micros for late spring

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by americanlawn, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,136

    Liquid, applied at times of adequate moisture. Areas too large to spray with a skid sprayer beg for a high volume rig as is used on golf greens or a sprayer modified to apply 1+ gallons per 1000.
  2. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Agreed. Really on the edge. Also, superintendents are always tweaking to maintain their competitive edge. There are some real mavericks in the industry.

    Golf and other fine turf mine nutrients by constantly removing clippings too.
  3. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,136

    The convention in my area is to remove all clippings. I do not. Not even on the reel cut lawns. Makes no sense to strip away nutrients and organic matter only to have to hit the customer for a yearly application of bought organic matter. Maintaining sufficient nitrogen, proper base ratios in the soil, correct pH and mowing often enough makes it so that I have a hard time finding last week's clippings. This method, however, does not work if the lawn is on excessive nitrogen. I would have to mow daily.
  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I have no doubt you have things titrated and calibrated to a a tee, greendoctor!

    It's not practical or desirable to remove clippings on athletic fields either. One of the things many of us like about Fall nitrogen in the north is that it can hold us into mid-May or even just before Memorial Day without causing a flush of growth throughout Spring. You can easily tell by driving around which lawns have had early Spring N.

    With regard to micros, there is one sand based football field here that typically needs a boost in mid-August. They do their own maintenance but I have made that application for them a couple times. That's probably the only place in my circle that would (has) test out as needing it. I've sprayed at low rates as window dressing for All Star Tournaments, District Soccer matches, etc. occasionally but never as a substitute for a sound fertilizer program and mowing practices.
  5. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,136

    Micros are routine for me because of difficult soil conditions. If they are difficult enough not even excessive N gets grass to react as it normally would. One of my best customers related how she would buy and apply a 4 X rate of 30-2-4 50 slow release. That gross overfeeding would only color up the grass for a few weeks. I corrected base ratios and pH. over this past year. Micronutrients were part of the monthly application as well. Grass now needs mowing at least twice a week. This is on reel cut bermuda. 1/2 acre worth. I know there is a problem when more than a lb of N fails to get a reaction out of the grass. Things are dialed in when even 1/4" gets a response.
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,956

    greendoctor -- I always appreciate your expertise. Farmers in my state (Iowa) use GPS to enable them to apply less or more XYZ nutrients. In regard to LCO's trying to apply what is truly needed at all times.... I doubt it will ever happen.

    1) Topography = hills, pH differences, soil textures, valleys, leaching, moisture content, soil compaction, thatch, etc.

    2) Cultivars (even within the same species). Example: ISU planted over 100 different cultivars of turf type tall fescues (about 1 1/2 years ago). Some cultivars did well with just (periodic) nitrogen applications. Others benefited from iron and other micronutrients. (based on color of turf and turf density)

    3) Soil types vary in most lawns. Example: We aerated over 250 lawns this past fall. I ran a 2013 Exmark stand-on aerator. Pulled 2 - 5 inch plugs. I could not believe the differences in plugs depending on what part of the lawn I was aerating. Wet, dry, clay, loam, excess thatch, etc >>> all in one lawn.

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