WHAT IS A STARTER FERTILIZER?
Starter fertilizers encourage the development of germinating seedlings by providing Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium for healthier new lawn growth.
The starter fertilizer I use is a 20 14 14 (Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium) based Duration 45, which is ideal for lawn applications where six to eight weeks of nutrition is needed, and is 60% controlled slow release. It promotes deep root growth, while limiting turf growth. My starter fertilizer will not stain cement as most fertilizers do. The standard fertilizer I use has no herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide that will give your lawn good color without making it grow too fast.
I have never had a problem in over 11 years of proud use.
WHY USE THIS 20 14 14 STARTER FERTILIZER?
This fertilizer will give your lawn a beautiful, lush, dark green color for 45 days. Typical starter fertilizers only last 30 days. This slow released technology of this product is called duration. DURATION CR. This controlled-release fertilizer relies on a patented and durable polymer-coated technology to gradually and efficiently release nutrients. The result is the consistent metering of nutrition that lasts for weeks. This is the gold standard of starter fertilizers and cannot be found in nurseries or hardware stores.
HOW IT WORKS
- Within a week of application, soil moisture penetrates the polymer coating through osmosis.
- Over time the dissolved nutrients slowly release through diffusion, in response to temperature and coating thickness.
- Encapsulated nutrients are dissolved, but not released.
- After the complete release of nutrients, the polymer coating eventually decomposes by microbial activity into naturally occurring elements.
- Advanced polymer-coated technology for dependable nutrient release
- Reduced likelihood of feast/famine cycles, growth flushes and burn; healthier turfgrass and plants less susceptible to weed and disease pressures
- Release regulated by temperature and coating thickness
- Longevities for up to 45 days
- Environmentally responsible with low potential for nutrient leaching, denitrification, runoff or volatilization
The grass seed mix that I use is a 60/40 sun and shade mix. This mix contains 60% blue tag seed chosen for their superior lawn quality over a broad range of environmental conditions and cannot be purchased at nurseries or box stores.
Specifically formulated for the Western Washington customer who requires a superior combination of grasses for maintained lawn areas, this is the type of high quality seed that is used on elite golf course fairways. The 60/40 mix provides a deep green, fine textured turf that is an excellent choice for application anywhere a combination of rapid establishment, disease resistance and traffic tolerance are primary concerns. This particular grass seed has been developed to blend in with the color and texture of all types of Western Washington lawns and sod.
I specialize in providing the very best quality service, product and price for overseeding of Western Washington residential lawns.
New Lawn Care
The success of your new lawn is not entirely under your control, but there is much you can do to improve the final result. All grass seeds require a delicate balance of moisture, seed-to-soil contact, and a temperature range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit for the best germination results. Below is an outline of how to care for your new lawn in regard to these three important factors.
Important Factors for Optimal Lawn Growth
Depending on the weather, you will need to commit to consistent watering. Pay attention to your daily weather and water accordingly to keep the soil firm yet moist at all times. The first few days and weeks are critical to getting your lawn established. It’s important to water daily. You may need to sprinke your lawn lightly as much as 2-3 times per day if the weather is hot, dry or windy.
The purpose of the deep first watering is to push more seeds into the holes left in your lawn after lawn aeration. When the seeds are deeper in the soil, they have access to the nutrients needed to begin to sprout. Only the top layer of soil needs to be moistened. Try to avoid disturbing the seed so it can maintain good soil contact.
Soil temperatures should be in the correct range (60-80 degrees) for the type of grass. Germination requires a minimum temperature range of 50 degrees. Note: Soil temperatures are usually cooler than air temperature. Once germination begins, if the environment changes significantly (like being too hot and dry), the seed or sprout will die. This is why the time of year is so important for lawn care.
How Much To Water A New Lawn
You will water your new lawn for 30 minutes after seeds are planted. Each session after that should be 10 minutes. Water with a spray nozzle that is adjusted for a soft mist gentle spray or an oscillating sprinkler. A sprinkler can be used as a watering tool as well. For most sprinklers, you will want to water each location for about 20 minutes. Do not water to the point where there are puddles, as this may wash some seed away. It is imperative to not saturate the soil, so focus on frequent yet light watering. After grass sprouts, continue watering daily for 7-10 days. Once the lawn is established (meaning widespread grass heights of over 3-4”) you can just water as needed.
Phases of growing grass
1st Stage: Germinating Seed:
Grass seed germination is simply what takes place inside the seed to make it sprout when the seed absorbs enough moisture to start growing. The pre-sprout phase is most critical so you must maintain a strong commitment to watering new grass seed.
2nd Stage: Sprout:
After the seed germinates, you will have visible grass. Continue watering daily for 7-10 days during this stage. The tiny grass plants have small root systems at this time and may die if the top layer of soil dries out. Water makes up 70 to 80% of the weight of our lawn grasses and the clippings alone are nearly 90% water. Seeds will not all sprout at the same time. Seeds will be buried at different depths, which causes them to absorb water differently and dictates how much sunlight they will get. Many seed mixtures will have different characteristics affecting new grass growth and development. It is crucial to keep the surface level of soil constantly moist until all seeds have germinated.
3rd Stage: Establishment:
Once your seeds have germinated and become established, the root system will be deep and secure enough to be ready for mowing. Only mow your lawn after 21 days at heights of 3-4?. It is important to NOT spray weed control or chemicals for the first few months. Don’t forget to mark your calendar 6 weeks later for a fertilizer reminder!
Good luck with the success of your lawn!
When buying seed for your lawn, buy from a reputable and knowledgeable representative. Don’t just buy any brand. Seed distributors have to supply the big box stores where they market their lower quality seed. This is why I purchase my seed by the ton, from a seed broker I have known for over 10 years. My seed cannot be purchased at nurseries or box stores. I use only seed that local golf courses use on their fairways. A fairway grass is a Class C turf which most closely resembles your home lawn. A putting green is an example of a Class A turf. For home lawns I prefer to use a 70/30 seeding mix.
Fescue grass also requires more water longer than perennial rye grass in order to become established. You need to water a little longer than you think so the secondary grasses can become established. Also note that you don’t want to let the perennial rye grass grow above 5 inches tall before first cut or it will shade out your fescues.
- the color of the grass at maturity
- the fineness of the blade and uniformity
- how the grass will be maintained, such as cutting and fertilization
- disease and susceptibility to pests