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need a good "spoon feed" fert plan

6151 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Squirter
first off, i'm a homeowner (central indiana) who really enjoys working to get the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. i hope this doesn't offend you pros trying to make a living. perhaps some free advice?

i have a really nice looking / thick lawn of kbg (80%) and perennial rye. the lawn was established about 3 yrs. ago an is about 8k sq. ft. of turf. i also have an in-ground irrigation system (watering 2-3 times/wk. @ 5:30 a.m.) and a walker mower with the grass handling system which collects my clippings. i have been using lesco (jdl) granular fert since the establishment of my lawn. i also have a backpack sprayer to spot-treat broadleaf weeds (very few).

for the last 3 yrs, my lawn has been beautiful in the spring and fall....but summer, not so much. mind you, it's still the best lawn in the area, but not up to my high-standard. seems i struggle with things like red-thread, brown patch.

as for my fert schedule, i usually apply every 7-8 wks starting yesterday with my first ap of pre-emergent/fert (i think it was 25-2-5 w/10% dimension). i'll probably apply again around memorial day using whatever my jdl guy suggests (seems this has been 23-0-11 ???) and use the same stuff for my 3rd and 4th ap (july 4th & labor day). in early november, i'll winterize with 35-3-5 (i think).

my thoughts are that i'm throwing away money and nutrients by collecting my clippings (walker mower). i'm not worried about the money but the discarded nutrients could be a problem given my past fert habits/schedule.

so, i'm looking to improve the lawn this year so that it looks great all season. i have a feeling i could get the desired result if i were to fertilize more often using less fertilizer material per application. i'm open to your suggestions if you would be so kind to weigh-in. thanks in advance!!! please offer a schedule i can follow along with any change in the fertilizer i'm using. thanks again for helping me take my lawn to the next level.
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And consider changing fertilizers. Ammonium Sulfate is a much better quick release N source than urea. Methylene Urea is a much better slow release N source than Sulfur Coated Urea. And Sulfate of Potash (SOP) is a much better source of K than Muriate of Potash (MOP), particularly in summer where a lower salt index fertilizer is beneficial during the hot, dry periods.

Sounds like you got a pretty good idea where to shop. But don't discount Scotts fertilizers. I don't now what they sell in each region, but in addition to their regular Turf Builder, down here they sell Scotts Southern Turf Builder, also. Its'a 22-3-16 blend with methylene urea, ammonium sulfate, and SOP. That's some good stuff.

BTW for spoon feeding in between apps, Ammonium Sulfate is excellent.

And as Riggle states, mulch those clippings, and go to a "deep soak - long dry out" watering schedule. Make those roots get down and get it. The deeper the roots, the healthier the lawn.
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