Peter Landschoot, Ph.D., professor of turfgrass science at Penn State Extension states, “Yes, both seed and sod. 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. buy it, spread it, drink a beer(s). Now there’s a new product with pre-emergent weed control that you can apply when you seed –whether bare-ground seeding or overseeding. When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. They will usually have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Young grass is 'hungry' for P. I've found that a good topsoil, rake in seed then top with peat moss or compost(not to heavy) does the trick. 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. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. 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. Secondly, while you are planting the seeds. 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. If you are spot seeding, then yes fertilize with a starter(if needed). Using a Starter Fertilizer When overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. Next up is a starter fertilizer. The Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance service recommends overseeding at least 45 days before your average first fall frost. 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. But, you have to ensure overseeding your lawn at least 6-8 week after spreading fertilizer. Plus it makes you mow sooner. 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. Fill a hand-held rotary or push-type drop spreader and apply the seed to the lawn according to the manufacturer's directions. 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. In summary, a lawn starter fertilizer high in phosphorus and quick-releasing nitrogen is ideal for starting a lawn from seed. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. When an existing fescue lawn has been damaged or is simply growing poorly, consider overseeding to fill in the bare spots. The starter fertilizer might not contain all the required nutrients for continued growth and good health. 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. Even properly applied starter fertilizer may not be enough food to maintain a healthy start for your grass. Once applied, work the product 4 to 6 inches into the soil, if you are planting grass seed or sod after the application. Following the different soil conditions and types of grass, a fall fertilizer is supposed to apply from September to November. Method-1: You can apply fertilizer first. 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. One look at your local garden center’s fertilizer aisle and you’re inundated with choices for producing your vibrant lawn. 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. Should I Use Starter Fertilizer. Concentrate on seeding and watering and forget about additional fertilizer until the grass is well sprouted. This timing gives your new grass plenty of time to harden off and tolerate the summer of 2014. 18-24-12. Some say wait until 3-4 weeks after germination before throwing down nitrogen. That generally equates to days when air temperature consistently hits 60 to 75 degrees. 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 was thinking of getting bulk bags fromTSC, but they don’t label things the way Scott’s would. 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. What Fertilizer Do You Put on Fescue Grass in the Winter? If there's a heavy layer of thatch or the soil is compacted, aerate the soil. If you don’t overseed, there’s no need to top-dress in fall. 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. 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. 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. Follow this blog to stay tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round. 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. Use a metal thatch rake to remove the grass clippings, thatch and debris. Water thoroughly after applying the fertilizer. When it comes to knowing how much starter fertilizer for the grass youíll need, Penn State Extension suggests taking a soil test. 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. Lawn fertilizer packaging will include instructions on which setting to use on a spreader. Apply at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Since your trees are starting to shed their leaves, there's plenty of sunlight. The numbers list the percentage of each nutrient contained in the starter fertilizer for grass. 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. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. Apply a 5-10-5 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium starter fertilizer at a rate of one-half pound per 25 square feet of lawn area. When to Apply Use when planting seed, sod, sprigs or new lawn plugs or when overseeding. There are both slow-release and quick-release formulations, with the latter delivering a quick green-up dose of nitrogen. 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. (Best of the blues from seedland). Fertilizer Analysis 20-27-5" so, there you go. Avoid weed-and-feed products, as the pre-emergent herbicides will prevent germination of the fescue seeds. 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. Warm season grasses aren't the only ones that may need overseeding. Used properly, it won’t be long before your bare feet are enjoying the feel of your healthy lawn. It’s generally best to apply Milorganite fertilizer to warm-season grass at the following times of year: Easter (this should be after the turf comes out of dormancy): The application rate at this time is 32 pounds per 2,500 square feet. Soil samples can be collected any time during the year as long as soil is not frozen. In general, plan to overseed the lawn at least six weeks before the average first frost date so the new grass has time to become established. 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. 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