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  #1  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:48 PM
grassguy123 grassguy123 is offline
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Athletic Field Help... Fertilizer

We provide lawn service for 5 schools in Central New Jersey. We have had a lot of rain and sun all summer so the grass has been growing strong. There are a number of soccer fields that get fertilized. During the summer months the school system tries to save money by skipping lawn service some weeks.

The fertilized fields always grow thicker and faster than the unfertilized grass but this year was the worst. My guys cut the grass on Sat at 3.5 inches and by Tues the grass was 7 inches in the fertilized areas and 4 inches in the unfertilized areas.

Here is the fertilizer program. 1)early spring- 24-0-11 2)late spring-19-0-6 and broadleaf control 3)summer-(fertilizer not specified) early 4)fall-24-0-11 and broadleaf.

Any comments on this fertilizer program?

Any comments on why grass is growing to 7 inches in 3 days?

Is it healthy to cut grass from 7-10inches down to 3.5 inches every week?

How many times are athletic fields usually cut per week?
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2009, 05:30 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassguy123 View Post
We provide lawn service for 5 schools in Central New Jersey. We have had a lot of rain and sun all summer so the grass has been growing strong. There are a number of soccer fields that get fertilized. During the summer months the school system tries to save money by skipping lawn service some weeks.

The fertilized fields always grow thicker and faster than the unfertilized grass but this year was the worst. My guys cut the grass on Sat at 3.5 inches and by Tues the grass was 7 inches in the fertilized areas and 4 inches in the unfertilized areas.

Here is the fertilizer program. 1)early spring- 24-0-11 2)late spring-19-0-6 and broadleaf control 3)summer-(fertilizer not specified) early 4)fall-24-0-11 and broadleaf.

Any comments on this fertilizer program?

Any comments on why grass is growing to 7 inches in 3 days?

Is it healthy to cut grass from 7-10inches down to 3.5 inches every week?

How many times are athletic fields usually cut per week?
Even though it's been a great year for grass to grow in NJ, that's excessive growth to say the least.

Give me a call & we'll see if we can help reduce your mowing nightmare.
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2009, 06:42 PM
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turf hokie turf hokie is offline
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The fields we fertilize are done with Barry's product. We have applied 4x this year. They are cut 2x per week generally Tues/Frid.

The cutter actually thanked us this year. He could not figure out how we kept it green all summer without him having to double cut.

I told him it was a trade secret>

Fields are maintained at 2 1/2 inches and if we have a week or two slowdown on usage we will allow them to go to 3 to recover a bit. Nothing is bagged, all clippings are recycled.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:02 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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Dr. David Minner ran into this at Iowa State University last year. They tested several rates/frequency of fertilizer applications, etc on athletic fields that were in terrible condition.

Best results were on fields that received "13 pounds" of actual N per K in one growing season. (Regular mowing & watering too).

13 lbs shocked me too, but the results were obvious. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:20 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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Originally Posted by americanlawn View Post
Dr. David Minner ran into this at Iowa State University last year. They tested several rates/frequency of fertilizer applications, etc on athletic fields that were in terrible condition.

Best results were on fields that received "13 pounds" of actual N per K in one growing season. (Regular mowing & watering too).

13 lbs shocked me too, but the results were obvious. Hope this helps.
Ouch! Sounds very expensive. And I would think that that much N will cause other problems in turf health. What about runoff & leaching of N?

We've been able to show great results (green up, no flush growth, increased tolerance to drought & disease) with as little as 2.5lbs of N annually. The key factor is knowing how many lbs of organic matter is applied annually.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2009, 08:27 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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Athletic fields are cut more often. Yankee stadium probably 3 or 4 times per week--and probably cut short, too. You groundskeepers at major stadiums can let us know about that.
It is also likely you have a lot of ryegrass in the seed blend; some types grow really fast. This is particularly true during the late summer season when soil temps are high. Can you omit August and switch to more fall feeding? October and November? It is better for the roots, slower growth and stimulates more thickening of the grass. All seed companies reccommend most of the fert in fall. You did not mention how many pounds of nitrogen were actually applied. How may bags of 24-0-11 per acre? Maybe you need a product with less quick release and more slow release nitrogen.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2009, 05:45 AM
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lawn king lawn king is offline
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That program looks to be on the high side N wise, we need your actual app rates to verify that. We service 7 athletic fields on an annual 5 step program. with aeration, we apply 5-6 lbs of N per thousand and attain very good results year after year. The fields all have sprinklers & receive quality maintenance.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:04 AM
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Mscotrid Mscotrid is offline
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Without specifying the summer fert I see about 2.75 lbs of N per K on the turf. Surprised at the amount of growth you have seen this season. I would say the irrigation and cooler seasonal temps are pushing the growth and not your fert program
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2009, 12:23 PM
mdlwn1 mdlwn1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mscotrid View Post
Without specifying the summer fert I see about 2.75 lbs of N per K on the turf. Surprised at the amount of growth you have seen this season. I would say the irrigation and cooler seasonal temps are pushing the growth and not your fert program
No way you can know this from his post.
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2009, 12:32 PM
mdlwn1 mdlwn1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassguy123 View Post
We provide lawn service for 5 schools in Central New Jersey. We have had a lot of rain and sun all summer so the grass has been growing strong. There are a number of soccer fields that get fertilized. During the summer months the school system tries to save money by skipping lawn service some weeks.

The fertilized fields always grow thicker and faster than the unfertilized grass but this year was the worst. My guys cut the grass on Sat at 3.5 inches and by Tues the grass was 7 inches in the fertilized areas and 4 inches in the unfertilized areas.

Here is the fertilizer program. 1)early spring- 24-0-11 2)late spring-19-0-6 and broadleaf control 3)summer-(fertilizer not specified) early 4)fall-24-0-11 and broadleaf.

Any comments on this fertilizer program?


Any comments on why grass is growing to 7 inches in 3 days?

Is it healthy to cut grass from 7-10inches down to 3.5 inches every week?

How many times are athletic fields usually cut per week?
It all depends on the amount of fert per x feet. I am at 2 lbs n for the whole year and I have not seen greener grass around here as well as not ever cutting more than 1 inch or so all year. I also cut at a max height of about 2.75". Sure maybe the other products are great..maybe their not...doesnt matter. There is soo much fine tuning you can do. I always get a kick out of the guys that immediatly jump on the "use John Doe's products. The grass is growing 7 inches in three days because it has TOO MUCH FOOD. Heavy rains will tend to compound the effect of mulching all year resulting in even more food. Don't get your advice here. Find someone local (golf super or sim) and PAY them to help you develope a custom program for your situation.
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