Apply 1 to 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, preferably quick-release nitrogen (the most common type sold in garden centers). The settings recommended on lawn fertilizer bags usually result in about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, Ward Upham of K-State says.
The second most important fertilization of cool-season grasses is in November fertilizer, to help the grass green up earlier next spring and provide the nutrients needed until summer. It also should be quick-release applied at the rate of 1 pound actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, Upham says. (Spring fertilization often causes grass to grow too fast, Patton points out; it’s best to wait until around early May before putting on any fertilizer next year.)
Core aeration requires the least amount of water, because germination occurs in aeration holes that stay moister than a traditional seedbed. The holes also give new-lawn fertilizer a place to go. If you use a core aerator, go over the area at least three times in different directions with the aerator, then broadcast the seed.
Other machines that can be used for seeding are slit seeders and verticutters.