So you got new sod! Congratulations!
Seeing new sod laid down on previously barren ground is a wonderful sight for homeowners! The lush, green grass completely transforms the landscaping and greatly improves the home’s aesthetic value.
The important thing now is to keep it looking green. This is where having a good fertilizer for new sod is essential.
For that reason, in this post, we will discuss what to look for in a good fertilizer and what is the best fertilizer for new sod. Let’s begin…
What is the best fertilizer for new sod?
Here is a quick preview of our top 5 options
- Scotts Turf Builder
- MiracleGro Water Soluble Lawn Food
- Greenview 10-10-10 All Purpose Fertilizer
- Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore II
- Jonathon Green Crabgrass Preventer Plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer
Before we continue, let’s talk about what to look for in a good fertilizer.
What to look for in the best fertilizer for new sod
The first one or two months after sod installation are the most critical for root establishment. This is when the root system will develop and take hold in the soil. As tempting as it may be to fertilize immediately to keep the new sod green, hold off for a bit. Use a slow-release, granular fertilizer about six weeks after laying sod to allow roots to establish before feeding. After those six weeks, a fertilizer ratio of 10-10-10 is best for feeding new sod. The numbers found on a fertilizer labels are the N-P-K ratio; the consumer can look at this number and determine the percentage, by weight, of nutrients in the bag. In this formula, a 10 pound bag of fertilizer would contain the following: 0.8 pounds of nitrogen, 0.8 pounds of phosphorus (in the form of P2O5), and 0.8 pounds of potassium (in the form of K2O).
Nitrogen is one of the key nutrients needed for plant growth, with its main responsibility maintaining vegetative growth. After being taken in by the roots, nitrogen is assimilated in the plant into amino acids which are the building blocks for plant proteins. It is a major component of chlorophyll too and helps to make the foliage green; and nitrogen also is necessary for enzymatic reactions within the plant. Phosphorus is essential since it is a component in DNA and RNA (the genetic building blocks within plant cells) and is needed for root growth and flowering. Potassium works more indirectly than nitrogen and phosphorus. It is not a component of plant parts but instead activates the enzymatic reactions occurring within the plant. This makes potassium imperative for overall plant health.
There are many options available for fertilizing your new sod. A quick search online will bring up handfuls of different products from various manufacturers. The key difference in lawn fertilizers is whether the product contains synthetic chemicals (i.e. a conventional fertilizer) or is classified as organic. Both contain the nutrients plants need but their ingredients are derived from different sources.
Scotts Turf Builder – A market leader in lawn and garden products, Scotts continuously offers tried and true products for homeowners. Their Turf Builder is highly rated by consumers and an industry standard with a 32-0-4 nutrient ratio. It helps to build strong, deep root systems that can increases the ability to uptake water and nutrients from the soil. Building a healthy lawn will also help prevent problems with weeds and insect pests.
It can be applied to wet or dry turf; if temperatures are consistently about 90°F water immediately after application to reduce stress on the lawn.
MiracleGro Water Soluble Lawn Food – When it comes to conventional plant foods, Miracle Gro is a proven winner at successfully fertilizing plants to optimize their health. The Miracle Gro brand is a market leader and can available for purchase at most retailers. Their Water Soluble Lawn Food works in conjunction with the Miracle Gro Garden Feeder, making application easy; drop one packet of granular fertilizer into the feeder, attach the feeder to a hose end, and water as usual.
One packet will feed up to 1000 square feet of grass. Suitable for all lawn types, the 36-0-6 ratio will encourage quick greening and a jump in vegetative growth from the special formulation of high nitrogen and chelated iron.
Greenview 10-10-10 All Purpose Fertilizer – While most turf fertilizers contain up to 40% slow release nitrogen, Greenview 10-10-10 is composed of close to 70% slow release nitrogen, feeding your lawn for longer than the other brands. This is a proprietary, patented blend, available exclusively in Greenview 10-10-10 All Purpose Fertilizer.
A balanced nutrient supply provides equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to lawns and is ideal for establishing newly laid sod. This slow release formula cuts down on the amount of times fertilizer needs to be applied during the summer months.
Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore II – An alternative, organic option for grass/sod containing an N-P-K ratio of 10-0-6. Lawn Restore II naturally creates a healthy, green lawn while maintaining a safe lawn for children and pets. This long-lasting formula contains no harsh salt-based chemicals eliminating the risk of burning your grass even if unintentionally over applied. Lawn Restore II is composed of slow release plant-based nutrients, with no poultry litter or bio-solids, and will continuously feed for up to 8 weeks.
Nutrients in this product stimulate a quick green up (3-5 days typically), promote a strong root system, and make your grass stronger and healthier. A healthier lawn will be more adverse to stressing weather conditions and plant diseases. Lawn Restore II can be applied at any time to both warm and cool season grasses; it works well at establishing root systems in newly laid sod or newly planted seed but can also be applied to established lawns.
Jonathon Green Crabgrass Preventer Plus Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer – Another slow release formula, this fertilizer helps to control crabgrass while feeding your lawn. The 22-0-3 nutrient ratio will encourage growth and greening up with its higher nitrogen content. Additional herbicide in the formulation will help to control pesky crabgrass before and after the weed emerges.
The slow release formula will not burn the sod, and provides the nutrients needed for a lush, green lawn. Apply to a dry lawn following the recommended rates on the bag; then water in thoroughly for best results.
Laying new sod can be an expensive project for the average homeowner. The transformation it brings to a landscape is well worth the costs if the sod roots well and thrives. Providing the nutrients the grass needs is a key step in making sure this happens.
That is why it is so important to choose the best fertilizer for new sod to keep your lawn looking great. The five products detailed above are great options for fertilizing new sod and helping it grow beautifully.