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Fertilize in Drought!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Turfdude, Aug 25, 2002.

  1. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I wasn't sure if I should push back my early fall fert. visit as we are in such a bad drought right now and lawn watering is "outlawed" here in NJ. I e-mailed my extension agent and here is what he said

    "Hi Bob,

    I would go ahead with the fertilizer. Avoid too much potassium and use a slow
    release nitrogen that will release when water arrives. It may sit for a while,
    but with moisture it will release and then help the turf recover - something like
    sulfur coated urea, urea formaldehyde, IBDU or a natural organic would be good -
    make sure it is a high percentage of the total nitrogen.

    The only problem may be perception of your customers. You could inform them that
    it is slow release and will "kick-in" when moisture does arrive.

    Hopefully we will get lots of rain from a tropical storm."

    This seems to work out well for me as we generally apply a 32-3-5 PPSCU fert for this visit anyway. We also got at least 1" of rain yesterday through some strong stroms in the AM and PM. Hope we get more.

  2. Sounds like some good advice to me.

    Glad to hear water fell from the sky for ya.

    When it does rain the turf should recover quickly unless it had died.
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Bob I did some yesterday that hadn't been feed in quite a while based on this weeks forecast for some rain. I intend to crank up full on Tues if the rain stays in the forecast for next week. I want to take advantage of any rain as it will make the lawns stronger. I'm moving ahead on seeding to just so we get use all that mother nature gives us. Last fall i did an unirrigated unwatered lawn for a friend. Just aerated and broadcast TeamMates PLus. I was pretty disappoi9nted in it last fall and the first trip this spring but it came on vey strong. Areas that looked like a hair transplant had more seed germinate between the holes and the stuff in the holes came on strong.

    WE don't want to screw around second guessing 'cause we'll get burnt.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    Agreed. High (SCU) nitro blends are best. When the rain comes, the first thing you want is top growth and color.

    Wait until the turf gets going to focus on the root development.

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