Does mowing move fertilizer granuals?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by treemonkey, May 22, 2008.

  1. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    The title says it all. I imagine thin, low cut turf would present more of a problem.

    But, does anyone have opinions about this on non-irrigated turf? What if you fertilize and it doesn't rain and you have to mow?

    Or, if you fertilize one day, is it o.k. to mow the next?

    Would it alleviate the problem if you are mowing high....3 to 3.5 inches.


    Thank you.
     
  2. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 647

    In a perfect world we would fertilize then the customer would water or it would rain. The lawn service would show up and mow away. In the real world that don't happen! Most granular fertilizer labels will tell you to water in BEFORE mowing. This would be the best scenario. Time after time a lawn will be mowed after a granular application by a lawn mowing service or a customer without the benefit of watering in. Will it effect the application? It's possible , but unlikely if the turf is mowed high. Is it best to water first. You bet it is. Can a lawn fertilizing company control this? Not in the last 30 years from what I've seen. Posting flags are just something to run over with the mower!
     
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,861

    Good answer -- the only time I could see fert granules disturbed was on bare soil..........fert won't help bare dirt. Many labels say the granules cannot be raked out, blown out, or mowed out -- I think they assume it's established turf. If homeowners question the removal of fert....their lawn already has probs, and needs more than just fert. (probably cuz their lawn has been neglected)
     
  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,167

    Ever find granules in your bagger? I haven't. I don't believe a mower will "move" them either.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    I have found granules in the bags. This property is cut low. Other times when we bag leaves in the fall we find granules. The ground is frozen and the granules are just sitting on top of the leaf fall anyway.
    Different scenarios can indeed undo a granular fert app.
     
  6. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    Have tested this before by bagging with walk-behind after applying a granule and had very little granules in the bagger. the small amount of granules collected couldn't have amounted to even 1% compared to the hundreds of thousands of pellets applied to 1,000 sq ft of area. We have applied on top of leaves as well in the fall, the few that have stayed on top of the leaves i compare with the anology that i could take a hand full of bb's and throw them at a paper plate and surely a few may stay on the plate but a majority of them will fall away. We usually walk through with a hand blower on heavy leaf problems, and disperse any tied up pellets as well.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Another consideration is dust. Even if your granules gets dissolved in the surface of the dirt, if your have heavy bags of 'clippings' due to dust in the bag you are removing a lot more than just last week's app.

    It took me a while to convince one of my clients that mowing up a dust storm is not a good idea. Needless to say we didn't mow any unirrigated lawns after 4th July weekend until it started to cool off and rain in mid-August.
     
  8. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 526

    never mowed a lawn and picked up granules.it hardly ever rains here so we fertilize and water after we mow.
     
  9. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Posts: 1,456

    Generally in high cut turf using a rotory mower this will not be an issues. With that said golf greens and sports field using a reel mower you can see a fair amount of accumilation in the catchers. There have been university and manufacture studies on this paticular issue. I would prefer all my turf to be irrigated follwing an application and before mowing.
     
  10. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,499

    take your mower and park over some dirt and gravel next to a ferrari, let me know what happens to the paint. Of couse it will pick up small pebbles and chip the paint!
     

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