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Old 03-02-2014, 05:19 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Here is Rutgers Best Management Practices for Turf Grass.
This publication is aimed at the professional lawn care industry. For general cool season turf they state N is not required from mid-June to early Aug except for Zosia. Also note how much you can reduce N simply by leaving clippings.
This was written before the NJ Fertilizer Law took effect and restricted P, so the recommendation of limiting P to 1lb/k annually is now over the amount allowed by law (with some exceptions).
Barry Draycott

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:50 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Originally Posted by americanlawn View Post
Good stuff here.

Withholding plant food for lawns until September & November sounds fine on paper, but...........

Are you assuming enough water will be applied to allow these nutrients to enter the root zone in time to be available? How often do homeowners water?? Even if they have a sprinkler system?? Most of our customers are cheap (probably learned that from me).

Add on top of that --- doesn't poultry manure takes longer to break down/be effective?

Then there's the 1988 ISU study that proved that lawns fed during that (record drought) summer recovered better compared to lawns that were NOT fed (for months).

Finally -- do plants really care where the nutrient sources come from? If you think so, please correct me.

I got more, but that's all for now.
Larry, if lawns are not watered there is even less reason to add fertilizer.

Regarding poultry manure or other organic fertilizers, I still prefer to apply them until late June. This will allow the microbes to do their work at the right time for the plant. If I had to apply fert during the summer, I would still choose an organic one, maybe kelp or humate.

Plants don't care about where their nutrients come from, they don't care much about anything. In fact plants can only absorb nutrients in inorganic forms. But this doesn't mean organic matter and soil microbes have no value.

In nature, plants make sugars & carbs through photosynthesis. Up to half of sugars & carbs are leaked out of root hairs and into the soil to feed specific microbiology which will convert minerals & other nutrients into plant available forms when the plant needs them. Additionally, plants will feed other microbes which will defend their food source from pathogens. Some say the system is directed by the plant.

Making use of some organic practices in a conventional lawn care program has many benefits.
Barry Draycott

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:45 PM
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turfmd101 turfmd101 is offline
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I say, do not add nitrogen if drought conditions or over wet conditions are present. Nitrogen pushes growth and turf slows down growth under drought conditions ( it's a survival instinct ). You should apply a summer stress relief blend like K-mag. Helps in the building of protein, photosynthesis, stress relief and reduction of diseases. It will also help to produce the chlorophyll molecule. Potassium also helps plants move nutrients and water in the plant to where itís needed most
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Last edited by turfmd101; 03-02-2014 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:44 AM
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heritage heritage is offline
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Warmer soils have more active soil Biology but it would not hurt to apply a Bacterial rich tea with some micros for some added color even if the cool season turf is going into a resting state.
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Old 03-03-2014, 04:40 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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What if P & K are already readily available? (as with us) Our soil samples (both high pH clay soils and 7.0 pH loam soils) also state that nitrogen is the main nutrient lacking. So if I apply a 50% XCU slow release fert with nitrogen in late July, would I be wrong?

Thought behind this is, July, August, early Sept = typically very little rainfall. Fact is, we hope & pray for what little rainfall comes about during this time period so our "Merit" app can be effective.

Another thing >> nitrogen does NOT always push top growth, because it depends on the growing stage of the plant. All plants in the grass family rely on nitrogen for it's main food. Conventional, natural organic, synthetic organic >> doesn't matter, cuz ALL are "organic" (carbon based).

I will continue to "heavily fertilize" my lawn during the summer. This way the nutrients will "be in place" (root zone) when the plants start to rebuild their root system during early & late fall.

Never had a problem doing this either, cuz most disease pressure has past.

It's kinda like getting a flu shot..............Do you get a flu shot during peak season??? Or do you plan ahead???
Proud subscriber of TURF Magazine. (thanks Ron)
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:47 PM
GW Andy GW Andy is offline
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I also deal with cool season grass in Wisconsin. My full program is a 5 step program. Almost all of my customers are non-irrigated. Last year I took the fertilizer our of the summer application and we called it a Summer Touch up Broadleaf and Crabgrass weed control application. We mainly went after summer annuals, any clover and crab breakthroughs. We carried 2 different tank mixes in our Z- sprays, 1 for broadleaf and 1 for crabgrass since we didn't see that much crabgrass but along some edges and a few patches here and there. We did include some fert on some of the irrigated lawns. We started are fall apps the last week of August. All our lawns looked great last fall. We had no customers ask about the change.
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