Choosing The Right Type And Amount Of Fertilizer For New Grass Seed
Believe it or not, you can over-fertilize your lawn and end up with the aftereffects on more than just your lawns.
In the state of New York, for example, over-fertilization has been the cause of harmful algal blooms in bodies of water. Besides this, it:
- Causes excess fertilizer to leach through the soil faster than the roots can absorb it. Instead, it ends up in the water table and clogs waterways with vegetative growth
- Triggers excessive mowing
- Causes weak, overgrown turf, which is susceptible to pests
- Contributes to thatch build-up
And that’s not how anyone wants to leave their lawn. Especially not when the alternative cultivating a rich and thriving blanket of green takes just a little mindful planning.
When Should I Water New Sod
When we are talking about a daily basis, morning is the ideal time to water new sod. For starters, morning hours contain little to no wind, which benefits both the soil and grass.
Also, the soil gains ample water absorption needed for the formation of new sod.
We highly recommend you do the watering from around 6 to 8 in the morning for more optimized results and a well-managed root system.
Why cant we install grass sod in the afternoon and evening? you may ask. Here are the problems with fertilizing new sod during those hours.
If you do the lawn watering in the afternoon, the scorching heat completely evaporates the water. Therefore, the soil might not receive the essential nutrients and moisture needed for sod formation.
On the other hand, watering the lawn at night might result in excess moisture, resulting in fungus and bacteria formation.
Is Your Grass Going To Seed
Commonly mistaken for weeds, seed heads can show up in your lawn a couple of times a year, usually in Spring and Summer. They look quite different depending on the lawn variety that you have and are your lawns natural flower, growing from the leaves themselves. They can often give your lawn a purple or white colour which can ruin the aesthetics of your lovely green lawn. Its also good to know that most lawn seed heads in newly developed lawns such as soft leaf buffalo, kikuyu and couch are sterile, meaning that they will not spread into other areas and grow from these seeds.
Your lawn going to seed isnt necessarily a bad thing however they dont look or feel great underfoot. Most of the time, your lawn will stop going to seed on its own within 2-3 weeks and simply mowing them off will keep your lawn looking great.
If there has been a sudden change in the weather recently, the seeding will stop once the plant has adjusted. Although they are normal through some months of the year, if they are persistent and dont go away, they could be a sign that your lawn is under stress from something, usually a lack of water or nutrient. If you havent recently, fertilise your lawn with a good quality slow release granular fertiliser. Double check that your sprinkler system is working effectively and give your lawn a good soak if needed.
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Where Are All The Acorns
Q: In 2019 and 2020 my oak trees produced lots of acorns. Last year I couldnt walk near the trees without stepping on several at a time. This year there are almost no acorns on the ground. Why is there such a drastic change? Lane County
A: Acorn production is relatively unpredictable from year to year and there is some anecdotal information that suggests heavy seed-crop years are followed by one or more years of poor productivity. In years of low or moderate acorn production, most acorns are consumed by insects, so production seems even lower than it is. Hopefully, you will see a large acorn production from your tree again in a few years. Lauren Grand, OSU Extension forestry specialist
When And How To Fertilize Your Lawn Steps:
In some approaches, lawns are loads like human beings. Operating at the peak of splendor and performance requires an amazing eating regimen and the right care. Lush, thick, green lawns rely on nicely timed, nicely balanced nutrition to look and develop their exceptional. Understanding whilst and how to fertilize your garden can help you and your grass stand out from the relaxation.
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Can You Fertilize Your Lawn While You Sow Your Seeds
Surprisingly, there are ways to fertilize your lawn while youre planting your grass rather than before. If you want to go this route, you can mix Milorganite with your grass seeds, then use a lawn spreader to finish the sowing session.
The reason why we dont advise this is simple. Milorganite works well with most grasses, but not all of them. Moreover, anecdotal evidence suggests that it wont deliver results that are as good as the old-fashioned starter fertilizer method.
Stage : Applying A Starter Fertilizer
After preparing your soil, you have just one more stage of fertilization before you can start confidently spreading your grass seed, and that is the application of a starter fertilizer. As weve discussed already, starter fertilizer is a fertilizer that has been specially formulated to be used in the earliest stages of the growth process as it contains higher quantities of phosphorus, the nutrient most needed when seedlings are beginning to germinate. Once you have completed this stage, you wont need to use starter fertilizer again, as it is only beneficial for the earliest part of grass seedling growth.
1. Purchase the Correct Starter Fertilizer
The first step is making sure that you pick up the right type of fertilizer, as regular fertilizer wont contain the optimal quantities of nutrients to benefit your new grass seedlings at this stage of growth. Starter fertilizers formulated for growing grass are made up of different compositions of the primary nutrients needed by plants, nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium .
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Lawn Care Month By Month
You can also view our Lawn Maintenance Guideline for more information.
Sharpen mower Cleanly cut grass is less susceptible to disease.Lime Pelletized lime is the easiest to use. Do not lime if ground is soggy. Now. OR
Clean up winter debris once the ground firms up.Start a new lawn Use a starter fertilizer. If you need to prevent crabgrass from seeding along with the grass, use an appropriate pre-emergent . Now through May.OR Wait until September.Mow weekly, 2½-3 high. Dont cut off more than 1/3 of the blade at any one mowing. Leave clippings if no disease is present and they wont smother the grass.Fertilize Use a maintenance fertilizer.OR Use a Step 1 product , before forsythia blooms drop, with a pre-emergent weed control if you need to control crabgrass and other annual weeds .
TROUBLESHOOTING Check for snow mold damage. Use a lawn fungicide if necessary.
Dethatch if more than ½ of thatch. Now.OR Wait until early October.Water 1 inch+ per week, including rainfall. Best time is from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. which allows blades to dry, minimizing disease potential. Watering once a week for a longer period is better than more frequently for short periods, enhancing drought tolerance by encouraging deeper roots.Fertilize Use a maintenance fertilizer.OR Use a Step 2 product in late May or by June 15 if broadleaf weeds are a problem.
Control broadleaf weeds. A liquid broadleaf herbicide is most effective.
Horse Manure Is Great For Compost
Q: Someone wrote in asking if they were using too much coffee grounds in their compost bins made up of mostly leaves. You suggested going to the feed store and buying alfalfa pellets and adding them to the compost bins.
This solution doesnt seem logical to me. First, you are using a product that is higher up on the food chain, ie., growing, cutting, compressing, packing, distribution and storage costs are involved. Wouldnt it make more sense financially and ecologically to go and scoop your own horse manure for your compost bins? Or would that yield the wrong nitrogen balance? Most of us horse owners would be glad to have someone scoop and we would give it away for free. Multnomah County
A: You are correct, it is illogical to purchase something to compost. However, I dont have a horse and I dont have a truck, so I really dont have access to horse manure. I dont even know anybody with horses personally.
Instead, I go to the feed store and buy my nitrogen in the form of pellets. Im sure many horse owners would be glad to have somebody come and haul the manure away, but my back wont take it anymore. My goal is to reduce the volume and to stabilize the organic waste we produce on our 1/8-acre lot in town. Linda Brewer, OSU Extension compost specialist
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The More You Know The More Your Grass Will Grow Here Are The Best Ways To Maximize Your Lawn Fertilization Schedule
Understanding when and how to fertilize your lawn is a major component to maintaining a healthy, lush yard. Fertilizers give your lawn a healthier root system while eating up unhealthy nutrients. With some simple steps, youll be on your way to having a lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood.
The First Fertiliser Application
When your new grass grows, it will be undeniably green and lush and most likely stay this way for the first few months post-sowing. However, a lawn is a living thing and requires nutrients to keep it looking its very best. A regular fertilising routine is a good habit to get into and can also keep your lawn protected against drought in summer, and frost and winter borne diseases in the colder months. Considering many lawns in the UK go without a feed for years, a regular fertilising routine can mean as little as two applications of seasonal slow release fertiliser per year, or four applications of a seasonal quick release fertiliser per year. If youre still pondering whether to add fertiliser to your lawn or not, read our blog on this very question.If you have applied any type of fertiliser to your lawn prior to sowing, make sure to wait the allotted time before applying any more fertiliser. You can apply a Quick Release: Spring / Summer fertiliser when the lawn is 6 – 8 weeks old or our Slow Release: Spring / Summer fertiliser. Avoid applying a Feed, Weed and Moss Killer product until the lawn is at least 6 months old you can find out more about weed control in a newly seeded lawn here. Mowing the lawn prior to applying fertiliser will help you see where you are spreading the product. Make sure to water any fertiliser in, as it will scorch the blades if not dissolved.
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Can You Fertilize A Newly Seeded Lawn
Fertilizing Your New Grass Apply starter fertilizer only once youve lightly raked your soil and before you sow your grass seed. Once your grass has seeded, the next round should be a regular fertilizer application this round should only occur four to eight weeks after the first, starter application.
When should I feed my newly seeded lawn?
Since each lawn is different, you need to visually determine whether your lawn needs additional fertilizer, but most people can expect to fertilize again within three to four weeks of planting or when the grass is 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall. This encourages deep roots and inhibits weed growth.
Understanding More About Fertilizer
Since grass is a living organism, like anything else thats alive, it needs to eat. It usually takes its food from the ground, but over time, the nutrients naturally found in the soil are used up and need to be replaced.
The most important nutrient established grass needs to remain in good health and keep growing is nitrogen, and when it has the right amount, the grass leaves above ground can grow properly and your lawn will have the lush green color you desire.
However, to germinate and send down strong roots, grass seeds also need phosphorous and potassium. If these essential nutrients are present, the seeds and seedlings will be given a big boost right when they need it, helping your new grass get off to the perfect start.
This is why fertilizing your new grass at the right time is such an important consideration because if you just throw out a few handfuls of seed and leave it to take care of itself, you are making life more difficult for the grass before it even sprouts.
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What Does The Npk Ratio On Fertilizer Mean
You can look at the labels of commercially bought fertilizers to find out how much of each primary nutrient it contains, which will help you determine which fertilizer your soil would benefit from the most. This is known as the NPK Ratio, as it tells you the amounts of nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium that are in the fertilizer and in what relative quantities that theyre present. To explain this with an example, a 100-pound bag of fertilizer that states it has a 10-10-10 NPK ratio on the label means that the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are present in an equal ratio of 10% to each other.
Reasons To Fertilize New Grass
To speed up the growing processThe concentrated and immediately available boost of nutrients in fertilizers will speed up the growth process of your new lawn.
To prevent the risk of lawn diseases and grass growth issuesUsing a high-quality fertilizer will make your soil and grass more resilient against brown patches, erosion, snow mold, red thread, and summer patching.
If your lawn lacks direct sunMost lawns require four to six hours of direct sunlight in order to thrive, so fertilizer can be used if your lawn is inhibited from this.
If your lawn suffers from insufficient wateringFertilizer can help if you arent able to water your lawn as often as necessary or if you lack an irrigation system.
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When Should I Fertilise My Lawn
Like anything else organic, your Sir Walter lawn will always do best when it is being well looked after. Fertiliser is a great way of keeping your lawn in good shape and its simple to apply and effective in all conditions. Its crucial to fertilise regularly to keep your lawn at its healthiest to deal with changes in temperature and any other problems that nature throws at it.
If Your Lawn Was Laid In Summer
If you laid turf between July and September your main focus is going to be on making sure the plants have plenty of water. Irrigation tends to wash plant nutrients through the soil so little and often is the key here.
You probably raked a pre-turfing fertiliser into the soil before you laid turf. Well done if you did because the plants are going to need it.
If not, apply a spring-summer feed once the turf has had 3-4 cuts..normally around 5 weeks after laying. The grass grows slower in summer than in spring but remember that theres a lot of growing happening underground as the plants develop their root systems.
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Fertilize Grow Fertilize: What Is The Best Fertilization Schedule For A New Lawn
Generally speaking, you should plan on fertilizing the soil once just prior to sowing grass seed or laying down sod. However, after this initial fertilization, its recommended that you avoid fertilizing the new lawn for at least six weeks to allow the grass to get established. After six to eight weeks, you can then start fertilizing as you would with any established lawn.
If starting from seed, you are usually best to first use a starter fertilizer, and then a month or two after the seeds have germinated, switch to using a traditional slow-release fertilizer. If youre starting from sod, you can generally use the same fertilizer throughout the process. However, its still recommended that you fertilize once before laying the sod and then again after another month or two. Alternatively, you could simply use a slow-release fertilizer prior to laying down the sod and then apply the fertilizer again as directed.
Either way, the newly planted grass will generally use up the nutrients in the soil quite quickly. This is why its a good idea to fertilize again after six weeks or so to ensure that the grass has all the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. Neglecting to fertilize your lawn once it begins to become established could potentially see your new grass starved of nutrients and thus severely harm its growth potential.
Best Time To Fertilize Your Lawn
Spring means more daylight and warmer temperatures. After a cold winter, this is the weather your grass is craving. If youre unsure of exactly when to lay down your first feeding, you can base it off of the temperature. Ideally, the ground should be around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on where you live, March to April is the best time to fertilize your lawn. Its also best if your yard is watered a few days before you want to apply the fertilizer, whether thats from rain or a sprinkler.
Fertilizer provides your grass with extra nutrients that help to prevent crabgrass and allow it to grow green and thick. To ensure youre laying the feed correctly, start around the perimeter of your lawn. Then, you can start filling in the middle. Similar to mowing your yard, you should go back and forth in straight lines. And you should always use a lawn spreader instead of your hands to complete the job.
Now that you know that spring is the best time to fertilize your lawn, here are some other helpful tips that will keep your grass thriving.
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