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High N and disease

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turfsurfer, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    :confused: :(OK, what's the real deal here? Everything I have ever read both in this forum and from other experts states that we should be spoon feeding little doses of nitrogen throughout the spring and summer and switching to heavier nitrogen doses in the fall. This is supposed to build stronger roots and lessen drought and disease injury. After reading a post from Kirbyslawn (I think) earlier this spring I have been taking closer notice and I am tending to agree with him. The lawns that were treated by the lowballers using tons of quick release N this spring seem to be the ones still looking the best now. The ones I treat and other ones that appear to be reasonably fertilized (2 fert. apps. so far, .75 lbs/1000 with 50% slow release each time) all have at least a minor case of fungal problems. Red thread was awful this year. There is a lawn that I was practically bushhogging every 3 days for a long time that has been slammed with N at least 3-4 times already, and I'm telling you it looks fantastic!! Mine are a nice green and growing at a reasonable pace but it's hard to justify my premium prices compared to cheaper LCO's with healthier looking lawns.
    This is only my 2nd season being licensed for apps. and admittedly I'm only treating 35 lawns since I'm still trying to switch over after 10 years of mowing, but this is at least 2 LCO's making this observation this year. This is the first year in the 10 I've been in business that we still have green grass in late July. Usually the BIG BROWNOUT begins about mid-June and lasts through August, but we've had constant cool temps and timely rain this year. Could this be the reason for what I'm seeing? Is the weather bailing the high N guys out this year?
  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    What grass types are you having this problem with? I think Ray is basically working tall fescues and C4 grasses (transition zone in NC). My bluegrasses are doing great this year, even the non-irrigated because of the rains and temps here. Fine fescues are looking better than normal for same reason.

    Ornamental bentgrass lawns are a little worse than normal, and the ryes are really funky. Trying to figure out one rye lawn right now. It's next to another in a new area, both hydroseeded last fall. The neighbor gets the 6-8 urea dumps a year, and I'm so bummed about the difference in appearance.
  3. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 364

    Here in my part of Ohio, I am dealing with mostly the original builders mix of bluegrass, rye, and fine fescue. Some yards are sod in the front, hydroseed in back. Others are all hydroseed. My own is crossfire 2 tall fescue. Now, it's not that my yards look terrible, but most do have small areas that could look better due to minor fungal infections. It just kills me that I would think some of the N overkill yards would be more seriously affected and yet they don't appear to be. Unfortunately this would actually be my third year doing apps., but spent all 2002 in some mountains across the big pond. I hear there was a severe drought around here and I would have liked to see these same lawns then. Funny how you can be in the mowing business for years and then when you start doing apps. you really start to notice different things. Overall, I shouldn't complain. It's the end of July, the grass is green, and the temps are in high 70's-low 80's, first time in 10 yrs.
  4. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    Turfsurfer, don't be disgruntled. The normal approach would be to spoon feed the N during this time but obviously mother nature has had a mind of her own with your area as well as where I am just north of you. With the excess moisture the slow release N's (at least scu's) aren't holding up very long, and many lawns have become anemic rather quick. With the quick release nitrogens being applied I think your seeing the responses are better because the fungal problems are somewhat held in check by the aggressive growth, but not eliminated. It definitely has been a strange season but at least we're not bone dry and browned from drought conditions. I noticed though a real problm too is that homeowners are still mowing at spring cutting heights and even lower which are just aggrevating the red thread, dollar spot and even leaft spot, yet they still feel its our fault their lawn doesn't hold color that well, Go figure!
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Good post and good replies here....just yesterday I was noticing how good the lawns look that TruBurn services. My own yard looks anemic compared to theirs. Normally they are the first ones to look bad in the heat....like you said above, its been a weird year weather wise

    Think I'll go out and put down some Ironite on my own yard today...that stuff is a bit pricey...do you guys know if Lesco has a product like Ironite? I'm sure with all the rain the N has been washed thru and now the turf is hungry
  6. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    I'm sure that mostly TGCL uses Iron with some urea that its being pushed heavy with all the moisture we've been experiencing, another reason for a quick green up. Keeping a balanced feeding is still the key to having a healthy lawn.
  7. KLMlawn

    KLMlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 443

    Some of my lawn here on long Island were not looking their best ... I was late getting down my July app. of Fert w/Merit.
    Boy, what a difference a week makes along with some rain.
    All are nice and green and thick, pain in the a-- to mow now, but they look great.
  8. lordohturf

    lordohturf LawnSite Member
    from SW OH
    Posts: 173

    I wouldn't change my program just because the quick release guys are getting good results right now. There are a few things to keep in mind.

    We have had an abundance of rain, which for the moment is keeping the high dose of quick release N going.

    We have had lower than normal temps which are a major factor for disease problems in summer. We haven't had the pressure as normal for brown patch and summer patch.

    Red thread is very active in cool, wet conditions. This is one disease that allows you to beef up your fertilization for it's control.

    If and when mother nature turns the faucet off, you will see a quick change in lawns in color, disease and insect problems.
    The roots are close to the surface with all the rain and the grass has been spoiled with easy feeding and growing conditions.

    This is an unusual season. Don't change now because of a fluke.
  9. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    Lawn care is not etched in stone.

    Mother nature dictates what we do.
  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Amen to that....Rudbekia is finally blooming a month late...at least those that made it thru winter...flowers are finally lookng right....dandelions are STILL blooming....ornamental grasses finally looking right....weeds unreal this season...and on and on....interesting to say the least.

    oh yeah and heres the weirdest one of all...was walking the dog and noticed a rhodie....yep it had flowers on it....in late July

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