Winterizer Apps

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Victor, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    Like a lot of other applicators, I wait until top-growth has stopped in my customer's lawns, before I begin my Winterizer round. I also make sure that my lawns haven't lost their color yet. By timing my Winterizer apps the way I do, I realize that nitrogen that's applied to the lawn when I do this application is stored in the root system of my lawns in the form of starches (carbohydrates). This reserve is then used the following Spring. My question is whether phosphorus, or potassium are of any use to lawns at that time of year when only the root systems in my lawns are active? If P & K are of no use when only the root systems are active, then it would be pointless to apply a fert that contains these two nutrients. I'm sure a lot of applicators (me included) will learn a lot from what some of the more knowledgeable members have to say about this. I'm looking forward to reading any replies.
     
  2. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,183

    I have applied 46-0-0 for the past three years with excellent results. Virtually every university study is showing that water soluble nitrogen as the last application is preferred.

    Mike I
    Mike's Total Lawn Care
     
  3. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    Well sure it is Mike. There wouldn't be any reason to apply slow-release nitrogen at that time of year. Having said that thought, you can get all mineral blends of fert that do contain phosphorus and potassium. I'm just wondering if there is any way P & K can be utilized by the grass-plants at that time of year. :waving:
     
  4. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,183

    From what I have read and what we discussed in seminars I have attended it isn't necessary to apply P & K if the soil has adequate amounts, especially in the fall. I do not know the answer specifically to your question. I would assume the plants use the P & K if they need and it is available as they would any other time of year but I do not have a degree in soil science or plant pathology so it is only an opinion.

    Mike I
    Mike's Total Lawn Care
     
  5. JWTurfguy

    JWTurfguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Potassium is also important, although not as much as Nitrogen. Nitrogen is stored in the roots as starches and potassium helps strengthen the plant against the colder temps of winter (and, to an extent, prevents fungus like snow mold, etc). Phosphorus is also beneficial, but not to the same extent. In loamy soils I would probably go with something like a 4-1-2 analysis (assuming that a soil test didn't indicate some pressing need), bumping the K up if the soils were sandier and more prone to potassium leaching.
     
  6. Well, I generally agree with last app being water soluble nitrogen, but I prefer to make before the grass goes dormant... And a small amount being slow release........I want more slow tissue growth to help with density...help recover the turfgrass from summer stress, but remember, I have much milder winter months...normal high of ~ 40 degrees.

    I like to apply fert for the season in a ratio of 4-.5-3, as a maintentance, once sopil chemistry is correct, using a base saturation mthod

    P is very immoble, so the finer the particle size the better..... root growth starts in fall, but biggest root growth is at the end of winter.... so let's make sure you hyave an adequate supply of p...Now for k....only SOP.... much needed for stress, as with fe, now in my location, we have NO stress in winter for cool season grass, our stress is in the summer........get the soil base saturation of k in the 4-6% range, depending on your stress for cool season turfgrass

    As for columbus...oh, down with the buckeyes, old illi fan, you have both summer and winter stress, neither as severe as I have, or somebody 100 miles north of you!

    Enough from me, it's late, all ready been a long week, finishing my overseeding, spelling and typo's, you'll have to bear with me
     
  7. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    So why do most retail fertilizers run heavy K in their "winterizers"????

    I don't have any answers for this, just questions:

    -- With K being so specific to root strength and development - and with your roots growing until the ground freezes solid (it does here, anyway)... wouldn't K be the ideal additive in the fall??

    --Also, if you dump urea and don't get rapid watering-in - 50% of it's effective N volatizes. And THEN, what if you get tons of snow... does the remaining effective N leach right past the rootzone with the snowmelt?

    I've been pondering these things for some time. I've even considered running straight K for my winterizer. I'm not so sure it needs the N in the fall, seeing as how I'll be out applying that first thing in the spring... That just seems redundant (even though I continue to do it)...
     
  8. Don't loss as nearly as much N at cooler temps
     
  9. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    All the more reason, then, to question the application of N in autumn that will sit and wait till about the same time you show back up in the spring!
     
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,430

    Since my lawns have stopped displaying any top-growth by the time I put my Winterizer apps down, my question was whether, or not P, or K would be utilized by the grass plants the way N definitely is. Remember now, I treat every customer's lawn before the color leaves.

    I should have be more clear on what I was asking. Since the root system is the only part of the grass plants that is active when I put this app down, I'm wondering how much of an effect P and K will have. Since both P and K enhance rooting in grass plants, it would only make sense that including these macro nutrients in my Winterizer apps would be highly beneficial to my customer's lawns (since rooting activity is in overdrive). The only reason why I wasn't sure these macro nutrients would be of much use going into Winter, was because I wasn't sure if they would be utilized that late in the year.
     

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