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Starter Fert with seeding

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grassmasterswilson, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,548

    Normally I do starter Fert, aerate, and seed all at the same time. Mohave wondered about doing the starter a little early and if it matters.

    I don't have many seeding jobs...maybe 20-25 or 250k total. I can usually get them done in a week or less.

    I will be coming out to spray any weeds in the lawn and have alway thought about doing the starter then to try and save a little time. If the weather and equipment holds I would spray, wait 7 days and start seeding.

    Anything wrong with applying starter that early? It's 18-24-12 and 48% xcu I think. I would then follow up in November with more Fert, 1-1.25 lb N.
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    I have done it that way for cool season seeding. If I was doing one this late here I would wait until well after seeding for the herbicide but I understand you will not be under the gun to get the seed up like we would here. But yes, getting the starter fertilizer down and working is fine. Let us know how it works compared to how you have done it in the past if you try it.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,207

    Your plan should work fine--starter fertilizer 7 days in advance; why not?

    Would you mind? Compare the results with starter fert at the same time as the seed.

    And would you mind? Compare results using an ordinary turf fertilizer.

    Paying top dollar for a starter fertilizer is fine...HOWEVER...if phosphorus levels in the soil are adequate---why add more? How much is enough? Which is more important--nitrogen or phosphorus?
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Think about this logically guys. If you put the fert down 7 days early then seed wait 20 days for the new plants to start getting roots down. Who is eating this fert food for the 27 days it takes for the new plants to get down roots. The competition that is who... The existing growth is getting fed and getting watered so it is stronger and better able to crowd out the new plants making it much more difficult for the new plants to get going. Makes more sense to put the food for the new plants down when the need it say 20 to 21 days AFTER YOU SEED.
  5. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    This makes complete sense but does the starter fert help with germination in any way and is it advisable to have traffic on a newly seeded/sprouted lawn @ 21 days in order to spread the fert?
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,207

    Good question. Does starter fert help with germination? If not germination--early growth(say 21 days) ? Or does it mainly help after grass is 2 inches tall? Is the nitrogen or phosphorus more important?
    Does potash have any role at all?
    When establishing new grass what percentage improvement can one expect? How do you measure early success? I suspect weighing clipping yield is the only practical method.
    Can starter fert overstimulate the old grass and thereby slow-down your new variety?
    Does starter affect equally all grasses? Sod or seed? Blue? Rye? Fescue F? Fescue T? Bermuda? At Aug? Zoysia? Centipede?
    How soon should you add additional fertilizer, and what type?
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    Point taken, turfcobob. I was in terms of not walking across it 10-14 days after it is planted.

    Riggle: I believe water - whether too little, too much, or erosion before establishment -are bigger concerns than fertility for the first 30 days or so. Of course, both issues can be addressed simultaneously.
  8. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,392

    I've thought about this exact same thing this year!! We are going to spread fert a week or 2 after the overseed this year. Really too busy to "document" any results but we will take a look and see how it compares to previous years overseed jobs. I'll do a test on my own lawn later when I have time. :dizzy:
  9. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,392

    I would think fert only comes into play mostly AFTER germination.....which depending on weather and species can take 10,15, or even 20 days after seeding.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Seed doesn't care about fertilizer, it responds to water...

    I tend to think that if there is more N at the surface than deep in the soil, that the new grass root will stop its downward growth and suck up the N at the surface... I haven't come across the definitive answer to that one yet...

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