When To Fertilize New Grass

By Ann Sanders | Lawn Care

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For new grass to grow healthy and beautiful, it needs sunlight, water and soil nutrients. Unfortunately not all types of soil have enough nutrition germinating grass need. Knowing when to fertilize new grass is important so you can provide additional nutrients to keep your grass as lush as it should be.

Nutrients can be readily supplied by the roots in small quantities. Grass lawns however need nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous in large quantities. Fertilizers are able to provide these additional nutrient quantities which soil cannot naturally provide.

The process is however not as simple as just sprinkling fertilizer on your new grass. There is such a thing as the right time. Experts have varied opinions on the best times to fertilize new grass seeds. Here are some of these opinions on when to fertilize new grass.

It is important to note that there are different soil types and each will have their own specific requirements.​

#1. The Best Times To Fertilize New Lawn

best fertilizer spreader

As a general rule, it is best to fertilize at the start of the growing season. This is the time when warm or cool season grass is actively growing.

Spring and fall are the best times to fertilize new cool season grass. Late spring is the best time to fertilize new warm season grass as this is the time when growth is at full speed.

#2. ​Starter Fertilizer

While the new grass seed is on the sowing stage or even before is a perfect time for fertilization.

​Most starter fertilizers can quickly release nitrogen giving new grass seeds enhanced nutrition, which is essential for jumpstart germination in a healthy manner and faster establishment.

#3. ​The Type Of Maintenance

The type of maintenance also plays a vital role on when it should be fertilized.

​Low maintenance grass such as Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass,... only needs minimal fertilization. For cool season new grass applying fertilizers should be during fall, and for warm season new grass it should be in spring and perhaps in early summer.

​New grass, which requires medium maintenance, needs a second batch of fertilizers. Cool season grass will need another batch of fertilizers during spring while warm season grass will need theirs during fall.

​High maintenance grass require a precise schedule for fertilizer application during the months when they are actively growing.

#4. ​Fertilizing For Warm  Or Cool Season Grass

different types of sod

Some experts say that cool season grasses such as Ryegrasses, Bluegrasses and Fescues have good root growth when fertilized in the beginning of fall. These are usually a dose of one or two light fertilizer feedings. Light feedings enhance root growth but not substantially.

​Fertilizing during the mid-spring makes your new grass seed grow thick.

​For warm season grass, the growth peaks at the late spring and all the way to early summer. They will need additional nutrients from fertilizers during these times. Apply the first batch is early spring when new grass is starting to be green and the dangers from frost are gone.

​For cool season grass, fall is surely the best time to fertilize new grass seed. It will help keep the carbohydrates intact. It can survive the extreme winter temperatures as well as the dormancy period.

​Avoid fertilizing heavily during the late spring and summer. Avoid using fast-acting fertilizers on cool season grass in the latter days of spring.

​Warm season grass can be slightly fertilized during summer. New grass will not burned if there is occasional rain or when it is regularly watered.

​How you maintain your new grass in terms of fertilizer application, mowing and watering will dictate how many times you should fertilize new grass. Cool season grass should never be fertilized during summer.

For new grass seeds, under-fertilization does lesser harm than over-fertilization. It is best if you can have your soil tested before spring or fall so you know exactly when and how many times you need to fertilize. It is important that you know the ph level of your soil.

​Fertilizing new grass seeds will eliminate the problems of poor and unhealthy growth. The right fertilizing together with the right watering and moving will help you have a faster established lawn.

​To have a healthy and beautiful lawn, it is important that you know the type your type of soil as well as the type of grass you are. Every expert has his own opinion or practice which definitely worked for him and his lawn.

​What are some of your experiences in fertilizing new grass? Share some of your thoughts in the comments section on when to fertilize new grass.

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About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...