Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Greenest Yard on the Block

Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby Scotts » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:58 am

I recently got a soil test, and all I need it Nitrogen.

I'd like to overseed my lawn this fall, and am wondering if I should use starter fertilizer and overseed, wait a month, and then put down regular, all nitrogen fertilizer. Is it okay to put down starter fertilizer on my existing lawn, and will putting down regular fertilizer after a month kill the new grass?


Re: Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby Kerry » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:39 am

Using starter ferts at time of overseeding is fine. Starter fert is just a high phos fert for root development, usually a 1-2-1 ratio.
Wait until after the first mowing to do any additional fertilizing and be sure to water it in so it wont burn the young seedlings.

Re: Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby Green » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:40 am

If you're overseeding an existing lawn, I think you might want to wait a few weeks before adding the starter fertilizer. The reason I say that is that grass can only use fertilizer when it's growing. If you mow the existing lawn low to prepare for overseeding, then add fertilizer, the existing lawn will grow faster and may need to be cut before the new seedlings are mature enough to survive mowing.

In my opinion, you're better off waiting to apply the fertilizer until the seeds have sprouted.

Re: Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby David » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:40 am

Starter fertilizer is specifically formulated and designed to be used at the time of seeding.I see no reason or particular benefit in waiting to apply it.Waiting to apply starter means it really isn't a starter.

As for adding additional nitrogen later on,I'd hold off until the seed had come up then apply lawn food with "time released" nitrogen.This is traditional lawn food like Turf Builder etc. not "old fashioned" fomulas like 10-10-10 etc that dump all it's nutrients at once.

Get your seeding done so it can come up and survive leaves and raking.Think about a winter formula in a couple of moths or so to continue the root building process of your new and existing seed/grass.

Re: Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby soiltest » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:40 am

What type of grass? Is it cool season or warm season. Virginians tend to favor cool season, but there are those who favor warm season. If you drive through the neighborhood, there are the folks with the brown lawns after the temperatures drop.

If you are ever in doubt about any gardening issue, the local Cooperative Extension Services in VA are the best I ever encountered. They confirmed my love for horticulture. You can find your local Cooperative Extension Service Agent's telephone number in the phone book. They usually offer many irresistable gardening and landscaping classes.

Soil testing is very important to determine what your soil needs. Does it need fertilizer? What does your soil test reveal? Do you need to add additional nitrogen. Lawns too rich in nitrogen tend to be subject to disease. Most VA lawns need lime.

If you are overseeding, you are somewhat getting a late start. The latest seasonal application of fertilizer is usually recommended the 1st 2 wks of September. Lawn renovation should have begun before now. Then, you need to get the grass germinated, growing, and mowing before adding the fertilizer. But, why would you add amendments without knowing for what the soil needs.

Get a soil test. Your local Cooperative Extension Agent can help you with this, provide you with an annual lawn maintenance program, and provide opportunities for education about landscape management.

Re: Starter Fertilizer and Overseeding

Postby David » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:41 am

The leaves fall here now in early November so you need to get going.If your lawn is loaded up with pines like a lot are here you probably might need lime but that soil test should have mentioned things like that....and you do not want to lime and fertilize at the same time.Good article on the site about that.


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