I have a new lawn that was started in late August in the Boston (MA) area. The installer says it's time to apply fall fertilizer. My new lawn looks pretty good: there was broad germination; there are some bald spots; and in the shade there's some thinner uptake. It's starting to yellow slightly. I'm currently watering twice a week for approximately 30 minutes.
I have young children who want to play on the lawn, so I want to be careful about exposing them to the fertilizer. I bought two fertilizers with the plan to use one of them, and I could use some help answering questions in order to pick one.
The two fertilizers are:
- Scotts® Turf Builder® WinterGuard® Fall Lawn Food -- This has no pesticides and a fertilizer mix of 32-0-10
- Scotts® Natural Lawn Food -- This has no pesticides, is "organic" (bone meal) and has a fertilizer mix of 11-2-2
- Is the traditional fertilizer safe for my children? The online documents say "Kid and pet friendly when applied as directed."
- Is the organic one any safer? Online says "Kid and pet friendly."
- The organic bag is 2x larger by volume even though it covers only 80% of what the traditional one covers. Why is that?
- By percentage, the organic one (11 + 2 + 2 = 15) has less actual fertilizer than the traditional (32 + 0 + 10 = 42). Does that matter much?
- Should I use a broad fertilizer for a new lawn (organic one in this case) or the fall mix (traditional one). It's a new lawn, so root growth is key, which is why I would think the organic one with its (admittedly small) phosphate contribution would be good.
Any advice about fall fertilizers for a new lawn and fertilizers with kids is much appreciated.