Smythe Test # 6633D8

Asked June 26, 2014, 2:59 PM EDT my soil test back and I am trying to figure out what to use and how much!! HELP! I need to fertilize 16,180 sq feet that is ALL in deep shade under multiple maples.Then I need to seed with the correct seed that will grow in shade.
Thank you

Houghton County Michigan

1 Response

You can fertilize and seed with grass seed but if this is deep shade, the grass will not grow well. Grass needs a minimum of 8 hours of full sun. That means uninterrupted. That's the important part to know about before you start. The chances of getting a thick lawn is almost impossible. It is not about nutrients or water as much as it is about the amount of sunlight. But if you cannot water the grass seeds and keep them damp, the grass cannot germinate. You can try a shady mix which is mostly fescue but if the shade is deep enough, it will not grow.

Your test gave several recommendations including 32-0-10, 22-0-10 and 20-0-10. You would follow the recommendations on the bag for application. But since there is not grass currently, cut their recommendation on the bag in half.

Or you can use 7 lb. 46-0-0 (urea) and 3 lb. 0-0-60 (muriate of potash) for the entire season per 1000 sq. ft. area. This is for an established lawn. The nitrogen must be divided into applications of not more than 2 lb. per 1000 sq. feet at a time. You want at least 6 wks. between nitrogen applications. The potassium can go on as one application.

For your new seeding... For 1000 sq. ft., use 1 lb.of 46-0-0 and 3 lb. 0-0-60 as one application before you seed. Then, after the grass is up, use another 1 lb. of 46-0-0 per 1000 sq. feet. All your potassium was applied the first time. You do not have to divide it. The nitrogen needs to be divided or it will burn the grass. On new grass or before planting, only apply one pound in an application per 1000 sq. feet. Do not apply nitrogen in July or the first half of August because it is too hot and dry.