best forms of granular N

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by grassmasterswilson, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Messages: 4,945

    I treat mostly fescue and bermuda. I have found that fescue loves just about any type of fertilizer you put on it. Bermuda seems to be a different story. I guess weather is a big factor as drought and heat can take its toll.

    Last year I applied a 25-0-5 Mesa Lebanon product and this year my dealer had a "special" on a 28-2-3 Urea from Reed and perrimman. This years bermuda wasn't as green as last year.

    For you experts do different types of turf like and respond better to different forms of N?
  2. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    I do not use many Lebanon products but I would consider them a high end formulation. Likely had some iron too?

    Urea is the cheapest form of N. Does not give the best color responce. I think even the Mesa products have urea but it is stablized and slow release so you do not lose as much to the atmosphere.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,672

    The most common turf fertilizer is urea. Its good, but...water soluble so it leaches out quickly. It can lose some of the nitrogen due to bacterial denitrification in warm weather...loses it as gas to the atmosphere.
    The various forms of coated or stabilized nitrogen are much better. Sulfur coat, plastic/sulfur coat, methylene urea, IBDU, triazone and others.

    About the 28-2-3...what percent was slow release?
    Likewise regarding the 25-0-5 Mesa?

    Quick green is good, but long lasting green is better. Year to year comparison isn't as accurate as side by side comparison. And you have to consider how long it lasts, if it will contaminate your water, and if it will burn the grass. And if it is so prone to absorb moisture--that it does not spread well.

    And other factors for your own unique situation.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I agree with Riggle that slow-release is best for the growing season, in fact One-Ap that last the whole season isn't a bad idea... Towards Fall however, when you're putting down the winterizer, you'll want the fertilizer used up by the time the ground freezes becuz all the N will grow during that time is, snow mold...
    Besides, the cool weather and saturated Spring soils, will cause N to volatize or otherwise be wasted...
    I have had Prills evident after a winter, but when the Spring rains came they were pretty well gone even before the grass started growing...
    Of course our winterizer situation doesn't apply to yours, but to plan ahead for your dormant periods is the point...
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    Screamin Green has 5 sources of N; Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, SCU, composted poultry manure, biosolids. It provides a quick green up without excessive growth with properly metered release from each ingredient and the benefits of active microbes and organic matter.
  6. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    At the risk of having our internet "experts" coming out of the woodwork, I'll tell you that all inorganic N sources are pretty much the same. Remember, plants can only take up N as ammonium or nitrate, regardless of which product you put down. The plant doesn't care if its N came from urea or MAP or potassium nitrate -- NH4 is NH4 and NO3 is NO3, regardless of initial source.

    So, maybe what would be more helpful is when one source might be favored over another, if one should even be favored at all.

    Slow release -- what is your favored application interval? If you're looking for a 4-6 week interval, a slow-release may not be needed. But, if you're looking to go longer than 6 wks between fert apps, then a slow-release source may be better.

    Quick release -- Straight urea will usually work well, but watch for heat and irrigation. Volatilization is a bit of a concern for urea if it can't be watered in somewhat soon after application, so maybe another source, like ammonium sulfate, could be used. Just watch out for pH -- some fertilizers have an acidifying effect, so ifyour pH values are already low, those acidifying fertilizers won't make it any better.

    So, to make your decision, I guess you would look at your desired application interval, your agronomic needs (pH mainly), and your budget, then find something that fits.

    A lot of times we make the fertilizer thing more difficult than it needs to be. When I worked on a PGA major championship-hosting golf course a few years ago (5 yrs ago), we maintained the whole place using only quick-release fertilizers -- urea, MAP, DAP, and KNO3 (the some iron, boron, or manganese for deficiencies). We maintained excellent conditions for the world's best players using basic plant nutrients. Often, we get caught up in fancy technologies when what we realyl should do is get back to the basics.
  7. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    The blenders do not make it any easier. Most of their formulations are unusable. I do not want potassium chloride, non chelated micronutrients or "slow release" that does not release for weeks, then suddenly dumps. I also do not want 5% P if the soil/tissue tests do not indicate need for P. Getting back to basics is what my program is about.
  8. OnPointLandscaping

    OnPointLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Golf courses all quick release fertilizers because they spoon feed on a 10-14 day interval at 1/4 lb N per 1000 to as low as 1/10 lb N per 1000. To control growth at levels home owners don't need. Applying a slow release fertilizer that is a nice consistent slow feed is the goal.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    Many golf course are also using biosoids in their nutrient management plans.
    The OM in it has been shone to reduce disease pressure.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,975

    Or the micronutrient content. I have to ask if biosolids are supplying nutrients that were not sufficient prior to their addition to the program. I know golf people that feed NPK and only use iron for a quick green up. :nono: Not the kind of program I would follow if healthy turf was the goal.

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