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How can I develop a notso generic fertilization plan for my type of grass in my area?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Threxx, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Threxx

    Threxx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Well I mean we all have seen generic schedules for fertilizing - some people are even fine with just going by some basic rule of thumb like 50 pounds of 10-10-10 per 10,000 sq ft per 6 weeks.

    I have a lawn that is being taken over (intentionally) by Palisades Zoysia. I'm looking for a more effective program - cost isn't as much as an issue as is just wanting good healthy results. I don't insist on having a neon green lawn, either, at the expense of hurting my grass in the long run.

    As an added bonus I have the ability to apply small amounts of liquid fertilizer through fertigation, to my turf, or can apply dry fertlizer, or both.

    I've had every rec in the book thrown at me. The last one was something like a low nitrogen (8% or so), low phosphates (8% or so), high potasium (25% or so) with iron. I was told this would be kinda costly but product a very nice looking and very healthy lawn without giving the lawn too much nitrogen and causing it to grow too quickly in the summer heat and/or possibly burn it and that I could apply this 8 times a year during the growing season.

    But still... I'm at a loss. I get different advice everywhere I look.

    Short of constantly submitting soil samples for testing - how can I formulate an effective schedule for my turf?
  2. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    Start off with a soil test. You need to know where you are starting from so that you can improve or adjust from there. Without that everyone is just going to give very general or opinionated suggestions.
  3. Threxx

    Threxx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Will a soil test tell me, for example, "you're at this much potasium, which is X amount below ideal levels"? Or will it just give me a measurement and I have to figure out what's ideal from there?
  4. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 590

    It depends on who does the test. The ones I have gotten lately say the level is X and then give some recommendations on what it would take to get the levels to what they should be for your turf. The recommendations are general, but they help you get started in the right direction. The PH value is one of the most important parts.
  5. Threxx

    Threxx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    OK thanks for the reply. I have a place near me that does some pretty serious analyzing, it would appear.

    Here is a list of their analyzations and prices:

    I would assume that anything more than the basic "S1M" 7 dollar service listed at the top of the second page would be way overkill and not give me any more useful information?
  6. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,554

    Contact your local ag. extension service, and your local Lesco rep. Definitely do a soil test. Both of the two I said to call will do these. Lesco will charge you around $20 for a pretty complete test. Your ag service probably won't charge. Consider a compost tea. You can make it yourself and put it down via your fertigation. Just Google compost tea. Works great, but doesn't lat very long. You will be re applying every couple of weeeks. I like Sustane products. Nice organic and organic bridge products. Lesco has excellent ferts. Always consistent products, lots of different analyses. I like the 24-5-11, 50%PPSCU 1.5 Mn, 5% iron. FOr a late summer I like their 5-10-31 with 10% iron.
  7. brizz

    brizz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Truth be known you can mix epsom salt with water and dish soap to make one of the best monthly fertilizers for turf grass. A little baking soda will add to the root system. If you want an exact recipe for this montly fertilizer let me know. I've used it for about 10 years
  8. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    Well, you have a wide variety of answers here. I'll throw mine into the mix. What does your state's agricultural college recommend for N consumption in your zone? Ours is .75-1 lb per 1000sq. ft. per month of the growing season. A 3-1-2 ratio is often been mentioned as a good starting point, but I believe in even less P. I strive to deliver as much N via slow release products as possible. Micros and iron are nice to work into the mix.
  9. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    why do you think you need something more than a generic fert program?

    most all programs are very generic and work perfectly fine.
  10. Threxx

    Threxx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I don't need something more. I want something more. I realize there is a difference - but I take pride and enjoyment in getting my lawn to look as nice as possible. So if I could get away with little to no fertilizer at all at a minimal cost and minimal effort, or could take samples and get my soil to be as ideal in condition as possible at a higher cost and higher effort - I don't mind doing #2.:)

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