Successfully starting a new lawn takes manual effort and a touch of science. While you understand that fertilizing is key to keeping your existing lawn healthy, lush, and green, how does this apply when starting a brand-new one?
Here’s a little tip: Whether you’re planting grass seeds, laying sod, or transplanting grass plugs, giving your soil a boost of nutrients with starter fertilizer will give it the jumpstart to grow into a lush, green carpet of grass.
Why Fertilize New Grass
Some lawn care experts suggest you wait at least 30 days after installation to apply fertilizer for new grass. But think of it this way:
When sod is harvested, it loses a portion of its root system, and the transition to a new environment can put it under significant stress. This affects its ability to establish roots and adapt to the new soil. While new grass may survive with just water and sunlight, providing nutrients at this stage becomes essential to support it in overcoming the stress and successfully taking root.
This proactive measure contributes to the overall health of the newly established lawn. It fosters healthier roots, which forms the foundation of a resilient, well-nourished sod that is better equipped to withstand environmental factors like pests, diseases, and harsh weather.
What is the Best Fertilizer for New Grass?
Starter fertilizer stands out as a great option for new grass. It contains essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are key to establishing a healthy lawn. This well-balanced lawn fertilizer addresses the specific needs of a newly seeded lawn or laid sod, promoting a lush, green landscape that can withstand environmental challenges throughout the growing season.
NutriPod is a slow-release starter fertilizer with a higher nitrogen concentration to stimulate leaf growth, phosphorus to establish broader and deeper roots, and potassium to facilitate better water and nutrient absorption. It comes pre-measured and encased in dissolvable pods that you drop into the hole when planting grass plugs, with effects that can last up to 45 days. This clever solution simplifies the planting process and provides a controlled and sustained release of nutrients, forming the foundation for healthy and sustained grass growth.
Unlike quick-release fertilizers, which deliver immediate nutrients into the soil, slow-release starter fertilizers offer a more controlled nutrient absorption by the grass. It fosters healthier and even grass development in the long term, as well as reduces the risk of nutrient leaching or fertilizer runoff.
How and When to Apply Starter Fertilizers
Grass seeds, sod, and grass plugs all take a large amount of nutrients to support their growth. This is particularly true when starting a new lawn where one didn't exist before. It's why applying starter fertilizer at the start of planting grass seed or laying sod is recommended—this timing aligns with the initial growth stages, providing your new grass a nutrient boost exactly when it needs it most.
A soil test can provide valuable insights into soil composition, nutrient levels, and pH balance. It helps identify deficiencies or excess nutrients in your soil, allowing you to adjust the fertilizer nutrients based on your soil's specific needs. Understanding the pH level also determines any amendments necessary to set the optimal conditions for developing a healthy, green lawn. Read here for a more in-depth guide on the best time to apply fertilizer to grass.
When to Switch From Starter Fertilizer to Regular Fertilizer
Starter fertilizers are specifically formulated for new lawns. If you choose to apply starter fertilizer, you don't necessarily have to re-apply. As your new lawn matures, you can transition to regular fertilizer, which provides a more balanced nutrient profile for sustained, vibrant growth.
It's advisable to wait at least a month after sod installation or planting grass plugs to apply any fertilizer, whether granular or liquid fertilizer. These formulations cater to the evolving nutritional requirements of your grass, fostering a resilient, lush, and green lawn that can withstand environmental damage.
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