Originally Posted by Smallaxe
That is a pretty optimistic view of the function of fertilizer not being wasted through cold temperatures... Your Nitrate Anion being in solution
is exactly why it will not be there for very long and why our drinking water is too full of nitrates to be safe...
With proper hibernation preparation for grass going into dormancy now,,, no one will have to fertilize in the Spring...
In fact the article reinforces what has been said for years; that N first thing in the Spring is actually harmful to the healthy development of the plants...
we look at rapid greenup and excessive blade growth in April and say, "Wow, that N application really does a good job!!!" Steriods for are a good thing for Lance Armstrong,,, and Bovine Growth Hormones for milks cows are a good thing too...
The late season app is Urea and Potassium Sulfate. We use the Nitrates here when the soils are warmer, though in smaller doses than you would think, to avoid the pitfalls you mention.
The late season app does not need to be such a large dose as the Professors from top Ag Universities once guided us to do, and we do not want so much "Top Growth" the following spring, that the root system is almost exhuasted from stored carbohydrate, so that the turfgrass cannot defend itself against stressors like heat and disease.
We want the grass to have greater carbohydrate stores, and we use the shorter days and longer nights and the positive effects this has with turf storing more food in it' rootsystem. This is why we use the Late Season Fertilization system. Apply the art to the theory "fine tuned" and you get earlier spring green up without too much topgrowth, AND with these benefits you will be able to skip the early spring Nitrogen fert app.
We in New Jersey have taken a step in the right direction with the new laws and the Fertilizer Applicator testing will help to make more aware of the Effect(s) of fertilization.....Not only does it make the turfgrass "Greener" in color.