sulfur as last application to prevent snow mold...?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Exact Rototilling, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    A few application Co. here including one of the Big Co. Offers this but they are not doing a pH test....?

    What exactly are they using and why no pH test...?
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  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,847

    I have not heard of this, waiting for more to chime in.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Nothing permanently changes pH anyways and they are probably not using enough to make much of a difference... I would imagine it is the same idea as my use of wettable sulfur dust on the rose bushes for the purpose of preventing the spread of leaf spot...

    The real issue is the idea of doing something about snow mold anyways,,, IMO... it is about as necessary as offering a soap application for the dust accumulated on the leaves after a drought.... just another excuse to sell the client something they don't need... :)
     
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    On one of my accounts I acquired last Autum that looked like it was struggling I really poured on a heavy application of 20-7-14 slow release right at the same time as irrigation blowout along with a core aeration.

    I have pics that will be used for my "don't pull the plug on your lawn this Fall campaign". :cool2:

    The client was hesitant about to but agreed.

    I have never been such a happy camper mowing tall grass in the Spring. :weightlifter:

    ...anyhow long story short NO SNOW MOLD & ZERO NEED FOR POWER RAKING.
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    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Congratulations on your success in moving your community forward... :)

    Interestingly enough THAT is what is recommended for cool season grasses...
    http://turfdisease.osu.edu/turf-disease-updates/benefits-late-fall-fertilization

    I might be careful of the "slow release" part of your Fall application,,, becuz ideally,,, you don't want the residual of N releasing prills first thing in the Spring, just as the snow thaws... something to consider...
     
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    Okay....running full throttle today and prospective clients are asking about Fall sulfur treatment with my ap plans. Every lawn competitor has treated looks iffy as if nothing special was done...?

    In fact my fert accounts that got less than the recommend Fall Nitrogen looks waaaaay better than the sulphur created lawns.

    :help:
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  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Sulfer doesn't do much for grass unless it is high pH or something... little N, medium N, a lot of N are all relative... the amount of N the plant uses is generally different than the amount applied...

    It is a good idea to keep your observations in the proper context, to make good judgements about them...

    one thing that snap judgements have done for me is making me think I should add fertilizer right now because the grass is just coming out of dormancy and isn't brite green yet... it would be folly for me to fertilize the ground and I know it...
    the rains are coming this week and that will tell the story after we get a mowing or 2 in,,, just how well we made it through the winter...

    Resist the urge... have patience... wait on the Spring...
    Very hard to do... :)
     
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,354

    I'm running up against this snow mold prevention special application of sulfur yet again. Each client I asked re: this application said no soil pH was done. Since I'm not offering this special add-on...?...? :rolleyes:
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  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,826

    I would be much more impressed if the snow mold application was a tank mix of Heritage and Banner Max or Armada. Sulfur is not even very useful as a pH corrective unless applied during warm temperatures and we are talking about applying 20 lb per 1000 sq ft per year in divided doses. Too much wettable sulfur applied at once will burn the grass.
     
  10. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    When I run up against competitors who are selling applications that seem like they don't make sense, I usually hand out university extension bulletins to the customer to back up my position.

    With snow mold (there are a couple of different ones), soil pH isn't hugely important. Although, some recent research suggests that maintaining a low soil pH (low 5s) You can show them an extension bulletin from your state's land grant institution and point out how it doesn't indicate that pH adjustment is an effective treatment option.

    With that said, a weak and unhealthy plant is more susceptible to disease injury. So, it the pH is outside the proper range for supporting turfgrass plants (usually 5.5 to 6.5), adjusting it to the proper range will produce a healthier plant that can better resist disease injury. Is it out-of-line for a competitor to sell pH adjustments without taking samples for a test at that time? Probably not, but it depends on the characteristics of your area. When I lived in Alabama, soils naturally had a low pH (high 4s if not treated) and you very rarely came across a lawn that was in the 5.5 to 6.5 range. Because we had a large number of customers, it wasn't cost effective to take samples for all of them. But, we took samples randomly from 10% of the customer base every year in each different geography. So, we always kept an overview of basic nutrient and acidity status across the customer base and tracked it by geography. So, we could adjust our program by what was happening in different towns or different parts of town.

    Whether you need to use fingicides will be dictated by your budget, your customers' appetite for injury, and how bad the problem usually is. If snow mold usually isn't a huge problem for you, then you probably don't have to worry about it. If its bad enough each year to cause your customers some heartburn, then you'll have to plug and chug the numbers to see how you'll treat it and if your customers are in the market for it.
     

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