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Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 10:35 AM
http://turfdisease.osu.edu/turf-disease-updates/benefits-late-fall-fertilization

"For years, researchers have claimed that fall and winter root growth of cool-season turfgrass species should be stimulated by late-season and/or winter nitrogen applications. This stimulation should occur as fall temperatures decline to the point that root growth is favored over shoot growth. Previous research at Ohio State has shown that root growth of cool-season turfgrass species does indeed occur during the fall after shoot growth has slowed or ceased. This situation develops because roots grow quite well when soil temperatures are between 40 and 65 degrees F, while shoot growth is favored at temperatures in the 60-75 F degree range. In fact, some root growth will occur as long as the soil remains unfrozen."

Note that the first sentence is talking about what the researchers have claimed, then goes on to talk about the observations of root growth... their observations are not making any comment about late season and/or winter nitrogen applications

Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 10:52 AM
In the same article we discover that late-season fert, continues the root growth in the Spring w/out the troublesome Spring mowing problems that stop root growth at the same time...

"... The true advantage that late-season fertilization provides to turfgrass root growth is realized during the following spring. It has been shown that the root growth of turf fertilized during the late-winter/early spring declines soon after nitrogen application (3 & 5). Conversely, turf fertilized using the late- season concept becomes green early and rapidly, without the need for an early spring nitrogen application, and root growth continues at a maximum rate. It appears that the excessive shoot growth encouraged by early spring nitrogen applications utilizes carbohydrates that may otherwise be used for growing roots..."

So my question becomes:
Should we have a different strategy worked up to replace the Scott's/TGCL 4-7 step program?

RigglePLC
10-30-2011, 02:48 PM
Good question. Are you skeptical about statements like, "researchers have claimed"?

So am I. And is it best to use quick release nitrogen or slow-release? What about potash and Phos?
Exactly how much quicker greenup can we expect in spring? 3 days? 10 days? How much "surge-growth"? 10 percent more clippings? 20 percent?

Does the same data apply to both blue and rye? Fescue and Bermuda?

Exactly how much additional root growth can we expect? 10 percent? 50 percent? Do they mean more depth? Fatter roots? Does that translate into greater drought hardiness later on in the heat?

Ok guys--your experience? Your opinion? How would you set up a test?

CHARLES CUE
10-30-2011, 08:09 PM
Good question. Are you skeptical about statements like, "researchers have claimed"?

So am I. And is it best to use quick release nitrogen or slow-release? What about potash and Phos?
Exactly how much quicker greenup can we expect in spring? 3 days? 10 days? How much "surge-growth"? 10 percent more clippings? 20 percent?

Does the same data apply to both blue and rye? Fescue and Bermuda?

Exactly how much additional root growth can we expect? 10 percent? 50 percent? Do they mean more depth? Fatter roots? Does that translate into greater drought hardiness later on in the heat?

Ok guys--your experience? Your opinion? How would you set up a test?

I have always been skeptical at best on the winter fert app

I have done winter apps on 1/2 of a couple lawns and in the spring and you could not tell the difference in the spring or in the summer when it got hot and dry

Now if the roots get deeper and fatter i don't know

If you cut you grass at 3 inchs does that mean you roots are only 3 ichs deep
Any way

Have you ever dug in a hay field [cool season grass ] where the grass is allowed to grow 3 ft tall and the roots are not any deeper than the ones in my yard

But it's a great for sales one more app

Research always finds some thing new and different

If it works for you do it

Charles Cue

Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 08:16 PM
Good question. Are you skeptical about statements like, "researchers have claimed"?

So am I. And is it best to use quick release nitrogen or slow-release? What about potash and Phos?
Exactly how much quicker greenup can we expect in spring? 3 days? 10 days? How much "surge-growth"? 10 percent more clippings? 20 percent?

Does the same data apply to both blue and rye? Fescue and Bermuda?

Exactly how much additional root growth can we expect? 10 percent? 50 percent? Do they mean more depth? Fatter roots? Does that translate into greater drought hardiness later on in the heat?

Ok guys--your experience? Your opinion? How would you set up a test?

This wasn't to be an 'opinion' type thing... this was about, ..."How to analyse the topic of a published scientific article, discerning its thought, intent and conclusion"... that is what this post was about....

Too often we pretend to know something that has no relation to reality and use evidence as an opinion that does not address the subject matter at all...

I hope this is not another dead end... :)

Smallaxe
10-30-2011, 08:38 PM
I have always been skeptical at best on the winter fert app

I have done winter apps on 1/2 of a couple lawns and in the spring and you could not tell the difference in the spring or in the summer when it got hot and dry

Now if the roots get deeper and fatter i don't know

If you cut you grass at 3 inchs does that mean you roots are only 3 ichs deep
Any way

Have you ever dug in a hay field [cool season grass ] where the grass is allowed to grow 3 ft tall and the roots are not any deeper than the ones in my yard

But it's a great for sales one more app

Research always finds some thing new and different

If it works for you do it

Charles Cue

This is a good point of actual analysis... "How can we measure root development"...?

However, "If it works for you..." is meaningless... :)

CHARLES CUE
10-30-2011, 08:52 PM
This is a good point of actual analysis... "How can we measure root development"...?

However, "If it works for you..." is meaningless... :)

May be to you its Meaningless but not to me

Some thing seem to work for some people and some thing does don't

Or we would all do the same thing

Just because it's in print does not make it so

Research can be made to say what the researcher believes or wan't it to say

Charles Cue

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-30-2011, 10:16 PM
This topic is a dilemma for me too. I just do not buy the late fall 'winterizer' N app thing, that it will encourage an early spring green up. Who out there has any real evidence that this is so? If it is just wives tales, then I would rather just do final app early in fall when the turf can fully utilize the feeding, and screw the spring carryover thing.

Stillwater
10-31-2011, 03:10 AM
I have noticed no difference in green up aswell with the possible exceptions of a few but other factors could have been in play.

But I also just received a soil analysis. From mass amherst. That is screaming for a heavy late fall application and a very early one... go figure...

Smallaxe
10-31-2011, 11:07 AM
So what everyone is saying, that the OSU and many other Uni.s, are unable to do valid research on the botanical processes of plants or measure root growth, or analyse carb storage and useage...

Well I understand there is more money in fertilizing frozen turf or real close to it, but it only cost the client money for no benefit... that's know as rip-off, unless we can justify it by saying othewise.. the we can make more money as soon as the snowis gone by assuming that our dormant fertilizer has washed away with spring thaw snow melt and put some more down and use up the energy that the plant had stored for spring growth...

But that is all subjective... no such thing a truth... fertilizer acts according to my imagination and the universities that research it, isn't able to measure root growth...

That seems to be the point I'm hearing out there... no wonder major urban areas near water bodies are constantly placing bans on lawncare pros...

bigslick7878
10-31-2011, 01:38 PM
Good question. Are you skeptical about statements like, "researchers have claimed"?



I think we all know by now that Smallaxe is skeptical of pretty much any widely accepted practice.

I see nothing in those excerpts that says fertilization late in the season is not useful in the way most claim it is.

grassman177
10-31-2011, 07:09 PM
there is no dilema on this topic for me, my lawns are greener faster in spring

RigglePLC
10-31-2011, 07:43 PM
I am going to try it. One area treated on Oct 29 and the other side of the lawn treated on November 30, (and an untreated area). I will let you know in spring. Unless results are visible before then. I am using 26-0-6 with 13 percent slow-release coated nitrogen

grassman177
10-31-2011, 09:20 PM
but what rate?

RigglePLC
10-31-2011, 09:32 PM
I used 4.1 pounds per thousand sqft, 1.08 nitrogen per thousand. Thinking I should use a higher rate also for comparison.

Smallaxe
11-01-2011, 08:23 AM
I am going to try it. One area treated on Oct 29 and the other side of the lawn treated on November 30, (and an untreated area). I will let you know in spring. Unless results are visible before then. I am using 26-0-6 with 13 percent slow-release coated nitrogen

The main difference I've noticed was early to mid October vs. any time after... I don't think you'll notice much difference, unless the area that get the fert in November is fairly infertile, or lacking in N...
Depending on the timing of ground freeze and snow cover, your fert will still be in granular form next spring and will finally be used up with the spring rains... Am I correct on that? has anyone ever noticed that before?

Smallaxe
11-01-2011, 08:30 AM
I think we all know by now that Smallaxe is skeptical of pretty much any widely accepted practice.

I see nothing in those excerpts that says fertilization late in the season is not useful in the way most claim it is.

So if a customer asks "Why do you fertilizer just b4 snow fall, then fertilize again immediately after the snow is gone...?"

The best answer is: "Gosh ma'm,,, becuz that's the way it's always been done..." :laugh:

Harley-D
11-01-2011, 10:02 AM
Always have, always will...and there seems to be some evidence that it works. If you can feed at the right time and get root growth without excessive shoot growth, why wouldn't you? Soil temp is probably 48-54 right now. Seeded back in sept with starter fert and 1/2lb N/k and full lb of P/k. Did another 1lb of N about 3 weeks later with 50% scu and will now do about 1.5lb of N/k with 50%scu.
If those roots are growing and consuming the food, and the extra carbs are not used for shoot growth, they have to be conserved by the plant for later use in the form of carb storage and thicker roots.
If the science part is hogwash, fine. But it works for me and my customers are getting thicker healthier lawns every year and they still ask how i do it! And i save money every spring with much less N applied and run a tighter budgeted app program because of it.

kennc38
11-01-2011, 11:40 AM
So if a customer asks "Why do you fertilizer just b4 snow fall, then fertilize again immediately after the snow is gone...?"

The best answer is: "Gosh ma'm,,, becuz that's the way it's always been done..." :laugh:

Although I support your enthusiasm for wanting scientific proof that this method works, I think state universities and other non-profit agricultural groups have done enough studies to show that early and late fall applications of fertilizer do work and provide for a healthier lawn in the spring/summer. I know that NC State has done an great job at providing as much of their research information to the general public and this is what I recommend to my customers because it's specific to my area. Here is an example of a turf guide which includes information on shoot and root growth and responses to soil temperature:

http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/PDFFiles/004175/Carolina_Lawns.pdf

I think that if you want to truly prove that this method works, then you're going to have to spend a lot of time and money looking at the health of the grass's root system and not simply how green the shoots are in the spring. To me, a true measure of a lawn's health is how well it tolerates the heat and lack of rain in the summer. Good luck to you.

Smallaxe
11-01-2011, 09:35 PM
... I think that if you want to truly prove that this method works, then you're going to have to spend a lot of time and money looking at the health of the grass's root system and not simply how green the shoots are in the spring. To me, a true measure of a lawn's health is how well it tolerates the heat and lack of rain in the summer. Good luck to you.

This is exactly case I've been making for years... Southern ideals blended into the col season grasses... I lived in NC for a couple of years, back in the military and I laughed at their idea of winter...

What this article is about is winterizing turf in an actual winter environment... :)

I have no intention of trying to prove anything, let alone, spending time and money trying to analyse the botanical life-cycle of grass is what edu.org do... not me..

I do however, have to discern whether their presentation is kr@pp or something that actually makes sense, with cool season grasses...

From what I understand about NC grasses, winterizer has nothing to do with cool season grasses... am I wrong???

Mixing Apples with Oranges is the biggest problem I see with the status quo--- Scott's/TGCL system of lawncare... My ambition is to be the best, rather than a wannabee... :)

kennc38
11-01-2011, 09:46 PM
This is exactly case I've been making for years... Southern ideals blended into the col season grasses... I lived in NC for a couple of years, back in the military and I laughed at their idea of winter...

What this article is about is winterizing turf in an actual winter environment... :)

I have no intention of trying to prove anything, let alone, spending time and money trying to analyse the botanical life-cycle of grass is what edu.org do... not me..

I do however, have to discern whether their presentation is kr@pp or something that actually makes sense, with cool season grasses...

From what I understand about NC grasses, winterizer has nothing to do with cool season grasses... am I wrong???

Mixing Apples with Oranges is the biggest problem I see with the status quo--- Scott's/TGCL system of lawncare... My ambition is to be the best, rather than a wannabee... :)

If you were in the military in NC, then I assume you were near the coast or at Ft. Bragg, and you're right they don't have much of a winter. But the Piedmont and Mountain areas of NC can have cold winters, nothing like WI of course.

I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make, but for my region the recommended fertilizing periods are late winter/early spring (Feb/Mar), early fall (Sep) and then again in late fall (Nov/Dec). This is the schedule that all LCO's and applications use as well as the schedule I use for a few customers. It works very well in this area so I prefer to stick to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality. Again, good luck to you and I hope you find the answers you're looking for.

Smallaxe
11-01-2011, 10:58 PM
If you were in the military in NC, then I assume you were near the coast or at Ft. Bragg, and you're right they don't have much of a winter. But the Piedmont and Mountain areas of NC can have cold winters, nothing like WI of course.

... , but for my region the recommended fertilizing periods are late winter/early spring (Feb/Mar), early fall (Sep) and then again in late fall (Nov/Dec). This is the schedule that all LCO's and applications use as well as the schedule I use for a few customers. It works very well in this area so I prefer to stick to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality ...

Now , I'm not goin to claim to know, who or what was at FT. Bragg... whether it was a Dog Kennel or Bird's Nest, I salute anyone who donned the uniform and swore to defend against all enemies... foreign or domestic... that is neither here nor there...

I jogged for miles on turf that I had no idea what I was actually jogging on... It was called PT and there were WMs involved, so I blew it...

The real point here is that, OSU researched cool season grasses that told us some things... things that we could definately learn from... such as... Does turf actually grow under the snow, when the ground is frozen IF we have granulated fertilizer up there somewhere???

It is really a common sense thing that exposes the BS that the fert. Salesmen laid on the ignorant farmers years ago... :)

They called us ignorant farmers years ago, but the Expensive Lake/Beach Property owners are paying LCO's to pollute their beach front with modern intellectual solutions... :laugh:

Pilgrims' Pride
11-04-2011, 06:36 AM
[QUOTE=Smallaxe;4203757]

I jogged for miles on turf that I had no idea what I was actually jogging on... It was called PT and there were WMs involved, so I blew it...

Well Semper Fi little bro!


FWIW, I'm in MA. and have been makin the grass grow since 88.
I am a strong believer in the "winterizer" idea.
I can always tell who gets that feeding vs. who does not.
Those that do green up much sooner and seem to be healthier going in to the season.
As for root growth, good question. Maybe we need our own studies.
Lets get the info from those of us who are actually in the field.

It does also allow more flexibility with the spring apps too.

Smallaxe
11-04-2011, 07:23 AM
[QUOTE=Smallaxe;4203757]... I am a strong believer in the "winterizer" idea.
I can always tell who gets that feeding vs. who does not.
Those that do green up much sooner and seem to be healthier going in to the season.
As for root growth, good question. ...

Define "Winterizer"...

Do you apply ferts in the fall before the onset of Winter?
Do you apply ferts in the fall after the onset of winter?

If you do both, how can you tell which applications actually do the trick?

The reason I ask is because lawns done by the 'big boys' are saturated with NPK and there is no way to discern whether any individual app makes a bit of difference...

grassman177
11-04-2011, 10:12 PM
those are the queistions really, and what you are using the application for. depends on when you would apply it to the result you are looking for.

Smallaxe
11-05-2011, 06:29 AM
those are the queistions really, and what you are using the application for. depends on when you would apply it to the result you are looking for.

Yeah , those really are the questions...

"...depends on when you would apply..." is that what you said? & "...result you are looking for..."

It seems that those questions would nail it down...

Why don't you tell the world when you throw down fert on dormant turf and how it gives you the result you're looking for...

grassman177
11-06-2011, 09:53 PM
i was having fun, and being captain obvious for a moment. dont get rough

anywho, i put it down late so that it is used some while turf is not frozen(cuz it does grow roots), and then the rest of the N is used up in early spring after dormancy break and I apply very little N at that point, just one method.
I have tried it with variations of how much and when, i have what works for me the way i want to manage turf.

that is what it is about.

every where will be different, winters are different etc.

1966vette
11-08-2011, 10:13 AM
Semper Fi!:usflag:
Donít forget the USMC B/day is Thursday 11/10/11.
http://www.godaddy.com/holiday/usmc/usmc-2010.aspx
http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/article/happy-236th-birthday-marines
Veteran Day, a Federal Holiday is Friday 11-11-11.:usflag:

Now for the Lawn:
I live in central IN & the weather here the last week has been awesome.
Heck, it was 53* @ 7:30 AM today.
I have an almost new pull behind sprayer that Iím only used for weed control & was now want to try an application of liquid fertilizer.
The local Rural Kings sells Gordonís Liquid Fertilizer 20-0-0 for lawns or pasture.
It cost $21.99 for a 2.5 gal container & covers 15K sq ft.
Thus, I will need 3 containers of the above to cover my acre of grass.
Here are my questions:
1. It is advised to spray the final fall feeding this late in the season?
2. Has anyone used this type of liquid fertilizer & what type of result did you obtain?
3. How fast can I expect to see a green up?

Thanks again for all your help!
It is very much appreciated!:drinkup:
Andy

RigglePLC
11-08-2011, 01:39 PM
I have a four lawns picked out. Fert in last week of October and fert on a second area about 30 days later. Compare results in early winter and spring. And results in early summer, to understand if drought hardiness is affected.

Perhaps I could compare turf quality if one area was treated in early spring, before turf greenup.

RigglePLC
11-20-2011, 08:32 PM
Thus far fertilizer applied on November first, (and a few plots of double fertilizer) using 26-0-6--and--no visible results so far, after 20 days. Temps have been cool--about 45 to 50 during the day and 30 to 40 at night. Mediium rain.

Hopefully I can apply fert for comparison 30 days later in the year. And hopefully I can compare results in spring. And maybe later to compare drought hardiness.

My neighbor's lawn where I compared 8 different types of seeding and fertilizer applications on bare soil is filling in--now that I overseeded the whole thing. The treatment that worked the best was double fertilizer and triple seed, raked-in.

grassman177
11-20-2011, 09:13 PM
curious of your timing and fert for spring looks.

Skipster
12-07-2011, 04:36 PM
Now , I'm not goin to claim to know, who or what was at FT. Bragg... whether it was a Dog Kennel or Bird's Nest, I salute anyone who donned the uniform and swore to defend against all enemies... foreign or domestic... that is neither here nor there...

I jogged for miles on turf that I had no idea what I was actually jogging on... It was called PT and there were WMs involved, so I blew it...

The real point here is that, OSU researched cool season grasses that told us some things... things that we could definately learn from... such as... Does turf actually grow under the snow, when the ground is frozen IF we have granulated fertilizer up there somewhere???

It is really a common sense thing that exposes the BS that the fert. Salesmen laid on the ignorant farmers years ago... :)

They called us ignorant farmers years ago, but the Expensive Lake/Beach Property owners are paying LCO's to pollute their beach front with modern intellectual solutions... :laugh:

Some of the work cited here was done in Ohio, but some was also done in Kentucky and Virginia, which grow warm and cool season grasses. You didn't like an earlier link from NCSU, but their research center in mostly cool season turf and their cited work was done on perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. Does this make their work more or less relevant to you? The Kentucky work was done on creeping bentgrass putting greens. Do you find that to be useful or irrelevant?

Its also odd how you bring up that we need to think differently than Scott's or TG/CL, but some of the research your link cited was performed by folks with TG/CL ties. Maybe you've heard of guys like A.J. Turgeon, Joe Rimelspach (his email is at the bottom of the page you linked), and John Street (he co-authored the paper you referenced), among many other university turf professors. They did late fall N research when they worked for TG/CL and implemented it in TG/CL programs in the 70s and 80s.

This isn't anything new and I think the big boys have known about it and been doing it for more than 30 years.

Smallaxe
12-08-2011, 09:03 AM
Some of the work cited here was done in Ohio, but some was also done in Kentucky and Virginia, which grow warm and cool season grasses. You didn't like an earlier link from NCSU, but their research center in mostly cool season turf and their cited work was done on perennial ryegrass and tall fescue. Does this make their work more or less relevant to you? The Kentucky work was done on creeping bentgrass putting greens. Do you find that to be useful or irrelevant?

Its also odd how you bring up that we need to think differently than Scott's or TG/CL, but some of the research your link cited was performed by folks with TG/CL ties. Maybe you've heard of guys like A.J. Turgeon, Joe Rimelspach (his email is at the bottom of the page you linked), and John Street (he co-authored the paper you referenced), among many other university turf professors. They did late fall N research when they worked for TG/CL and implemented it in TG/CL programs in the 70s and 80s.

This isn't anything new and I think the big boys have known about it and been doing it for more than 30 years.

I've gone through a long life of 'research' in 'all' areas of our world claiming to be 'relevant' and realized a long time ago, that the only thing to do is to see if it makes sense.

You claim that TGCL and company realized the point I'm talking about here 30 years ago and they are way ahead of me, according to your statement or implication... This is either a misunderstanding on your part or on my part or on the part of TGCL, becuz I believe that the article is discussing whether fert in dormant winter time is useful and their conclusion is "No".

TGCL and those who imitate their program will dump fertilizer on frozen turf, covered with leaves that is soon to buried in snow for 3-5 months before the Spring runoff. So rather than believe what is written, I believe the actions that I've witnessed personally...

And I'll go another step further and say, "Those who charge clients for fert apps on frozen ground are Ripoffs and serve only to pollute the waterways. ... :)

mdlwn1
12-08-2011, 10:27 AM
Things I have observed in my 20 ish years doing mid/late fall apps. KBG stays green untill temps force it into dormancy..not a gradual decend. Too much fert and you will snow mold the crap out of it (assuming snow pack). Rye/FF obv stay wonderfully green well into winter and straight through in mild ones. Early green up in spring only relates to the cooler types...not KBG. KBG will green up in the spring when temps allow wether you feed heavily in the fall or not. The only exception that I have seen to this is compost/soil top dressing seems to bring it out earlier. Yes you can pound KBG with quick to bring it out a little faster but that isn't the focus here. Assuming no spring fert is done what you see is a more gradual and consistant green up..one that never gets out of hand. No cutter will ever hate or want to kill you. The downside is that if your an app company, you need to know how to deal with customers when they compare their lawn to a jacked spring fed one..you know the ones that are already 8" tall and and so green they can be seen from space. (the same ones that will be virtually dead in July/August). If you're cutting them as well, you need to be aware enough to not over cut as there isn't a whole lot of growth to deal with and you will deplete the plants reserves prematurely...thinking "wow...this no spring app doesn't work" Actually, the same theory applies all season long. Just as seeding is about to occur the plant will be out of food, not over cutting at this point is a really big deal as any energy the plant has will go towards seed stalks....not recovery growth. Now is about when you need to consider feeding....too early and a lot of food will be wasted on seed stalk production, sure you will have less seed stalks than if you don't feed, but they'll be fairly big and thick as well as the turf will run out of food before you're next visit. Too late and the plant just doesn't have the energy needed to regrow after seeding. All of the effort at this point has done 2 things for a business. One, you will rarely ever be screwed from spring rains and growth related production problems. Two...summer endurance is REMARKABLY higher than that of everyone who didn't use a similar program. Obviously there are numerous variables and methods you can use to fine tune this process and NONE of this pertains to runoff/leaching, but for a general maintanence organization that does both the apps and the cutting..this is by far the most efficient and bang for the buck method out there.

Skipster
12-08-2011, 10:47 AM
I've gone through a long life of 'research' in 'all' areas of our world claiming to be 'relevant' and realized a long time ago, that the only thing to do is to see if it makes sense.

You claim that TGCL and company realized the point I'm talking about here 30 years ago and they are way ahead of me, according to your statement or implication... This is either a misunderstanding on your part or on my part or on the part of TGCL, becuz I believe that the article is discussing whether fert in dormant winter time is useful and their conclusion is "No".

TGCL and those who imitate their program will dump fertilizer on frozen turf, covered with leaves that is soon to buried in snow for 3-5 months before the Spring runoff. So rather than believe what is written, I believe the actions that I've witnessed personally...

And I'll go another step further and say, "Those who charge clients for fert apps on frozen ground are Ripoffs and serve only to pollute the waterways. ... :)

I didn't say that anyone was way ahead of you -- I said that this data is nothing new. I don't know what the programs are at Scott's or TGCL, but I do know the researchers personally, I am familiar with their work (some of their papers have cited my research), and I know their history in the lawn care industry.

I never claimed that winter fertilization was beneficial. However, research published in the late 90s and early 2000s showed N uptake in Kentucky bluegrass maintained at lawn height to be greatest in the fall when soil temperatures are near 40 F. In central Michigan, soil temps didn't get down to 40 F until Thanksgiving weekend. My buddies in that area told me that TGCL shut down 2011 operations a good 3 or 4 weeks earlier than that.

So, it really looks like they were following the recommendations of the guys who worked for them in the 70s and 80s, who are giving you the same recommendations today that you want to follow.

They're doing what you're doing and you don't like that?

Smallaxe
12-08-2011, 06:39 PM
I didn't say that anyone was way ahead of you -- I said that this data is nothing new. I don't know what the programs are at Scott's or TGCL, but I do know the researchers personally, I am familiar with their work (some of their papers have cited my research), and I know their history in the lawn care industry.

I never claimed that winter fertilization was beneficial. However, research published in the late 90s and early 2000s showed N uptake in Kentucky bluegrass maintained at lawn height to be greatest in the fall when soil temperatures are near 40 F. In central Michigan, soil temps didn't get down to 40 F until Thanksgiving weekend. My buddies in that area told me that TGCL shut down 2011 operations a good 3 or 4 weeks earlier than that.

So, it really looks like they were following the recommendations of the guys who worked for them in the 70s and 80s, who are giving you the same recommendations today that you want to follow.

They're doing what you're doing and you don't like that?

If TGCL and others are fertilizing during the growing season, I believe that is fine. I was talking about them dumping on frozen tundra. So no conflict there from me...

Here is a point of interest that you raised: "... However, research published in the late 90s and early 2000s showed N uptake in Kentucky bluegrass maintained at lawn height to be greatest in the fall when soil temperatures are near 40 F..."

I don't know where I found it anymore, but I had just come across a recent study that demonstrated as the ground temperature dropped, the uptake of N went down...

Now I have to find out which one is true... The point of this study was, How much N is wasted, b4 it is actually used?? ... :)

RigglePLC
12-08-2011, 08:11 PM
Afteer 4 weeks, there was a slight increase in green color on my daughter's lawn when I treated the left side on November 7th and checked it 30 days later. Soil temp this week has been about 35 degrees. My neighbor's lawn results were similar--a slight increase in green color compared to untreated. The untreated areas were then treated with fertilizer about 30 days after the first treatments. Awaiting results. But snow expected.

Most lawns have gone slightly off-color by December 8th, but those that had fertilizer sometime in fall looked better.

Smallaxe
12-09-2011, 08:14 AM
Isn't 30 days a long time for fertilizer to change the color of turf? I don't suppose you remember when your soil temps went below 40? or what the soil temp was when you put it down?

Here in wisco I put down fert in mid Oct being my latest app and the color did improve after the rains came and everything actually brightened up after the first snow.
We're frozen solid now and I don't believe anyone is putting out ferts anymore this year, but I can't say for sure... :)

Skipster
12-09-2011, 09:16 AM
If TGCL and others are fertilizing during the growing season, I believe that is fine. I was talking about them dumping on frozen tundra. So no conflict there from me...

Here is a point of interest that you raised: "... However, research published in the late 90s and early 2000s showed N uptake in Kentucky bluegrass maintained at lawn height to be greatest in the fall when soil temperatures are near 40 F..."

I don't know where I found it anymore, but I had just come across a recent study that demonstrated as the ground temperature dropped, the uptake of N went down...

Now I have to find out which one is true... The point of this study was, How much N is wasted, b4 it is actually used?? ... :)

In 1961, Victor Youngner from UCLA determined root activity of cool season grasses to be at their greatest at soil temps between 10 and 18 C (50 to 64 F). But, research published in 2010 at Rutgers found cool season N uptake by roots to be greatest between 40 and 50 F. Remember that soil temperature lags from air temp, which means that the greatest benefit from N fertility comes in the late fall, which is backed up by your citation, as well as research from Wisconsin, Cornell, Michigan State, Washington State, and UConn.

If you want to get into N use efficiency in late fall, several factors will come into play, like N source, moisture status, day length, air temperature, soil temperature, plant species, cultivar, mowing height, and soil chemical status.

RigglePLC
12-09-2011, 04:39 PM
I could not find Michigan soil temps for November. But the Iowa soil temps for November averaged 36 at the four inch depth.
http://www.weatheraardvark.com/RainGraphs/soil_history.htm

And yes, 30 days is a long time for enhanced green to appear. I am thinking it was because of the cool soil temps. I am thinking Michigan may be slightly warmer. Still looking for the history of Mich soil temps.

Two inches of snow fell here today. Cannot see the grass today.

I planted some crabgrass seed yesterday--inside--but not sure what I can test with it.

RigglePLC
12-09-2011, 05:22 PM
Wait I found my data for the soil temperature on Oct 30 2011 in Grand Rapids at 3 inch depth: 43 degrees. Air temp 51.

By December 5, 2011, soil temp was down to 37.
So the cool temperatures probably slowed the response of the greenup--it was not obvious-- a slight effect so far. The area treated 30 days later at double the usual rate, about 2.2 pounds per thousand sqft of nitrogen, looked slightly greener.

And a slight complication developed on the vacant lot. It turns out there is a school bus stop nearby--I am getting a little more traffic than I anticipated. Some of my tiny markers were stepped on and uprooted.

Wisconsin historical soil temp data.
http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/view

Smallaxe
12-10-2011, 10:59 AM
In 1961, Victor Youngner from UCLA determined root activity of cool season grasses to be at their greatest at soil temps between 10 and 18 C (50 to 64 F). But, research published in 2010 at Rutgers found cool season N uptake by roots to be greatest between 40 and 50 F. Remember that soil temperature lags from air temp, which means that the greatest benefit from N fertility comes in the late fall, which is backed up by your citation, as well as research from Wisconsin, Cornell, Michigan State, Washington State, and UConn.

If you want to get into N use efficiency in late fall, several factors will come into play, like N source, moisture status, day length, air temperature, soil temperature, plant species, cultivar, mowing height, and soil chemical status.

Thanks for the info... I have already come across a paper that stated cool-season grasses don't do much after Sept. 15th and that the color didn't change on apps of Oct. 15th-Dec. 15, but they didn't talk about root growth either...

Smallaxe
12-10-2011, 11:04 AM
Wait I found my data for the soil temperature on Oct 30 2011 in Grand Rapids at 3 inch depth: 43 degrees. Air temp 51.

By December 5, 2011, soil temp was down to 37.
So the cool temperatures probably slowed the response of the greenup--it was not obvious-- a slight effect so far. The area treated 30 days later at double the usual rate, about 2.2 pounds per thousand sqft of nitrogen, looked slightly greener.

And a slight complication developed on the vacant lot. It turns out there is a school bus stop nearby--I am getting a little more traffic than I anticipated. Some of my tiny markers were stepped on and uprooted.

Wisconsin historical soil temp data.
http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/view

So the N may have been used, just not for leaf change...
Have these sites been irrigated or have adequate water throughout? Here the rains didn't come until Nov and things greened up a bit before going dormant. Very dry Oct. again..

RigglePLC
12-10-2011, 04:47 PM
Two of the four sites were irrigated. None of the sites had water applied as irrigation was turned off. But rain was adequate. I think that grass cannot green up without growing new green leaves. Brown grass leaf blades cannot green up again. Pale green grass blades--can probably get greener. 2 inches of snow now, and temp 27. Snow should melt and I can watch the green in the next few days.

Smallaxe
12-11-2011, 09:16 AM
Two of the four sites were irrigated. None of the sites had water applied as irrigation was turned off. But rain was adequate. I think that grass cannot green up without growing new green leaves. Brown grass leaf blades cannot green up again. Pale green grass blades--can probably get greener. 2 inches of snow now, and temp 27. Snow should melt and I can watch the green in the next few days.

That is an interesting thought... but I believe that as long as grass is not dead it will continue to grow ans change color as the food and water availablity changes...

How can that be proven one way or another?? ... :)

Skipster
12-12-2011, 11:53 AM
Leaf color in the fall does not rely as much on available N as it does on factors that inhibit chlorophyll production. Remember, sunlight carries a lot of energy and the processes of photosynthesis also break down chlorophyll on their own. During the summer, the plant actively produces chlorophyll to replace the molecules that break down.

But, with cooler temps and shorter days, chlorophyll production can't keep up with chlorophyll degradation, which is why we see the leaves change color. Tree leaves show different colors because ancillary pigments like carotenoids are still abundant (the conditions favoring their breakdown aren't as common in the winter and they follow a different production pathway).

Plant growth in the fall is mostly governed by temperature. You'll notice that if you fertilized a patch of bluegrass in November right next to a patch that was fertilized in Oct, there won't be much difference growth. But, one will have a darker gree ncolor tha nthe other, since you are supplying N for chlorophyll production. That extra chlorophyll helps with carbohydrate production, which is apportioned to the non-structural side, since structural growth is decreased.

Smallaxe
12-12-2011, 04:32 PM
Leaf color in the fall does not rely as much on available N as it does on factors that inhibit chlorophyll production. Remember, sunlight carries a lot of energy and the processes of photosynthesis also break down chlorophyll on their own. During the summer, the plant actively produces chlorophyll to replace the molecules that break down.

But, with cooler temps and shorter days, chlorophyll production can't keep up with chlorophyll degradation, which is why we see the leaves change color. Tree leaves show different colors because ancillary pigments like carotenoids are still abundant (the conditions favoring their breakdown aren't as common in the winter and they follow a different production pathway).

Plant growth in the fall is mostly governed by temperature. You'll notice that if you fertilized a patch of bluegrass in November right next to a patch that was fertilized in Oct, there won't be much difference growth. But, one will have a darker gree ncolor tha nthe other, since you are supplying N for chlorophyll production. That extra chlorophyll helps with carbohydrate production, which is apportioned to the non-structural side, since structural growth is decreased.

Actually I see the opposite effects here during the summer. Rich green color is generally lacking during the heat of Wisco in July and August, even on irrigated lawns... Normal growth for lawns up here are apr-Jun and Sept-Oct. We've actually gone 7 weeks through the summer with 0 mowing, on non-irrigated lawns.

Once the heat breaks and the turf is coming back to life we can usually see an increase in color after a feeding. But if fertility is low it will fade again so another feeding in Oct brings it back. When the color doesn't seem to change much is when the plants are going dormant for winter, but of course that doesn't mean that ferts are being utilized underground. Which is what I'd like to figure out... :)

Skipster
12-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Actually I see the opposite effects here during the summer. Rich green color is generally lacking during the heat of Wisco in July and August, even on irrigated lawns... Normal growth for lawns up here are apr-Jun and Sept-Oct. We've actually gone 7 weeks through the summer with 0 mowing, on non-irrigated lawns.

Once the heat breaks and the turf is coming back to life we can usually see an increase in color after a feeding. But if fertility is low it will fade again so another feeding in Oct brings it back. When the color doesn't seem to change much is when the plants are going dormant for winter, but of course that doesn't mean that ferts are being utilized underground. Which is what I'd like to figure out... :)

Again, we need to go back to looking at all the things that impact chlorohpyll production and degradation. In WI, you will see a decline of most C3 species in repsonse to higher light intensity, above-optimum temperatures, and below-optimum water availability. Don't forget about photo-respiration -- the main reason for C3 decline in the summer.

Its not rocket surgery or brain science to predict color loss. Think about the factors that affect chlorophyll production and degradation.

Smallaxe
12-12-2011, 05:49 PM
Again, we need to go back to looking at all the things that impact chlorohpyll production and degradation. In WI, you will see a decline of most C3 species in repsonse to higher light intensity, above-optimum temperatures, and below-optimum water availability. Don't forget about photo-respiration -- the main reason for C3 decline in the summer.

Its not rocket surgery or brain science to predict color loss. Think about the factors that affect chlorophyll production and degradation.

That's true... cold soils would easily reduce chorophyll activity along with shorter days in the fall, just as summer factors do... along with the obvious lack of color change on N apps after Oct 15th...

The question is about root growth, and whether the exististing chorophyll is still turning NPK into plant food for the purpose of root growth and carb storage right up until ground freeze...

Skipster
12-12-2011, 06:23 PM
That's true... cold soils would easily reduce chorophyll activity along with shorter days in the fall, just as summer factors do... along with the obvious lack of color change on N apps after Oct 15th...

The question is about root growth, and whether the exististing chorophyll is still turning NPK into plant food for the purpose of root growth and carb storage right up until ground freeze...

Soil temperature has nothing to do with chlorophyll production outside of the ability to uptake nutrients and water. As long as water and nutrients are not limiting, all chlorophyll production or degradation depends on above ground factors.

As I said before, plants will continue to assimilate carbon as long as chlorohpyll is active. That carbon will be partitioned into structural or non-structural purposes as it is needed. Because structural growth is governed largely by temperature, plants will make and store non-structural carbohydrates (sugars) in lower temperatures without pushing growth.

Smallaxe
12-13-2011, 07:29 AM
Soil temperature has nothing to do with chlorophyll production outside of the ability to uptake nutrients and water. As long as water and nutrients are not limiting, all chlorophyll production or degradation depends on above ground factors. ...

Water is a below ground factor, and nutrients come from below the ground in the root system...

Perhaps we need to back up and look at how chorophyll is brought into being and how it maintains itself...

Remember that plants are entire beings and the whole is necessary to the parts... w/out the whole plant being in operation, none of the parts would even exist...

Smallaxe
12-13-2011, 07:46 AM
I will continue to look for research that references root growth in relation to winterizer timing and efficacy... :)

Skipster
12-13-2011, 09:27 AM
Water is a below ground factor, and nutrients come from below the ground in the root system...

Perhaps we need to back up and look at how chorophyll is brought into being and how it maintains itself...

Remember that plants are entire beings and the whole is necessary to the parts... w/out the whole plant being in operation, none of the parts would even exist...

You just re-stated what I said. Soil temperature is important in root function, which is directly related water and nutrient uptake. Soil temperature can only limit chlorophyll production if it is low enough to inhibit root uptake such that roots take up less than the amount required to produce chlorophyll. Understanding that production will be slowed greatly by cooler weather and shorter days, it is intuitive that less water and fewer nutrients are needed, thus the decreased root activity is not limiting.

I do recall that plants need all parts to be whole. You're having trouble understanding how those different parts work together.

Groomer
12-13-2011, 03:21 PM
fescue on nov. 8/11.