Fertilizing Guide

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by NEWGUYRI, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Stopped by my local JDL yesterday. Asked about Tenacity labeling update. He hadn't heard of it. After I told him the supposed selective qualities he was pretty excited to look into it.

    Point: The supplier doesn't know everything. But they should have a good idea of what most local soils need. JDL does offer soil tests thorough their stores (they mail them out). But I have never heard a fertilizer supplier suggest that rout. (JDL or other)

    When starting, learn as much as you can from everyone.. suppliers.. books.. this site.. other sites... BUT start the habit early, and stay in the habit, of addressing fertilizer needs specifically… so always rely on a soil test to determine soil needs.

    We don't want every state to end up as regulated as Florida.

    Just my .02
     
  2. NEWGUYRI

    NEWGUYRI LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 594

    thanks for all of the responses, I will look into all of the things you have listed
     
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,053

    I am sure that every supplier is not the same!

    The best thing you can do for yourself and your business is get to know your supplier.

    Once you build a relationship and trust, they can help you get to the next level.

    I work very closely with my supplier and he makes great recs!

    As far as soil tests...it probably just depends on where you live! Soil tests are not as important as most think IMO!

    With turf...there is a pretty wide window for P and K. Therefore N is the main nutrient that is needed most for lawns. Now I am sure some have pH issues, and then soil testing is a must if a rec is going to be made.

    Maybe in some parts of the world they are more, but here I have never pulled a soil sample unless there is a problem in a lawn.

    For the most part, P and K are good to great and pH is RARELY an issue in our area.

    So with all that said our lawns (like most) benefit most from N and a couple micros.
     
  4. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Ok, then my question to you is this... How many truly DIFFERENT, SITE SPECIFIC programs did you run this year? How many properties got different products, or even different rates each round?

    Maybe in CA your soils are all over the map and you truly need site specific programs... In my area the soils are pretty predictable depending on what of part town you're in, and there doesn't need to be a lot of variations to a pretty standard program. Most variations will be in regards to site characteristics, irrigation, traffic, etc... rather than soils. Thus, soil samples on EVERY property can be a redundant waste of time, but can serve a purpose for difficult to diagnose problems.
     
  5. MnLefty

    MnLefty LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Uh oh, careful Rodney... you probably just opened yourself up to the treehuggers and others to slam you for irresponsibly applying potentially unneeded fertilizer!:laugh: Of course, I agree 100%, see my post above! Although I will say that given the cost of fertilizer, and especially some of its individual components, selective soil testing could benefit many to see where they can reduce P and ESPECIALLY K usage/applications.
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Gotta love that lawn boy response. :rolleyes:

    I'll repeat for your benefit.

    Every good management program begins with a soil test. You cannot manage soil fertility without first knowing what needs to be managed.
     
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    I agree. I use them when/where necessary. First of all, they are a snapshot in time of what is needed and or available to the turf at that given time. Second, they are a sample taken from areas of the lawn chosen by the sample taker. This means there is the possibility that those results are skewed depending on where each core was pulled from. Say you supply what that soil sample recommends. What will be required on the next application...more of this and less of that? who knows without a soil sample...again. How about the application after that? May be politically correct, but sure isn't practical. Seems to me you set yourself up to being like a dog chasing his tail. If all you have is 15 or 20 lawns of clients with unlimited budgets, it would be a hassle but not that big of a deal. Flashback to the real world...Multiply that number by 20 and all of a sudden you've got a juggling act of soil samples that has become a major nightmare all because someone told you that you needed to do the "right thing" and take a soil sample. I'm all for doing the "right thing", but I don't run a soil sample business. I run a fertilization/ weed control business. JMO
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Seeing what you want, not reading what you see.
     
  9. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,870

    Interesting conversation. I would tend to agree with the majority on here, most do not run a soil test service and it just isn't practical to come up with customized programs for every single fert customer you have. If you want to do that, more power (and $$) to you. But a good general program, based upon the most common soil characteristics for the area in which you operate, seems logical.

    Better yet, topdress all yer lawns with compost - man I love that stuff.
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,104

    Soil tests are fine. But they leave out the most important nutrient, nitrogen. Does anybody do tissue tests? I think it is like a soil test, but you send in a dried sample of the actual grass or crop. The lab determines how much actual nitrogen is in the plant itself. Also many other nutrients and micros nutrients. No soil needed.
     

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