Originally Posted by foreplease
I don't think it is quite the same but it would be interesting to see a side by side test. Seems to me that fall compost topdressing would not cause near the same flush of (useless) growth as 1/2# sythetic N applied, say, April 15.
It has probably been done but let's imagine 6 plots where we:
1 do nothing Fall or Spring
2 apply 1# synthetic N Oct 15
3 topdress with 1/2 cu yd compost/M Oct 15
4 apply Milorganite at 1/2# N Oct 15
5 apply Urea (granular) at 1/2# N April 15
6 apply Milorganite at 1/2# N April 15 (too early, I know)
And we take photos, examine roots, and measure top growth on April1, April 15, May 1, and May 15. Personally, I rarely put any N down before May 15 and it is usually a week later than that. I will make exceptions, for one season, if no fertilizer has been applied since the previous Spring.
I test procedures and fertilizer on my own lawn but I have run out of space.
What I'm getting at is the cost effectiveness of a slow release synthetic product 21-7-14 with "polymer sulfur coated urea" and put down heavy right after Labor day. The effects of this product doesn't really show until 10-14 days.
My current favorite bridge product is a 14-2-5 with Dried Poultry Waste and I typically apply it heavy. The synthetic portion kicks in around 7-10 days but in side by side testing will out perform the 21-7-14 synthetic product long term since the DPW breaks down organic matter and releases more nitrogen.
My service area is over a large aquifer and the soil is sandy but this doesn't prevent the large companies from applying huge amounts of product when lawns are dormant and the ground is basically frozen.
The bridge product is better overall but the cost for the nitrogen for a heavy fall application on the 65-75% of the seasons N is spendy. For the DPW to work....doesn't it need higher temperatures? Using a DPW product too late in the season is probably not the best move.
Again it boils down to competing with other Co. in the area and the general ignorance of the client base on what is good for the lawn. This is the single most frustrating issue with this business. There is an alarming amount of disinfo in my area.
In side by side testing Milorganite doesn't perform well and it's expensive when compared to my favorite bridge product 14-2-5 with DPW.
Looks like I will do be doing a side by side test this Fall.