I have seen few opinions about right timing for fertilizer while doing full reno/overseeding. 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. Starters release slowly with successive watering nutrients to feed young emerging lawn grass. As seen in Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter lets makes it easy to schedule service with a local lawn care professional. For my full reno, I have prepared a 10-25-10. Method-1: You can apply fertilizer first. 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 … Simply apply the starter fertilizer after overseeding the lawn. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. There are benefits to incorporating the starter fertilizer into the soil before planting. They will usually have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. Some research shows little influence of phosphorus on turf establishment in soils containing adequate to high levels of soil-test phosphorus; whereas other studies show benefits even when phosphorus levels are adequate. 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. This Miracle Gro Lawn Food will fertilize all type of grass/lawn. You should not use starter fertilizer in areas where you cannot control runoff. What Fertilizer Do You Put on Fescue Grass in the Winter? When phosphorous and potassium are applied only to the surface of the soil they cannot move down into the soil fast enough. When seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. Lawn fertilizer packaging will include instructions on which setting to use on a spreader. If you are over seeding, I would not put any fertilizer on the lawn-The new grass will have zero chance with the established then. Next up is a starter fertilizer. 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. For example, a fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 contains 10 percent of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The holes provide excellent soil exposure for seeds and deliver fertilizer directly to the roots of your grass. For maximum appearance of your lawn, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the most active period of your grass' growth. Always check the rates on the bag as they vary among brands. 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. Overseeding requires one half of the grass seed that would be needed for seeding a new lawn. You need to give attention to the seedgermination and their growth so that you can apply starter fertilizer according to the grass type you like to grow. Water the lawn lightly, twice daily at first, while the grass seeds germinate. 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. That generally equates to days when air temperature consistently hits 60 to 75 degrees. When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. Even properly applied starter fertilizer may not be enough food to maintain a healthy start for your grass. Fescue grasses thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7 and die back when warm temperatures dominate in spring, summer and fall. 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. Water immediately after spreading the seed. 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… Mixing grass seed with Milorganite is an effective way to spread seed accurately. Firstly, before seeding when you are preparing the soil. Alternatively, if you prefer to use organic methods, rake 1 to 2 inches of a manure-based compost over the lawn. In addition, nitrogen can easily be leached from the soil before the grass even has a chance to uptake its nutrients. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. (For best results, use a Scotts spreader!) Follow this blog to stay tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. Follow instructions on the label as to how often to apply . Using a Starter Fertilizer When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. 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. Once the grass reaches 4 1/2-inches tall, mow to a height of 3 inches. ft. can burn the young turf and result in poor establishment. 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. Of course, donít go overboard with its use and think more is better. The all-purpose, non-burning formula feeds for up to 8 to 10 weeks. It can be applied to all-new lawns, or to help bare spots recover. 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. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. The test will note just what nutrients require beefing up in the soil to benefit your turfís growth and how much is required. In summary, a lawn starter fertilizer high in phosphorus and quick-releasing nitrogen is ideal for starting a lawn from seed. Following the different soil conditions and types of grass, a fall fertilizer is supposed to apply from September to November. It doesn't really matter if you fertilize or overseed first. When it comes to knowing how much starter fertilizer for the grass youíll need, Penn State Extension suggests taking a soil test. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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. Use your seed spreader to apply the fertilizer in two directions. 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. Secondly, while you are planting the seeds. Fertilize with a slow-release 18-1-8 fertilizer using a spreader, four to eight weeks after the fescue germinates. If there's a heavy layer of thatch or the soil is compacted, aerate the soil. Soil samples can be collected any time during the year as long as soil is not frozen. If your lawn is not rich in natural organic matter, nitrogen plays an important role. For early fall or early September, you should apply fertilizer to revitalize the green blade color after the heat stress of summer. Use a Starter Fertilizer Fertilizer is the other needed product for seeding. Should I Use Starter Fertilizer. When an existing fescue lawn has been damaged or is simply growing poorly, consider overseeding to fill in the bare spots. The best way to do this is to use a broadcast or rotary spreader. Walter Reeves, The Georgia Gardener: Fescue – Planting Seed – New Lawn, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning: Overseeding Your Lawn, Yardcare.com: Cool-Season Grasses | Choosing the Right Grass, Pennington: How to Overseed or Reseed Your Lawn, Nature's Seed: How to Fertilize Your New Fescue Grass Seed Lawn. 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. 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. 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). Fertilizer Analysis 20-27-5" so, there you go. 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. Fill a hand-held rotary or push-type drop spreader and apply the seed to the lawn according to the manufacturer's directions. Walk the spreader across the lawn in one direction and then again perpendicular to the first application. There are both slow-release and quick-release formulations, with the latter delivering a quick green-up dose of nitrogen. 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. Seedling grasses need greater amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus than mature grass plants because seedlings are producing new tissues rapidly and thus have higher energy and nutrition requirements.” Reseeding a lawn will take more time, but sod will be more expensive. 18-24-12. Probably not. Contains high nutrients and chelated iron for roots and grass blades. 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. Time To Apply. You donít want to apply it directly to newly planted sod or burning can occur. The numbers list the percentage of each nutrient contained in the starter fertilizer for grass. 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.. Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist and writer who focuses primarily on garden topics. 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. Winterize your lawn with a late fall fertilizer application, like Gertens Winterizer. buy it, spread it, drink a beer(s). She writes a weekly garden column and authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden. 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. Starter fertilizers will contain higher amounts of phosphorus (Middle number on the bag of fertilizer). I will be overseeding this fall and I need an economical fertilizer since my lawn is about 20,000 sq ft. One look at your local garden center’s fertilizer aisle and you’re inundated with choices for producing your vibrant lawn. Once applied, work the product 4 to 6 inches into the soil, if you are planting grass seed or sod after the application. Work the starter fertilizer into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil. For best results, use high-quality seed and fertilize with Milorganite®. 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. Similarly, do I need to fertilize when I overseed? Therefore, itís best to till into the soil 4 to 6 inches with any additional amendments you are adding. Lebanon’s ProScape® Starter Fertilizer 21-22-4 with Mesotrione is ideal for use during turf establishment (bare ground seeding, sodding, sprigging or plugging), renovation or overseeding. She continues to write nonfiction articles on gardening and other topics and is working on a second "50" book about plants that attract hummingbirds. 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