The Importance of Starter Fertilizer

Seed starter fertilizers help the grass seedlings establish roots quickly in the soil, which ultimately lead to a thicker, healthier lawn in a shorter period of time. However, not all seed starters are equal. With many seed starters, you cannot apply at the same time as overseeding because the fertilizer will burn the new seedling. This means multiple visits and added labor and operation costs. 

Additionally, different formulations of starters release nitrogen differently.  For example a quick-release gives you a quick green-up but may require additional visits and applications at a later date to sustain and maintain health of the plant. We connected with Greg Johnson below to learn more.

From Greg Johnson:

We have finally reached that time of year again, fall! This is my favorite time of year. We begin to see the color change in the leaves, and it reminds landscape contractor’s that it’s time to start their aeration and seeding campaigns.

If we look back on the struggles we had last year with grass seed, with Fescue seed in limited supply, we must make the most of the seed we plant with proper fertilization. Research shows using a soluble nitrogen source and a soluble Phosphorus source like D.A.P. (diammonium phosphate) when seeding Fescue can give faster ground cover and more overall growth compared to no fertilizer at all.

Whether you are over-seeding a lawn, renovating the turf, or installing sod. Starter fertilizer is essential and necessary in guaranteeing a successful establishment of new turf grass. Here at Central we call it “seed insurance.” An insurance policy for your seed investment. So, we ask ourselves. What is the best, most cost-effective fertilizer for me to apply? How much Nitrogen, Phosphorus, or Potassium do I need?

You will most likely see 19-19-19 or 18-24-12, these are two of the most common “starter fertilizers” in our market. Remember, new seedlings do not require Potassium (3rd number,) so you do not need either one of those fertilizers.

Our Jackpot Seed Starter (15-15-5) is

  • High in phosphorus
  • Has 6 sources of nitrogen (contains soluble nitrogen and D.A.P.) and three sources of phosphorus
  • Provides efficient metered nutrient release
  • Organic matter extends Phosphorus availability for young turf and reduces surge growth for thicker cell walls and density
  • Turf is encouraged to spread-out and fill in bare spots, choking out weeds and significantly increasing germination
  • Contains zero filler, giving the end user a full 50 pounds of usable fertilizer.




Finally, Central carries the Jackpot Starter locally at all our branches. We have a solution for any problems you may be facing, a solid foundation of industry experts and an agronomic specialist with decades of experience available to help you or your team with any questions or strategies. Rely on us at Central to help. We’re ready to help you GROW!


About Greg Johnson

Greg has 25 years in the Green Industry and started out treating lawn, and tree and shrubs while attending college. Through hard work, and dedication Greg opened up two successful businesses in the Atlanta area that focused on tree/ shrub, lawn-care, and mosquito control. After growing these businesses successfully, Greg joined the Central team in 2019. Throughout his career Greg has strived for excellence, receiving numerous awards in sales, Employee of the Year, and Branch Manager of the Year. Greg also holds a Category 24 and 41 License with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Greg is a member of the Urban Agg Council and works with University of Georgia training licensed applicators. Greg is ready to help you take your turf and ornamental category to the next level.