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devoid of nitrogen

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by bobbygedd, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i've been doing this property for a few years. the back yard is causing me fits. it looks good, and bad, then good, then bad. i've been fertilizing with the standard 4 lbs per k per season. i took a soil test. it came up completely lacking nitrogen. hard clay soil. can anyone tell me how this happened?
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    I've spent the past ten or fifteen minutes trying to find something on the Web about nitrogen turnover in soil, and have come up empty. The soil here in VA is a lot like what you described, orange clay, so it's a good topic for me to understand.

    A couple of questions occur to me. One is about the shape of this part of your customer's yard. Does water puddle in it? If so, could that lead to nitrogen loss? It also occurs to me that maybe there is a bacterium out there that eats nitrogen, but that's speculative.

    Are you using fertilizer with a decent blend of soluble/insoluble nitrogen?
  3. naturescaretaker

    naturescaretaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 851

    Bobby, trying buying your fertilizer from Walmart rather then the flea market. Those good ole boys who mix your stuff up from the trash cans may not get the right constancy every time. When you go pro then step up to Lesco or John Deere Landscapes for your chemicals. :p
  4. wally world III

    wally world III LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    i would put down the following.............
    20-10-10 for 5 treatments.............. including winterizer

    then, i would do soil test kit...... from penn state.........

    ps: you can purchase this stuff from your feed mill.......
    fert ~~ $ 7.25 / bag when purchased by the ton

    pSSSS: you might want to put down lime............
    but, only after you test results come back

    :help: :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    no puddling, but damp environment. decent blend? i don't know, i use lebenon
  6. Mo Green

    Mo Green LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,487

    How close are you to Three Mile Island?:D
  7. wally world III

    wally world III LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    approx 120 miles
    from bobbbyyy to 3 mile island
  8. Ron95gt

    Ron95gt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    I have a house built on 5 acres that was a peanut field. I've grown St. Augustine for 25 years, without a problem. I move 700 plugs(8"x8") to get things started, and within a week, they are very light green colored. It's a sandy/loamy soil and I tested it with a cheapy Lowe's DIY kit. Didn't have much faith in the kit, but it did come up showing zero nitrogen. Oh yeah, I had put over 100 waxleaf ligustrums down one boundary line too, last year. They turned yellow and very little growth. So, I bought a tank sprayer for my ATV, whipped up an 18 gallon mixture of miracle grow and rode along spraying the shrubs every ten days this season. Amazing difference. The shrubs are all vibrant.
    Well, I've been experimenting with the grass too. Ended up with applying fertilizer every 5 or six weeks thru the whole growing season. It's full sun, but I have the means to deliver alot of water on the acre I'm working. BIG difference. We're having constisent 95 degree days and it is really lush now. I also spray a little iron on it in between fertilizing. In the city when I had a shallow well, the water was full of iron. Not so with the deep well, hence the supplemental shots of iron now and then.
    It seems that with the type of soil I have, the water AND nutrients just wash right thru it. Good thing I order wholesale straight from Pennington, or this yard venture would put me in the poor house for sure. Lol, my yard is just a big classroom of experiments. I also have Meyers Zoysia plugs growing, and a couple big patches of Zenith Zoysia growing from seed. May the best grass win out, in the end.
  9. Neal Wolbert

    Neal Wolbert LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Could it have been lost to volitization because of warm weather? How about run off due to the clay during heavy rains. Was the fert. all soluble or was there some coated N? Denitrification can happen even a few days after application when soils are saturated. Any of these apply to your situation? Neal

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