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Late fall app & snow on ground

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Turfdude, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Anyone else not yet finished putting down their last application (dormant feed)? We have approx 75 places to go. Still some snow on the ground - it should thaw & be gone by this weekend. I would hate to have to store the product until next fall, as well as lose the income from this visit.

  2. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Two years ago we put down the late fall application on top of the snow. Was told that it will not make any difference. The problem was the perception on part of the customer. Will not do again because I ended up spending a good two days explaining on the phone..... Customer perception.....
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Best to get them on now, from an agronomic aspect. Your cool season grasses, especially blues, continue growth (mostly underground) until the ground freezes. I have seen new rhizome growth up to 18" in winters when we had no significant ground freeze.

    Doubt your ground is frozen now. The soil was warm enough until right before the snow, and the snow insulated soil surface from the cold air. Been checking mine here, and only frozen soil is where snow was removed from turf areas. Knife or screwdriver goes right thru snow into ground. If snow melts (I've even put fert on top of soon to melt snow), chances are ground won't freeze until a month from now. Even if it does freeze and stay frozen, fert is there in place to be used as soon as thaw comes.

    But NE brings up a very important point. Will your customers think: "Why the heck is he fertilizing the snow?" Could hurt your credibility. If you have any clients who you think might question this practice, you might want to skip them. Better yet do them and leave an explanation of why you are doing it this way.
  4. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 525


    18" in the winter, then we come and reduce that growth with pre-emergents.........:dizzy:
  5. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    _Sience________Common sense___

    Aint this a cool business!

    You might call customers ahead and let them know why its OK to apply. This is proactive approach. Ahh we are finished thank god.
  6. greenngrow

    greenngrow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 403

    Look at it this way...

    You will be able to get a better spread pattern in the snow....LOL

    All jokes aside. It will not hurt and the grass will still be able to use the plant food. Like everyone has mentioned you will get some people questioning your decision to apply Fertilizer. Just remember you are the professional. Use tack and explain in your invoice the reason and explain that you have done your homework on this. It would be a bad idea to look up info about this particular subject from your local extension office or university.
  7. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    But remember, NE, I do minimal pre-ems. Probably do only 25-30% of my turf areas, and have moved 6 whole lawns to only postemerge crab/foxtail control. Hope to be using no pre-em in 5 years.

    And the only way I could truly measure 18" was where they grew into beds without edging. LOL. More work for Jim in springtime.
  8. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    It's funny because no one will question TG or LD when they are out applying in 100 degree drought conditions.
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    We got some snow here, then a light crusting of ice on top. I still had some to do. I just decided to wait it out. As the temps increased, the crusting softened and melting had already begain from the bottom.

    I started appling on lawns I knew would be pretty well melted by the days end or ones that were already. I did this for several reasons. Some obvious, others not. So here we go...

    I never like to skip the fall & winter applications. To me these are the most important feedings of all and should never be missed if at all possible. Secondly, I was bored and couldn't really do anything else productive. Third, more cleanups to be done in the better weather conditions. Forth, I knew more precipitation was in the forcast and I wanted to get it down.

    Man what a great decision that all turned out to be. We are getting a good slow soaking rain as we speak :D
  10. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I happen to like when fert goes under snow. The snow layer reduces volatilization.

    Even applied to a "soft snow", there is agronomic benefit if the ground isn't frozen.

    But applying fert to crusted snow or frozen ground is a real compromise.

    I agree with Jim that customer impressions are worth more than agronomic benefit here.

    1GL has it right with the call aheads.

    I had lunch with a customer yesterday that still hasn't finished either. Some of the unfinished route are his pre-pays. His options are to credit next years sevice or start hammering the phones, since he feels to apply over over snow without clarification could do more harm to the client/business relationship than the revenue is worth. That's a good point since pre-pays are the best customers.

    This is always a difficult decision to make. Most of your customers are more concerned with the congestion in the mall parking lots than they are with their lawns right now.

    Choose this path wisely!


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