8-8-8 fertilizer question

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Stonewall, May 4, 2001.

  1. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I have a townhome community that put down sod on top of fill dirt. Some of the turf is suffering greatly as a result, but one guy puts 8-8-8 down in the spring and fall. His place looks as good as any turf I've seen. No weeds, lush green, and thick to boot. I don't know much about fertilizer and soils, but should I expect this on the rest of the place if I put it out? I'm dealing with centipede grass, most of which is not under irrigation.
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I've had good success with 8-8-8 on centipede and bermuda. If your getting rain I would put it out and later in the year put out a little 34-0-0 to really get it in gear. Be careful not to over do it, centipede does not require a lot of fertilizer.
  3. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i fertilize a few lawns and this spring i used a 12-12-12 fert. and all i have to say id that all my lawns are the greenest, thickest and best looking on their street. the brand name was harvest king. (kentucky blue grass)
  4. powerreel

    powerreel Banned
    Messages: 481

  5. smithsonmi

    smithsonmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    I use 19-19-19 every month all season and my lawn is great..no weeds (the grass eats them alive). Neighbors have switched to my method also. The stuff is less than $9/bag! You have to water in 19-19-19 however!

  6. Grateful11

    Grateful11 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 177

    In early March I went with Lesco "Pre-M"erge and 10-10-10 for some green up then I went with Scotts Weed and Feed. My lawn looks the best it's ever looked and not much work. I have to admit it's the darkest green on the whole road and we've had very little rain. The people that went with triple 17 around here are paying for it now with burned up lawns. That Scotts is really some fine granule stuff and if your grass is wet enough it will stick and not bounce off.

    I saw a prime example of mowing at the correct height. There's 2 houses about 2 years old near me. One has some excellent grass for only 2 years old the other is about the worst looking thing I've ever seen. He mows about an 1"-1.5" high all the time. I know the guy is scratching his head trying to figure it out. I've been tempted to stop and give him some pointers but not sure how he would take it. He just reseeded about 2 weeks ago and I haven't seen the first blade come up in the completely bare spots.
  7. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I put out some Fertilome centipede feed on the place in question. Can I put 8-8-8 on top of that? If so, how do I how to calibrate my spreader for it? How does the
    8-8-8 affect the root system? Does it just green up the blades or does it actually strengthen the roots enough to dig into the fill dirt?
  8. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    come on the 1st 8 is for greening, the second 8 is for strenghting the roots and the 3rd 8 is for incase of draught. you want a high 2nd and 3rd # well i know i do, but you guys maybe different.
  9. lawnboykb

    lawnboykb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    Joshua you have it a little mixed up.....the first number is for the top growth and has a lot to do with chlorophyll. This is why its soooo green and grows a lot. Most soil has a lot of phosphorus in it, and this helps the plant with metabolism. The only time that you normaly need high numbers of this is with new grass becouse it dosn't have the roots to pick it up out of the soil yet. And the last one potassium is for the roots.
    Now I see most of you guys you the same thing 8-8-8 19-19-19 10-10-10
    if you think about it you are all putting down about the same thing. The number is the % in the bag not by weight. And Smithsonmi I bet the stuff that you are using has a lot of salt in it do to the price. It sounds like a cheap feild grade.

    So my question is this why whould you want a LOT of top growth? When that means more mowing?

    Why not make the roots healthy so that it can make it through the summer heat?

    Remember a plant only has so much growth in it, so if you make it grow from the top the roots suffer, and the plant will die under stress.

    Grass with no roots need a LOT more water.

    This is why we use a lot of 8-4-24. You still get that nice green look, but your making the grass put a lot of energy into the roots. So as summer comes along my grass is greener longer. And by the way I don't get that bad growth spurt.

    And as a rule of thumb the middle number is usually 1/2 the first.
    But if you have a plant that you want to flower a lot then you need a real low first number HIGH second and lower third. Just take a look at Miracle Grow.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I do the same thing. I do everything backwards compared to what all the "big trucks" are putting down. (worthless junk) While they are dumping the nitrogen coated urea so all the customers are loking at their green grass going "Wow! It sure is growing! We must really be getting our money's worth!"
    What I do, is lay off the nitrogen in the spring, and concentrate on the phos. and potassium. (0-18-18) Carefully! THIS is what will benefit the lawn more than anything. The grass is already going to grow to beat the band in the spring anyway! However, Spring is ALSO the time when the grass plants are establishing their root growth, and that's what I'm after- a full thick turf with a dense root system. I don't need 8 inches of growth a week during the Spring! I later do what I call the golfball test, and show my customers. I will take a golfball out on my established lawns, and on a lawn mowed at 3", I can drop a golfball straight down, and it will sit right on top of the grass. Let's see one of Schumlawn's lawns do that! No - WAY! Anyway, along with laying the iron to it with the post m, this works very well. Am I still cutting alot of grass? Oh, you bet! Because of the thickness, I'm cutting ALOT more blades of grass per sq. ft.

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