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Micronutrients ?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by ted putnam, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    Would an application of micronutrients to a dormant bermuda lawn in the Spring still benefit the Turf even though the lawn is not actively growing? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    yes, especially if in the right amount - micro's tend to stay in soil longer than N P K - Micro's will help root system. Also depending on your fungus issues up there Magnesium and Manganese are excellent at helping the grass fight off the fungal diseases.

    Hope that helps
  3. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Messages: 3,251

    I disagree with that part of your statement. Nitrogen can leach from the root zone. P and K will only leave the soil profile from soil erosion or if clippings are removed. Of course you will also loose micros when those occur. The best way to determine if micros are needed is to do a soil and a tissue test. Doing test strips might also be a good idea.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I disagree with both of you. All "nutrients" can potentially be lost through a variety of mechanisms, including leaching. Some are obviously more susceptible than others, and nutrient loss is highly dependent on soil type, organic matter, and water movement.

    With respect to applying micros .... generally speaking most soils have adequate levels of micro nutrients so there is no need to apply unless a deficiency is seen in the plant. At that point you need to determine if it is actually a lack of the nutrient in the soil, or a condition that can be corrected with better management practices.
  5. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Believe it or not for once I agree with Kiril.

    However once past the soil sample which most of us don't take any way. I would suggest applying micro nutrients to Bermuda just as the ground temperature warms enough to have green up in the spring.

    In my Climate Bermuda doesn't go dormant in the winter. However all Warm Season Turf in my area do slow down. Micro Nutrients sure help keep it green more so than N. I have found a slow release ornamental blend of fertilizer with high Micros that I like to use on turf in my area. This Blend has a 1 to 1 ratio of N to K and I am a big believer in K for root extension even if it doesn't show a visible response.

    In Edit I will add

    Bermuda likes a lot P and K but Fertilizer laws in my area Limit P applications.
  6. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

    Thanks everyone for your responses. It is interesting to get different perspectives. I have a couple of lawns, one in particular that is just not responding. I've had the state "freebie" test done which is kind of a joke really. It says the lawn is fairly high on P levels but extremely low on K and has no information about Micros. I have been using ferts with no P and 8-10% K in it since starting the lawn a little over a year ago. The owners have gone through 2 companies before me because of poor results. I've used a Kelway pH meter to measure and have come up with an average of about 6.2. and applied Lime. I plant to hit it with 3/4lb rate of K in about a week and thought I might add micros in the early Spring 2-3 weeks before green up(mostly due to time constraints). That's why I wanted to know if the lawn might still benefit. I don't want to apply something that the lawn will not benefit from because of timing and I wasn't sure on this one. I would find any and all ideas/perspectives interesting. Thanks again for all of the replies so far.
  7. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I would have to say with out soil here in Central FL - micro's are not adequate in most soils - I have did over 30 soil test this year for clients - all clients are within 3 miles of my house - All missing Magnesium and Manganese - a majority missing Boron or Copper. If I have a potential client that has Fungus issue - soil test is recommended - once corrections are made according to Labs recommendation - Lab does not recommend a need for doing test again for 4 years -
    The Reason for 4 years - was told the Micro's would stay in soil for at least that long.
    I have not had a client have a fungus return after completion of soil admendment.

    I am not sure why the lack of Magnesium and Manganese here - I know test that are done on Central FL coast (Tampa,Daytona) by others - these two elements are usually in the ideal range however they are usually critically low on P
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    I agree with you that the best way to determine if micros are needed is soil test. The other I do not - as stated above - my lab's recommendation after soil corrections are made - no need for another test for 4 years - when asked why - answer was the micro's will be in soil for that long.
  9. lep

    lep LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 52

    During the colder season, you can put down Milorganite and it will turn most lawns very dark green, like Kentucky Blue Grass. Milorganite's N-P-K is quite low and since it's slow release, you can actually pile it on your lawn.

    You asked about Spring however, and there's no reason why you couldn't apply an organic fertilizer with N-P-K less than 10-10-10 as soon as your temp hits say 60-70F. Use an organinic fert like Microlife http://microlifefertilizer.com/, which contains molasses, alfalfa, soybean meal, bat gauno, etc. I just priced MicroLife today at the local fert store and it was $39 per 40 lb bag -- too much for me -- so I bought cow manure compost.

    Your local fertilizer store should carry its own organic fert. Compost and aeration are always fundamental -- so do these first, then follow up with probably corn meal, or soybean meal. Corn meal is cheap and your local feed store should have it. Corn meal minimizes fungi tremendously -- so be sure to use a lot of it as well.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So because you didn't apply P for 1 year, it is hard to believe there is too much? You have added K for one year so it is hard to believe there is too little, still?

    To me the biggest question is: What does the soil look like?

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