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Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    "Late season nitrogen fertilization, sometimes referred to as fall fertilization, has been utilized by turf managers for years. This type of fertility program involves the application of much of the season’s nitrogen during the late season months of September through December. It is important that late season fertilization not be confused with dormant and/or winter fertilization. The latter method implies that fertilizer applications are made after the turf has lost most or all of its green color and is not actively growing. This differs notably from the “late- season concept”, which requires that nitrogen be applied before the turf loses its green color in the late fall."

    This comes from: http://turfdisease.osu.edu/turf-disease-updates/benefits-late-fall-fertilization

    During the transition of the conventional wisdom to the newly researched methods lawncare I thought it would be useful to define terms as we move forward to professional lawncare excellence... :)

    Does anyone remember how to color words in a post???
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,215

    This is more complicated than I thought. My turf does not lose its green color in the fall. Nor did it respond by darker green when fertilizer was applied about November first. I applied fertilizer to the right half of my test lawns on November 31st. Waiting for results. Clearly the northern species have a completly different best time as compared to warm-season species.
    I recently read a paragraph (don't recall where, perhaps the above Ohio info), that claimed 4 benefits of late fall fertilization:
    1)--Green up in the fall
    2)--Deeper roots
    3)--No flush of excess growth in spring, as compared to April fert
    4)--Improved drought tolerance in following summer

    I am not saying the above is bull--I am just skeptical--how much greener? How much deeper? How much flush? How much drought tolerance?
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    For you November 31st would be classified as the dormant or winter fertilization, correct? That is what I would classify it as here in Wisco Centro...

    I look at mid-October as late fall fertilization for this area. The grass has stopped growing on top, but the leaves are still photosynthesizing and the roots will grow until the ground freezes.

    Your 4 points listed above make sense to me. Especially since the discussion of real thatch indicated that early Spring ferts not only spur on excessive top growth, but actually cause rapid root growth at the surface.
    Those 2 factors seem to agree in real life.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,215

    i just checked some grass lawns in my neighborhood. The low-quality lawns that probably had no fertilizer in several month,s if any at all this year, are indeed looking rather yellow.
    Perhaps it is my imagination, but I think I am seeing some green up from fertilizer applied about late October--stay tuned.

    And Wisconsin is colder than Michigan in the fall due to the effects near Lake Michigan--or am I wrong? Do you have data on the average soil temperature in spring where you are?
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Smallaxe, about your tagline; natural grasslands and suburban lawns have very little in common. It's pointless to compare them in such a way.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Yup, I rember how to color words in a post.Just go up to the font color in the advanced post menu.Click the capital A...that's your color selection.

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,093

    Like this Charles Cue
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The tagline is about seed and how a seed plants itself in various conditions... :)
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Thanks guys... :)
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That's what I thought from your posts over time, is that your were close enough to the lake to have a longer Autumn, but I believe you also then have a later Spring... Is that true?

    As far as soil temperature goes, my properties are probably not that close to the average soil temp maps on the net, but i can at least consider what's going on by watching the plants. Forsythia bloom is an exa. that everyone is familiar with.

    We have large bodies of water that postpones frost in the Fall and plenty of trees to keep many places from warming up in the Spring. Sometimes the ice is off the lakes, but there's still snow piles in the ditch...

    Overtime it seems that germination of grass seed takes place around Memorial Day. June is the best month for overseeding in the trees. Sunny lawns, away from the lakes are sooner.

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