The ideal time to fertilize new grass seed is before or while the seed is being sown. Although starter fertilizers vary slightly in composition, most have quick-release nitrogen, which gives the seeds the nutritional boost they need to promote healthy germination and to ensure rapid establishment.
Avoid weed & feed products; the pre-emergent herbicides inhibit seed germination. Starter fertilizer, such as Pennington Ultragreen Starter Fertilizer 12-22-8, delivers essential nutrients for new grass. Phosphorus supports vigorous root growth, while nitrogen fuels top growth and greening.
New seed requires a different fertilizer than established lawns. These may work great for spring use on established lawns, but the chemicals used in these fertilizers can damage or kill your newly planted grass while it is attempting to establish itself.
When seeding a lawn, you should never apply the fertilizer and seed together. This can cause an uneven distribution of the materials resulting in patchy areas or seedlings burned by excess fertilizer. It is best to spread the fertilizer just prior to planting the seed.
How to use SET – Set spreader to appropriate setting for best results. Follow the color coded map to ensure your lawn receives the right amount of fertilizer. APPLY – Fill spreader and apply over newly seeded area or over entire lawn for root development boost.
When you start your lawn, spread a starter fertilizer over the ground with your grass seed. You can broadcast the seed and fertilizer separately, one immediately following the next, and it does not matter which order you spread it in.
For new grass you want to be sure the grass has reached at least 3 ½ inches in height, if not more, before cutting for the first time. This should take about 8 weeks, so be patient! When you are able to cut for the first time, you will want to make sure you follow good cutting techniques and mow high.
Caring for a Newly Seeded Lawn Apply water at least twice a day, make a third application if the weather is hot and dry or soil is sandy and well drained. Water in the morning before the hottest part of the day (preferably by 9 am). Water in the evening should be done after 5 pm. Water enough to keep the soil moist.
A formula that contains mulch and fertilizer is an ideal option if you’re worried about your new grass growing successfully. Spread a light layer of your chosen mulch evenly over the entire seeded area. Use 1/4-inch of sawdust, light peat moss or shredded newspaper, except for pages printed on glossy paper.
Several distinct advantages make fall the best time to plant cool-season grass seed. In early autumn, the soil is still warm from months of summer sun. This combination of warm soil, moderate day temperatures and cool evenings encourages fast germination and establishment of newly sown cool-season grass seed.
You don’t need to turn the topsoil over. Just break it up so the new grass seeds ‘ roots can easily grow through. If you just have a small area to seed, a digging fork will do the trick.
If you simply toss the grass seed onto the soil, you will end up with poor germination. Thoroughly rake the area to remove any loose debris and to create grooves in the soil. When seeding an existing lawn that is thinning, raking won’t be necessary because the seeds will move between the blades of grass.