I'm putting in a new lawn, and I'm getting a lot of conflicting information about fertilizing. If I recall correctly from TOH shows I've seen, they recommend using a "starter fertilizer". I want to say the one sold by the local store is something like 18-24-6. Ok, fair enough.

But then I talked to the local greenhouse, and they recommended using a 10-20-20 fertilizer, and lots of it (20 lbs/1000 sq ft). Their explanation was that the numbers "essentially" applied to leaves- flowers-roots, in order, and since the important thing when starting a lawn was to get a strong root system, the larger final number was most important, which makes sense.

Then, to further complicate things, I talked to a friend of mine who has put in a lawn at his house, and he recommended not fertilizing at all, at least not until after germination, in order to avoid burning out the seeds. He claims that as long as you have decent soil, fertilizing is highly overrated. When I mentioned this to the local greenhouse, they essentially laughed, claiming that none of the soil around here has enough nutrients to get away without fertilizer.

Now I could see there being a difference between what TOH recommends and what the local greenhouse recommends due to locational differences- I live in Fairbanks, Alaska, much farther north than where TOH typically works, so I could see the soil up here requiring different fertilizers, but even so, I'm now rather confused. So what's the truth of the matter, or is there one?