New grass plants are similar to any other new living organism – good nutrition early in the lifecycle is important. If you are willing to invest a little more money and attention earlier in the establishment of your lawn you will save yourself time, money and frustration later. What are some of these investments? Below we describe how to address both plant and soil biology when establishing new grass.
We recommend extra applications of nutrient-rich fertilizer through the first two seasons. Nutrient-rich fertilizer is also known as Starter Fertilizer because it is formulated specifically for new grass establishment. Starter Fertilizer should be used at time of seeding with 2 – 3 additional applications about 1 month apart. At the end of the first season in which grass seed goes down we suggest applying a nutrient-rich fertilizer as a Winterizer application. This should be followed up the next spring with an early (pre-season) Starter fertilizer application. Following a regular program through the season apply another Winterizer application. Rolling into the next full season your lawn should be able to carry forward on a regular program.
If a newly seeded lawn did not get consistent “starter” nutrition through the first part of the lifecycle, the lawn may need to come out of the gate in the spring with extra Starter applications through the entire spring season in place of the regular program. If a newly seeded or over-seeded lawn appears weak the following spring (anemic, thin), it simply reflects a lack of good nutrition.
Weak soil can also hinder the start of new grass. Many subdivisions have good topsoil removed during the development process. You are left trying to establish new grass in poor quality soil. Consistent nutrition over time – beginning with the nutrient-rich fertilizer and continuing with a regular fertilization program – will slowly amend the soil over time. We encourage using biological applications to speed up soil amendment. Biologic applications utilize Humic and Fulvic acids and other organic matter. Humic and Fulvic acid can improve the grass plants roots ability to uptake nutrients from the soil. These “acids” are not harmful (e.g., citrus juices are good nutrition yet are “acidic’). Humic and Fulvic acid, along with the other organic matter, increase microbial activity which breaks down dead plant material (e.g., lawn clippings) and other organic matter more quickly. Increasing organic matter (carbon levels) improves the soil structure which also enhances the ability of the soil to hold moisture.
Biologic applications for newly established lawns can be scheduled for spring and fall applications.
If you have a newly seeded or over-seeded lawn make sure you are addressing both plant and soil biology. Contact us if you have questions. We can assess your lawn and get it on an early path of strong nutrition and biologics. This will give you a good start on establishing a healthy, full lawn.
May your lawn bring you joy!
The Crown and Blade Team