Whether you’re planting a new lawn or patching bare patches in an established one, one thing’s for sure. You don’t want to wait long for the new grass to grow. That’s why finding the best fertilizer for new grass is such an important part of the process.
We’re going to take a look at everything you need to know to choose the right fertilizer for your new grass, including the differences between new grass and an established lawn. Then, we’ll show you some of the best products available to help your new grass grow.
Table of Contents
- Why Should I Fertilize New Grass?
- What Nutrients Are Most Important for a New Lawn?
- The Best Fertilizers For New Grass & Lawns
- New Grass Fertilizer Reviews
- 1. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass
- 2. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer
- 3. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer
- 4. Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme Grass Growth Lawn Booster
- 5. Jonathan Green 11540 Green Up Seeding & Sodding Lawn Fertilizer
- 6. GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer
- 7. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome 10904 New Lawn Starter Fertilizer
- 8. The Andersons New Lawn Starter
- 9. Lesco Professional Starter Fertilizer
- 10. Scotts Snap Starter Food for New Grass
- When to Fertilize New Grass for Best Results?
- How to Fertilize New Grass?
- How Often to Fertilize New Grass?
Why Should I Fertilize New Grass?
If you’re wondering if it’s necessary to fertilize your new lawn, you’re not alone. Many people think that new grass will grow without any help, especially if other areas of the lawn are thriving.
While you may get some growth without fertilizing your new lawn, in a lot of cases, the nutrients that are readily available in the soil aren’t enough to support new growth, whether you’re planting seed or laying sod.
Soil that doesn’t have adequate nutrients can lead to patchy growth and thin grass, which can cause a lot of dust and erosion. Using a good fertilizer for new grass helps it come in lush and dense and maintains that growth in the long run.
You might be wondering if there is a difference between fertilizer for new grass and regular lawn fertilizer. The answer is yes, there is. New growth has different needs than established lawns which is why new seeds may not grow well even when the grass around it is.
Regular fertilizer contains potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, usually in a 1-2-1 ratio. But new grass needs more phosphorus than these fertilizers provide as well as quick-release nitrogen to help the seed germinate and grow rapidly.
What Nutrients Are Most Important for a New Lawn?
Although new growth needs the same nutrients as established grass, it requires different amounts and for slightly different reasons.
When choosing a fertilizer, you should always look at the nitrogen, phosphorus. and potassium or NPK ratio. These three nutrients are the primary things that plants need to grow. They are present in most soil, but adding fertilizer makes sure there aren’t any deficiencies.
Nitrogen supports overall healthy growth and is necessary for your lawn to develop the deep, dark green that you’re used to seeing. Potassium makes plants strong and more resistant to harsh conditions, like drought, disease, and extreme hot or cold.
As mentioned, phosphorus is particularly important for new growth, and here’s why: it’s essential for root development. For your new grass to thrive, a strong root system that develops early on is important. Plus, a phosphorus deficiency results in slow growth overall.
The two main things to look for in fertilizer for new grass are quick-release nitrogen and phosphorus. This helps your grass grow fast and strong, above and below ground.
The Best Fertilizers For New Grass & Lawns
If you’re looking for the right fertilizer for your new lawn, here are some of the best products on the market that are sure to deliver results.
|Pictures||New Grass Fertilizers||Fertilizer Analysis|
|Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass||24-25-4|
|Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer||21-22-4|
|Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer||22-23-4|
|Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme Grass Growth Lawn Booster||6-19-0|
|Jonathan Green 11540 Green Up Seeding & Sodding Lawn Fertilizer||12-18-8|
|GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer||10-18-10|
|Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome 10904 New Lawn Starter Fertilizer||9-13-7|
|The Andersons New Lawn Starter||20-27-5|
|Lesco Professional Starter Fertilizer||18-24-12|
|Scotts Snap Starter Food for New Grass||26-0-4|
New Grass Fertilizer Reviews
1. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass
When it comes to lawn care, Scotts is a well-known brand that delivers results. Its Turf Builder starter food promises to grow grass 70 percent thicker and 35 percent faster when compared to using no fertilizer at all.
This fertilizer was formulated to help both roots and blades grow faster, getting your new lawn off to a quick start. You can use it on any type of grass, and it’s ideal for grass plugs and sod, too.
Apply this granular fertilizer to your lawn using a spreader for even coverage. Technically, you don’t have to water it in, but remember to keep your newly planted grass moist while it’s sprouting.
You can get this product in a small bag that covers 1,000 square feet for touch-ups in your yard but go for the large 14,000-square-foot coverage if you have a lot of ground to cover. If you prefer to buy in bulk, you can get up to five large bags at a time.
2. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer
If you’re looking for a fertilizer for a new lawn that also helps with weed control, check out this product from Scotts. This 2-in-1 formula prevents weeds and feeds new grass for up to six weeks.
You can use this product on any type of grass, and it prevents crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds from taking over while you wait for new grass to grow. It improves seedling results but is also a great choice for grass plugs and sod.
The application is easy. Use a spreader for even coverage, then water it in to activate. Note that you should apply this product before watering your new grass for the first time.
This special formula gets your lawn off to a quick start, and any weeds that manage to come through will sprout and die quickly. There are two sizes available, providing coverage for up to 5,000 square feet or 10,000 square feet.
3. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn Fertilizer
This lawn fertilizer from Pennington is great for new lawns. It has a unique blend of fast-acting nitrogen that your lawn can use right away and slow-release nitrogen that continues to feed for up to three months.
The quick-greening formula helps establish strong roots for a thicker, fuller lawn that grows fast. Thanks to the five percent iron content, the grass come in dense, lush, and deep green. It works with a variety of grass seeds, as well as plugs and sod.
The application is simple. For best results, apply in the spring and fall using a spreader to ensure even application, then water the area regularly until the grass is established. One package covers 5,000 square feet, and the bag is resealable for safe storage.
4. Simple Lawn Solutions Extreme Grass Growth Lawn Booster
The fertilizer from Simple Lawn Solutions contains nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as humic and fulvic acid to promote vertical and lateral growth. In addition to being great for new lawns, it’s also effective at correcting nutrient deficiencies or repairing an established lawn, and it’s good for new sod and seeding, too.
Another attractive thing about this product is that it’s a concentrate, which makes it a great alternative if you want something other than granules. The application is simple. All you have to do is attach the bottle to your garden hose, and you’re ready to go. One bottle covers 3,200 square feet.
Simple Lawn Solutions produces this Growth Buster fertilizer in the United States. They’re family-owned and have 25 years of experience in the commercial turf industry, so you can trust they know how to improve the look of your yard.
5. Jonathan Green 11540 Green Up Seeding & Sodding Lawn Fertilizer
This product from Jonathan Green is great for new growth and can be used to repair established lawns. It encourages new grass plantings by establishing a strong root system. Plus, it contains iron to help you grow a lush, greener lawn faster.
One of the cool things about this fertilizer is that it goes beyond just feeding the grass. It also enriches the soil with humates, making the nutrients more readily available to the roots. This helps your lawn survive the cold winter weather and dry, hot summers.
This granular fertilizer is available in two sizes, covering 1,000 or 5,000 square feet. Use a spreader to apply evenly the same day as seeding or sodding. For maintenance, apply a few days after mowing when the lawn is dry.
6. GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer
If you’re looking for a fertilizer that lasts, check out this starter fertilizer from GreenView. One application in the spring or fall provides both immediate release nutrients for quick results and slow-release to encourage growth for up to eight weeks.
This formula helps establish strong roots and keeps your lawn fed throughout the early period when it needs support to keep growing strong. It’s a good choice for new growth and is also effective when patching bare spots in established lawns.
For best results, apply just before or after seeding using a spreader for even application. There are two sizes available with coverage for either 5,000 or 15,000 square feet. Best of all, this product comes with a satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy, GreenView will give you your money back.
7. Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome 10904 New Lawn Starter Fertilizer
Voluntary Purchasing Group has been in business since 1968 and is owned by independent merchants. You won’t find this product on the shelves of any big box stores. It’s exclusively sold by small businesses that know a thing or two about lawns.
This product is specially formulated to help lawns grow faster and stronger with an NPK of 9-13-7. It uses a two-pronged approach, first encouraging strong root and stem development, then supporting rapid growth.
You can use this product on seeds or sod when preparing a new lawn or patching bare spots in an established one. This four-pound bag covers about 1,000 square feet and can be easily applied with a spreader. Detailed instructions and spreader settings are on the label.
8. The Andersons New Lawn Starter
One of the reasons that this lawn starter from The Andersons is so effective for new lawns is that it has three types of nitrogen – slow, intermediate, and fast release. This helps your lawn grow strong roots at the beginning and provides the nutrients it needs to continue to thrive.
In addition to nitrogen, this formula also has phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients to encourage healthy growth as one percent iron to give your lawn a lush, deep green color.
For best results, apply during fall and spring using a spreader at the recommended rate. Work it into the top of the soil before laying sod or spreading seed and keep the soil moist until the lawn fills in. This 18-pound bag covers 5,000 square feet.
9. Lesco Professional Starter Fertilizer
This product from Lesco Professional is used by professionals and is ideal for sodding, seeding, and new seedlings. It contains a good balance of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash to support the growth of strong, healthy roots and encourage vigorous blade growth.
The slow-release formula also provides nutrition for up to 12 weeks, giving your new lawn the extended nutrition it needs to continue to grow throughout the season. It also supports the health of your lawn through the cold winter.
The large 50-pound bag covers up to 12,000 square feet and can be easily applied with a spreader. In addition to being a great choice for new lawns, you can also apply it to established lawns to correct a phosphorus deficiency.
10. Scotts Snap Starter Food for New Grass
This product from Scotts uses its unique Snap system. The special packaging fits right into the Scotts Snap spreader. All you have to do is snap the bag in place, lock it in, and you’re ready to go.
The Snap system prevents you from having to lift and pour granules from a heavy bag. The spreader automatically sets the application rate, and the bag self-seals when removed from the machine. EdgeGuard directs the product right where you need it, and the spreader folds up for easy storage.
The fertilizer can be applied to any type of grass during any season. That’s not all. If you’re not satisfied, Scotts offers a money-back guarantee. Just send them your proof of purchase for a refund. Note that this product can only be used with the Scotts Snap spreader.
When to Fertilize New Grass for Best Results?
The best time to fertilize new grass is before you even spread the seed or lay sod. Prepare the area you’re going to plant, then add the fertilizer.
Every product is a little different, so follow the instructions on whatever fertilizer you choose. Some formulas will need to be watered in while others should be worked into the top few inches of soil first.
How to Fertilize New Grass?
The method you use to fertilize your new grass very heavily depends on the type you choose. That said, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind.
Before you begin planting a new lawn, take the time to prepare the area. Remove any debris, leaves, or rocks, and rake the area to break up and clumpy soil. Try to level the ground by filling in low spots.
It’s best not to add any weed killer just yet as it may affect the initial growth. That said, if you choose a fertilizer that includes a weed killer, you should be fine since it is specially formulated to work in this way.
Next, use a lawn spreader to evenly cover the area in granular fertilizer. The packaging should tell you what settings to use. (Liquids may be a little different, so, if you’re using one, follow the directions on the container).
After you apply the fertilizer, use the lawn spreader again to make sure the grass seed is distributed evenly over the area to be planted. You should be able to find the settings on the label of the seed packaging.
Rake the area again to work the seeds into the soil, about ¼ inch under the surface. Make sure you don’t go too deep – grass seeds need light to grow, so they should always be close to the surface.
Watering is an essential part of fertilizing a new lawn. Although some fertilizers say that they do not have to be watered in, you have to keep the ground moist to encourage the grass to grow.
The planted area should be moist at all times, but you also have to be careful to avoid puddles. Keep the top ½ inch of the soil damp, watering twice a day if you have to. This not only gives the seeds the moisture they need to begin growing, but it also activates some granulated fertilizers.
Keep watering at this rate until the grass is filled in and grown tall enough to be mown. From that point on, fertilize and water as you would an established lawn.
How Often to Fertilize New Grass?
In most cases, you should only fertilize new grass once, right before you spread the seed. Because fertilizer for new grass is different from regular fertilizer, the nutrients in it can damage established lawns.
Most new grass fertilizers will tell you how long the product is effective. Some last as long as eight to twelve weeks, so you may have a bit of time before you have to worry about fertilizing again.
Generally, you should wait at least six weeks before applying more fertilizer. Remember, once your seeds have grown tall enough to be mown, the lawn is no longer considered new and you should switch to a regular lawn care routine.
What does that mean? First, you won’t need to water it nearly as much. Established lawns only need about one to 1.5 inches of water a week. Second, you should stop using a new lawn fertilizer and switch to regular formula.
That said, it’s a good idea to give your lawn an application of slow-release fertilizer in the fall to give it a bit of support over the long, cold winter. Just be sure to do so well before the first frost, so you don’t damage your lawn.
In the spring, use a regular fertilizer about six weeks after you’ve mown the lawn a few times. When summer hits, if your grass still needs a bit of help, you can apply a slow-release fertilizer, but only when needed.
Nothing looks better than a lush, full, green lawn, but getting there isn’t always easy. Whether you’re looking for an effective method of patching bare spots or want to start new growth off on the right foot, using the best fertilizer for new grasses helps immensely.
New grass is delicate and has different nutritional needs than established lawns. Look for products with phosphorus to establish healthy roots and nitrogen for strong, fast growth.
All of the products we chose are great, and there are a lot of extra features to choose from so you can find the right one for you. Whether you prefer a liquid concentrate or granular formula, we found a product for you.