosphorus (Middle number on the bag of fertilizer). I’m sure there’s no wrong way. However, some new formulas have different schedules to … Fertilizer Analysis 20-27-5" so, there you go. For winter color, overseed southern lawns in fall. Alternatively, if you prefer to use organic methods, rake 1 to 2 inches of a manure-based compost over the lawn. That generally equates to days when air temperature consistently hits 60 to 75 degrees. Apply a Starter fertilizer that contains nutrients only such as GreenView Starter Fertilizer according to the directions on the fertilizer bag. With these nine FAQs about using starter fertilizer on your lawn, we’ll also explain what all those numbers on the fertilizer package mean and how they’ll affect the growth of your grass. Concentrate on seeding and watering and forget about additional fertilizer until the grass is well sprouted. When seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. Fertilizing in late October builds energy in the grass root systems, forcing grass plants to push new roots and rhizomes. I will be overseeding this fall and I need an economical fertilizer since my lawn is about 20,000 sq ft. Firstly, before seeding when you are preparing the soil. Work the starter fertilizer into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil. Use a metal thatch rake to remove the grass clippings, thatch and debris. Then you can add your fertilizer to that pure water. If your lawn is not rich in natural organic matter, nitrogen plays an important role. As seen in Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy to schedule service with a local lawn care professional. Be sure to use a turf-type tall fescue cultivar such as 'Cayenne' or '2nd Millennium' or a blend designed to withstand foot traffic and warm temperatures in your area. Therefore, itís best to till into the soil 4 to 6 inches with any additional amendments you are adding. Starter fertilizers vary, but most are either a 10-10-10 or a 20-10-10 formulation. A soil test takes the mystery out of what your soil lacks and lets you know what strength of starter fertilizer your grass requires and how much. Apply a 5-10-5 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium starter fertilizer at a rate of one-half pound per 25 square feet of lawn area. Using a Starter Fertilizer When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. Types of starter fertilizers include those with NPK amounts of 5-10-5, 10-20-10, 5-20-10 and 16-20-0, according to the University of California. Once you’ve received your soil test, selected an appropriate starter fertilizer for your soil and know the needed amounts, applying it over the lawn area is relatively basic. It won’t hurt the grass, but might lack the needed nutrients that a well-balanced fertilizer for continued lawn maintenance contains. Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist and writer who focuses primarily on garden topics. Starter fertilizers will contain higher amounts of phosphorus (Middle number on the bag of fertilizer). Keep everyone off the lawn so the new grass has time to become established. Water immediately after spreading the seed. You donít want to apply it directly to newly planted sod or burning can occur. Some say wait until 3-4 weeks after germination before throwing down nitrogen. Amounts in excess of 1.5 lb. Method-2: You can also plan to apply fertilizer after a certain time later from the overseeding on your lawn. My soil tests always showed low P. I am attributing this to 2 renos in 2 years. Follow instructions on the label as to how often to apply . They will usually have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Use a Starter Fertilizer Fertilizer is the other needed product for seeding. She continues to write nonfiction articles on gardening and other topics and is working on a second "50" book about plants that attract hummingbirds. Contains high nutrients and chelated iron for roots and grass blades. Apply a Starter Fertilizer When the soil temperature falls to 50 to 65 degrees or the air temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, apply a starter fertilizer for overseeding. Mow warm-season grasses at the mower's lowest setting or an existing fescue lawn at less than 2 inches. It doesn't really matter if you fertilize or overseed first. Next up is a starter fertilizer. If you plan on doing this, make sure you use a starter fertilizer that’s appropriate for your grass and growing conditions that does not contain any weed control. It is best to apply starter fertilizer just before, or at the same time as planting grass seed. ft. The starter fertilizer might not contain all the required nutrients for continued growth and good health. Before scattering fescue seed over your lawn, take time to prepare the existing grass and any exposed soil. When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. For a standard starter fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 24-25-4, apply at a rate of 3.27 pounds per 1,000 square feet. When it comes to the specific job of each of these primary nutrients in regards to the health of your turf: Some examples of the formulations of common starter fertilizers for lawns are 10-10-10, 20-10-10 and 16-8-8. In summary, a lawn starter fertilizer high in phosphorus and quick-releasing nitrogen is ideal for starting a lawn from seed. Overseeding requires one half of the grass seed that would be needed for seeding a new lawn. You can use a starter fertilizer with an N-P-K amount of 5-10-5 at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet, according to the University of California. Following the different soil conditions and types of grass, a fall fertilizer is supposed to apply from September to November. Avoid weed-and-feed products, as the pre-emergent herbicides will prevent germination of the fescue seeds. When phosphorous and potassium are applied only to the surface of the soil they cannot move down into the soil fast enough. Similarly, do I need to fertilize when I overseed? This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. You only do that in the fall (late August) after the crabgrass has stopped germinating. When the soil temperature falls to 50 to 65 degrees or the air temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, apply a starter fertilizer for overseeding. Immediately after aeration, your lawn is ripe for overseeding and fertilizing. 1 In southern areas, overseed thinning lawns in late spring, as warm-season grasses enter active growth. If you didn't apply starter fertilizer before spreading the fescue seed, it's not too late. Winterize your lawn with a late fall fertilizer application, like Gertens Winterizer. Do not apply a preemergent herbicide for crabgrass control to a new seeding or on seedling turf—unless the product is specifically formulated to do so.. Although various starter fertilizers for grass may differ slightly in composition, they all give the grass seeds and new sod the nutritional boost required for healthy germination and rapid root growth. For best results, use high-quality seed and fertilize with Milorganite®. “Even though sod is mostly composed of mature turf, many of the roots have been severed during the harvesting operation,” Landschoot says. I understand that many factors come in place and will stick to 2 weeks in for my overseeding area. When to Apply Use when planting seed, sod, sprigs or new lawn plugs or when overseeding.