How Much N Did I Apply?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Fishallot, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,659

    That is the law, I think. Anything that is not a seed...sticks, straw, dirt, mulch, water absorptive coating and so forth must be listed as "inert". Seeds--even if they are not viable are not considered inert matter. Sod growers buy seed on the "PLS Basis" pure live seed; they subtract out the non-germinating seed. (And then compare costs.)
    The label cannot mention the word fertilizer.
    Now if it claims to be a fertilizer--fertilizer laws apply. The fertilizer analysis must appear on the front.
  2. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    In my opinion, all seed rates should be referred to on a PLS basis. It's the same as referring to amount of actual N for fert or amount of active ingredient for pesticides. It's the only way to compare apples to apples.

    I see a lot of guys at state truf association meetings or here on this board talking about amount of product per unit area or amount of product per gallon of tank mix, but those aren't always apples to apples comparisons. For example, I may say that I use a 30-0-6 fert, while you use a 15-0-3 fert, but if I use half as much total fert as you, then we both applied the same amount of fert. If we use the apples-to-apples comparison, we would say that we both applied (for example) 0.75# N/M.

    We've seen this in some RoundUp threads before. Some guys said the Home Depot version wasn't as good as the JDL version, but when they were mixed and applied following label directions, they both applied the same amount of the same stuff!

    BTW, the university research reports for seeding are always done on a PLS basis, so it makes matching seeding rates easier. PLS also allows you to make comparisons between different seed sources with different blends and different germination characteristics. It's not any different from comparing ai amounts in different herbicides. Remember, not all 3-way herbicides are created equal. Simply mixing the same amount without checking to see how much ai you're putting out can lead you wasted product and poor results.

    Stepping down off soap box now. Rant over :)
  3. Fishallot

    Fishallot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for the explanations. Now that i'm armed with the real scoop on this seed treatment I sent an e-mail to my suppliers technical support dept. asking them how much N I applied to this lawn. It will be interesting to see what the response is.
  4. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,076

    I'm glad to see your interest in getting your question answered and learning more about the seed treatment, Fish, but I want to emphasize what I said before (that I may not have said very well), which is that you shouldn't expect a lot of fertilizer to be in this product -- after all, you intended to plant seed, not just fertilize. And, if you look at your seed label, wouldn't you expect the majority of the weight of the product to be seed?

    The objective of having any fert at all on the seed treatment is to provide nutrition at the point of emergence of that first root. There could be some debate on whether it's needed, but that would be the objective. So, not much fert would be needed to accomplish that objective and you would want it in close contact with the seed, not scattered in places where the small emerging root can't reach.

    So, I said all that to say this: don't be worried that the seed treatment didn't provide much fert. You can add all the fert you need with a fertilizer product. You just needed your seed to come up, and it sounds like it worked perfectly!
  5. Fishallot

    Fishallot LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks for that explanation. I do understand what your saying however the problem I have is that the supply house is calling this seed treatment a starter fertilizer and now that I know what it really is I think they're misrepresenting the facts. I originally went in there asking for seed and a bag of starter fertilizer. I was told that starter fertilizer wasn't needed if I bought this treated seed. Since this yard hasn't seen fertilizer since early last Spring i'm a little worried that this new grass didn't get the right amount of fertilizer to promote strong root growth. I'm planning to apply a Winterizer (30-0-5) to this lawn about Nov. 1st but am thinking I might be better off applying a starter fert application right now and skipping the winterizer. Keep in mind this is a fairly shaded yard and I usually limit my nitrogen applications to 3 times a year which would be starter, winterizer and early Spring pre. Any thoughts?

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