Fert on bagged lawns

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Tropical Trim, Aug 17, 2001.

  1. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I've encountered a problem in our ferilization program. Weve been using UHS 24-4-14 fert mix on most of our lawns. The problem is with the lawns that the clippings has to be bagged. The fert. is a slow release formula that seems to be picked up when bagging clippings. Is there a certain type of prill that isn't easily picked up when bagging. I've considered using a fast release formula to alliviate this problem , but would prefer a longer lasting green between applications. Any suggestions appreciated.
     
  2. powerreel

    powerreel Banned
    Posts: 481

    Try " Greens Grade " it's smaller and falls through the canopy real nice. It will adhere to the soil better. :)
     
  3. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    powerreel,
    Thanks for the reply. We cut our lawns fairly short here in Hawaii.(any where from 1/4" to 1-1/2"). Will the smaller prill size still be safe from being bagged? Thanks again
     
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Tropical, are the bagged lawns OK the first few weeks after application, and you are not getting the later effect of slow release? Or do you actually find fertilizer in with grass clippings?
     
  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    I use UHS fertilizer too,I dont think the greens size is necesary,it is much more $$.If you must go smaller,try a fairway size particle,they are a little smaller,and a lot cheaper than greens size.If I remember right,im paying about 34 bucks for a bag a 16-4-12 Signature greens fertilzer.they go down at 5 to the acre,the larger about 12-5 a bag tops.If you are cutting below 1/2" you should be using small (elite)particles.If the fertilizer gets watered in,who cares where the pellets go? arent they just fillers,and waste,once its watered in?When I mow my greens after fertilzing,it picks all the pellets up,but I water it in,and have had no problems,my samples come back with plenty of fertility,and i have been doing this for 11 yrs now.
     
  6. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    GROUNDKPRS
    We usually try to fert right after we mow the lawn. So I know for sure that it will be there for atleast two weeks, which is when we mow again. The lawns usually gets a immediate flush of green but after about a month I notice a decline in the pigment of deep green. I've never saw any prills in the bag but ,before I mow I see prills on the ground but after the mowing they all disapere. So bringing it back to your questions, yes we do get a immidiate flush of green, but seems like the slow release part isnt working.
    John Dimartino,
    Thanks for the info. Could it be that I'm not watering in the fert as much as I should. I always thought that the urea or quick release is water soluble so that is where we get our immidiate flush and the sulfur coated nitro needs time to break down before it releases it's nitro, thus getting another dose of nitro when the first dose of urea just seems to be losing i'ts availiability. So getting back to your comments, isnt picking up the fert particles like picking up unused fert? Thanks
     
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    Tropical trim,on the greens we cant go any more than 36-48 hrs between mowings,sometimes i cant go more than 24 hrs.So in that case,I have to mow,and the pellets do come up.I fertilzie right after i mow the greens,then turn on the irrigation to get it in.In taller grass i always mow first,then it has a week to sit,so im not worried about it much.I dont bag until fall .
     
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    TT, I doubt that you are picking up the prills, even at 1-1/2". Fertilizer is rather dense, and not too easy to vacuum up with a mower at any height. The disappearing prills you mention are probably just being blown out of sight. To confirm, check through the mower bags thoroughly on the first mowing after application.

    What you are most likely experiencing is an overall lessening of available nitrogen on your bagged lawns, caused by removal of the clippings. The nutrient content of the clippings, which is significant, is retained in the lawns not bagged, giving them a better appearance. Bagged lawns just need more nitrogen applied, because it is not being recycled on site.

    "Turfgrass clippings contain measurable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Research has shown that when clippings are removed, 20 to 25 percent more fertilizer was necessary to maintain comparable color and quality as areas where clippings were returned. Contrary to popular belief, turfgrass clippings do not contribute to thatch accumulation if proper mowing practices are followed."- from http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/4000/4020.html

    I have seen many discussions of this effect, and findings in various tests are that 20% to 35% more N is necessary in bagged mowing to get the same effect as mulched lawns. Try to increase N on a couple of your bagged lawns and see if you get the desired results. I would try one or two with higher N rates, and a couple of others with more frequent applications at normal rates, to find the best answer for your locality.
     
  9. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Groundskprs and DiMartino,
    Thanks for the info, we will use them to improve our maintenance on bagged lawns. Thanks again
     

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