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Saw Rochester, MN lawn co out flinging fert yesterday

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,280

    OK guys to set the scene...we just got rid of our snow cover over this past week. Temps have not been much above 45 any day for the last week. Soil temps around 35, frost probably not even out in some places. Still some occasional snow piles on north facing exposures to houses, etc.

    I was running estimates yesterday and saw a large Roch, MN company pickup with their T3000 on a rack and fert in the truck. I was like "you have got to be kidding me they are flinging fert and pre now!!?? I know our season is going to be shortened a bit with this unseasonably cold weather, and its not good to have to eat that on the bottom line.....but cmon guys that is just not responsible practice at all. I figure I am at least two weeks out from 1st app and that is if we can warm up fairly soon. If not, pushing into May.
  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,350

    Well you can file a complaint with the dept of ag if you want. With rain coming it could water it in or wash it away! Ground temps will soar really quick with the sun angle etc happening now, but guessing no rush for 2 wks.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,232

    Shoot, idjits have been out by me for a good 3 weeks already, basically same conditions as you are in now.

    What a waste of pre-emerge that just goes into the water. And you're right, is irresponsible.

    Oh, and the 4" of rain we had last week? Sure, that pre-emerge is effective.

  4. greenstar lawn

    greenstar lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 648

    Tg started here in Se Mich beg of March. We still had snow on the ground in shade. Is the fert still effective with the ground being frozen?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,280

    Probably wont report to MNDOA. Just venting is all.
    I want to get out there and throw pre as much as the next lawn guy, but you have to use your head the conditions are not right at all yet. Cold next few days too, with possible snow on the way + lots of rain. Try and explain that to your customer you just billed for a pre job, now BURIED WITH SNOW.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I read a research report that claimed about 25% of the N is lost during cold weather due to evaporation/volatization... grass would NOT need/want any N until after it has used up the stored carbs for breaking dormancy and growing roots...
    As far as being effective, I believe it does have an effect,,, such as excessive leaf growth to the detriment of the roots...
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    If you have 6 weeks worth of treatments to do...you have to start 6 weeks before crabgrass emerges.
    Just what would damage from too-early applications look like?

    Retired now. But when customers wanted it, I went out and applied it. Nobody wants a late treatment.

    I just finished my daughter's lawn. I should see results in a week or two. I can judge the effects of the crabgrass control in about 8 weeks. Lawns are beginning to green up around here we first hit 60 degrees on the 15th of April.
  8. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,280

    If you have to start far earlier than is prudent just to finish your rounds, perhaps you have TOO MUCH business to handle and need to cut some fat. I certainly am not concerned about a late pre treatment this year, too early yes, too late heck no.

    Proof in point, while doing estimates, caught another Roch area LCO doing pre today (that makes two). Their flags everywhere. Sad pathetic thing is, there was still some north facing exposure snow on some of those lawns, no kidding! I don't give a crap how many lawns these turkeys have to do, doing wrong by the customer is still doing wrong by the customer. The kicker: We have temps in the 30's forecast for the next 4 days with 2-5 inches of snowfall predicted on Friday. Go ahead, tell your customer you started your rounds while it was still winter!
  9. mr.lawn works

    mr.lawn works LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Posted via Mobile Device
    I have had the same thing here DA guna hopefully start next week though!
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The damage for the dormant grass isn't something that you can see... the detriment to root development is the issue of putting N down too early, before the roots finish their Springtime growth spurt...

    The way this happens is:
    As soon as the plant breaks dormancy and gets hit with a large amount of N, soluablized at the surface of the WARM LAYER of soil suddenly exerts all of it energy and RESERVES into green leafy growth...
    As the soil continue to warms DEEPER INTO the soil profile those roots do not have the same PRIORITY of growth as the rotts, stems and leaves at the surface do... therefore,,, do not develop a much as they would ordinarily would have done if they were left to the NATURAL LIFECYCLE...

    Add to that the PRE-M,,, or as I like to call it,,, root inhibitor,,, it becomes obvious why the rhizomes grow upwards instead of downwards forming a dense, sometimes hydrophobic, mat of living and dead roots and stems...

    The question that horticulturalists need to ask themselves is,,, "What would the grasses do if we left them to go through their NATURAL LIFECYCLE???"
    Once we discover what the grasses do by their natural design we could then benefit certain aspects of their lives and help them to flourish... Early Spring apps. do more to SHORT CIRCUIT those processes than augment...

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