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Smallaxe
12-03-2011, 06:46 PM
"Late season nitrogen fertilization, sometimes referred to as fall fertilization, has been utilized by turf managers for years. This type of fertility program involves the application of much of the season’s nitrogen during the late season months of September through December. It is important that late season fertilization not be confused with dormant and/or winter fertilization. The latter method implies that fertilizer applications are made after the turf has lost most or all of its green color and is not actively growing. This differs notably from the “late- season concept”, which requires that nitrogen be applied before the turf loses its green color in the late fall."

This comes from: http://turfdisease.osu.edu/turf-disease-updates/benefits-late-fall-fertilization

During the transition of the conventional wisdom to the newly researched methods lawncare I thought it would be useful to define terms as we move forward to professional lawncare excellence... :)

Does anyone remember how to color words in a post???

RigglePLC
12-04-2011, 10:21 AM
This is more complicated than I thought. My turf does not lose its green color in the fall. Nor did it respond by darker green when fertilizer was applied about November first. I applied fertilizer to the right half of my test lawns on November 31st. Waiting for results. Clearly the northern species have a completly different best time as compared to warm-season species.
I recently read a paragraph (don't recall where, perhaps the above Ohio info), that claimed 4 benefits of late fall fertilization:
1)--Green up in the fall
2)--Deeper roots
3)--No flush of excess growth in spring, as compared to April fert
4)--Improved drought tolerance in following summer

I am not saying the above is bull--I am just skeptical--how much greener? How much deeper? How much flush? How much drought tolerance?

Smallaxe
12-04-2011, 11:51 AM
For you November 31st would be classified as the dormant or winter fertilization, correct? That is what I would classify it as here in Wisco Centro...

I look at mid-October as late fall fertilization for this area. The grass has stopped growing on top, but the leaves are still photosynthesizing and the roots will grow until the ground freezes.

Your 4 points listed above make sense to me. Especially since the discussion of real thatch indicated that early Spring ferts not only spur on excessive top growth, but actually cause rapid root growth at the surface.
Those 2 factors seem to agree in real life.

RigglePLC
12-04-2011, 05:55 PM
i just checked some grass lawns in my neighborhood. The low-quality lawns that probably had no fertilizer in several month,s if any at all this year, are indeed looking rather yellow.
Perhaps it is my imagination, but I think I am seeing some green up from fertilizer applied about late October--stay tuned.

And Wisconsin is colder than Michigan in the fall due to the effects near Lake Michigan--or am I wrong? Do you have data on the average soil temperature in spring where you are?

phasthound
12-04-2011, 08:20 PM
Smallaxe, about your tagline; natural grasslands and suburban lawns have very little in common. It's pointless to compare them in such a way.

Darryl G
12-04-2011, 08:39 PM
Yup, I rember how to color words in a post.Just go up to the font color in the advanced post menu.Click the capital A...that's your color selection.

CHARLES CUE
12-04-2011, 09:03 PM
Like this Charles Cue

Smallaxe
12-05-2011, 07:56 AM
Smallaxe, about your tagline; natural grasslands and suburban lawns have very little in common. It's pointless to compare them in such a way.

The tagline is about seed and how a seed plants itself in various conditions... :)

Smallaxe
12-05-2011, 08:42 AM
Yup, I rember how to color words in a post.Just go up to the font color in the advanced post menu.Click the capital A...that's your color selection.

Thanks guys... :)

Smallaxe
12-05-2011, 08:55 AM
i just checked some grass lawns in my neighborhood. The low-quality lawns that probably had no fertilizer in several month,s if any at all this year, are indeed looking rather yellow.
Perhaps it is my imagination, but I think I am seeing some green up from fertilizer applied about late October--stay tuned.

And Wisconsin is colder than Michigan in the fall due to the effects near Lake Michigan--or am I wrong? Do you have data on the average soil temperature in spring where you are?

That's what I thought from your posts over time, is that your were close enough to the lake to have a longer Autumn, but I believe you also then have a later Spring... Is that true?

As far as soil temperature goes, my properties are probably not that close to the average soil temp maps on the net, but i can at least consider what's going on by watching the plants. Forsythia bloom is an exa. that everyone is familiar with.

We have large bodies of water that postpones frost in the Fall and plenty of trees to keep many places from warming up in the Spring. Sometimes the ice is off the lakes, but there's still snow piles in the ditch...

Overtime it seems that germination of grass seed takes place around Memorial Day. June is the best month for overseeding in the trees. Sunny lawns, away from the lakes are sooner.

mdlwn1
12-05-2011, 09:53 AM
This is more complicated than I thought. My turf does not lose its green color in the fall. Nor did it respond by darker green when fertilizer was applied about November first. I applied fertilizer to the right half of my test lawns on November 31st. Waiting for results. Clearly the northern species have a completly different best time as compared to warm-season species.
I recently read a paragraph (don't recall where, perhaps the above Ohio info), that claimed 4 benefits of late fall fertilization:
1)--Green up in the fall
2)--Deeper roots
3)--No flush of excess growth in spring, as compared to April fert
4)--Improved drought tolerance in following summer

I am not saying the above is bull--I am just skeptical--how much greener? How much deeper? How much flush? How much drought tolerance?

Keep in mind that none of this pertains to runoff/leaching. A heavy fall feeding (in my area) will without a doubt keep it greener longer. As far as the spring goes..for me it's a win win. No spring fert is needed (if done right). Yes there will be tons of lawns around that are way more green in the spring...but you can beat every one of them over the course of the season because a minimally or non spring fed lawn will always perform more durably and with slower growth (especially in the heat) than a spring fed lawn. Been my program for 20 years untill recently.

RigglePLC
12-05-2011, 05:41 PM
Over the course of the season, a minimally-fed lawn will always perform more durably in the heat.

Hmmm...how would you prove or disprove this idea? At what point would fertility be so low that the quality would be reduced? Does that mean double fertilizer in spring would damage the lawn and reduce its quality? (after the affects of the double shot wore off? )

How would different pecies of grass react? Tall fescue? Bermuda?

Yes,our springs are a little late near Lake Michigan.

I have just acquired (from my daughter) a sample of Scotts "Heat Tolerant Blue" seed for potential winter experiments. About 50 percent water absorbant coating, 45 percent tall fescue and 5 percent "Thermal Blue" Kentucky bluegrass. So far I have planted a sample on bare soil in my garden as a dormant seeding.

I also acquired from my daughter--a sample of crabgrass seed. I am trying to think of experiments I could do this winter. Any suggestions?

Smallaxe
12-06-2011, 07:23 PM
Over the course of the season, a minimally-fed lawn will always perform more durably in the heat.

Hmmm...how would you prove or disprove this idea? ...

Let's discuss this particular point in the context of N-burn during drought and see if anything makes sense... :)

RigglePLC
12-06-2011, 09:18 PM
Smallaxe, so true--if N-burned, the grass will recover slowly--if at all.
Usually I never worried about burning grass that was already brown. I have burned lawns with liquid fert solutions in hot weather--its easy. I have seldom caused burns with dry fertilizer...so no problem, except for those pesky spreader tip-overs.
Ever stop to pull a weed and hear a small crunch-hiss noise behind you as the spreader tipped over on a slight slope?

Smallaxe
12-07-2011, 07:38 AM
... I also acquired from my daughter--a sample of crabgrass seed. I am trying to think of experiments I could do this winter. Any suggestions?

I would dormant seed some CG along with your KBG and see how it all plays out in the spring.

Another test would be having CG in a cool place in a window, cool place out of sunlight and also the same only with warm places...

Grasses like to have light in order to germinate? or not?

Kiril
12-07-2011, 10:31 AM
I recently read a paragraph (don't recall where, perhaps the above Ohio info), that claimed 4 benefits of late fall fertilization:
1)--Green up in the fall
2)--Deeper roots
3)--No flush of excess growth in spring, as compared to April fert
4)--Improved drought tolerance in following summer

I am not saying the above is bull--I am just skeptical--how much greener? How much deeper? How much flush? How much drought tolerance?

1) Unless you have a NDVI meter/sensor, how much is subjective. That said, compared to a no fertilizer application, I would expect some green up, how much depends on the plant and soil nutrient status at the time of application.

2) Root growth for cool season grasses is highest in fall & spring. You can expect better (deeper) root growth when adequate supply of nutrients are available.

3) This seems obvious to me ... no fert vs. fert.

4) Deeper rooting leads to improved drought tolerance.