charge more for micronutients?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by americanlawn, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,062

    Lowering the N overall reduces surge growth. I know in the UK, they do not fertilize with high rates of N for green either. Green comes from iron. Their fall application tends to have a high rate of iron. I would imagine putting down more iron and less N for the last application might help with surge growth, while still keeping it green. I use higher rates of micronutrients later in the year for a different reason. When the temperature cools, grass has trouble picking up micronutrients from the soil and turns chlorotic. High rates of N will either fail to do anything or give me surge growth that is still yellow.
     
  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    greendoctor. Our seasons are different, but what you said makes sense. Nice to have a fellow Libertarian on here. Larry :usflag:
     
  3. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    It seems like we're forgetting our basic plant nutrition here. Fe is NOT a replacement for N. The two nutrients are different and play completely different roles in the plant. Fe can give a very quick effect, but it doesn’t drive chlorophyll production like N does. If Fe is deficient, adding more will truly aid in producing more chlorophyll. If Fe is not deficient, you don’t get any greener at all! The Fe solution only dyes the outside of the leaf tissue, making its current color (usually green) darker.

    As for fall applications, growth is driven by nutrient status, day length, moisture status, and temperature. Once temps fall below 50 for C3s or 60 for C4s, N won’t push growth. It will help keep green color longer, but it won’t affect growth or winter survival.

    This is the reason why professionals aren’t doing this.
     
  4. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,289

    I'm with skip on this one. I have never understood applying more than 1/4 # of N on lawns per application when it is dense and growing at a normal pace. If a lawn is thin and needs growth to increase density,,, ok. 1 pound applied should be used for horizontal growth when thin not to push vertical growth. There are many nutrients required for overall turf health and vigor. Most are overlooked. I think most applicators feel they are cheating if they don't even use N but apply only other necessary nutrients. Chlorophyll is very necessary for deep green foliage but overall health dictates this not more N per thou.
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  5. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    That's all fine and good if you are a golf course and you want to spoon feed the turf. The lawns in my northern climate require 3 to 4 lbs of nitrogen per growing season which is about 6 months long. Applying 3 lb's of nitrogen in 1/4 increments would mean 12 trips to that customers lawn. Who in the hell is going to pay for that. I apply my 2.5 to 4 lb's of nitrogen in 3 to 5 applications using a blend that contains a 60 to 75% controlled release nitrogen product. I do this by applying 1/2 to 1 lb of nitrogen to the lawn depending on the amount of applications that customer has paid for and the time of year. I have spoken to to our universities turf professors. For all the soil samples they see in this state we rarely experience a lack of micronutrients. Fe will last about a week or 2 in our soils. It really is nothing but a stain. It really is all about applying the correct type of nitrogen to our turf. As we all should know, all nitrogen is not the same.
     
  6. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,289

    Nitrogen is different. But the turf only eats it in one form. If your looking for enhanced color try Magnesium. Magnesium is part of the chlorophyll in all green plants and essential for photosynthesis. It also helps activate many plant enzymes needed for growth. Magnesium is also a macronutrient. Using a 75% slow release is similar to spoon feeding N. In Florida it used to be suggested to apply 4 to 6 pounds of N per thou annually. Now 2 to 3 pounds. I'm at 2# max annually but use other macronutrients in higher abundance. I do not know northern turfl or soil like yourself and was just wondering why so much N is suggested by universities for your area given other macronutrients besides N aid in chlorophyll production and enzymes for plant growth. Add some proper micronutrients and bam great color. Low growth.
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  7. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    And it turned into a great discussion. Personally I have always ran Micros. 2% iron/mangenese etc but thats mostly because I buy from Lesco and they have micros in just about everything at least the items I use.

    In my opinion the days of 1lb of N on the majority of lawns is long gone anyhow and it's over fertilized at that rate.

    Some need it, most don't especially long term lawn care consumers and with apps every six weeks I rarely run that high of N.

    I loved running chelated iron and N when I was a liquid guy.

    Wowsa.....
     
  8. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    Let’s not forget, too, that we’re dealing with plants, not a painter’s canvas. A grass plant’s color potential is entirely determined by its genetics. It’s easy to tell the difference among species in color. Bermudagrass naturally has a different color than Kentucky bluegrass. But, remember that different cultivars of the same species also have color differences – all due to genetics.

    So, when all essential nutrients are present in adequate quantities, adding more nutrient (N, Fe, Mg, Mn, et al) isn’t going to make it any greener – you’ll never make the plant any greener than its genes will allow!

    A lot of people in our industry (and on this board) would be well served to learn more about plant nutrition. If we don’t learn more about it, our lawmakers (who certainly know less about the topic than any of us do) will dictate our options.
     
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,849

    Good point Cad. We used to run "iron routes" during the springtime in Texas ChemLawn. You could always tell which 800 gallon steel tanker trucks ran iron (surface rust and a few pin holes). LOL

    My aim is to supply micros (especially Fe) during late spring only. I also realize nutrients like iron & nitrogen do not often last very long. As for early fall & late fall -- we go heavier with N with no micros.

    Now if I could figure out an easy way to place organic matter into the soil profile/root zone......I would be a millionaire. So much for an 8th grade education. lol Larry
     
  10. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,182

    Due to the coal plants being cleaned and no more acid rain the soils ph levels are slowly starting to rise. You can add sulfur or do as I do, add some ammonium sulfate. I will say with all certainty, fertilizing the turf with some ammonium sulfate will lead to a better green color than straight urea, at least in my area. If soils have adequate micronutrients, adding more will be of no benefit. Why do professors recommend 3 to 4 lb's of nitrogen. Years of studying the response of turf to various levels of nitrogen applied has lead them to that conclusion.
     

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