Why is my fertilizer doing this???

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by PetalsandPines, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. PetalsandPines

    PetalsandPines LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    I started a thread last week over clumping fertilizer but this week I have closeup pictures of this phenomena. This spreader was cleaned a few hours before this picture, It was completely dry outside, the fertilizer was dry. After an hour or so of spreading this black tarry gook starts forming on the inside of the spreader, it has the consistancy of silly putty. This is Lesco Elite, Not a cheap product by far....What is the problem here??? What is the filler in the fertilizer that is reacting with agitation?? When you try to rinse it off it won't just hose off, you have to scrub it off....Reminds me of tar spots on the bottom of your car that are impossible to clean off.




  2. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I dunno but those pics are fantastic!
    Think what it is doing to the lawn, how's it sposed to water into the soil.. if you have to scrub it off metal?
  3. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    those are nice photos

    what is the % of FE in the fert?

    did you bring this to lesco's attention? if so what do they have to say about it?
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    What fert analysis is this?
    Give us a product number or something to go by. I had the same thing with dimension in the spring, but that dust build up is normal.
    maybe you should post this in the Lesco forum
  5. PetalsandPines

    PetalsandPines LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    The product is
    19-2-19 E 70%MU 30% PPSCU 1.5% IRON
  6. Mic_bug

    Mic_bug LawnSite Member
    from N.B. MI
    Posts: 201

    My guess .... friction heat build up, causing fertilizer to soften/melt.
  7. livingsoils

    livingsoils LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I had the same thing happen to me. The fertilizer is breaking down in the hopper because of th weight and the agitation. What is the black stuff, organic matter? I switched to a larger prill and had no problems since. If you want to keep using it you will have to empty your unused fert after ever stop and clean the holes out.:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Geez oh Pete, I guess it IS a good fert.! Is that a Novex blend?
  9. TforTexas

    TforTexas LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Nitrogen has the characteristic of absorbing moisture from the air. Spill some urea on your shop floor on a humid day and you will see what I mean. If the humidity has been real high lately the product might be starting to gum up in your spreader. You might need to put only the product you need in the hopper and use it up right away. Never transport the spreader with material in it. I have even for big jobs on a humid day only filled my hopper half full refill it every few minutes just to limit my fertilizers exposure to the moist air.
  10. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,348

    Some ferts turn into a paste when they are exposed to moisture. Not sure how it was stored. If your shop is damp that will happen. I would also say that the inside of the spreader was wet when you poured the product in. The fertilizer is designed to pull moisture out of the air to aid in breaking down. Someone wrote earlier about puring some on your shop floor on a humid day. Damp enough air and you will get puddles.
    On really humid days I'd keep some speedy dry on had and keep it in my spreader. Knew one guy who left his spreader out all night and came in the next morning to find a glob of weed and feed goo in his spreader, all from dew.

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