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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just wondering if anyone that is suffering from drought (like we are) are still putting down slow release fertilizers to make an attempt to stay on schedule?

This sounds nieve on my part, but we have not had it this dry in my 12 year lawn related career.

Do you put all of your lawn care applications on hold until rain moves in? What do you do with your insecticide treatments(Merit) where apllicable?

Can a slow release fertilizer cause any additional harm to a dry/dormant lawn?

Thank you -

ChicagoLawn
 

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It's very dry in Ontario as well. We've had 1" of rain here in six weeks (and over 30 Celsius almost every day for three weeks!). When we get to a property that is well irrigated we do the service as usual. If the property is very dry and the grass is dormant we leave a note that the lawn is too dry to fertilize and if they would like us come back and fertilize it, to water at least 2 inches (we leave them a rain guage) per area and then call the office. If they don't call by the time we are done the current round, they get skipped into the next round. We still apply merit as needed and ask them to water it in. I don't think it will harm the grass. We also spot treat weeds and crabgrass if needed, so the only thing the customer is missing out on is the fert. Most of them can appreciate the fact that you are doing what's best for their lawn.
 

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shepherdlawncare said:
It's very dry in Ontario as well. We've had 1" of rain here in six weeks (and over 30 Celsius almost every day for three weeks!). When we get to a property that is well irrigated we do the service as usual. If the property is very dry and the grass is dormant we leave a note that the lawn is too dry to fertilize and if they would like us come back and fertilize it, to water at least 2 inches (we leave them a rain guage) per area and then call the office. If they don't call by the time we are done the current round, they get skipped into the next round. We still apply merit as needed and ask them to water it in. I don't think it will harm the grass. We also spot treat weeds and crabgrass if needed, so the only thing the customer is missing out on is the fert. Most of them can appreciate the fact that you are doing what's best for their lawn.
This is what I do too.
 

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I also notify customers who have dry lawns that they need to start watering, and skip apps until the lawn is ready to receive fertilizer or rainfall meets the lawns watering needs.
 

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depending on the condition of the lawn's dryness, i'll turn down the amount needed on a lawn showing mild drought stress, but a severe drought stressed lawn can't handle slow release fertilizer if is not seen any water or rain recently. out there in the desert climate, you'll get a LAWN HAVING DROUGHT STRESS if they don't water for 4 or 5 days in a row. for those customers who lawn are not looking the best, i'd skip untill watered properly, and just move onto the next.
 

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shepherdlawncare said:
It's very dry in Ontario as well. We've had 1" of rain here in six weeks (and over 30 Celsius almost every day for three weeks!). When we get to a property that is well irrigated we do the service as usual. If the property is very dry and the grass is dormant we leave a note that the lawn is too dry to fertilize and if they would like us come back and fertilize it, to water at least 2 inches (we leave them a rain guage) per area and then call the office. If they don't call by the time we are done the current round, they get skipped into the next round. We still apply merit as needed and ask them to water it in. I don't think it will harm the grass. We also spot treat weeds and crabgrass if needed, so the only thing the customer is missing out on is the fert. Most of them can appreciate the fact that you are doing what's best for their lawn.
how do you spot treat crabgrass
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can you actually kill the lawn by applying a slow release granular fertilizer to a dormant/heat stressed lawn? Or will the application simply be wasted into the soil if and when rain comes? I know this question sounds very "basic" but we have never encountered such a dry season as we are currently.

Would you worry about grub control applications if the lawns are this dry also?
 

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TurfProSTL said:
Drive.

Do you guys that skip fert apps make up for it by increasing your rates or visits in the fall?
I find that a lawn that goes into drought dormancy usually doesn't fully emerge from in until next spring.

We scale our applications based on the how much is likely to be used. This can't be precise but I don't want to give a full application to a lawn that probably wont use it all.

When a lawn does fully (or even mostly) comes out of drought dormancy, then they get a full application.
 

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I'm I missing something here? Spot treat crabgrass when lawn is in drought stress? Only time I have seen a Crabgrass problem is in the Spring ( that time of year when it rains allot). Crabgrass being an Annual..... Are you sure its Crabgrass that you want to treat? No fert on brown lawns here. And we only spot treat broadleaf weeds. And only on cool days after alittle rain. No grassy weed herbicides or firt till drought is over.
 

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I don't think you cause a lawn anymore harm by putting down slow release granular when it is drought stressed. In fact, there have been studies done at Penn State which show that turf that has had slow release applied during drought has recovered quicker than turf that has had no treatments put down. The slow release will just sit on the lawn until the rain comes and weather changes. Here in my area lawns have been fertilized throughout this drought period we have been having.
 

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Fertilized dormant lawns seem to come back like crazy once the rains start coming. No way in hell I would skip a lawn in a drought period, unless the homeowner called and said he wouldn't pay for this type of lawn maintenance.

If they call, educate them. If they don't, just do your job, which is doing what's right for the lawn.....
 

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ChicagoLawn said:
Just wondering if anyone that is suffering from drought (like we are) are still putting down slow release fertilizers to make an attempt to stay on schedule?

This sounds nieve on my part, but we have not had it this dry in my 12 year lawn related career.

Do you put all of your lawn care applications on hold until rain moves in? What do you do with your insecticide treatments(Merit) where apllicable?

Can a slow release fertilizer cause any additional harm to a dry/dormant lawn?

Thank you -

ChicagoLawn
No ! never skip a service. Tell the customer that too! When it eventually rains the grass will perk up quicker. It's bad enough when the customer asks..don't cut your own throat
 

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PR Fect said:
I'm I missing something here? Spot treat crabgrass when lawn is in drought stress? Only time I have seen a Crabgrass problem is in the Spring ( that time of year when it rains allot). Crabgrass being an Annual..... Are you sure its Crabgrass that you want to treat? No fert on brown lawns here. And we only spot treat broadleaf weeds. And only on cool days after alittle rain. No grassy weed herbicides or firt till drought is over.
Crabgrass doesn't germinate here (Ontario) until we get some heat. It usually starts to come up late June/early July and grows like crazy along the edges of the lawns in front where the seeds from other properties washed down the road.
 

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Thanks for the reply Shepard. I new I had to be missing something. And as far as putting down Fert in a drought, August is our hot, dry month in Wisconsin. Every year the lawns that are not watered in some way dry up, go dormant, and turn brown. But this year they are that way all ready in July. If you Fert every 6 to 8 weeks, why would I put down something now that will just lie there, and the in 7 weeks put some more down when the lawns are still brown? No fert here till end of August, lawns will start to recover with September rain. And if you do not do the work, how is it you are loosing anything? PR
 

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so, can i assume that any summer dormant lawns that get skipped now also get skipped in late fall....when they are dormant???


and this puzzles me....***"And if you do not do the work, how is it you are loosing anything? PR"***

huh??
 
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