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Florida Gardener
03-10-2011, 07:49 AM
Yo I have a customer who just converted from St. Augustine to Empire Zoysia. I have heard many a story on what to use from milorgonite to chicken scatter to a palm/ornamental fert(extra minors). What are the pros in florida recommending??
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Keith
03-10-2011, 01:08 PM
Can't help you. Apparently no one around here has figured it out. I have a customer who just had to have it. He had a nice St. Augustine lawn, but wanted Empire from all he had heard about it. Well, now he has a small front yard with crappy looking Empire. A back yard with about 3500 ft of crappy looking Empire, and the rest of the back in nice St. Augustine. Hopefully the St. Augustine will overun it. It's doing a pretty good job so far.

Florida Gardener
03-10-2011, 02:05 PM
I called my chemical rep and he told me what to use which is what I thought. Low N, slow release, etc. He also said the type will be dependent on how low it is cut.
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bugsNbows
03-10-2011, 04:30 PM
During the warmer months, the organics (i.e. Milorganite type "chit") work well on Empire Zoysia... you'd be wasting time and money to use it during the cooler winter months though. It needs to be broken down / converted into usuable forms by soil microbes (which aren't active when soil temps fall into the 60's and below). Rates will vary, but you can usually go pretty high without fear of burn.

Landscape Poet
03-10-2011, 09:47 PM
Low N - U of F just had the person in charge of their Turf program do a event at the local county extension - one of the key points was that Zoysia would look its best with no more than 3 to 4 lbs of N a year, anymore, disease is a issue.
I would also side with the more natural sources of N.....chicken litter would be a excellent choice because of its ability to create microbes to fight of disease such as fungus.
I am sure that FL landscape will tell you that it is also a excellent choice for topdressing.

Florida Gardener
03-10-2011, 09:53 PM
Mike my rep said the same thing about the N. I am looking forward to maintaining it as it is my first zoysia yard. Gonna be buying a tru-cut reel.
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Landscape Poet
03-10-2011, 10:02 PM
Mike my rep said the same thing about the N. I am looking forward to maintaining it as it is my first zoysia yard. Gonna be buying a tru-cut reel.
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http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=339188

Follow that link Diamond,

that is the lady that did the presentation - she is just finishing up a 5 year research program on Zoysia. You can find her email on the university's page - email her, she will send you some interesting reading on her findings and others on Zoysia.

Good luck.

Michael

Greg78
03-10-2011, 11:00 PM
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Which Tru-cut reel are you going to get?

Florida Gardener
03-10-2011, 11:06 PM
Not sure yet. Greendoc on here recommended the p series. Have to decide b/t a 25/27 and 8/10.
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Florida Gardener
03-10-2011, 11:08 PM
Scuse me, 7 or 10. The 27 doesn't come in the p series though.
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greendoctor
03-11-2011, 12:53 AM
Low N - U of F just had the person in charge of their Turf program do a event at the local county extension - one of the key points was that Zoysia would look its best with no more than 3 to 4 lbs of N a year, anymore, disease is a issue.
I would also side with the more natural sources of N.....chicken litter would be a excellent choice because of its ability to create microbes to fight of disease such as fungus.
I am sure that FL landscape will tell you that it is also a excellent choice for topdressing.

Is that all N with no K or micronutrients? If I applied that little N in a year to zoysia, I and my clients would be looking at pale zoysia that is also eaten up by disease. Especially dollar spot. I usually start with 1/2 lb N spoon fed monthly and at least 1/4 lb K along with a complete spectrum of micronutrients. I have dealt with the funny phone calls because I thought I would cut back on the fertilization during wet periods. I get to explain why there are 1" spots of dead grass all over the lawn and why the grass is yellowish. Topdressing and organic matter is ok, but never do I let political correctness compromise a client's lawn.

Landscape Poet
03-11-2011, 07:55 AM
Is that all N with no K or micronutrients? If I applied that little N in a year to zoysia, I and my clients would be looking at pale zoysia that is also eaten up by disease. Especially dollar spot. I usually start with 1/2 lb N spoon fed monthly and at least 1/4 lb K along with a complete spectrum of micronutrients. I have dealt with the funny phone calls because I thought I would cut back on the fertilization during wet periods. I get to explain why there are 1" spots of dead grass all over the lawn and why the grass is yellowish. Topdressing and organic matter is ok, but never do I let political correctness compromise a client's lawn.

No, still need K - I am assuming K is essential even though she did not post any specific information on K that I recall at the event. I would assume that the micros would be important as well as our soils tend to show on test that they are low on several.

Zoysia is a funny animal from what I can tell down here, I have two neighbors that switched to Zoysia several years ago. Both use the same fert and squirt guy who seems to provide quality work, Both mow their lawns at the same height, each lawn is right next to the other, face the same direction - one slightly larger than the other, however one always seems to be slightly greener than the other!!!!!!!

Landscape Poet
03-11-2011, 07:56 AM
By the way Green,

Just waking up to the news that you are going to be getting some waves your way - hope all is well.

Florida Gardener
03-11-2011, 08:30 AM
Yea Green, stay safe!!
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greendoctor
03-11-2011, 01:53 PM
I'm still standing. Net effect of this one was for some waves to come up on the roads that are right next to the beach. Otherwise, where I am at is many miles inland. I will find out more on the weekend and next week about my clients. Some of them live on beachfront properties. Not going to do it right now. Some roads were closed last night and still not opened to traffic.

greendoctor
03-11-2011, 02:00 PM
No, still need K - I am assuming K is essential even though she did not post any specific information on K that I recall at the event. I would assume that the micros would be important as well as our soils tend to show on test that they are low on several.

Zoysia is a funny animal from what I can tell down here, I have two neighbors that switched to Zoysia several years ago. Both use the same fert and squirt guy who seems to provide quality work, Both mow their lawns at the same height, each lawn is right next to the other, face the same direction - one slightly larger than the other, however one always seems to be slightly greener than the other!!!!!!!

Back on topic: I have not seen the negatives of going over what I consider starvation rates of N. By the way some industry savants and the acclaimed researchers talk, my lawns ought to be unmaintainable, near death. But the opposite is true. Could it be that I am using the appropriate N source for the grass and soil chemistry? Or that I apply more than token amounts of K along with micronutrients.

The other factors that make a difference in grass appearance is the soil underneath and irrigation practices. The lawn that is not watered deeply and infrequently tends to have problems.

Florida Gardener
03-11-2011, 03:11 PM
According to your experience then green, the 8-2-12 UF palm blend sounds like a great choice for the empire, which my supplier agreed with.
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Plantculture
03-11-2011, 06:19 PM
According to your experience then green, the 8-2-12 UF palm blend sounds like a great choice for the empire, which my supplier agreed with.
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If that's the stuff from Nurseryman's sure-gro, then about $10 per pound of nitrogen is pricey for a turf fertilizer. Go for it if the budget is there.

greendoctor
03-11-2011, 06:35 PM
According to your experience then green, the 8-2-12 UF palm blend sounds like a great choice for the empire, which my supplier agreed with.
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Actually no. I do not like urea based fertilizers on turf except on acid soils. Also, why is there P in there. My usual for turf is a 20-0-20 or 20-0-10 + micronutrients. The N is ammonium based, the K is potassium nitrate. No chlorides.

Florida Gardener
03-11-2011, 07:47 PM
If that's the stuff from Nurseryman's sure-gro, then about $10 per pound of nitrogen is pricey for a turf fertilizer. Go for it if the budget is there.

Matt, not sure if they sell it, but I buy from Howard. They made it to the exact specs of Broschat.

Florida Gardener
03-11-2011, 07:48 PM
Actually no. I do not like urea based fertilizers on turf except on acid soils. Also, why is there P in there. My usual for turf is a 20-0-20 or 20-0-10 + micronutrients. The N is ammonium based, the K is potassium nitrate. No chlorides.

Green, there is P in there b/c it is a palm fertilizer. It's the recommended blend by the palm specialists at the U of F. While a P deficiency is rare in palms, I did see a few down at the Research and Education Center for UF that had a P def.

This blend has extra minors and is very slow release.....

greendoctor
03-11-2011, 07:55 PM
If that is what is available, then why not. Could be worse, like 13-13-13 with no micronutrients. I consider myself fortunate that straight ammonium sulfate, potassium nitrate and water soluble micronutrients are not hard to get here.

Florida Gardener
03-11-2011, 08:01 PM
It's not the only thing available, but it seems like a good blend to me as it is slow release N, extra minors, etc.

My supplier also puts a special blend together for Zoysia...a 2-0-11 I believe with minors...

greendoctor
03-11-2011, 08:14 PM
I think I like the 2-0-11 better. Too much P on turf that does not need it only encourages seed heads and faster vertical growth.

Ric
03-12-2011, 12:22 AM
OK

I have stayed silent just to watch responses. I find the 9-2-24 blend from Lesco to be a real winner on zoysia here in Sandy soil. K is a luxury element the Turf Grass will up take as much as they can. Zoysia need deep roots and the K sure helps build root extension. Of course Minors are important for color and health. Fact is my Liquid mix the minors cost 5 times more than N.

I am agree with GreenDoctor's use of Potassium Nite. it is that same 1 to 3 N to K ratio as the above lesco blend. BTW Potassium Nite is not a cheap source of K. I also agree with ammonium sulfate as a good source of readily available N. I like a 1/4 pound N per thousand of ammonium sulfate as a boost.

Florida Gardener
03-12-2011, 12:30 AM
Ric I had a feeling you would give some info eventually. How many of your yards are zoysia?
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Ric
03-12-2011, 12:55 AM
Ric I had a feeling you would give some info eventually. How many of your yards are zoysia?
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Chris

I only have 5 and that is enough. Zoysia started with a bang but sod sales have gone back to S A and Bahia now because of problems with Zoysia. Big thing is slow grow in, once it gets damaged. Sod guys have gotten away from selling it now.

Florida Gardener
03-12-2011, 01:01 AM
Ric it is the hot ticket on the big estates and high end homes along with Bermuda and now Seashore Paspalum. The biggest problem I see is it being used in areas with only a couple hours of sun each day. Also, there are many a company cutting it with a rotary. All of those never look that great. They probably aren't putting down the best fert either.
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Ric
03-12-2011, 01:12 AM
Ric it is the hot ticket on the big estates and high end homes along with Bermuda and now Seashore Paspalum. The biggest problem I see is it being used in areas with only a couple hours of sun each day. Also, there are many a company cutting it with a rotary. All of those never look that great. They probably aren't putting down the best fert either.
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Yep I am the Country Cousin, we have our share of Upscale Retirees but they are working class upscale retirees who settled in my area because cost of living is lower than the rest of Coastal Florida. I believe you being on the East Coast have a much higher average disposable income and 5 or more times as many people. The demographic numbers for my county literally SUCK. Disposable income is less than half of what the Counties North & South of me are. population is less than half also. Yes we talk about moving to a better market all the time. But this is home and we have found a niche.

Florida Gardener
03-12-2011, 01:16 AM
We have some of the wealthiest people in the country within 10-20 minutes of where I live. I am talking people that you can make an obscene living from because they have more money that they would never be able to spend in their lifetime. It's a huge bonus to live near these types.
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Landscape Poet
03-12-2011, 09:17 AM
Back on topic: I have not seen the negatives of going over what I consider starvation rates of N. Brother, do not shoot the messenger, I was just relaying the info. LOL*trucewhiteflag*




By the way some industry savants and the acclaimed researchers talk, my lawns ought to be unmaintainable, near death. But the opposite is true. Could it be that I am using the appropriate N source for the grass and soil chemistry? Or that I apply more than token amounts of K along with micronutrients. I am sure this may have something to do with it, I do not fertilize many lawns anymore, but I used to use and still do on my own lawn more K than N in any given feeding. The blends I use also contain at least trace amounts of some of the micros. The result I have gotten is good color, without excessive growth.


The other factors that make a difference in grass appearance is the soil underneath and irrigation practices. The lawn that is not watered deeply and infrequently tends to have problems. I agree with you on this point to.

greendoctor
03-12-2011, 01:20 PM
Sorry, if it seemed like I was burning you at the stake for that. I just have issues with the sound good and feel good information being put out to unsuspecting people.

I cannot imagine going with pre blended, low analysis fertilizers that do not fit the needs of the turf. A 50 lb bag of anything starts at $20. To put down the the required amount of N and K is usually pushing $200 per acre. Even if ordering in multi ton lots. Low rates of ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate blended with soluble micronutrients cut the cost per acre by at least 1/2 while giving me the best turf response. In my area, I get a very poor response from "slow release". If it is mostly slow release: not enough response in the beginning and a sudden dump at the end. Urea also does nothing to address the soil chemistry issues that I need to deal with.

I do not mow most of the lawns that I spray. But I know the people that are doing the mowing. If I caused too much vertical growth, there is a good chance I end up as shark food. I notice urea causes lots of vertical growth compared to color. Ammonium sulfate gives better color and less vertical growth. However this does not apply to yard chumps broadcasting dry crystal 21-0-0 at 5-7 lb per 1000. Those guys get grass that thankfully stops growing like crazy by 30 days after application.

Ric
03-12-2011, 02:07 PM
Sorry, if it seemed like I was burning you at the stake for that. I just have issues with the sound good and feel good information being put out to unsuspecting people.

I cannot imagine going with pre blended, low analysis fertilizers that do not fit the needs of the turf. A 50 lb bag of anything starts at $20. To put down the the required amount of N and K is usually pushing $200 per acre. Even if ordering in multi ton lots. Low rates of ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate blended with soluble micronutrients cut the cost per acre by at least 1/2 while giving me the best turf response. In my area, I get a very poor response from "slow release". If it is mostly slow release: not enough response in the beginning and a sudden dump at the end. Urea also does nothing to address the soil chemistry issues that I need to deal with.

I do not mow most of the lawns that I spray. But I know the people that are doing the mowing. If I caused too much vertical growth, there is a good chance I end up as shark food. I notice urea causes lots of vertical growth compared to color. Ammonium sulfate gives better color and less vertical growth. However this does not apply to yard chumps broadcasting dry crystal 21-0-0 at 5-7 lb per 1000. Those guys get grass that thankfully stops growing like crazy by 30 days after application.

Green

You given the reason for my rate of 1/4 lb N per thousand of Ammonium Sulfate. For pure Dark Green color nothing beats a shot of Ferrous sulfate and Ammonium sulfate, especially on our calcareous sand. But you won't catch me using Ferrous Sulfate any more. it eats pumps and parts from the inside out. It can be a very expensive Cheap product. I believe Bug Guy 26 uses that blend or claims too.

quiet
03-12-2011, 03:42 PM
Interesting! I use A/S in blends, either as MESA or in a 50/50 biosolid mix. Our heavy clay soils with negatively charged ions attract the a/s plus charges, and gives it much more slow release properties. I stay at about 3/4 to 1 lb N/K throughout the year, and don't see the flush of growth - unless our continuous drought ends brieflly with 8 - 10 inches of rain in a week.

Our weather here is "long periods of drought, followed by occasional flooding". It was bone dry last spring, then we had 8 inches of rain the week before and after July 4th.

It didn't rain again until Sept 8-9 when we had 15 inches! Didn't rain again until Christmas Eve.

greendoctor
03-15-2011, 04:41 AM
Your weather sounds something like mine. No rain for months, then it storms for a couple of days, then back to hot and dry. So all of my lawns are on automatic irrigation. I use the cleanest 21-0-0 I can buy because it goes into a liquid blend that I spray. Ammonium sulfate helps acidify soil. I cannot think of a worse growing media than red volcanic clay contaminated with salt and coral. pH runs 7.5-8.0 and it is a fight to make nutrients available. The real fun is when the previous yard chump or landscaper put down so much phosphorus as 16-15-15 that all of the other nutrients are locked up.

Ric
03-15-2011, 10:59 AM
Your weather sounds something like mine. No rain for months, then it storms for a couple of days, then back to hot and dry. So all of my lawns are on automatic irrigation. I use the cleanest 21-0-0 I can buy because it goes into a liquid blend that I spray. Ammonium sulfate helps acidify soil. I cannot think of a worse growing media than red volcanic clay contaminated with salt and coral. pH runs 7.5-8.0 and it is a fight to make nutrients available. The real fun is when the previous yard chump or landscaper put down so much phosphorus as 16-15-15 that all of the other nutrients are locked up.

Green

I am crying not bragging that we have you beat with a 9.5 pH sandy soil with a CEC of less than 10. Oh and add in very low field capacity.