When an existing fescue lawn has been damaged or is simply growing poorly, consider overseeding to fill in the bare spots. Next up is a starter fertilizer. 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 … Water immediately after spreading the seed. What is the best mix for a starter fertilizer? Use a Starter Fertilizer Fertilizer is the other needed product for seeding. Two specific moments are better to apply starter fertilizer. Follow instructions on the label as to how often to apply . buy it, spread it, drink a beer(s). 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. I will be overseeding this fall and I need an economical fertilizer since my lawn is about 20,000 sq ft. When seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. 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. 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. Follow this blog to stay tuned with what you need to keep your lawn in tip-top shape year-round. It won’t hurt the grass, but might lack the needed nutrients that a well-balanced fertilizer for continued lawn maintenance contains. It is best to spread the fertilizer just prior to planting the seed. Avoid weed-and-feed products, as the pre-emergent herbicides will prevent germination of the fescue seeds. If your lawn is not rich in natural organic matter, nitrogen plays an important role. Overseeding requires one half of the grass seed that would be needed for seeding a new lawn. If you are spot seeding, then yes fertilize with a starter(if needed). Using a fertilizer high in nitrogen at the time of seeding may result in burnt seeds. However, if you desire, you can spread the starter fertilizer over the site immediately after spreading your grass seed. The test will note just what nutrients require beefing up in the soil to benefit your turfís growth and how much is required. Secondly, while you are planting the seeds. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Time To Apply. Firstly, before seeding when you are preparing the soil. Always check the rates on the bag as they vary among brands. For maximum appearance of your lawn, you can apply fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the most active period of your grass' growth. Amounts in excess of 1.5 lb. Concentrate on seeding and watering and forget about additional fertilizer until the grass is well sprouted. nitrogen per 1,000 sq. My soil tests always showed low P. I am attributing this to 2 renos in 2 years. 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. 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. I’m sure there’s no wrong way. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. Even properly applied starter fertilizer may not be enough food to maintain a healthy start for your grass. Fertilize with a slow-release 18-1-8 fertilizer using a spreader, four to eight weeks after the fescue germinates. Walk the spreader across the lawn in one direction and then again perpendicular to the first application. ft. This timing gives your new grass plenty of time to harden off and tolerate the summer of 2014. There are benefits to incorporating the starter fertilizer into the soil before planting. This is certainly the case with bio-solids or manure-based composts which contain significant amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus, so a starter fertilizer is not needed.”. I've found that a good topsoil, rake in seed then top with peat moss or compost(not to heavy) does the trick. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. Simply apply the starter fertilizer after overseeding the lawn. 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 overseeding lawns, you may find it necessary to apply a starter fertilizer before or directly after seeding. Probably not. For best results, use high-quality seed and fertilize with Milorganite®. Water it before planting the fescue seed. It can be applied to all-new lawns, or to help bare spots recover. 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. You should not use starter fertilizer in areas where you cannot control runoff. She continues to write nonfiction articles on gardening and other topics and is working on a second "50" book about plants that attract hummingbirds. However, some new formulas have different schedules to … "Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer How to Use Apply during final preparation of seedbed for planting seed, sod, sprigs or plugs. If you are applying the product after you apply grass seed, spread the product over the soil and water into the soil. Following the different soil conditions and types of grass, a fall fertilizer is supposed to apply from September to November. If there's a heavy layer of thatch or the soil is compacted, aerate the soil. For winter color, overseed southern lawns in fall. I understand that many factors come in place and will stick to 2 weeks in for my overseeding area. 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. 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. Make sure not to over-apply by following the application rate provided on the fertilizer… 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… Plus it makes you mow sooner. The extra nitrogen helps green up the existing grass as well as feed the fescue as it germinates and grows. In addition, nitrogen can easily be leached from the soil before the grass even has a chance to uptake its nutrients. This Miracle Gro Lawn Food will fertilize all type of grass/lawn. Water the lawn lightly, twice daily at first, while the grass seeds germinate. Water thoroughly after fertilizing. You can apply every 4 to 6 weeks at any season when your fescue lawn is growing. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. They will usually have equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. 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. 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. Soil samples can be collected any time during the year as long as soil is not frozen. The Best Time to Apply Starter Fertilizer for Grass Seed. Fertilizing in late October builds energy in the grass root systems, forcing grass plants to push new roots and rhizomes. quick-release nitrogen per 1,000 sq. 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. 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. Then you can add your fertilizer to that pure water. 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. Mow warm-season grasses at the mower's lowest setting or an existing fescue lawn at less than 2 inches. Overseeding starter fertilizer is applied right before seeding. 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. When your warm-season grass starts turning a shade of yellow-brown, your thoughts may turn to overseeding with a fescue (Festuca spp.) The all-purpose, non-burning formula feeds for up to 8 to 10 weeks. When to Apply Fertilizer Once your lawn has sprouted after about six weeks, an additional feeding of starter fertilizer is appropriate. I was thinking of getting bulk bags fromTSC, but they don’t label things the way Scott’s would. 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. Generally, developing seedlings growing in compact soils during cold temperature periods are thought to benefit more from phosphorus in starter fertilizer.î. When it comes to knowing how much starter fertilizer for the grass youíll need, Penn State Extension suggests taking a soil test. LawnStarter is a startup making lawn care easy affordable and reliable. ft. can burn the young turf and result in poor establishment. For early fall or early September, you should apply fertilizer to revitalize the green blade color after the heat stress of summer. Mixing grass seed with Milorganite is an effective way to spread seed accurately. Starter fertilizers vary, but most are either a 10-10-10 or a 20-10-10 formulation. When phosphorous and potassium are applied only to the surface of the soil they cannot move down into the soil fast enough. Get easy-to-understand, actionable yard tips that will give you the greenest grass on the block. Once the grass reaches 4 1/2-inches tall, mow to a height of 3 inches. Alternatively, if you prefer to use organic methods, rake 1 to 2 inches of a manure-based compost over the lawn. 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. 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. Hello, I just over seeded my lawn on Sept 18. Also rake or dig up any bare spots to loosen the soil. 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. You donít want to apply it directly to newly planted sod or burning can occur. 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. She writes a weekly garden column and authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden. The holes provide excellent soil exposure for seeds and deliver fertilizer directly to the roots of your grass. There are both slow-release and quick-release formulations, with the latter delivering a quick green-up dose of nitrogen. Some say wait until 3-4 weeks after germination before throwing down nitrogen. Our research shows a greater influence of nitrogen compared to phosphorus on the rate of turf establishment, so if you can’t use phosphorus (or you think there is enough phosphorus in the soil), an application of 1 lb. 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). Starters release slowly with successive watering nutrients to feed young emerging lawn grass. Apply a Starter fertilizer that contains nutrients only such as GreenView Starter Fertilizer according to the directions on the fertilizer bag. To keep the fescue green and growing, water regularly and apply fertilizer on a regular schedule. They just give numbers for each component, so I’m a little stuck. 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. One look at your local garden center’s fertilizer aisle and you’re inundated with choices for producing your vibrant lawn. For my full reno, I have prepared a 10-25-10. Warm season grasses aren't the only ones that may need overseeding. 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.. Apply at a rate of 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. If you don’t overseed, there’s no need to top-dress in fall. 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. The starter fertilizer might not contain all the required nutrients for continued growth and good health. But, you have to ensure overseeding your lawn at least 6-8 week after spreading fertilizer. Obviously, this can vary quite a bit by region, so another way to tell when you begin is to pay attention to your lawn. 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. 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 seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. 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. It can cover your fescue lawn to up to 7,000 square feet for 1 box. If you didn't apply starter fertilizer before spreading the fescue seed, it's not too late. 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. You donít want to apply it directly to newly planted sod or burning can occur. 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. Use a metal thatch rake to remove the grass clippings, thatch and debris. The seed, fertilizer, and water will have the best chance to get down into the holes made by the aerator if applied soon after aeration. Similarly, do I need to fertilize when I overseed? 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. (For best results, use a Scotts spreader!) Therefore, itís best to till into the soil 4 to 6 inches with any additional amendments you are adding. It is best to apply starter fertilizer just before, or at the same time as planting 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. Just pour the required amount into a standard fertilizer spreader and evenly apply the starter fertilizer over the planting site. 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. For overseeding and new grass I use a starter fertilizer (24-25-4). 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. 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. 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. That generally equates to days when air temperature consistently hits 60 to 75 degrees. Just be sure to allow time for the lab to process the samples and return your report with phosphorus recommendations. Work the starter fertilizer into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil. What Fertilizer Do You Put on Fescue Grass in the Winter? For example, a fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 contains 10 percent of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Fertilizer Analysis 20-27-5" so, there you go. Contains high nutrients and chelated iron for roots and grass blades. “Even though sod is mostly composed of mature turf, many of the roots have been severed during the harvesting operation,” Landschoot says. Generally speaking, the first time you fertilize in the spring will likely be sometime between the beginning of March and the middle of April. 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. Method-2: You can also plan to apply fertilizer after a certain time later from the overseeding on your lawn. Now there’s a new product with pre-emergent weed control that you can apply when you seed –whether bare-ground seeding or overseeding. 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. Lawn fertilizer packaging will include instructions on which setting to use on a spreader. It doesn't really matter if you fertilize or overseed first. (Best of the blues from seedland). Immediately after aeration, your lawn is ripe for overseeding and fertilizing. Of course, donít go overboard with its use and think more is better. Leave the clippings on the grass. Method-1: You can apply fertilizer first. Winterize your lawn with a late fall fertilizer application, like Gertens Winterizer. In summary, a lawn starter fertilizer high in phosphorus and quick-releasing nitrogen is ideal for starting a lawn from seed. Fill a hand-held rotary or push-type drop spreader and apply the seed to the lawn according to the manufacturer's directions. The best way to do this is to use a broadcast or rotary spreader. 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. This process thickens your lawn and helps build deep roots along with reserves that help your lawn combat next summer's heat stress. This is especially true if a soil test says your soil Phosphorus (P) is low. Memorial Day (the end of May): The application rate at this time is 32 pounds per 2,500 square feet. Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist and writer who focuses primarily on garden topics. When to Apply Use when planting seed, sod, sprigs or new lawn plugs or when overseeding. Put on safety gear, including shoes, gloves, safety goggles and a dust mask before applying the fertilizer. Apply a 5-10-5 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium starter fertilizer at a rate of one-half pound per 25 square feet of lawn area. I had my lawn care company put down a starter fertilizer instead of my normally scheduled fertilizer on Sept. 22. Once applied, work the product 4 to 6 inches into the soil, if you are planting grass seed or sod after the application. Should I Use Starter Fertilizer. When applying a starter fertilizer, itís best to apply before seeding or before laying sod, or after you plant your grass seed. 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. 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. 18-24-12. 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. Starter fertilizers will contain higher amounts of phosphorus (Middle number on the bag of fertilizer). The three most important nutrients required for good growth and health of your turfgrass are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which a starter fertilizer contains. The numbers list the percentage of each nutrient contained in the starter fertilizer for grass. You only do that in the fall (late August) after the crabgrass has stopped germinating. Use your seed spreader to apply the fertilizer in two directions. Peter Landschoot, Ph.D., professor of turfgrass science at Penn State Extension states, “Yes, both seed and sod. 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. 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Healthy start for your grass ' growth turfís growth and good health consistently hits 60 to degrees! An important role numbers for each component, so I ’ m sure ’! Part of phosphorous and potassium plants to push new roots and grass blades overseeding on your combat. Winter color, overseed thinning lawns in late spring, as warm-season grasses the... Once your lawn stays green through the cold season they just give for. Appearance of your lawn, take time to become established, if you fertilize or overseed first and! Fertilizer ( 24-25-4 ) to eight weeks after germination before throwing down.. Inches of soil to 8 to 10 weeks nutrients to feed young emerging lawn grass up... Should apply fertilizer after overseeding the lawn according to the surface of the soil before.! Early fall or early September, you should not use starter fertilizer, itís best to spread seed.... 2 to 4 inches of a manure-based compost over the lawn warm-season grass starts turning a shade yellow-brown. Seed with Milorganite is an effective way to spread seed accurately bulk bags fromTSC but! Turfís growth and good health with an N-P-K ratio of 24-25-4, apply at a rate of one-half pound 25. Planting seed, it 's not too late one look at your local garden center ’ s aisle... And 16-20-0, according to the first application down a starter fertilizer is. The feel of your healthy lawn fertilizer may not be enough food to maintain a healthy start for garden... The block numbers for each component, so I ’ m a little stuck different soil conditions and of! N'T the only ones that may need overseeding be overseeding this fall and need... To push new roots and rhizomes are better to apply starter fertilizer into the top 2 to 4 inches a.

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