Fall feeding help - cool grass

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Davidb6, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Davidb6

    Davidb6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 6

    Fall feeding confusion
    I switched to organic lawn care a couple years ago and the soil improvement and overall look of the lawn is great. I’m trying to learn a little more about fall feeding for cool season grass.(live in CT)
    I understand that I am feeding the microbes, not the grass and I also understand the microbes don’t feed in the cold weather. This means I have to make sure my little guys are actively feeding when I do my last big N fertilizer.
    I think I should feed a slow release now (alfalfa, SBM, Ringer, Milorganite, etc, etc) but if I apply again in Nov the microbes will not be dormant and not feeding.
    Any advice on an organic fall feeding schedule?
    Thanks
     
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Microbial activity will slow down as it gets cooler in the fall, but there will still be some microbial activity. You also have to remember that the late fall fert/winterizer is more food for next spring. The turf will store nutrients it can and come out of dormancy quicker next year. I don't know how cold it is in Conn. come November, but an application now and 6-8 weeks is probably what I would go with.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    We were just discussing in another thread about the benefits of composting during the dormant seeding timeframe... Nov. for us...

    Actually once the ground freezes synferts don't work either... Remeber also, that what raw materials you apply in Sept. will likely not be Fertilizer until Oct/Nov anyways...
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Why? Nutrient availability will vary from immediate to slow release for your "raw" materials.
     
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    :clapping:
     
  6. Davidb6

    Davidb6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 6

    Makes sense, thanks. I'll feed this week as normal and again in 6 to 8 weeks. I've also read about the last feeding should be very high in N.

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    The turf can only store so much N before dormancy. The rest will run off. That's one of the debates between the organic vs. synthetic guys that put down 46-0-0 urea as their last app. How much ends up in the water supply?
     
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    and how much feeds snow mold depending on where you are

    if you in an area that can get snow mold DO NOT use N late in the season
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Alfalfa and soybean meal feed the lawns directly? don't they have to decompose?
     
  10. Davidb6

    Davidb6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 6

    I kinda though this wouldn’t be such an easy question. Feeding now makes sense; no problem with that.
    If the logic is feeding in fall is the most important I’m still not sure how to do this or maybe this statement is not correct. I know I can use synthetic but I don’t want to harm all the work I have been doing to go organic.
    Seems to me if I feed organic to late in the season I run the risk of either run-off or mold. If that is the case it would make more sense just to wait until spring to feed and make Sept the last feeding.
     

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