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Late Fert App

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by fall46, Oct 11, 2009.


    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    MD not sure if you are a friend or foe but...

    regarding the form letter, our customers are not as dumb as you might think (yours and mine). I have not had a single customer question the information or results seen in that form letter. I do agree there is more information than some may care for but each section has its merits and must be explained. I am OK with educating my customers in what I am doing on their property. I work for them and they have a right to question everything I do. After reading the Purdue University Turf-tips link posted in this thread it only supports what I have been doing in the past. I may substitute that section from Turf-tips for what I am using strictly to save a few trees.

    In regards to the "new evidence," that would be recent studies done by agronomy schools and fertilizer suppliers that support what your grandfather already new. It proves that late fall fertilization isn't theory but is proven technique. Just because someone tells me to do something doesn't mean I will do it. I want supporting documentation or knowledge for everything I do. Just like the information written in this entire thread, each member needs to make his or her mind up for themselves what to do.

    In regards to your statement that "NOT ALL" bluegrass lawns will green up earlier. That is a blanket statement about the results Purdue and others have seen not a guaranteed result. Soil analysis and past practices will dictate how those lawns respond.

    I am glad you have had or seen success with a heavy spring application of nitrogen and would encourage you and others to continue with that. I too have seen an awesome lush, green lawn caused by high nitrogen fertility in the spring. Some of the best looking lawns in the neighborhood. I have also seen those people (not customers) cutting their lawn every four days. I have also seen those lawns weak and disease infested in the heat of the summer due to that heavy early spring fertilization. I have also gained some of those people as customers after they screwed up their lawns only to be happy with the late fall fertilization I provide.

    Finally, I will continue with the late fall applications since again University studies have supported what I and others here have seen in the field. Specifically, a healthy lawn year round, fewer high nitrogen fertility diseases and happy customers once they understand the theory behind the science.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Then add to that the traditional pre-m root stifling synthetic hormone and bang-o ... you got a real healthy shallow rooted lawn. The TGCL systen works for one and all.
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Sorry if I sounded harsh...I really didnt mean too. And no I dont feed in the spring...was just commenting that many will and "appear" to contradict your statements (in the customers eyes). I I wasnt disagreeing with anything you said..just commenting that it might be TMI for the customer as they will likely interperate the info in THEIR own way. Jeeze.... did I sound like the heavy spring fert guy that has a f'd up lawn in July/August?;)
  4. Matt,

    You need another app of fertiler. I would have prefered you applied the first fall application much earlier, with another fall app about the time grass is almost stop growing. The first fall app should have more % of slow release the the last fall application.

    Again, the quanity of fert applied at each app is dependent on the requirement of the grass, lawn quality, type or source of slow release, How the slow release releases, % of the product that is slow release, and relationship to average killing frost to average date of grass going dormant.

    Turfgrass, cool season does just find in my area receiving 2.5 to 3 lbs/m of nitrogen. My program based on using ~ 50% organic, being fortified with sop, amonia sulfate, scu ( ouch) meth urea. I have very little nitrogen loss to leaching and volutatation ( sp) Arreas being overseeded will recieve additional nitrogen, as will lawn with less than desirable turfgrass density. All lawns receive annual soil test, soil; chemistry is corrected, and once achive, soil test done every three years.

    I like to make my last fall application ~ when cutting the lawn I'm only removing 1/6 of leave blade instead of the normal 1/3. I've never bought completely into the dormant feeding, although their has been alot of research out for mant years in favor of it.

    I believe using ~ 2 lbs of nitrogen / year would be plenty for you if it had a high percent of slow release. That said, applying a 1 lb of nitrogen from a big box store is more than 2 lbs / season , apply it NOW since you should appl 50 to 70% of nitrogen in the fall. What does your land grant university recommend?
    Good luck

    Late fall applications of nitrogen with medium to high % of slow release nitrogen proably would increase snow mold, your big box store fert proably contains no more than 20-30% slow release n.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009

    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    Nice post Tim, good job summing it all up.
  6. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    I've applied 1# of N ,mid to late October, for over 20 years with little to no problems.

    Why are you buying fert from a big box store? PM me if you want to know where to get better products at 1/2 the price.

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