Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by tracyalan, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. bx24

    bx24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA/TX
    Posts: 503

    purdue.ed put out a art to use 1 to 1.25 lbs of N per 1K sq/ft for fall. Now if that is 100% or urea is the question.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I hear ya... :)

    But , think photosynthesis for a moment. If no, (or little,) photosynthesis is occuring above the surface, how can it be possible - for - 'raw fertilizer', to become carbohydrates, in the roots?

    I could be proven wrong here, but 'turf', functions by 'photosynthesis' so I am not sure what I'm missing in the discussion.
  3. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Lemme see if I can dig up my old notes from school. Maybe the explanation is in there somewhere... But if I recall, the roots still have absorption capability and draw those starches in...
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Cool, let me know if you find out anything.
    There is of course some photosynthesis happening while the grass is exposed to sunlight. Perhaps there is a point where it no longer puts energy into the leaf, even though all the processes are continuing.
  5. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    As memory serves, I seem to recall it goes something like this: starches are pulled in through the roots. Once it's cold enough above, the nutrients are no longer translocated through the crowns to produce green top-growth. The grass, however, continues to develop by taking those carbohydrates and slowly but steadily applying them to root development - right up until ground temps force a cessation of that growth.

    I'll try to find some time to produce data to back up that recollection/theory.
  6. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    Not necessarily true, it depends on amount and type of N applied as well as established microbe populations and types. Early spring is excellent root growing time and if the fall N is no longer available and the early spring application if is light enough not to push top growth roots will benefit. You can not tell me feeding the microbe population is not a good thing ........even in the spring. Regarding thatch, this is usually a watering issue , not so much a fertilizer issue IMO.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    I am trying a 32-0-10 for my last app - 1 lb of N per K. I am not big on the potassium number being that high I would rather just apply mainly N but this product was more cost effective than my mainstay 18-0-3 (don't ask me why but it was) so I went with it.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The purpose of winterizer is to build the carbs inside the plant for spring time growth. Storing up fat for the winter and spring, as it were.
    In the spring as the soil warms, from the top down, the first awakening roots would soak up the water as soon as it was able. In that same layer the microbes are also coming to life. Those roots start growing as the microbes generate nutrients for them, as needed.

    Soon the surface dries and warms even deeper and more roots do more growing deeper in the soil. This wakeup is fueled by the stored nutrients and is first and foremost for the purpose of growing roots. This is where the competition for soil space begins. This is when the plant takes advantage the loosened soil, from the freezing/thawing cycle and gets as deep as it possibly can.

    During the spring wakeup, very little is happening above ground, by comparison. The plant does not need lots of green growth at this time, therefore it does not waste energy on green growth at this time. It needs root growth and that it what it is focussing on, naturally.

    Putting N on at this time changes the natural process of root development to shoot development, and the roots expand greatly at the surface because that is where all the food is. This begins the endless cycle of regular feedings and surface grown roots and the development of thatch.

    At least that is the way I understand it and it makes sense to me. :)

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,035

    Good post Small axe and is pretty much in line with what I posted in my reply earlier in this thread. Furthermore any fertilizer applied in the late fall that has microbial activity usually will not work well due to soil temps. For example my primary nitrogen source (MESA nitrogen from Lebanon) is not used as a winterizer.
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,234

    That may be true for your location, but here the ground may or may not freeze, so roots continue growing throughout the winter or start early in the spring. IMO a light Organic spring application does not force growth and the existing night-crawler population will make quick work of getting that ORGANIC fertilizer into the root zone.
    Case in point, did a application late February and also fertilized (corn meal) under the trees in a non turf area. I returned the next morning to see hundreds of two inch circles where the night-crawlers had cleaned the corn meal and dragged it into their burrows overnight. So in reality this fertilizer was quickly brought into the root zones.
    I don't think this is a black and white issue, light applications of Organic fertilizer will produce different results than a dump of quickly available CWS N.

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