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View Full Version : Spring N App and Timing


Smallaxe
03-27-2012, 08:15 PM
I can't find the thread in which I was challenged on the 'timing' of spring ferts and how 'shoot growth' occurred at the expense of the roots...

So I am answering it here... :)

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

* "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."

This is actually a very good article that looks at the life cycle of turf grass and gives an opportunity to enhace the growth of the turf... :)

Greenery
03-27-2012, 08:34 PM
The more energy the grass plant uses towards shoot growth the less available energy it has for root growth. N apps promote shoot growth.

That's how I see it at least.
Posted via Mobile Device

Smallaxe
03-27-2012, 09:01 PM
The more energy the grass plant uses towards shoot growth the less available energy it has for root growth. N apps promote shoot growth.

That's how I see it at least.
Posted via Mobile Device

What the article is saying is that,,, Early Spring fertilization causes undesireable shoot growth, which in turns diminishes healthy root growth...

Are you saying that you agree or disagree with that strategy?

grandview (2006)
03-27-2012, 09:10 PM
Most lawns don't need the N,lawn companies put it down to show the customer they are doing their job. Better of putting lime down to green it up.

Greenery
03-27-2012, 09:35 PM
Are you saying that you agree or disagree with that strategy?

I agree.

I wouldn't think there would be too many that disagree.

The obvious problem is that the volume driven company's need to get going as soon as they can to get through there rounds.

Their employees are trained in this method, then they leave and start their company and they use what they learned at company X.

The customers are so accustomed to the early ferts that they also believe that's how it should be done.

We have new customers every spring call wondering why we aren't there the minute the snow melts. (even though they were explained the timing of our apps)

All you can do is try to educate the customer.
Posted via Mobile Device

Smallaxe
03-28-2012, 08:50 AM
I agree.

I wouldn't think there would be too many that disagree.

The obvious problem is that the volume driven company's need to get going as soon as they can to get through there rounds.

Their employees are trained in this method, then they leave and start their company and they use what they learned at company X.

The customers are so accustomed to the early ferts that they also believe that's how it should be done.

We have new customers every spring call wondering why we aren't there the minute the snow melts. (even though they were explained the timing of our apps)

All you can do is try to educate the customer.
Posted via Mobile Device

It's True... Volume driven companies, have to do, what they have to do... Customers believe all kinds of funny ideas becuz of years of seeing things happen a certain way, kind of like tradition...

I believe it is important we not let 'tradition', be the 'science' that guides our actions and beliefs about lawncare... Thanks for the clarification... :)

ChiTownAmateur
03-28-2012, 05:38 PM
I think this is probably the #1 thing that most people outside the pros don't know. There's plenty of N down there in almost every case and spring growth is already enough, adding a spring app just makes the mowing harder to keep up with and summer heat more difficult to tolerate.

Greenery
03-28-2012, 05:43 PM
Correct, but why do do many "pros" apply early N apps?

Smallaxe- where is your challenger I am interested in hearing the other side of the discussion.
Posted via Mobile Device

ChiTownAmateur
03-28-2012, 05:48 PM
Depending upon the region, many places are not supposed to put down a winter app or late fall app, in those cases they may want some N. But imo, it's mostly because it doesn't HURT the APPEARANCE of the lawn, and for a while makes it look thicker and nice.

RigglePLC
03-28-2012, 08:38 PM
I am dubious, about the idea that spring nitrogen damages the grass in some way. Naturally you guys that mow it--would like to avoid excessive growth. But weather is usually cool, excessive growth is more likely to occur in late summer when soil and air temps are high and the lawn has just been fertilized for fall...and there is 4 days of steady rain. Hayfield!

Dave Stuart
03-28-2012, 09:17 PM
Photosynthesis is high in the spring and respiration is at a lower level. Late spring nitrogen applications deplete valued carbohydrate reserves that the plant needs to take it through summer stress. Nitrogen taken up by the plant initiates increased water uptake and a use of reserve stored energy to metabolize. Any spring nitrogen application should happen in the early half of spring.

Kiril
03-28-2012, 11:13 PM
Photosynthesis is high in the spring and respiration is at a lower level. Late spring nitrogen applications deplete valued carbohydrate reserves that the plant needs to take it through summer stress. Nitrogen taken up by the plant initiates increased water uptake and a use of reserve stored energy to metabolize. Any spring nitrogen application should happen in the early half of spring.

Agreed (see bold). In addition it can also limit root/rhizome/stolen/tiller growth which will also impact the turf in the summer, however so will a N limiting condition. Any spring N application (or any fert) should be made based on determined need. Beyond that, when you fertilize will depend on the turf you are managing, site requirements, and your regional environment.

Smallaxe
03-29-2012, 08:20 AM
Correct, but why do do many "pros" apply early N apps?

Smallaxe- where is your challenger I am interested in hearing the other side of the discussion.
Posted via Mobile Device

The challenger wanted a source for my comment and here it is...

Most pros start early with Spring apps, becuz they have too many apps to complete before it gets late.... Getting the last pre-m down b4 the CG actually sprouts is a scary situation for most squirt&fert guys... of course they use the Scotts granules rather than liquid so then U R stuck with Early Spring NPK apps for 2 or 3 generations...

Remember, anything that has been done for more than 2 generations becomes 'the only way to do it'... :)

Smallaxe
03-29-2012, 08:44 AM
I am dubious, about the idea that spring nitrogen damages the grass in some way. Naturally you guys that mow it--would like to avoid excessive growth. But weather is usually cool, excessive growth is more likely to occur in late summer when soil and air temps are high and the lawn has just been fertilized for fall...and there is 4 days of steady rain. Hayfield!

Speaking of hayfields,,, in studying pastures/hayfields(when grass) it was noted by those researchers that N apps, in early Spring, were unnecessary because of the N becoming available naturally in the soil after several months of dormancy. Ferts are first added after the first cutting is complete, but it was always the smart thing to make the primary app in the late Summer/early Fall...

It all makes perfect sense, once it is understood, WHY, adequate N becomes available after several months of dormancy...

RigglePLC
03-29-2012, 12:36 PM
I treated my neighbor's vacant lot.
1) untreated control.
2)26-0-6 on Oct 30.
3)26-0-6 double-covered on November 1st.

Thus far there is only a slight indication that this late fall fertilization caused darker green in fall. Quicker greenup in spring has not been impressive so far, at the date of the first mowing. If there is a difference, it is a tiny difference.

On my own shady back yard lawn I had sections fertilized October 30, and 2 days later on November 1, and 29 days later on November 30. And untreated control. So far no differences are visible. Shucks.

At my daughter's house, the left side of the back yard was fertilized with 26-0-6 on November 7. The right side was fertilized on November 30 with 26-0-6.
On February 7, 2012 the grass was very slightly greener on the right which was fertilized on November 30. By spring, there was no visible difference. Not mowed yet and no visible indication that the grass is greening up sooner than her neighbor's lawns.

This is mysterious. I expected more obvious differences. More difficult than I thought.
So...guys...what week of the year will fertilizer cause damage to the grass? Maybe I can try it. Is anybody else willing to do side by side comparisons?

Smallaxe
03-29-2012, 07:26 PM
I treated my neighbor's vacant lot.
1) untreated control.
2)26-0-6 on Oct 30.
3)26-0-6 double-covered on November 1st.

Thus far there is only a slight indication that this late fall fertilization caused darker green in fall. Quicker greenup in spring has not been impressive so far, at the date of the first mowing. If there is a difference, it is a tiny difference.

On my own shady back yard lawn I had sections fertilized October 30, and 2 days later on November 1, and 29 days later on November 30. And untreated control. So far no differences are visible. Shucks.

At my daughter's house, the left side of the back yard was fertilized with 26-0-6 on November 7. The right side was fertilized on November 30 with 26-0-6.
On February 7, 2012 the grass was very slightly greener on the right which was fertilized on November 30. By spring, there was no visible difference. Not mowed yet and no visible indication that the grass is greening up sooner than her neighbor's lawns.

This is mysterious. I expected more obvious differences. More difficult than I thought.
So...guys...what week of the year will fertilizer cause damage to the grass? Maybe I can try it. Is anybody else willing to do side by side comparisons?

The color of the grass doesn't really mean anything as far as the vigor of the roots and the preservation of the carbs in the plant... The creation of thatch is another issue that could be construed as 'damaging' but the specifics of that are harder to nail down...

The other practice in which I notice the most difference, are the lawns that also recieve excessive water and bagged clippings... adequate water during the dry spells and mulch mowed lawns right now, are far superior to lawns that are overdone... :)

ArTurf
03-30-2012, 11:16 AM
Most if this discussion is coming from cool season grass guys. How about warm season guys chiming in with your thoughts. I personally don't apply N until the grass has fully come out of dormancy after the 2nd mowing or so.

RigglePLC
03-30-2012, 11:31 AM
This is a bit confusing. I treated my neighbors vacant lot. Left of the sidewalk I treated with 26-0-6 on Oct 30th, Left of the stop sign, no fert, right of the stop sign for 10 feet 26-0-6 on Oct 30, From 10 feet right of stop sign to 20 feet right of stop sign applied double strength 26-0-6 on November first 2011.

Thus far not much difference.

This grass looks great, but it is actually a very neglected piece of grass--weedy and crab later on in the year, usually.

Smallaxe
03-31-2012, 09:36 AM
This is a bit confusing. I treated my neighbors vacant lot. Left of the sidewalk I treated with 26-0-6 on Oct 30th, Left of the stop sign, no fert, right of the stop sign for 10 feet 26-0-6 on Oct 30, From 10 feet right of stop sign to 20 feet right of stop sign applied double strength 26-0-6 on November first 2011.

Thus far not much difference.

This grass looks great, but it is actually a very neglected piece of grass--weedy and crab later on in the year, usually.

There is only so much fert that will be used by the plants, no matter if is double or 1/2 application, so there's not likely going to be any real difference... neglected pieces of ground often respond better to fertilizer, especially in the Fall when the annuals are gone and the grass is loving the warm earth and cooler temps... :)

Kiril
03-31-2012, 09:58 AM
There is only so much fert that will be used by the plants, no matter if is double or 1/2 application, so there's not likely going to be any real difference...

If that were true, then there wouldn't be such a thing as plant nutrient toxicity.

Smallaxe
03-31-2012, 10:28 AM
If that were true, then there wouldn't be such a thing as plant nutrient toxicity.

Can N reach toxic levels, in cool-season grasses?

How dark/bright shade of green, does the grass does the grass become, b4 toxicity is achieved?

Kiril
03-31-2012, 10:44 AM
You tell me Axe.

Smallaxe
04-01-2012, 10:01 AM
You tell me Axe.

I don't consider it to ever be an issue so I won't bother researching it... I thought maybe you had a little information to pass along that had some relevance to our discussion... :)

Kiril
04-01-2012, 10:17 AM
I don't consider it to ever be an issue so I won't bother researching it... I thought maybe you had a little information to pass along that had some relevance to our discussion... :)

I see. So despite the fact you have taken an incorrect general statement about plant nutrients and reduced it to just N in cool season grasses, and that you don't feel nutrient toxicity or N toxicity could ever be an issue, then of course it never happens and is not worthy of consideration. :clapping: :rolleyes:

Smallaxe
04-01-2012, 10:45 AM
I see. So despite the fact you have taken an incorrect general statement about plant nutrients and reduced it to just N in cool season grasses, and that you don't feel nutrient toxicity or N toxicity could ever be an issue, then of course it never happens and is not worthy of consideration. :clapping: :rolleyes:

So when I use the word PLANTS while talking all about turf and only turf, I made a generalized statement about every othe plant in the world, in comparison to winterizing lawns...

:laugh: Only You, could take the meaning of words, out of Context so illogically!!! :laugh:

Kiril
04-01-2012, 10:46 AM
------------------------

There is only so much fert that will be used by the plants, no matter if is double or 1/2 application, so there's not likely going to be any real difference

The above statement is based in ignorance and is incorrect.

Smallaxe
04-01-2012, 11:44 AM
------------------------



The above statement is based in ignorance and is incorrect.

***There is only so much fert that will be used by the plants(cool season grasses), no matter if is double or 1/2 application, so there's not likely going to be any real difference***

This conversation has gone ignorant and incorrect... and that is in accurate 'context'... :(

Kiril
04-01-2012, 11:47 AM
Yea, OK Axe. :rolleyes:

JoJo1990
04-03-2012, 03:50 AM
Can N reach toxic levels, in cool-season grasses?

How dark/bright shade of green, does the grass does the grass become, b4 toxicity is achieved?

Axe - Once and a while, you post some good questions that spark meaningful conversation. With that being said, you sometimes post items with little thought.

I would argue that once you reach about 1.5 pounds of N per thousand, you are at risk for burning the turf. You can argue further sand say that 46-0-0 urea will burn much faster than a stabilized urea may due to rapid uptake. There is lots of university data that supports the claim that anything over 1 pound per thousand per application is not necessary and wasteful.

It would be impossible to solely judge the color or shade of the turf to determine toxicity, unless you have brown grass that is fried due to N burn.

cgaengineer
04-03-2012, 05:06 AM
Most if this discussion is coming from cool season grass guys. How about warm season guys chiming in with your thoughts. I personally don't apply N until the grass has fully come out of dormancy after the 2nd mowing or so.

Same for me.
Posted via Mobile Device

Smallaxe
04-03-2012, 08:16 AM
Axe - Once and a while, you post some good questions that spark meaningful conversation. With that being said, you sometimes post items with little thought.

I would argue that once you reach about 1.5 pounds of N per thousand, you are at risk for burning the turf. You can argue further sand say that 46-0-0 urea will burn much faster than a stabilized urea may due to rapid uptake. There is lots of university data that supports the claim that anything over 1 pound per thousand per application is not necessary and wasteful.

It would be impossible to solely judge the color or shade of the turf to determine toxicity, unless you have brown grass that is fried due to N burn.

The scope of our conversation(Riggle and I) was the difference between 1/2 lbs. and 1 lbs... mr. rabbit trail took my comment out of context so he could use his "ignorant and incorrect" phrase again, and you got sucked into it...

Since we're now on the subject, what do you think of Regular NPK apps, during the Summer on NON-irrigated lawns do for grass???

Kiril
04-03-2012, 09:01 AM
If you can't speak clearly and concisely, don't speak at all.

Smallaxe
04-03-2012, 09:08 AM
If you can't speak clearly and concisely, don't speak at all.

When you eaves drop, get it right... :)

Kiril
04-03-2012, 09:19 AM
When you eaves drop, get it right... :)

The statement is incorrect, doesn't matter if you apply it to turf only or all the plants in the world ..... end of discussion. You can argue against that fact till the cows come home if you want, won't change a thing.

Smallaxe
04-03-2012, 09:58 AM
The statement is incorrect, doesn't matter if you apply it to turf only or all the plants in the world ..... end of discussion. You can argue against that fact till the cows come home if you want, won't change a thing.

"toxicity" doesn't enter the discussion, between .2-1 lbs. on cool season grasses, unless some interloper, jumps in and raises the non-issue of toxicity, becuz he can't follow conversational thought patterns, to understand niether, cool season grass , nor .2-1 lbs...

Anyone want to bet how many 'miscues', this guy can put together from 1 post??? :)

JoJo1990
04-03-2012, 01:20 PM
"toxicity" doesn't enter the discussion, between .2-1 lbs. on cool season grasses, unless some interloper, jumps in and raises the non-issue of toxicity, becuz he can't follow conversational thought patterns, to understand niether, cool season grass , nor .2-1 lbs...

Anyone want to bet how many 'miscues', this guy can put together from 1 post??? :)

Sigh. I'm out. I'm sure there's some paint drying somewhere that needs watching.

kennc38
04-03-2012, 04:31 PM
Sigh. I'm out. I'm sure there's some paint drying somewhere that needs watching.

Are you lacking in conversational thought patterns as well? ;)

Smallaxe
04-03-2012, 08:12 PM
:laugh: Hahahahaha!! :laugh:

Too Bad we'll never get back to the discussion...

Charles
04-06-2012, 06:48 AM
Time to move on from this one