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Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by HazellLawnCare, Oct 14, 2002.
How long after the fall starter fert should the winter fert be put on?
Idealy winter fert. should be applied just prior to the first snow fall or in southern regions when the turf has gone dormant. best if you use 100%controlled release for this application or as near that as possible. This application will become available in early spring as soon as the grass comes out of dormancy.
Yes, using a controlled release is the best idea, at least something with 50%SCU or higher, and as far as timing, here we usually seed in Sept., so then late Oct thru Nov. or when you do the last clean-up for the season.
Ultra slow release is fine especially if the timing of the treatment is off.
But the greatest benefit from the last feeding is realized when it coincides with the date the foliage stops growing. This because for about the 3 weeks following dormancy, the roots will utilize the soluble portion of the fertilizer & convert it to starches & carbohydrates. This is the stored energy that C3 grasses use to recover from stress & dormancy. So you'll experience earlier & more complete spring green-up. Much heavier root density too.
Having half the nitrogen coming from a slow release source is still a good thing. It's just not an absolute requirement when everything is timed perfectly. As though that ever happens in the real world!
Elevated Potash (last number on the bag) levels have been discussed here in the past & are certainly worth while. Potash will influence root density & cell strength for a more disease & wear tolerant stand of turf.
Please try to resist the temptation to use some of the incorrectly labeled "starter" fertilizers that are marketed as "winter feeds". In the C3 growing area, ample phosphorous (middle number) is usually present. If ph is properly managed, additional P levels are not needed unless your seeding. Indeed, some areas are banning the indiscriminant use of P. Because of it's low solubility, surface run off has been known to end up in our waterways. I sometimes wonder if these products aren't labeled this way just to make it easier on the fertilizer manufacturer & the retailer. It's hard to make a full trailer load of either starter fert or winter fert for some dealers. This allows the unscrupulous business folks a chance to market a single product for both uses. Could be you know.
When dealing with the "hungry" grasses like most of the improved Bluegrasses, don't be afraid to hit them with anywhere from:
Low = 1lb/N (the rate found on the bag)
Medium = 1.25lbs/N
High = 1.5lbs/N
Improved Bluegrasses love their nitrogen. One pound of N is rarely enough to keep them satisfied. Late spring green up on certain lawns (especially sod) is the tell tale evidence. Treat those lawns at the heavyier rates to avoid customer retention/satisfaction issues.
Someone will probably now come on & suggest that snow mold will be more severe at these rates. That is true for Bentgrass greens. But lawns treated this way are going to recover more completely & faster when growth resumes on the occasions that a little snow mold comes around.
Now is not the time to skimp! Just make sure it's timed & applied correctly for your local growing conditions.
PS, Lawns that get "striped" now are going to tell the whole world aall about it for a while. Check the spreaders for proper operation & cleanliness before going out. Season long wear could show up now causing serious issues by spring! It's too easy to forget some of these details in our rush to finish off the season on a high note.
So Steve, Would you recommend a 5-10-31 application?
Not unless the lawn was already screaming green from a recent shot of soluble N.
To deliver 1.5 lbs./N from 5-10-31 would require 30 lbs of fert. And that would deliver 9 lbs of the saltiest form of potash made. Instant death!
Now if a lawn has a lot of Bentgrass & it's not considered a weed (it happens), and the place has a history of Snow Mold issues, then by all means, have at it.
I like the 18-0-18 50% PPSCU.
That it is after all this rain we've been having here!!! (Starter fert put down with aeration and overseed approximately 3-5 weeks ago.) Although I'm sure by the second week of November things will have subsided/gone dormant and I'll give the 18-0-18 a try. Thanks!
In an ideal world, the Lesco winter fert would be put out 8-12 weeks after the starter(according to the Lesco rep). I just got around to my own last week with transition and starter, kind of late I know.
What I do, ( and I hope Tremor will agree) is right now, while the grass is slowing down, but still has some top growth, is hit it rather heavy with a light N and heavier K. After it finishes it's top growth, (in a few weeks) I'll hit it again heavy with 24-5-11 and let that store that N. In the spring, it is so cool. I will go out just before the grasses start greening up, mow it down real real low, and tell my customers to watch it explode out of the ground. They are always astonishingly pleased when they have the only green lawns on the whole street, while every one elses is still all brown. I get people asking me how I do this, and I just tell them "good paint".
That sounds like a pretty perfect world to me.
I broke all my own rules yesterday morning & slammed this place with 1.25lbs/N from (& please tell me what you all think)
21-3-21 63% TCRN from 55%PPSCU 25%Novex 2%Fe
Pretty heavy considering I'm cruising along on 19-2-19 100%Novex, but then the canopy is slowing down already here. This will be the first Saturday that I don't cut here since April. Oh glory days!