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  #1  
Old 09-17-2013, 02:10 PM
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BlazersandWildcats2009 BlazersandWildcats2009 is offline
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What does this fertilizer contain? Myth or Truth?

I was able to locate this Lesco 15-5-10 for Texas turfs. http://www.homedepot.com/p/LESCO-15-...f#.UjiZOMbrz64

I read in one of the reviews, this product contains ammonia sulfur, which is what counteracts with Alkaline soils. I'm still waiting on soil test, but I suspect mine is just as the same as everyone else in the surrounding area, very alkine. If that is the case, would this 15-5-10 contain enough sulfur to counteract with a high soil ph, or at least improve over time? Also, aside from the alkine soil, Iron Chlorosis seems to be caused from our Alkaline soils common so, in Central TX. From my understanding Lesco uses Iron in their 15-5-10? From my understanding we need a low in phosphorus fertilizer considering that we have too much to spare here? I'll know for sure as soon as I get a sample back, but I suspect this is the conditions of my soil considering everything and everyone I've talked to be is in the same range. I just need a better understanding of exactly what's in this "Texas Turf" Fert for anyone that's used it. Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:05 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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The nitrogen is from ammonium sulfate and ammonium phosphate, both materials are better at acidifying soil than urea. I face a similar situation in Hawaii. Many of the lawns and landscapes I maintain are on coral contaminated soil. Coral is just as good as limestone, with the added problem of sodium chloride. I get more green out of a custom formulated fertilizer containing ammonium sulfate, potassium nitrate, chelated micronutrients, and no phosphorus unless soil testing indicates need. In extremely alkaline soils, you might need to be applying up to 100 lb per year, not application of micronized sulfur prills.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:23 PM
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BlazersandWildcats2009 BlazersandWildcats2009 is offline
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GreenDoctor, thank you so much for the word of advice. You have me looking at things in a completely different perspective now. So would you suggest me finding a similar formula, with 0 Phosphate? Also, is my understanding true, that without the Alkaline soil, that the iron needed to green the lawn is not released into the soil until the PH drops? Which seems that it would explain why when we receive Acidic rains our lawns green up almost beyond green? You mentioned the nitrogen in this product is from The nitrogen is from ammonia sulfate and ammonia phosphate, so thus for Central Tx and our Alkaline soil, this would be a well balanced formula minus the Phosphate?

I know Lesco makes products higher in nitrogen also, such as 39-0-0 if I recall correctly. Is the nitrogen in this formula also made from ammonia sulfate and ammonia phosphate? Or is this a completely different story?

Thank you so much for sharing your excellent knowledge! I'm trying to expand my knowledge of soils and fertilizer and their impact, so that I can learn for myself for future sake!
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:29 AM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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You know, I face a similar high phosphorus issue because the convention for many years in Hawaii was to fertilize with either 16-15-15 or 10-30-10 AG fertilizers. I like to blend my own and then spray it. The Lesco high nitrogen granules are probably based on urea. I do not know for sure because Lesco does not operate in Hawaii. I am working on one bermuda lawn right now where it does not respond to the normal urea based slow release granules. What it does respond to is 5 lb ammonium sulfate, 1 lb potassium nitrate, 8 oz ferrous sulfate, and 1 lb 0-60-20(phosphorus pentoxide/potassium hydroxide).

Iron makes a world of difference in the appearance of the grass. Bermuda and zoysia tend to be off color unless there is enough available iron. Iron makes a different kind of green. For me, iron in granules is more a liability than benefit. It stains sidewalks and pools. The reason why someone would even want to broadcast iron is because the grass needs it. The grass is probably needing it because the soil has iron that is unavailable to the grass. Iron sprayed on as a soluble liquid is available to the grass. It is absorbed by both the leaves and the roots in the thatch layer right above the soil itself. Another thing to look at is magnesium. In high calcium soils, it is possible for magnesium to be deficient and unavailable to the grass because the calcium competes for utilization in the grass. I draw a lot of soil tests. Cannot tell by looking what is in soil.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:09 AM
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I meant to ask after your earlier post, greendoctor, if you were using greenhouse grade potassium nitrate. Appears that you are if you making your own mixes and spraying.

Is it difficult to get in Hawaii? I use prilled potassium nitrate and it is terribly hard to get. Spotty. Available some years, other years not at any price. Used to be one could understand the big price swings that came with peace or lack of peace I the Middle East. Now that Homeland Security is involved, shipping interstate has become slow, onerous, and expensive. Most places want nothing to do with it. I found a couple pallets last summer and have been using it sparingly. I have also had to put up with a lot of BD and inconvenience. Where I normally would not accept product that is rock hard, I have found myself breaking up bags of potassium nitrate with a sledgehammer and my 'blew tool', one 50# lump per bag, in a sturdy wheelbarrow, screening it into 5 gal pails, then adding to my tractor mounted spreader. I tried adding a clump bar to the spreader but quickly saw that it was going to tear up my spreader before those rocks would be broken up.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:24 AM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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There are 2 vendors out of 3 that carry potassium nitrate. Mine is greenhouse grade. One of my vendors sold me a bag of prilled potassium nitrate a long time ago. Don't know why it would be such a big deal. The greenhouse grade is a fine powder that blends well with sugar, sulfur, charcoal, German black aluminum, etc. I would prefer the prills myself because the powder blows around in the slightest breeze. Dissolving it is not a big deal. I designed my sprayer to have very good agitation.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greendoctor View Post
The greenhouse grade is a fine powder that blends well with sugar, sulfur, charcoal, German black aluminum, etc
Indeed!


Perhaps the prilled bag was not a big deal was because it was a long time ago. I know they require a lot of paperwork on it now every time it crosses a state border in a truck.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:42 AM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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The vendors need to fill out a really long form to sell any form of potassium nitrate. But for my use, there is no practical substitute. Don't know about your area, I cannot get ammonium nitrate or magnesium nitrate.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:05 AM
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I have never worked with magnesium nitrate (maybe as part of a micro mix?). Ammonium nitrate: they make it inconvenient and ask for a lot of information, record exactly how much you took and where you plan to use it, but it is available.

I get an especially good response on newly seeded areas from potassium nitrate @1#K/M followed by urea a week later @ 0.7# N/M, making 1# of each total. Since figuring that out several years ago I do not like not having some on hand at all times. I also believe there is no comparable substitute but would like to find one.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:39 PM
greendoctor greendoctor is offline
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36-0-0 is not even shipped into Hawaii. Now for your post seeding fertilization program, on paper, urea and 0-0-60 should work. I know better than that. There are issues with salt content and form of N. My fertilizer programs are carefully thought out and no, a fertilizer vendor did not sell me these programs. If anything they dread seeing me walk through the door because I am asking for the less commonly used items.
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