Mid fall last round app

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I'm with you, DA. One turf condition that has not been mentioned and could extend the acceptable time frame, in my view, is recent aeration - solid tine or core.

    Caring for turf will never be all science or academic, no more than standing in the batters box trying to get a base hit -- and we don't know what pitch is going to be thrown or what the next batter is going to do. I went to turf school. Professors are important; they teach and conduct research. Whether it's soils, pathology, cultural practices, fertilizers, weed control, selecting and establishing turf, irrigation, etc. it is good to have the education as a background. Long after I graduated new premises have been tested and new recommendations have been made - some conflicting with earlier recommendations. You have to have a base, whether you learned it in the classroom or from years of working with competent people in the field, from which you can devise your own plans and make your own decisions -- and, sometimes, take your chances.

    I don't know who said it, but a quote that has always served me well is: When you attempt to make a science out of an art, you elect to be precisely wrong instead of generally correct. What we do is part science and part art.

    Sometimes I get in situations in the field that make me want to read published articles or look for answers in the discussions on lawnsite. Other times, what I really need is an enterprising young b@st@rd working beside me.

    When the ground is frozen, it is too late to fertilize (that has not always been thought by academia). When you know it will be frozen in less than a week, there is about a 85% chance it is too late. Very early Spring is not good. Everything else in on the table for me depending on many factors that are sometimes reduced to informed intuition. It is more complex than a two-dimension question and solution IMO.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The primary issue is water... no matter what you think of 'science' it would be good to observe how water makes a difference to any fertilizer app...

    I did a fert app right after the Summer heat was done in late Aug... Got some rain and never in the 90s for more than a day at a time... it typically take a couple weeks to notice the color change from the fertilizer on unirrigated turf,,, if normal moisture is available...
    A few weeks later I applied Milorganite and figured that would get me through the Winter because it breaks down slower...

    As it turned out,,, we didn't get adequate moisture for the ferts to soluablize and be utilized until just recently... The color has really brightened up in the past week or so becuz of all the rain...

    Fully irrigated lawns that soak all the grass several times a week have a different timing,,, but it is turned off in Oct and the ground may be frozen in 2-6 weeks...
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Milorganite, like other organic fertilizers, works best at soil temps above 70. Ammonium sulfate, on the other hand, is a great cool weather choice as someone mentioned above. Both and dozens more are in our toolboxes, affording each of us a lot of latitude and discretion.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If your turf uses up a 1/2 of a pound of Ammonium Sulfate before the ground freezes then it may have been a good decision...

    An important 'toolbox' question is:
    "What happens to Ammonium Sulfate if it just sits on the frozen turf for 5 months???" :)
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Assuming such a thing could be proven, under what circumstances would it not have been a good decision? And, of what value is that information in making a recommendation or decision for next year since we do not know the actual freeze date in advance.

    I don't know and surely never will - not from experience anyway. Someone who would do such a thing is probably slinging urea. Wondering what I said that would raise this question. You do like to repeat yourself until everyone else agrees or drops it. Perhaps it is that?
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I can't find that chart that you posted in another thread... I believe that gave a number of figures, one which rated stability in the soil... When FD, made the comment about .5 pound, I believe,,, volitization/leaching was a consideration,,, although he addressed it as outright waste...

    If you want to exercise latitude in selecting from the many items available to you, in your toolbox, then as a Professional you would have a reason for each selection, made from that toolbox... sorry, if this sounds repetitive, but I am only trying different phraseology to see if there is an answer... if you don't believe you will ever know how much fert would be wasted and will therefore just keep dumping as always, then fine... :)
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Means I have never done it, even when it was 'current science,' and never will.

    Many people here - and I am one of them - have more reasons than you have tools. I do not ever do anything without a reason or purpose. Perhaps you should find that chart. I admit that I do not know it all, nor can I remember it all; it is a very useful chart.
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    As a test today I'm going to put down 3 different products. A combination of fast and slower release heavy across my front lawn at an angle to induce the racing stripe effect. I'm 1/3 a mile off the main road so I don't care.

    Temps are cold here but no hard freeze as of yet. Many lawns in the area look really dingy.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The health of the turf is not determined by the color of the leaves... like putting lipstick on a cancer patient doesn't give you a good picture of how she's doing... :)
  10. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Sounds great. Keep us posted!

    I'm in zone 6 almost 7. So i have a little more time left in my season. Final apps going down now.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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