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What is the purpose of applying a second app of starter fert after overseeding?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by MrC, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. MrC

    MrC LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Messages: 189

    I was told to apply a second application of starter fert 4-6 weeks after fertilizing. I'm just curious why?

    When I do this I have a couple other questions.

    1. I still have some bare spots so should I overseed those areas again when I apply the second app or should I just give it time?

    2. I forgot to do a soil sample when I overseeded, is 4 weeks a long enough time to get a good sample?

    3. How long should I wait to apply a winterizer after my second app of starter fert?

  2. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,524

    I'm not sure about up in Jersey but down here with reseeding tall-fescue, I typically apply 18-24-12 when I overseed. Then around Thanksgiving I apply a 16-4-8 to fill the gap between reseeding and the spring.

    But ground temps don't get as cold here as they do there.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I hit it again with starter to get about twice the thickness and filling in. It is WELL worth it. Yes, these are proven results. I've done it, gone without doing, and over again enough times and saw the different results over the years.
  4. Cliffside Stump Grinding

    Cliffside Stump Grinding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Hey Runner. Ive got a bag of 18-24-12. Planted about 16 days ago now, and am really starting to see some nice grass. Looks incredible!!! Everything started to really turn around for me after following your watering suggestions....:clapping:

    Question. Is 18-24-12 Starter Fertilizer what I should use when I hit it again?? I see you (or someone else, not sure) mentioning a fertilizer with different number, but is what I have ok? Im planning on doing it sometime next week, which would be just after the 3 week mark. Or maybe next weekend, at the 4 week mark. Whenever I get time.

    Oh yeah. If anybody knows. What spreader setting do you use to apply starter fert when using a Scotts 3000 spreader? Im sure this question has been asked 1000000 times....... Sorry guys, sort of a newbie on planting grass here...... :usflag:
  5. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    MrC When those little fragile seedlings germinate, too much nitro tends to fry them and SLOW the establishment process. In sandy soils you can apply a second app sooner than 4 weeks. You will see the newly germinated grass slow it's growth or lose it's green luster.
  6. Cliffside Stump Grinding

    Cliffside Stump Grinding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Wait a minute?? Now Im confused

    Too much nitro? Doesnt Starter Fert have little to no nitro?

    And, if you use the starter fert, you will see newly germintated grass SLOW its growth, or LOSE green luster...

    Im confused. Could somebody clear this up.
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Giving new seed all that it will need for the rest of the season is like you eating all of the food you will need for 2 months...In one day! Starter fert has what ever the bag says it has. "And, if you use the starter fert, you will see newly germintated grass SLOW its growth, or LOSE green luster..." No dude..that's how you know when the new grass has used the fert that is there and is ready for another app!
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I have to partially disagree. While too much does stress the plant out, this is not the case in your starter fert. (18-24-12). First, it is only 18% and second, it is 50% slow release. Now, I fully agree that over applying all at once could certainly lead to damage, but not starter applied moderately. I have yet to see a new lawn actually burnt by applying starter fert. at these intervals. The amount of benefit in the amount of phos. and even potassium by FAR outweighs the hinderance of the nitrogen. Now, I will not speak for other services that put it on and only get by with a little bit....but I CAN speak for what we do - that is, grow grass that has people saying "wow"...both customers AND neighbors. When have people mowing a nice full lawn in 6 to 8 weeks, that is where I get my fulfillment. I know other successful services on here who follow the same practices, and will continue to do so. I have helped some homeowners out on here before, even by speaking with them on the phone, and to my gratification, they were extremely pleased and surprised at their results as well. I have gone into new lawns that seemed helpless, and the customer wanted their yard reworked and replanted. I knew that with the amount of viable seed there was, we had a chance. With access to the clock, and the permission and ability to come in and hit it simultaneously, we were able to turn the place right around. We were looking at dirt essentially, and when I hit it and reset his clock, he asked. "What do I do now?" I told him "Sharpen your mower blades." :)
  9. Cliffside Stump Grinding

    Cliffside Stump Grinding LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Ok Runner, thanks for all the help.

    Lastly. Knowing that I have a Fescue shade area mixture in the backyard, and a Metro rye/fes/kbg mix in the front, I know the back is trailing behind the front. Im guessing this is because the Fescue blend takes much longer to germinate. Looks like its trailing behind a week maybe, just taking a glance at each area of growth (front compared to back)

    Can I still use starter fertilizer on the entire lawn, or do I need to do the front lawn seperate from the back? I hope this is not a stupid question, but I really dont want to screw up. We are using this project as a learning experience because we want to advertise planting after stump grinding as part of our business, but Im really starting to get into the hobby!!!

    Thanks Runner.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Hit it with starter! I'm just finishing lunch here, so I'll make it quick. Fescue is slower to germinate. The reason being, is that it is normally planted in shadier areas. The less sunlight is what contributes the later germination. as far as the starter being used on the whole yard? Not a problem. As a matter of fact, It will do it good this time of year even though it's getting a little late for it's FULL benefit. If you would have had this phos. and potash down in the soil earlier on, so it could have been better utilized by the existing turf grass, it would have been been much better and efective. The good news, is that the phos. is slow to move in the soil, so if it is put on late enough, it can still be there for the spring growth. Myself? I'm going back to starter for my entire first ap. next year.

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