Confused about when to fertilize

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Victorsaur, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

  2. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    What exactly are you confused about and what are you trying to do? Give all the detail's you can think of.
  3. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    What confuses me is that one website says I should not fertilize AT ALL from March 15 - end of August while the other website says that I should fertilize year round.

    I understand that there are different types of fertilizer and certain types are better placed at different times. My main concern is the lack of phosphorous in the soil around here and I plan to broadcast diammonium phosphate (18-46-0) which happens to seep into the soil very slowly of course. I also plan to use lime, most likely dolomitic 7:1 Ca:Mg at the end of the growing season.

    Ultimately I want to come up with a solid fertilization schedule and also a system by which I can easily create fertilization schedules such that fertilizers don't interfere with each other or with other applications. Until I can even begin to accomplish any of this I need to work out the inconsistencies in information provided by different websites.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    You gotta remember that the plantscience link is from the Pennsylvania State University, they can maybe get away with fertilizing year round, especially in the northern part of that state. In NC you don't want to fertilize fescue until September. If you want 3 Lb.s of N per 1000 sq. ft. annually, you should put 2 1/2 Lb.s of that N down in the fall (always's water fertilizer in). And put a 1/2 Lb. of N down in early spring. Stick with the NCState-Turffile's recommendation's for this state, that's important, growing grass is a regional thing, and the Asheville area is really a even more localized micro-climate that, luckily for you, is ideally suited for growing fescue. I looked at the the monthly average's here -

    That is fescue country.

    This is your local soil temperature's, plant's and fertilizer's react really strongly to soil temp's.

    This is the USDA zone map, you are in zone 6b.

    If you have any more question's, just ask. Good luck.
  5. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I would also take into consideration different Ph levels as well. If all of the turf areas are the same Ph, the results should be the same, here in SW Florida that is never the case.
    easy-lift guy
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,808

    You need a soil test for turf, not corn. Phosphorus is seldom needed by turfgrass--it will seldom benefit from application of phosphorus. Costly, too.
    It is illegal here and in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New York; some other states, too; it causes big time algae growth in lakes and rivers.
  7. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    Thank you for the detailed response agrostis. It turns out that the main difference - and it is a huge one - is that our soils are predominantly clay while it is predominantly loamy in Pennsylvania. Which is why fertilizer will not burn cool season grasses over there as easily if applied during the height of the growing season (better drainage).

    I guess the only other uestion that I had is how often would I want to apply phosphorous and dolomitic lime annually? The answer for both is either 1 or 2.

    And Riggle bro... no offense but.. :laugh:. I think you may want to do some more research on the benefits of phosphorous and how it can be applied so that runoff doesn't occur. It is a great nutrient. And over time it is greatly reduces the need for herbicide application, which is often quite toxic. Diammonium phosphate is supposed to be the most soluble and is for turf applications.
  8. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Alway's try to split your application's up, fertilizer, lime, phosphorus, anything that need's watering in.
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Im with riggle on this one, existing turf should not need supplemental applications of phosphorous, Atleast for our cool season grasses. Proper management practices like leaving clippings, no bagging, will allow clippings to decompose naturally, assuming there is addequate decomposing organisms in the soil.

    We just had a lady ask us why her lawn was looking thin, she had a soil sample done and sent it to me. Phosphorus levels were high. I've yet to see a soil sample come back with phosphorous low when someone has been recycling nutrients.

    In our land of 10000 lakes, phosphorous is a huge contributor to algae blooms. some may be from excessive P application and runoff, some from clippings and leaves washing into the streams and decomposing, releasing the P into the lakes.

    Also, riggle is correct. It is illegal to apply P to a lawn unless it is being renovated or a soil test states it is deficient.

    For soils up here, I believe 2-3lbs actual N is recommended, split between 2-3 applications throughout the growing season. No more then 1 lb actual N per application. According to the MNLA atleast
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I still haven't been told whether those "soil tests" address the 'free P' only,,, or if it can detect how much 'bound P' is actually in the soil... grass develops a mutual connection with fungi over time that 'mines' the boundup P from the soil...
    That means,,, that if the test only reveals the 'free P', that it doesn't adequately show what is actually available to turf... I hear that 80% of P is boundup in the soil...

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