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View Full Version : Winter fert, in Kansas, applied NOW?


Jason Rose
12-31-2008, 05:26 PM
Just heard about an outfit here, mowing guys that fertilize (like me) that were out today and yesterday doing their winter fertilizer applications. (December 30-31) The temps here were in the single digits to teens for almost 3 weeks. Just have a warm spell the last few days.

Is that NUTS? I was under the impression you were supposed to get the fert down a couple weeks PRIOR to dormancy so the roots could take it up. My guess, applying now would be a total waste, nothing is going to be taken up by the plant and the fert is going to be leached out of the rootzone before the grass even greens up.

Am I right, or wrong? :confused:

Turfdoctor1
12-31-2008, 06:36 PM
you are right.

i would be tempted to follow their truck and knock on every door and talk to every one of their customers.

maybe they were putting something down that did not contain N, or maybe it was organic and will still be there in the spring. But, more than likely they were just screwing over their customers.

phasthound
12-31-2008, 07:14 PM
Just heard about an outfit here, mowing guys that fertilize (like me) that were out today and yesterday doing their winter fertilizer applications. (December 30-31) The temps here were in the single digits to teens for almost 3 weeks. Just have a warm spell the last few days.

Is that NUTS? I was under the impression you were supposed to get the fert down a couple weeks PRIOR to dormancy so the roots could take it up. My guess, applying now would be a total waste, nothing is going to be taken up by the plant and the fert is going to be leached out of the rootzone before the grass even greens up.

Am I right, or wrong? :confused:

Definately wrong time to apply fert if the ground is frozen.

Jason Rose
12-31-2008, 07:47 PM
Definately wrong time to apply fert if the ground is frozen.

Well, suprisingly the ground thawed, at least where it gets some sun. Places that are on the north sides of houses, fences, etc. are still hard. We had a couple days that it was balmy warm, usually typical for this time of year, we go from zero to 70 and everywhere in between all winter...

I've never heard of ANYONE throwing fert around here much later than Dec.1. Usually thanksgiving is the cut-off, and that's only if we are still having some good warm weather...

I wish I did have a scout out following them, but I don't need the extra work anyway. They already accuse me of being the type that goes around stealing lawns, which is odd, I've never knowingly lowballed anyone. Matter of fact, I don't think I've ever even taken over one of their lawns.

mattfromNY
12-31-2008, 08:57 PM
Check out one of the other posts, a feller was asking if what he did was ok. Putting down high amounts of N. I beleive he was from Kansas????

mattfromNY
12-31-2008, 08:59 PM
Sorry, I was wrong, he is from Kentucky. Not accusing anyone, just pointing out the coincidence of your post and his post near each other.

jimmyzlc
01-01-2009, 12:50 AM
Screwing the customer. Even if it thawed on top roots are dormant and will not take anything up. Plus if it did thaw and stay warm for a stretch you sure as he$# don't want to promote growth this time of year.

RigglePLC
01-01-2009, 10:45 AM
What do your extension people say? What about local turf suppliers and experts? Results are what counts. You need a side by side comparison in the spring. On the other hand, I think there may be a high probablility of surface run off or ground water contamination with nitrates.

superintendent
01-01-2009, 02:37 PM
They could have been putting down some Milorganite on cool season grass. Now if they are doing warm season also they are wasting there time. On bentgrass I'll be putting down 5lbs/1000 next week,but bent is a cool season grass. I have ask in another form but no one has answer so I'll ask here. Does any one use Regal product and if not who is everyone using. It seems that everyone is using JDL.

Smallaxe
01-01-2009, 05:54 PM
They could have been putting down some Milorganite on cool season grass. Now if they are doing warm season also they are wasting there time. On bentgrass I'll be putting down 5lbs/1000 next week,but bent is a cool season grass. I have ask in another form but no one has answer so I'll ask here. Does any one use Regal product and if not who is everyone using. It seems that everyone is using JDL.

Not sure about your climate etc., but I'm curious - What is the purpose for fertilizer of any kind now in Kentucky? What is the thinking behind it?

superintendent
01-01-2009, 10:00 PM
Just like any other grass you want the roots has long as you can get them. The plant will absorb the Milorganite for the next 2-3months when weather warms up for a short time. It's very important to push bent when you can before the hot weather hits. Bent is mowed at 1/8 in so we need all the roots we can get. Bent get betweem 4-7lbs of N per year.

rcreech
01-01-2009, 11:06 PM
Funny this is a post!

Got a call a few nights ago from a fella in my town that I know pretty well (actually my parents know him real well).

He said that he just got his winterizer last week and he was ticked off royally!

Personally I think putting on fert now is a total waste (N).

Said his lawn was 2 acres and he was going to fire the other guy (which unfortunatly is a pretty good friend of mine). He asked me what my ballpark price would be and I told him.

He said that work was mine! Now I still need to measure it...but I just picked up a $1100 customer by someone doing a winter app this late!

Life is good! Hope more call because last I talked to my buddy right before Christmas he still have 70 lawns left, and the bad part is he only does like 120 lawns but works in town and doesn't ever have time to take care of them.

Smallaxe
01-02-2009, 06:58 AM
Just like any other grass you want the roots has long as you can get them. The plant will absorb the Milorganite for the next 2-3months when weather warms up for a short time. It's very important to push bent when you can before the hot weather hits. Bent is mowed at 1/8 in so we need all the roots we can get. Bent get betweem 4-7lbs of N per year.

It is definately different up here. Anything we spread now is going to get dissovled in the snow wash away with the melt. The ground may warm up enough in April to break dormancy any utilize the nutrients that worked into the soil last fall.

I believe it is a waste of NPK to apply anything around here b4 May. Strangly enough the Extension Agents and I are in agreement with that. :)

superintendent
01-02-2009, 01:09 PM
Bent is semi dormant we mowed the greens last thur,friday and today and we are emptying the buckets every 4 greens

Jason Rose
01-02-2009, 04:05 PM
But remember, I'm in Kansas... We are a good bit colder here than where you are. Golf courses around here don't touch their greens until march, other than to change cups or throw some water on them if mother nature dosn't provide and it's warm out.

I'd bet money that they were *not* using miloriginate, or any sort of organic. A friend of mine was actually at their shop about a week ago when they were loading the back of the truck with fert to go "winterize". He told me about it then and I laughed hysterically.

On a side-note, about miloriginate, I'm told that it dosn't do well in cooler weather, due to it needing to be broken down by micorbial activity (that it provides) which is very slow in cold weather. I actually applied it to my own lawn a few weeks before Thanksgiving, at the full fall rate, like 22 lbs. per K. (I have almost a ton of it I still need to get gone). I had poor success with it, mostly because of being misinformed by the fert. salesman who swore to me that I could apply it at 4lbs. perK and get results. That's barely even 1/4 rate. Plus our soil pH around here is high, so iron and other micros are not being taken up by the grass well. I've applied sulfur to my own lawn for the last 2 years and can definately see the results.

superintendent
01-02-2009, 05:26 PM
This is the only time that I will put down any type of organic. I believe that alot of organic causes fungicide like fairyrings. Right now we are 53 degree and tomorrow it will be 57 I don't always put down fert this time of year but for the past week it's been very warm here for this time of yr. I don't understand why in Kansas they are putting any fert down or watering at this time of yr.