05-11-2002, 03:46 PM
The TGCM apps I've observed only seem to have a quick, rapid growth spurt and green-up for only about three weeks. Also, the liquid ferts I've looked at recommend 1/4 and 1/2 lb. N/M apps. Is this what the big guys are doing? Only putting down a 1/2 lb. N/M so that they can sell you on 6 - 8 apps per year? Does anyone know? Thanks for your reponses.
05-11-2002, 06:03 PM
Average quality C3 turf needs around 4# N per year. If you were to feed evenly over a 32 week period, then ideal would be 1/8# N per week, or even 1/16# N twice a week. And all N could be readily available. If you are going to apply less frequently, it is beneficial to use some slow release N, but that is more costly for the product.
In reality, most recent research has shown that 2/3 of total N should be applied in the fall. If you have done that the past fall, it is usually not necessary to apply any N before Memorial Day here. In some lawns it is necessary to get a better spring greenup, but at most I only apply 1/4# to 1/3# N. Early spring N just causes excess leaf growth and seed production, no benefit to overall plant health. 1# N after bluegrass goes to seed (with significant percentage as slow release) will help C3 grasses to prepare for summer stress.
While the research specifications here are NO SPRING NITROGEN, Dr. Vargas at MSU has had success in increasing tolerance to some diseases in C3 grasses by spoon feeding weekly in springtime; I believe this is still an ongoing investigation.
The application techniques of production companies are not functional for the turf, just functional for their ledgers. After all, any big company in today's economy is just a sales scheme, with no real concern for the functionality of what they sell. This is true for most all big corporations (and also many small businesses) in all aspects of the economy. Why should the big guys in the green industry be any different from Microsoft or Citibank or AT&T or Enron? Their only real function is to make a buck for shareholders, so their bonuses are nice and fat each year. It's not about your computer, banking ease, telephone, fuel consumption, or the vitality of your grass.
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