fertilizer over leaves

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by RigglePLC, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,807

    I wanted to know if applying fertilizer over leaves was completely useless or only partially so.
    I collected about 2 or 3 bushels of leaves. They were oak leaves, which were dry and fluffy due to warm windy conditions. The leaves were placed on a large tarp over concrete, in a layer about 6 inches deep. The leaves weighed 12 pounds. One pound of 26-0-6 fertilizer was weighed out and applied with a hand held spreader. The leaves were raked up and bagged for disposal. The fertilizer residue was then strained through a spreader filter three times to remove leaves and small pieces as much as possible; (a few small leaves and pieces remained). The result was that a half-pound remained. It appears that under these conditions 50 percent of the fertilizer got through to the ground.

    We need more people to try this to see what happens under different conditions, (like blowing the leaves off or sucking them up with a mower.)

  2. easy-lift guy

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

    If the bag of fertilizer you used was 50 lbs, you can cut the amount of N in half that actually was in the bag. Considering the cost of material used for the grass to grow in the first place I would only apply fertilizer to the turf and not allow the leaves to squander the results for the customer.
    easy-lift guy
  3. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I apply over dry leaves all the time. If you can get 50% to fall through that dense thick pile of leave I am sure I get at least that through a half inch layer.

    It makes a difference if they are wet or dry of course.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    By the time some h.o.allows 6" of leaves to pile up some where,,, it makes no difference at all as to whether the ferts hit the ground...

    In the real world, the bottom of that 6" layer is soaking tannic acid out of the leaves...unless of course we get 0(zero) moisture as the oak leaves accumulate... :)

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