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Turfdude
12-10-2002, 03:42 PM
Anyone else not yet finished putting down their last application (dormant feed)? We have approx 75 places to go. Still some snow on the ground - it should thaw & be gone by this weekend. I would hate to have to store the product until next fall, as well as lose the income from this visit.

Bob

Nebraska
12-10-2002, 03:58 PM
Two years ago we put down the late fall application on top of the snow. Was told that it will not make any difference. The problem was the perception on part of the customer. Will not do again because I ended up spending a good two days explaining on the phone..... Customer perception.....

GroundKprs
12-10-2002, 06:08 PM
Best to get them on now, from an agronomic aspect. Your cool season grasses, especially blues, continue growth (mostly underground) until the ground freezes. I have seen new rhizome growth up to 18" in winters when we had no significant ground freeze.

Doubt your ground is frozen now. The soil was warm enough until right before the snow, and the snow insulated soil surface from the cold air. Been checking mine here, and only frozen soil is where snow was removed from turf areas. Knife or screwdriver goes right thru snow into ground. If snow melts (I've even put fert on top of soon to melt snow), chances are ground won't freeze until a month from now. Even if it does freeze and stay frozen, fert is there in place to be used as soon as thaw comes.

But NE brings up a very important point. Will your customers think: "Why the heck is he fertilizing the snow?" Could hurt your credibility. If you have any clients who you think might question this practice, you might want to skip them. Better yet do them and leave an explanation of why you are doing it this way.

Nebraska
12-10-2002, 07:02 PM
Grndkprs,

18" in the winter, then we come and reduce that growth with pre-emergents.........:dizzy:

1grnlwn
12-10-2002, 07:21 PM
_Sience________Common sense___
..................A..............................

Aint this a cool business!

You might call customers ahead and let them know why its OK to apply. This is proactive approach. Ahh we are finished thank god.

greenngrow
12-10-2002, 07:52 PM
Look at it this way...

You will be able to get a better spread pattern in the snow....LOL

All jokes aside. It will not hurt and the grass will still be able to use the plant food. Like everyone has mentioned you will get some people questioning your decision to apply Fertilizer. Just remember you are the professional. Use tack and explain in your invoice the reason and explain that you have done your homework on this. It would be a bad idea to look up info about this particular subject from your local extension office or university.

GroundKprs
12-10-2002, 08:45 PM
But remember, NE, I do minimal pre-ems. Probably do only 25-30% of my turf areas, and have moved 6 whole lawns to only postemerge crab/foxtail control. Hope to be using no pre-em in 5 years.

And the only way I could truly measure 18" was where they grew into beds without edging. LOL. More work for Jim in springtime.

1grnlwn
12-11-2002, 12:35 AM
It's funny because no one will question TG or LD when they are out applying in 100 degree drought conditions.

Envy Lawn Service
12-11-2002, 01:59 AM
We got some snow here, then a light crusting of ice on top. I still had some to do. I just decided to wait it out. As the temps increased, the crusting softened and melting had already begain from the bottom.

I started appling on lawns I knew would be pretty well melted by the days end or ones that were already. I did this for several reasons. Some obvious, others not. So here we go...

I never like to skip the fall & winter applications. To me these are the most important feedings of all and should never be missed if at all possible. Secondly, I was bored and couldn't really do anything else productive. Third, more cleanups to be done in the better weather conditions. Forth, I knew more precipitation was in the forcast and I wanted to get it down.

Man what a great decision that all turned out to be. We are getting a good slow soaking rain as we speak :D

tremor
12-11-2002, 07:51 AM
I happen to like when fert goes under snow. The snow layer reduces volatilization.

Even applied to a "soft snow", there is agronomic benefit if the ground isn't frozen.

But applying fert to crusted snow or frozen ground is a real compromise.

I agree with Jim that customer impressions are worth more than agronomic benefit here.

1GL has it right with the call aheads.

I had lunch with a customer yesterday that still hasn't finished either. Some of the unfinished route are his pre-pays. His options are to credit next years sevice or start hammering the phones, since he feels to apply over over snow without clarification could do more harm to the client/business relationship than the revenue is worth. That's a good point since pre-pays are the best customers.

This is always a difficult decision to make. Most of your customers are more concerned with the congestion in the mall parking lots than they are with their lawns right now.

Choose this path wisely!

Steve

KLR
12-11-2002, 09:59 AM
i got a little bit of a differant perspective. i've been in this end of the business for 20+ years, and i'm the first to admit i got an attidude. we been doing apps in snow. customer questions us, we got a good, sound agronomic answer. customer STILL questions whether we are just ripping them off, i have NO problem stepping up and telling them they NEED to trust my judgement, if they don't.........see ya....cancelled!

now, don't go by me, as i mentioned, i've got an attidude. I'm old and getting grumpier every season. (thats why i spend less time out in the field and more time kicking around the office/shop, i let the younger guys, who have more patients than me, go out and keep us in business.

Turfdude
12-11-2002, 10:40 AM
Thank you for the replies guys. I am going to resome either Friday or Monday after the snow melts. Just wanted to see if anyone else had to wait till after a snow melt, or just proceeded according to schedule.
Thank you again.

Bob

HBFOXJr
12-11-2002, 05:31 PM
Bob- I have some to do too. I'll be handing out a flyer explaining what's going on with the remaining apps. I've read some turf specialists that would like this app beween Xmas and Valentines day. I don't think it will be a problem with the weather predicted. Then there is lime. I already have a note on the dormant fert invoice that lime will occur in Dec or over the winter as weather permits.

Envy Lawn Service
12-11-2002, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by tremor
I happen to like when fert goes under snow. The snow layer reduces volatilization.

Even applied to a "soft snow", there is agronomic benefit if the ground isn't frozen.

But applying fert to crusted snow or frozen ground is a real compromise.

I agree with Jim that customer impressions are worth more than agronomic benefit here.

Steve

I agree with all this. That's why I chose to wait until things started to melt and soften up good.

HBFOXJr
12-17-2002, 03:09 PM
We'll be finishing tomorrow as there is no snow. No customer questions or complaints.

Turfdude
12-17-2002, 10:27 PM
Harold,

We too should be finished by Friday!! And of course more rain on the way:rolleyes: .

Bob