1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, in the Franchising forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Help me out with liquid fertilizer program, please...

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by bcg, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    OK, I've got my NPK worked out using a mix of UFLEXX 46-0-0, Haifa Potassium Nitrate 13.5-0-46 Multi K, Growth Products Liquid Phosphorous 0-30-0 and Growth Products TKO Phosphite 0-29-26, so I think I have my Macros covered.

    Where I'm running into problems is figuring out the most cost-effective way to add Sulphur, Iron and other micros to the mix. My area is primarily heavy clay, alkaline soil that suffers from Sulphur and Iron deficiencies pretty much constantly so these I'd like to be able to apply with some regularity and the other micros a couple of times a year in small amounts.

    We're treating 98% St Augustine, 1.99% Bermuda and .01% Zoysia.

    I'd prefer to have a dry product that is soluble just because they're easier to store and the dry versions tend to be less expensive than the liquids. Growth Products has some solutions but they're pretty pricey so I'm looking for alternatives. My sales rep is helpful but he comes from the golf world so isn't as well versed on the options for liquid application.

    Thanks in advance for the help.
  2. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,760

    Yuck. Texas clay on top of caliche. I have volcanic clay on top of coral so I think I am qualified to speak. On soils that need sulfur and acidification, my main nitrogen source becomes spray grade ammonium sulfate. That is dry soluble and not very expensive. You can make 25% of the N come from UMAXX, but by itself, that does not help. BTW, I have seen urea based fertilizers fail to produce a response on alkaline soils. My vendors have started bringing in a 0-60-20 product called PEKacid. It forms phosphoric acid in contact with water. Next question is how much phosphorus do you need? I often use a no phosphorus mix of ammonium sulfate and potassium nitrate that applies 1/2 lb per thousand ferrous sulfate. Do not get this on your clothes, or on a customer's concrete or painted surfaces. It will stain badly.
  3. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,247

    You do know that St. Augustine needs monthly application when using liquid will see a quick growth spurt with liquid vs. week or longer with the granular. As doctor said Ammonium Sulfate would be a better choice over the Urea for that clay based alkaline soil. Give the mix a shot. St. Augustine is a heavy nitrogen lover so bump up your amount during the active growing season.
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    We spray monthly April - July. Grass usually starts to slow down from heat stress in August so we make the next app in Sep, when we start pre apps for winter. I'm spraying 3/4# N per 1,000 right now and will spoon feed 1/2# per 1,000 the rest of the summer.

    I have some Ammonium Sulfate on order right now to give me a sulfur source anyway. I've also discovered that the Ca in our hard water is causing my glyphosate applications to be much less effective than they should be so I'll be using the AS to correct that problem as well.

    I haven't done any soil testing yet but the general recommendation for this part of the state from Texas A&M is a 3-1-2 blend so I've been trying to stay in that as much as possible.

    Iron is almost always needed here, the clay either locks it up or it runs off so we get a lot of chlorosis, starting about June and going through the summer. I can use granular like Ironite on the effected areas but would like to come up with something that I can put in the tank mix so that I can just broadcast it when I treat.

    Greendoctor, we're clay over clay here. The caliche is in the southern part of the state, not so much the coastal bend. 45 minutes north of here is beautiful sandy loam and the top soil on top of the caliche on our property in south Texas is the nicest loam you could every ask for. We have roughly 4' of this over the caliche down there. Unfortunately, I get none of that on the lawns I'm treating. The closest I have is when the builders grade the lot with sand over the clay, then I have 4 - 6 inches of sand sitting on a clay basin so everything runs through the sand and builds up on the clay bowl underneath.

    I'm still trying to figure out how to add Iron and other micros to my program with liquid.

    Thanks for the help.
  5. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,719

    Hey bcg
    If you have some samples taken please report back. In my area with clay over limestone our PH is high and the P and K is getting locked up so they are suggesting nitrogen only. I like granular fert for my needs so I try and use a mix of AS and coated urea. Some StAugustine may even get granular sulfer
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,760

    Alkaline lawns get treated with 1 lb/1000 citric acid. I have even added 2 lb/1000 sulfur DF. These are both applied monthly. There is one lawn I treat that started with a pH of 8. Monthly applications of sulfur and citric acid have made it responsive to fertilizer. Once the pH is too high, grass does not even respond to nitrogen.

    1 lb/1000 citric acid will chelate ferrous sulfate.
  7. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    The FS is tough on spray equipment though, right?

    I have a pallet of AS being delivered today, I'm going to go 40% N from AS and 60% N from UFLEXX and see how that does.

    I'm not even sure where to get Citric Acid. How much are you putting down per 1,000?
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,760

    A little hard. I have not had problems because I water flush the rig as the manufacturer of the pump says to at the end of the day. I get my citric acid from an industrial chemical vendor. 1 lb per 1000 sq ft is the usual application rate. Can go up to 5, but at that rate, the acid is to be immediately watered in.
  9. AnotherOkie

    AnotherOkie LawnSite Senior Member
    from Newalla
    Messages: 449

    For your micros, Agrium sells a line of liquid and soluble fert products. I think they are made by loveland. I use the feature 6-0-0 w/ fe, mn, mg and s. 3 to 6lbs by acre. They also make a 15-0-0 liquid that has s and fe. Both produce nice color and seem to reduce clorosis when mixed with herbicides
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,760

    You too? I swear by FEAture 6-0-0. It is a very economical supplement. 6 lb per acre is a real help for my lawns growing on coral. I add 3 lb per 100 gallons of liquid fertilizer for trees and shrubs as well. Again, alkaline soils with micronutrient issues. They also make another liquid that has everything in it.

Share This Page