Best Fertilizer for New Sod: Nourishing Your Lawn the Right Way

Fertilizing is an essential part of lawn care, and when you’ve invested in new sod, you want to make sure it grows healthy and strong. With so many fertilizers on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is best for your freshly laid sod. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of fertilizers and explore some of the top options available for new sod. We’ll discuss what makes a fertilizer suitable for new sod, how to apply it correctly, and even touch on some organic alternatives. So sit back, relax, and let’s nourish that beautiful new lawn together!

Understanding Fertilizers

Before we dive into specific products, it’s important to understand what fertilizers do and why they’re essential for your new sod. Fertilizers provide nutrients that encourage healthy growth in plants – including grass.

There are three primary nutrients found in most fertilizers:

  1. Nitrogen (N) – promotes leafy green growth
  2. Phosphorus (P) – encourages root development
  3. Potassium (K) – helps with overall plant health

These nutrients are often listed as a ratio on fertilizer labels – like 10-10-10 or 15-5-10 – indicating the percentages of each nutrient present in the product.

When choosing a fertilizer for your new sod, you’ll want something with a higher phosphorus content to encourage root establishment while still providing enough nitrogen and potassium to support growth above ground.

The Top Picks: Best Fertilizer For New Sod

Now that we have an understanding of what makes a good fertilizer let’s look at some options recommended by lawn care professionals for use on newly installed sod.

Starter Fertilizer Options

1. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food For New Grass

  • N-P-K Ratio: 24-25-4
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.

This high-phosphorus formula is specifically designed for new grass and helps accelerate root growth to establish a strong foundation for your lawn. It’s safe to use on any grass type and can be applied the same day you plant your new sod.

2. Lesco Professional Starter Fertilizer

  • N-P-K Ratio: 18-24-12
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.

Lesco’s starter fertilizer is another popular option among professionals for use on new sod. With a balanced ratio of nutrients, this product encourages both root development and leafy green growth.

Slow Release Fertilizer Options

For those who prefer a slow-release fertilizer to give their new sod more time to absorb nutrients, consider these options:

3. Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

  • N-P-K Ratio: 6-4-0
  • Coverage: 2,500 sq. ft.

Milorganite is an organic slow-release nitrogen fertilizer made from heat-dried microbes that contain beneficial nutrients for your lawn. While it doesn’t have potassium in its formula, it does provide iron – which promotes deeper green color in your grass without encouraging excessive top growth.

4. Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food

  • N-P-K Ratio: 32-0-10 -tions. Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.

Although marketed as a winterizing fertilizer, many lawn care professionals recommend using this product on newly laid sod because of its slow-release properties and balanced nutrient ratio (minus phosphorus). The high nitrogen content will support leafy green growth while the added potassium helps with overall health during establishment.

How To Apply Fertilizer To New Sod

When applying fertilizer to your freshly laid sod, follow these steps for best results:

  1. Wait: Allow your new sod to root before applying fertilizer – typically, this takes about 2-3 weeks.
  2. Calculate: Measure the square footage of your lawn to determine how much fertilizer you’ll need based on product coverage recommendations.
  3. Prepare: Use a broadcast spreader (also called a rotary spreader) for even application, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the appropriate distribution rate.
  4. Apply: Spread the fertilizer evenly over your lawn, walking at a steady pace and overlapping slightly with each pass to ensure complete coverage.

Organic Alternatives

If you prefer an organic approach to fertilizing your new sod, consider these options:

1. Espoma Organic Lawn Starter

  • N-P-K Ratio: 7-4-5
  • Coverage: 1,000 sq. ft.

This all-natural granular fertilizer is made from feather meal, bone meal, and poultry manure – providing necessary nutrients for both root growth and top green development.

2. Dr. Earth Super Natural Lawn Fertilizer

  • N-P-K Ratio: 9-3-5
  • Coverage: 2,000 sq. ft.

Made from fish meal, fishbone meal, mined potassium sulfate, kelp meal, seaweed extract, and earthworm castings – this organic blend provides essential nutrients while also promoting beneficial soil microbes that help improve root development.

Best Fertilizer For New Sod Final Thoughts

Choosing the right fertilizer for your new sod is crucial in ensuring its healthy establishment and long-term success. By understanding what makes an excellent fertilizer for new grass – higher phosphorus content – you can make an informed decision when selecting a product.

Whether you choose a traditional starter fertilizer like Scotts Turf Builder or opt for an organic option like Espoma Organic Lawn Starter – just remember that proper application is key to achieving lush green results!