difference between starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer

Lawn Starter Fertilizer Vs Regular Fertilizer | Difference Between Them

Everyone wants a fabulous lawn; it symbolizes status and class. It beautifies the surroundings of your house and acts as an oasis for your relaxation and family fun. But maintaining it requires intensive care and hard work. It requires plowing and cultivating the land, removing stones and pebbles, soil testing, sowing of seeds or sods, aerating the ground, watering, mowing the lawn. And the most crucial factor which we will be discussing in this post, i.e., fertilizing the seeds or sods.

Why do we have to fertilize the plants? Well, you are right plants absorb nutrients from organic matter and minerals present in the soil. But, unfortunately, the soil is not that fertile nowadays. It lacks organic matter and minerals for plant growth. So, it’s crucial to have the soil test of your land before sowing the seeds. The soil test shows which nutrients are present in the appropriate amount and which nutrients it’s lacking. It also helps us learn what fertilizers are required to make up for the lack of nutrients. Fertilizers provide all necessary nutrients and nourishment to the plants and also help prevent insects, yard fungus, etc.

Both starter fertilizer and regular fertilizer are necessary for the plants’ growth and life cycle. However, they are used at different stages of the life cycle of the grass. To understand that, let’s first see the composition of both starter and regular fertilizers. The primary nutrients of any fertilizer are Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium. The regular fertilizers contain Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous in the ratio of 1-2-1, respectively.

On the other hand, the main component of starter fertilizers is Phosphorous. Phosphorous is the most critical ingredient for the germination of grass seeds and root growth. The starter fertilizers contain 20 percent or more phosphorous than regular fertilizers. Some starter fertilizers also contain quick-release nitrogen, which acts as a catalyst for phosphorous absorption and also promotes leaf growth for saplings. This makes clear that starter fertilizers are specially formulated for seedlings.

Now let’s see when to use both the fertilizers. The starter fertilizers are used just before you sow the seeds. It provides the seeds with nutritional boasts to germinate and establish roots. But be careful to not to fertilize the soil deeper than four inches, it can burn the roots of your grass. After you are done adding the starter fertilizer to the field, level the ground and sprinkle the seeds.

According to PennStateExtension, Starter fertilizers work best when the crops are planted into cold, wet soil in early spring or late fall, regardless of soil fertility. Crops planted in late spring or early fall generally do not require a starter fertilizer unless soil fertility levels are too low.

On the other hand, regular fertilizers are used at least four weeks or a maximum of eight weeks after your grass has been seeded. If you fertilize them too early, the nutrients will not be absorbed by the roots, and it can drain the water away from the ground. 

These were the fundamental difference in both types of fertilizers and their uses. If you want to know more about when and how to fertilize your grass during the various seasons, this article may help you.