New To Fert....Please Help

SullysAllSeasons

LawnSite Member
Location
Maplewood, MN
I have been running a small lawn care/landscape company for 6 years now and up until this year it has been just a side gig. For the 2012 season I am going to try and make a full time run at it. I have worked for lawn companies over these past 6 years but everyone I have worked for has been so secretive about the fertilizing aspect of the business. Basically what I am asking for is if anyone can give me a lead on where I can either take classes or would be willing to train me in the Twin Cities area. Anything you can provide helps. Thanks!
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
http://outagamie.uwex.edu/files/2010/05/Lawn-Care-Tips-2.pdf

You are in the 'cool-season' grasses area, so I would check out a cool-season extension office document that says things , you wouldn't normally hear...

"Apply no more than one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet at each application. One-half of this rate is all that is needed in shaded areas."

"Never fertilize in April through early May; you will be fertilizing the weeds that are starting to sprout instead of the lawn."

"grass turns a darker green and foot prints can be seen in the turf, it is water stressed. To remain green and growing, irrigate at this stage."


In this forum, you'll be told that you NEED pre-m and fert premixed product and BOTH go down as soon as the snow is gone, in some cases...
It is important to notice that pre-m really isn't needed b4 mid-May either, and in shade not even that soon...

Are you now looking to be "Full Service"?
 

fl-landscapes

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
MA
Axe, I realize you have a couple pet subjects like "chemical barriers" and timing and or use of pre m but I have to disagree that most on here apply prem and fert as soon as the snow melts. Can you find me some posts of who makes a practice of doing this? Tgcl maybe, guys on this forum not so much.


http://outagamie.uwex.edu/files/2010/05/Lawn-Care-Tips-2.pdf

You are in the 'cool-season' grasses area, so I would check out a cool-season extension office document that says things , you wouldn't normally hear...

"Apply no more than one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet at each application. One-half of this rate is all that is needed in shaded areas."

"Never fertilize in April through early May; you will be fertilizing the weeds that are starting to sprout instead of the lawn."

"grass turns a darker green and foot prints can be seen in the turf, it is water stressed. To remain green and growing, irrigate at this stage."


In this forum, you'll be told that you NEED pre-m and fert premixed product and BOTH go down as soon as the snow is gone, in some cases...
It is important to notice that pre-m really isn't needed b4 mid-May either, and in shade not even that soon...

Are you now looking to be "Full Service"?
Posted via Mobile Device
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Retired now, but I always started the day the snow melted--because with rain, wind and sometimes additional snow, it takes 6 weeks to get around to everyone. And yes I learned at TruGreen.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
Retired now, but I always started the day the snow melted--because with rain, wind and sometimes additional snow, it takes 6 weeks to get around to everyone. And yes I learned at TruGreen.
That is why I finished my response with a question about "full service"... I don't have so many clients on a list that starting 'squirt&fert" 6 weeks early is at all necessary...

After/during Spring cleanup I overseed, then mowing starts, then after a couple of mowings I fertilize...
 

tyler_mott85

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Wichita, KS
Perhaps someone can identify some good resource/reading materials to simply describe the different types of fertilizers. How to get Nitrogen from different materials, how different chemicals react to each other or how environmental conditions can effect how a fertilizer works? I was browsing this forum and just learned of all different types of fertilizer I was unaware of. I understand completely that you all do not want to give up your trade secrets but maybe some published material we newbs to the fert world can read and interpret ourselves would be great.

Thanks!
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
Perhaps someone can identify some good resource/reading materials to simply describe the different types of fertilizers. How to get Nitrogen from different materials, how different chemicals react to each other or how environmental conditions can effect how a fertilizer works? I was browsing this forum and just learned of all different types of fertilizer I was unaware of. I understand completely that you all do not want to give up your trade secrets but maybe some published material we newbs to the fert world can read and interpret ourselves would be great.

Thanks!
Fertilizers are not that complicated IMO... we tend to make a lot of fuss about it when it's the soil's ability to hold the NPK that has the biggest impact... There are no trade secrets about the product itself...

Water-soluable and coated urea are the 2 most common ferts out there... One-Ap is coated to last 120 days and your store bought 10-10-10 is most likely all quick release...

The trade secret is: Apply slow release in the Spring and quick release in the Fall at least 3-5 weeks b4 the ground freezes... :)

Probably the best source document for fertilizing is your County Extension Office... Otherwise trying to find a publication that isn't promoting an opinion will be difficult...
 

Dave Stuart

LawnSite Member
Location
Hamilton NJ
Hi small axe -
There are many nitrogen sources ( mineral ) used today they are broken down in the soil profile by hydrolyzation & enzymatic action ( urea) / this is one source, it is carbon bound & water along with the urease enzyme break it to ( nitrate ) which is the available form for plant uptake - or chemically N03. Once here the plant roots take it up through the xylem ( water conducting pathway ) this happens with the natural transpiration process of water/ which always moves upward in both monocots & dicots. It then gets converted by plant amino acids in the leaf mesophyll & chloroplasts to ammonium or NH4 where it it is utilized to produce photosynthates in with the natural photo system sites p- 700 & p- 680, after carbon is sequestered in the Calvin benson cycle then these photosynthates or ( food ) are translocated downward through the phelom ( food conducting pathway ) to sink tissues and perennial parts. This is what the plant respirates off of. Just wanted to give you the full picture from applied nutrient to absorption to utilization of the nitrogen.
Cool season grasses require anywhere from 3.5 to 4 lbs of N/ per 1000 sqft annually / most of this should be applied in the fall when plants store there carbohydrates, none in the summer because respiration is higher than photosynthesis, the turf is using carbohydrate reserves to stay alive and not producing food. About a 3rd should be applied in the spring & it should be done early to mid spring / avoid late spring fertility this can affect food reserves the plant needs to weather a drought and other severe abiotic summer stresses.

Hang in there I have more to share.

Dave.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

JContracting

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Champlin, MN
To the OP, Anoka Tech in Ramsey would be a good option to learn about fert/weed control. The plant pest 1 & 2 classes in particular. PM me if you have any questions.
 

Top