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How is my timing?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    OK, I started my first fertilizer this week. I know I waited a few weeks longer than everyone else but I had two reasons for this.

    1. I didn't want to throw it on there like all the others before the lawn was ready for it. Therefore, how is my timing. I think I might be a little late, maybe a week or two ago would have been a good start?

    2. I STILL HAVEN'T GOTTEN MY FERT! This one is starting to piss me off. My great cheap organic fertilizer that I found for whatever reason they want to give for the day just can't seem to find it's way to the shop. I was originally told it might take 3 days. It has almost been 2 weeks. They say it should be here today between 1 and 5. We'll see.

    What are your thoughts.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I thought Southern grasses needed a fresh supply of NPK just as they broke dormancy.
    Up here I spread a little Milorganite just b4 Memorial weekend. It should becoming bioavailable anytime now. Hoped to broadcast the compost this week but the rain is backing us up.

    Did your lawns loose color at all b4 you fertilized? Your lawns must have been actively growing for a couple of months now, correct?

    I would personally think if the lawns maintained a descent color and vigor your timing is just fine.
  3. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    some did and some didn't. Mine has great color but is not filling in as fast as it would with the N poured on like others are doing obviously. Others have deep green taller areas that look like they are using left over fert that is in the soil already. Some lawns look fine with color through out and others have the darker spots in them. I haven't had any customers complain other than a minute few that are picky picky but for the most part most lawns have been looking nice and healthy. Maybe not a deep full green like others that grow 2" in a day but a good healthy shade and growing just fine. My wife wants the poured on N look and I am trying to steer her in the direction of my lawn which is a healthy green. It still has some "dead/dormant" stalks showing that keep it from being a complete green but for the most part it looks pretty good.

    I was always under the impression that you wanted the lawn to come out of dormancy kind of easy without being fed a ton of fert. That way the roots can establish and have time to get where they need to be and start taking in nutrients. Am I wrong in this?
  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet several weeks after the grass turns green. Submit a soil sample to determine nutrient and lime requirements. In the absence of a soil test, use a complete nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (for example, 124-
    8 or 24-6-12). Apply lime if suggested. To determine the amount of product needed to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, divide 100 by the first number in the fertilizer ratio. For example, for a 16-4-8 fertilizer, divide 100 by 16. The result is 6.25 pounds of product per thousand square feet: 100/16 = 6.25.""

    I took this off a website of some university. They all say to fertilize a few weeks after greenup. So I may be on the far side of this but not too far.

    So I was partially right and partially wrong. You wait, but maybe not as long as I have. But, atleast I am not too far off. I saw some shedules with April and May shaded as app times so I am just past that. Again, the bermuda is doing quite well on it's own, I'm just going to give it that little extra push.

    Now, fescue, lets take a look at this one...
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372


    Fertilize in Sept, Nov, Feb, and late April.


    After full green untill mid-Sept and then no more


    During/after greenup, mid summer, NOT IN FALL
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That is the thinking for Northern grasses. This year our first mowing was around the first of May yet the CL type folks had their Easter app already down and ready to do the Mother's Day app.
    I could visualize the grass waking up and forming thatch almost immediately and sealing off the water from reaching into the second inch down.

    As far as your fescue schedules up here it can start around Mothers' Day and finish the season with a Pre-Halloween winterizer. Some University sites in the Midwest claim you can/should winterize right to Thanksgiving if the ground isn't frozen yet. However:

    I put fert down in early October [synfert] and noticed a green up by Halloween. I also put down some synfert around Halloween and did not see any usage by the plant, b4 snow.

    Some claim that it is still feeding the roots even though you can't notice changes in the blades. However, The grasses are shutting down as the ground chills and with 2-3 weeks for bio-availability, I am going to stick with having the winterizer being used before the end of October.

    Did you ever find out the processes necessary for synferts to become bio-available to the turf? :)
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I DON'T KNOW, you guys piss me off, when I think I got it down you remind me of another issue I have yet to figure out. Making more research for me. What is wrong with you people, making me do all this research like I am actually suppose to learn stuff and do this the right way. GEEZ!
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I'm kidding by the way. Thanks for reminding me.
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    OK, I went through the whole soil food web site and looked a ton of other places that basically told me nothing.

    So... basically what I have found and have learned thus far is that the roots of plants don't actually take the nitrogen up themselves. They rely on all the different microrganisms to supply the food for them in whatever way that they do it, eating the N and then forming it into something else edible for the roots. Anywho, the roots don't sit their and siphon things up they get fed. The same with water, the microorganisms break down the water, etc. and then feed it to the roots.

    AM I RIGHT? Someone please confirm this, I am still new and am trying to figure this stuff out and don't want to steer anyone in the wrong direction. Makes since to me though.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    The nutrient needs to be in plant available form. It doesn't matter how the nutrients get into that form, hence the reason why chems work.

    I don't even know where you got the water idea from. :cry:

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