Starter Fert

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Johnny79, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. Johnny79

    Johnny79 LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Messages: 225

    I'm reseeding my lawn and was wondering is it better to apply starter when seeding or after seed germinates. Any help would be appreciated
  2. takervader

    takervader LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 331

    I'd apply them at basically the same time
  3. roody2333

    roody2333 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,019
    I came here to ask the same thing basically but I had to title it different to hopefully get the attention particular to KentuckyBlue seeds which take longer to sprout than fescue/rye.

    If you're seeding TF or Rye, will be fine to put starter now though.

    If you do wait until seed sprouts (my inclination tells me this makes more sense) make sure you water in that synthetic fertilizer so it doesn't burn the tiny sprouts.
  4. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,417

    Feed it when you seed it.
    Would you wait a month to feed a baby, puppy or kitten?
    phasthound likes this.
  5. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    i lightly rake the starter in and roll the seed in....
  6. Babaganoosh

    Babaganoosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Babies and puppies don't have a storage of food attached to them at birth like a freshly germinated grass seed does. I'm not sure exactly how long the stored energy lasts to be honest but it can self sustain for a few days.
  7. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,779

    I've always believed that a grass seed has enough nutrients for the first 2 weeks of life. I've never seen any fertilizer make any difference in a germination rate, its always water that makes that difference.

    That said, this year (because here fescue is a yearly thing)
    i am putting 18-24-12 down 2 weeks after seeding so i don't lose 25% or so of my N to volitization. It will be watered in.

    For the last 30 years i have put down starter and seed at the same time so i don't have to troop through a soggy landscape. This is for a driveways edge that has lot of gravel in the soil so i'm going for every advantage i can because next summer will be here fast and this has no irrigation.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. Theodoric13

    Theodoric13 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    I typically do it while seeding, especially if I can apply it to bare earth. When I have actually tilled it in to the soil before seeding, I created the best lawn I had ever seen in my area, but obviously you cant typically do that much prep.
  9. Delmarva Keith

    Delmarva Keith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 534

    Like seems just about everyone, starter fert goes down same day as seed. Get the seed and starter down and leave it alone for at least a week or two. Cut when it needs to be cut. Seedlings need light. Cutting it won’t hurt anything as long as you don’t tear anything up on turns.

    There’s a tendency to overthink these things because of the limited seeding window each year. I get it and feel the same pressures that there’s basically one chance to get it right. Trust soil CEC to hold the fert until seedlings need it. If you feel the need to “overmanage” the process, focus on the water — that’s the money shot when seeding. To little water, it all dies. Too much water, it all dies. Compared to that, fert timing is incidental.
    hort101 likes this.
  10. Garrett1234

    Garrett1234 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    I reseeded on 9/28. In CA so we don’t battle the weather like other areas. . Anyhow, I chose to MILO at seeding 1/2 rate bag recommendation and will be applying starter this weekend (basically week 2). I don’t know how to give a percentage on germination, but it’s quite high based on visual. Used midnight KBG. Quite pleased with speed of germ and percentage of germ considering kbg is known for its slow rate. It’s an overseed with existing grass being PRG. I chose to use MILO at seed instead of starter fert because in my limited experience it seems my yard takes 3 weeks to react to MILO. And I was not sure how my existing turf would react to stater fert and mostly wanted to not increase growth on existing grass for sunlight purposes on the new seed.

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