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Best Starter Fertilizer for Overseeding: Everything You Need to Know

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by Bryan Mckenzie

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Overseeding is helpful on numerous occasions, including the lack of grass on existing lawns due to weather, pests, or pets. The best starter fertilizer for overseeding will make your lawn perfectly even. With this technology, you don’t have to replant everything from the very beginning.

The problem may quickly become visible if the sun or rain destroys the plants, turning their color from juicy green to brown. If you don’t want to have an ugly-looking lawn each time the season comes, you may consider overseeding. It does not require too much effort and is not as expensive as reseeding the whole lawn.

Product
Top Pick
The Andersons Premium New Lawn Starter...
Runner Up
Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New...
Budget Choice
Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn...
Prime
-
Pros
Contains all the nutrients grass needs
Does not affect PH of the soil
Nutrients are active for 3 months
Top Pick
Product
The Andersons Premium New Lawn Starter...
Prime
-
Pros
Contains all the nutrients grass needs
My review
Runner Up
Product
Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New...
Prime
Pros
Does not affect PH of the soil
My review
Budget Choice
Product
Pennington UltraGreen Starter Lawn...
Prime
Pros
Nutrients are active for 3 months
My review

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All you need is to find the most suitable lawn starter fertilizer matching your situation. Read the list I’ve created for this purpose. Pay attention to the specifics of each product, its pros and cons.

Top-5 Best Starter Fertilizer for Overseeding Reviewed

  1. The Andersons Premium best starter fertilizer for overseeding – Top  Pick
  2. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Fertilizer – Runner Up
  3. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer After Overseeding – Budget Choice
  4. Fertilome New Lawn Starter Fertilizer
  5. Greenview Fertilizer with Extended Period

You should be very careful with the fertilizer you pick after overseeding your lawn. You can’t use the starter fertilizer for mature grass since it does not contain all the nutrients new grass requires. Instead, pay attention to these prime market options to grow grass seeds into a beautiful lawn.

1. The Andersons Premium Best Starter Fertilizer for Overseeding – Top  Pick

Affiliate links and images placed from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2022-10-06

This is the universal lawn starter with multiple elements your grass needs. It contains potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus as the main components. Apart from that, some micronutrients help your grass grow. The Andersons is a company with over 75 years of history and millions of devoted clients around the country.

One pack contains fertilizer for 5,000 sq ft territory. You may use it several times during the spring and fall periods. The 1 percent iron inside the starter offers extra greening. Although you can use it for the new lawn, nothing stops you from overseeding the territory near the vigorous grass.

ADVANTAGES
  • Savvy pack
  • Reliable developer
  • Contains all the nutrients grass needs
  • 1 percent iron for greening
DRAWBACKS
  • You may have to wait for several weeks for the first results

2. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Fertilizer for Overseeding Fescue and Grass – Runner Up

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You can order the package even for 14,000 sq ft territory. In a few weeks, you will notice the positive change that happened with the grass. The starter is universal for any grass. Scotts is a well-known brand with stores around the US. It has produced fertilizers and equipment for gardeners for over 154 years.

You may use it for any grass, including new grass plugs or overseeding the existing lawn. It contains all the nutrients you need for fresh grass. The starter is simple to apply, and you have to do it after planting seeds. Don’t forget to water this area daily until the grass grows.

ADVANTAGES
  • Does not affect PH of the soil
  • Universal for lawn
  • Pack covers 14,000 sq ft
  • Affordable price
DRAWBACKS
  • If you don’t water the grass appropriately, fertilizer can burn it

3. Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer After Overseeding

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This is a premium fertilizer with nitrogen for the quick greening of your lawn. The nutrients inside feed the grass up to 3 months after being applied. There is a 5 percent iron in the pack for juicy dark green color. Pennington was founded in 1945 in Georgia. They came up with grass fertilizers for baseball fields, yards, and lawns.

The pack contains top starter fertilizer covering 5,000 sq ft. Unlike many other fertilizers, this one releases nitrogen slowly, which will be appreciated by the soil and the plants growing on it. Use the spreader to apply the product around the lawn.

ADVANTAGES
  • Works on new and old grass
  • Fertilizes any type of grass
  • Nutrients are active for 3 months
  • Strengthen roots
DRAWBACKS
  • You may need an extra pack for a big territory

4. Fertilome New Lawn Starter Fertilizer Overseeding Fall and Spring

Affiliate links and images placed from the Amazon Product Advertising API on 2022-10-06

This fertilizer contains everything you need for a healthy lawn. It has 13 percent phosphate, 9 percent nitrogen, and 7 percent soluble potash among ingredients. The pack of 4 lb will be enough to cover 1,000 sq ft. Fertilome is an American-based developer of fertilizer for personal and commercial use.

This product comes in granules. You have to use the drop spreader and cover the territory evenly. It is better to apply it during the season of growing. It must stay in 2-3 inches of soil.

ADVANTAGES
  • Wide range of packs
  • Contains all nutrients for healthy growth
  • Works on overseeding lawns
  • Quick action
  • Affordable price
DRAWBACKS
  • Requires specific tools to spread it around the lawn

5. Greenview Fertilizer with Extended Period of Feeding

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You can use this starter fertilizer during spring and autumn. It has the shape of granules, and it is better to apply it before the seeding. This fertilizer will feed the new grass during the growing period, strengthening its roots. Greenview produces fertilizers and weed control remedies for private yards, lawns, and big fields.

The nitrogen is released slowly and feeds the grass for 8 weeks. The lawn gets evenly covered in grass in no time. The pack spreads on a 2,500 sq ft area.

ADVANTAGES
  • Simple to use
  • Extended action
  • Demi-seasonal
  • For any type of grass
  • Reliable manufacturer
DRAWBACKS
  • You will need specific equipment to apply granules

Best Starter Fertilizers Buyer’s Guide

Growing the best lawn takes some time. Yet, it can be ruined by numerous accidents, leaving empty spots around. If you don’t want to see that happen with your yard, consider overseeding with the use of specific fertilizer. This guide will tell you the basics.

Difference between starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer

While both types may be required during plant growth, starter fertilizer is better for overseeding. Moreover, it is a starter fertilizer widely recommended for new seeds you spread on the already made lawn. There are several differences you have to keep in mind before you buy anything:

  • Different proportions of nutrients. Starters usually contain more phosphorus and nitrogen to strengthen the root. Regular fertilizers contain all ingredients in almost equal amounts and have potassium prevalence;
  • Different effects. Regular fertilizers are needed to feed the well-developed soil and roots.
  • Mature grass usually prefers fertilizers with the slower release of elements, while new seeds require fast effects;
  • Different formulas. Starters are diluted so they would not burn roots. New grass is more sensitive to nutrients. The fertilizer can burn the grass if they have too many active ingredients;
  • Rules of use. Starters are poured directly into the seeds. Regular fertilizers can’t be applied directly to the root. They are usually spread 4-6 inches from the plant’s base.

Why you need starter fertilizer for overseeding

Fertilizer guarantees fast grass growth you need right now to cover the empty spots on the lawn. Starter fertilizer usually helps to remove the problem that did not let the original grass grow evenly. Although the issue may appear due to the kids’ playing on the grass, pets eating it, or the sun burning the particular spot, but the most popular reason is the damaged soil.

lawn after Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food

Soil that lacks the nutrients, sunshine, and watering will prevent grass from growing until you solve the problem. Moreover, the proper fertilizer strengthens the grass to withstand foot traffic from your children and pets.

NPK of starter fertilizer

NPK is nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, the main formula of every fertilizer. The good starter fertilizer has an established amount of all the elements. Starters usually contain more phosphorus, so when you see the number in the middle is bigger than on both sides, it is your choice.

You may check the ratio on every fertilizer. Usually, it is written right on the package, and it looks like 20-27-5, for example, the NPK for The Andersons fertilizers I’ve mentioned on my list.

Tips for Fertilizing Your Lawn After Overseeding

Overseeding requires your total attention, some spending, and patience. You need to put some effort into growing the fresh grass and make it look evenly with the old one. Overseeding is less expensive than reseeding the lawn from the beginning. It is also less time-consuming. Here are the tips to receive better results as fast as it is possible:

  • Pick the right starter fertilizer. Pay attention that fertilizers are not the same. Some contain more phosphorus, others nitrogen. Some of them contain iron to improve the growing process and speed it up. Read the instructions in advance as some fertilizers work better if you put them before seeding, and others can be added after seeding;
  • Avoid using any weed killers nearby. If you overseed your lawn, you may probably have weeds on it. Don’t do anything until the fresh grass comes up and reaches at least 3 inches so it can be mowed;
  • Prepare the soil for seeding. The seed must reach the soil to grow. You have to thatch the soil layer carefully, without putting too much effort there;
  • You have to make the space for grass to grow by aerating the lawn. New grass will not come up if it does not have enough space. Moreover, the soil will not be able to absorb the fertilizer.

FAQ on Starter Fertilizers for Overseeding

Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food

Here are the most popular questions on using starter fertilizers during overseeding. I have found them online and provided my own answers. If you have more to add, you can do it in the comments below.

Is starter fertilizer necessary for overseeding?

It depends on your expected results. You can try growing seeds on the existing lawn without any extra nutrients. Yet, there is no guarantee the new strong grass will grow or that it will even have the green color you need.

How much starter fertilizer is needed for overseeding?

Usually, you will see recommendations for every specific fertilizer on the pack. However, you should use the standard formula if you don’t see it there. The 1 pound of nitrogen is required for 1,000sq ft. If you are using a spreader, it will do the math for you. Starters usually come diluted and ready for use.

When to put down starter fertilizer for overseeding?

It depends on the fertilizer you pick. The best option is to use it right after placing the seed. You can also use it in advance, but not a few days before you plant the seed. The best season is spring, but you can also use fertilizer in autumn.

Overseed Your Lawn As a Pro

field after Pennington Ultra GreenStarter

You will see positive changes in a few weeks with a proper starter fertilizer. The grass will fill the empty spaces on your lawn as you always wanted. It will be solid and ready to face any challenges, including sun, rain, and children’s feet. I have gathered the most popular fertilizers for overseeding.

My top choice is Andersons fertilizer, yet, you may find any of the products on my list beneficial.
Have you ever tried overseeding the lawn?

Have you used any fertilizer for it? Share your experience in the comments below.

About
Bryan Mckenzie
Hi there — my name is Bryan McKenzie. Before I’d got into gardening, I worked as a landscape designer at landscape design and consultation company in Jacksonville. I enjoy sharing the vast gardening experience I’ve accumulated throughout the years with like-minded green thumbs. Read more about me and my wife.
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