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What do You Put Down First, Grass Seed or Fertilizer?

Discover the ideal order for lawn care: learn why grass seed should be sown first, followed by fertilizer, for a lush, healthy lawn.
Home » Blog » What do You Put Down First, Grass Seed or Fertilizer?

Preparing your lawn for spring after tough winter months can be a confusing job. Some people do this by including other plants, but maintaining the quality of grass is very important. As you do that, questions like “What goes first, grass seed or fertilizer?” seem very genuine. Even though both of these processes are equally important, the order in which they occur can have a significant impact on the result. Some grass seeds have pre-mixed fertilizer, but if you intend to introduce other plants to your lawn, that is not the right way to go about it. 

Seeds first, fertilizer later

Seeds first fertilizer later

To answer the question, it is usually suggested that you lay the seed before adding fertilizer. There are multiple reasons to support this statement. Some of these are mentioned here.

Nature of grass seed

The major reason for the grass seed to go first is its delicate nature. Heavy fertilizers might cause severe damage to the seeds before they settle in with the soil and form a root system. Early spring is the ideal time to lay down the summer grass. It roughly takes three weeks for grass to develop a sturdy root system, and that is when you can go fertilization.

Seed-to-soil connect

Often overlooked, but one immensely important thing for grass to be healthy is to have a proper seed-to-soil connection. Soil becomes a catalyst when it comes to the absorption of moisture. Weak soil contact results in seeds staying dormant for longer. Fertilizing first might hamper the growth by creating a chemical barrier between the seed and the soil.

Weedicides in fertilizers

Weeds are plants that compete with the ones that are intended for your lawn. Before being able to fight for its existence, grass requires time and space to establish itself. Weed preventers in fertilizers can weaken the grass seed and might even put a stop to their growth. It is recommended that you wait for enough time.

Balanced growth

For any plant to grow, balance is the key. The correct order of laying down seeds and fertilizers ensures that. All the nutrients that young grass requires are already available in the soil. The addition of lawn fertilizers in the initial stages disturbs the equilibrium of nutrients that the soil is supposed to have.

Long-term soil health

Long-term soil health

The addition of chemicals at the early stage of plantation can have long-term effects on soil health. To maintain sustainability, lawn fertilizers must be avoided at an early stage. Aerating the soil prior to seeding is the ideal way to go. 


There are a few other factors that you could consider while preparing your lawn for summer. Everything varies per the geography of the area you are located in. From the kind of soil to the temperature, each factor plays a crucial role. It is also understandable if you are concerned about the seeding of grass in the first place. In this particular case, you could opt for a seed starting/ starter fertilizer. Please make sure the starter you use is free of herbicide/weed preventer. 

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