Early fertilizer application?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by lawnguru wannabe, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. lawnguru wannabe

    lawnguru wannabe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Early Spring fert does run shoot growth into excess, and it does it at the expense of the root growth, which should be robust right now...

    ..."The true advantage that late-season fertilization provides to turfgrass root growth is realized during the following spring. It has been shown that the root growth of turf fertilized during the late-winter/early spring declines soon after nitrogen application (3 & 5). Conversely, turf fertilized using the late- season concept becomes green early and rapidly, without the need for an early spring nitrogen application, and root growth continues at a maximum rate. It appears that the excessive shoot growth encouraged by early spring nitrogen applications utilizes carbohydrates that may otherwise be used for growing roots. ..."
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    This is from Outagamie County Extension Office...

    D. Use an annual fertilizer schedule based on your personal need.
    Need Times Applied Dates Approx. Formula

    Minimum Maintenance
    One Time
    Early to mid- October
    26-3-12 (winterizer)

    General Maintenance
    Two Times
    Early to mid-October
    26-3-12 (winterizer)
    Early June
    26-3-3

    High Maintenance
    Three Times
    Early to mid-October
    26-3-12 (winterizer)
    Early June
    26-3-3
    Early September
    26-3-3
     
  4. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    It may seem counterintuitive, and that you will not have as good a lawn as others if you follow axe's advice...but he is 100% right. I have always done the fall and winterizer feedings and used to always do spring ones also. This year...no. Reason? You will notice if you DO fertilize, you need to mow every 3 days or so during spring growth. What that is...is too much growth, too fast. It wastes resources and sets up the plants for potential problems as things transition into summer. MUCH MUCH better to let it grow naturally and fertilize either once in late spring or not at all until later in the year. If you have a crabgrass issue, you may decide to fertilize anyway because these days most crabgrass preventers are included as part of a fertilizer program.
     
  5. lawnguru wannabe

    lawnguru wannabe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    All interesting replies. You see all these companies push for three or four different fertilizer applications per year, on a schedule. What is all that about? Well, the first two is usually crabgrass and weed and feed. I have a three acre lot, so it is spendy, and only doing it once a year would cut down on cost, but I also am in love with my grass so what do you guys think? I could put down a weed and feed now, or soon, and then not one till the fall? I did put one down last fall, and have religiously put one down in the spring and fall, but I'm trying to educate myself here too. Like you guys have said, I don't want to waste resources too.

    Also, when is it 'too early' in the spring for fertilizer? ...and when is the right time to put down weed and feed.

    Thanks much, I appreciate it!
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The standard 7 step program for 4 months of growing season is simply a ripoff to make money off of suckers who believe the lie... That's what that's all about...

    The proper timing for yourself, in Central Wisconsin is listed on the Outagamie chart I posted... people are afraid to do something correct, when they've followed the herd for so long, but you'll be fine...
    What kind of weed'n'feed are you putting down now? and what kind are you doing in the fall?
     
  7. lawnguru wannabe

    lawnguru wannabe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    so would you recommend just putting fall fertilizer down, or fall and spring?

    right now, i am just putting down the fall/winterizer fertilizer, and then either the weed and feed or the regular spring fertilizer in the spring. i kind of got away from the weed and feed because the grass, they say, always has to be wet when you put it down and that was always a problem for me trying to find a time.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    You are putting down "Winterizer" now!!??!
    There is no difference between winterizer NPK than there is with Springtime NPK...

    The idea is , no NPK b4 May , no matter what 'kind' of NPK, is advertised on the bag...
     
  9. lawnguru wannabe

    lawnguru wannabe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 72

    No, sorry, I meant my regular yearly routine is putting down the fall/winterizer fertilizer in the fall, and then either the weed and feed or the regular spring fertilizer (in the spring).

    So it's too early to put down fertilizer right now then? Nothing before May?

    I've also noticed that the weed and feed that I've looked at has a relatively low nitrogen level compared to the granular stuff. We're talking mid teens compared to upper 20s. Why is that?
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    That is correct, nothing before May, for fertilizer...
    Riggle is finding CG already in open areas in MI, but typically for lawns in WI, I don't expect to see CG until sometime after Memorial Day, and that is the one thing you want to keep track of, for your area... but we never pre-m , turf, only open areas like stone beds and walkways in the landscape...
    I would have a very difficult time trying to manage a lawn in WI using pre-mixed herbicides with fertilizers... Spot Spraying broadleaf is so much more effective than broadcasting granules...

    I'm not real knowledgeable about the store brand weed n' feeds, because we don't do the commercial mixtures... but I would guess that your main calibration concern would be the amount of herbicide to be put down...
    If you need "X" amount of 'cide/K and it is to be applied @ 6 lbs. of actual granules per K, then you have to make sure that there is no more than 1 lbs. of actual N in that 6 lbs of granules... Of course 1 lbs. is really too much in one app., unless it is a long term slow release...
     

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