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Ideas to heat up soil chemicaly?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Az Gardener, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have some turf in a very shady area soil temps are in the low 50's 51-52 need to get it up to get my winter rye moving along. Any ideas? I need to be at 55 minimum. Our temps here are running on avg mid to high 60s during the day and right around 40 at night. This area has not seen direct sunlight since mid Oct. nothing overhead just the sun lower on the horizon in the winter and a two story house blocking it.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,202

    Your temperatures should be OK for ryegrass. Around here we would break out the shorts and sunscreen.
    Can you water it with warm water?
    Well how about a big magnifying glass?
    Maybe a couple of big mirrors?
    Black plastic covered with solar pool cover--take the black part off after grass is up--just go with the solar until 2 inches high.
  3. MStine315

    MStine315 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 789

    An application of Milorganite will do just that, as it is black. It is common to use this on ice covered greens. The sun will get the pellets to melt through the ice and allow air/oxygen exchange. I'd imagine it'd result in the same effect for you as well. Or, how about topdressing with recycled tires (crumb rubber)? MSU did some work with this a few years back. The purpose was, on athletic fields and high traffic areas, to give more resiliancy to the crown and reduce traffic effects and reduce injuries on sports turf, but a side benefit is that it also increased crown temps. I know it's a shaded area, but maybe it'll work??
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    I have put down compost, very black. The problem is no sunlight to heat it up. I have been using a liquid biological product that is very similar to Milorganite. I don't like the dust Milorganite puts off.

    I have even been experimenting with electric blankets. They are cheap at 2nd hand stores but they just don't produce enough heat to move the soil temps. Plus they look very tacky ;) . I know manure will heat things up buy very unstable as far as N release goes, I was hoping for something like that.

    Guess I will have to wait on ole mother nature to do her thing.
  5. LonniesLawns

    LonniesLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from KS
    Posts: 317

    I did na experiment this year itha very late season seeding. I amended the soil VERY heavily with active compost -- about 25 yards of it tosee if the extra biolgical activity would help cooler growth at all with Fescue.

    I was quite impressed witht he results. Did a similar yard -- same day 0 same exposure - close to same owner care -- (irrigation systems with timers) - but no compost and have what I would judge as an extra 3 - 4 weeks growth from area planted in compost.

    I would think that to substantially effect soil temperature -- which involves HUGE mass -- it would take a lot of something --- not jus t atopdressing of milorganite or something.
  6. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Why not put in a large cfm fall with low velocity? This is very similar to what golf courses do to cool putting greens that have excessive crown temperatures during the summer. There is enough research that indicates between 4-5 cubic ft of air per thousand square feet is all that is needed to alter crown temps as a result of advection currents.
    The main problems I immediately forsee from your post are lack of sunlight and the insulating nature of soil-this will be challenging to overcome.
  7. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    If you had sunlight during the day, you could tarp the area at night to keep the soil temp from dropping as much. Your main problem is the lack of sunlight. Sounds like you will just have to be patient until Spring gets closer and your sun angles improve.
  8. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    Ammonium Nitrate will raise soil temps, I would try this, combined with tarping over the area at night, also any mulch that has a high rate of decay will put off heat, though you are right about the N output being unpredictable.
  9. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 590

    Will clear plastic help any? Maybe it will hold some heat while letting in daylight.

    I agree that the problem is the light. Rye grows all winter long here and the average high is 48 for early January.

    Warming the soil in a controlled manor in a wide open area without some way of retaining the heat seems almost impossible.
  10. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,341

    Clear plastic would b bad.
    Try a turf blanket. They work great for getting seed going.

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