Spring fert and pre emerg

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Shady Brook, Feb 14, 2003.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I take my final test to be licensed next week, and plan to pass and offer my customers a good program to my customers. Everybody says something different.

    Being inexperienced, my thought is to be as preventative as possible in my weed control. I am trying to determine which pre emergent to use and with how much fertilizer in the Spring.

    I don't want monster growth because it is hard for me, but also realize that big top growth is not good for grass in the Spring. I do want the green up, and want to give my customers a product worthy of their money at the same time.

    My choices at the moment appear to be:
    Lebanon's 19-3-5 with .13 Dimension
    Shaw's 20-3-5 with Team

    I do not know if Shaw's is homogenous like the Shaw's which I think is a nice feature.

    Should I go with a one time app full stregth ie. 4lb's K, or do a split app at half strength. I want to get the full effect of the pre emergent, without lots of top growth, and still get a good green up at the same time.

    The Extension agency says light on the Fert in the Spring, which makes sense for disease and not so much of a need to encourage top growth. They Guy I will buy from has been in the business for ages says: that is true, but without a good amount of Nitrogen you will not get the green up the customer is looking for. He said this in response to my question about 5-5-25 with dimension.

    Is there a certain amount of Nitrogen needed to get a response?

    Thanks a bunch fellas, I just love reading your old posts. I am learning so much, I just wish I could retain what I learn.

  2. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Purdue publications, from <a href="http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/publicat.htm">Purdue Turf Publications Page</a>:

    <a href="http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay22.htm">Fertilizing Established Lawns (html)</a>

    <a href="http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay-22.pdf">Fertilizing Established Lawns (pdf)</a>

    Absolutely no more than 0.5#N/K before Memorial Day. Try to hold it to 0.1# to 0.25# if you find it really necessary. But most will look good without any spring N. Mainly depends on the fert applications between last Labor Day and Christmas. History is the key ingredient - what was response of site in the past? Since you are just starting, learn each site as you go.
  3. lars

    lars LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    As far as your pre-emergents go, they are both pretty good. Dimension has a good pre control and limited post control. It also does a good job controlling goosegrass. Team is just as effective, but injury can occur from a missapplication.

    As far as your fertilizer, you should first ask what form of N do you want to use. You should obviously have something slow release. Depending on the form, I think a 1/2 lb is the min amount. You really won't notice a change at .1 or .25. The really low rates are good for great growth contol, but you are not spoon feeding a green. You could condider the IBDU products offered from Lebanon. IBDU is a consistant, slow release product with a life of 12-16 weeks so you could lower your apps significantly.

    Of the two products mentioned, you have to apply at the correct rate to get the right amount of herbicide down. If you apply a half rate to reduce N, you will not get proper control. So you may have to suck it up and take the growth, or make a seporate fert and herbicide app.
  4. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 119

    Also notice if the fertilizer is 50% or like 30%. If I remember right this is the amount that is released right away and then the rest is slower release. Should be on the bag---18-3-6 30%n Example-something like that.

  5. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Thanks fellas

    I am really leaning toward a 5-5-25 with .13 dimension. I am not sure the percentage of slow release, may not matter much at this low rate. I was thinking of a split app with this as well, but am unsure. The place where I will likely buy carries Lebonan, but I am afraid he is selective, and will not carry the 5-5-25. He advocates and sells 19-3-5 with dimension. He is the only local source that I know of. There is a guy I can buy big quantities from, but he wants 20-25 bucks a bag. Seems pretty high to me. I am interested in the Perk product as well, looks pretty neat, but I have no experience with it either.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.

  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Jay, you may be too concerned about giving your clients the perfect green lawn right at the beginning. Fertilizers and other chemicals are just a part of the overall cultural practices that lead to a healthy lawn. And a healthy lawn is usually a good looking lawn. Proper irrigation, proper mowing (timing and height), and proper aeration, as necessary, are much more important than just what fertilizer you use.

    Try to work toward the Purdue guidelines, and you will have success. Too many need the big bucks from fertilization, and this drives the scheduling of their fertilizer programs. Best success with turf will come when you understand how and when the turf uses the nutrients we can add. Spring N does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the real health of turfgrasses in our region; it basically just causes excess leaf growth and seed production. And the heavy spring N apps actually reduce root growth of our cool season grasses, right when you want the good root growth to help survive the summer. 60-70% of my turf fertilizer is applied between Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

    I have two lawns on very heavy soil that do need a boost in the spring, mainly just so they do not look sickly for a couple of weeks when everything around is greening up. For these two, I apply a starter fertilizer (1-2-1 ratio, all quick release) at a rate of 0.1# to 0.2# N/1000ft². True, this is just a trace of N, but that is all these two need to perk up. And the best benefit is really the P - all our grasses show improvement with an application of P, always.

    All other spring apps are just pre-em, and only in areas very susceptable to hot weather grassy weeds. My pre-em apps cover only about 20% of the turf areas I manage, and this is being reduced every year. With a fert/pre-em combo, you are using a herbicide on many thousands of sqft of turf that does not need it. And there are negative pre-em effects on desireable turfgrasses, so you are better off limiting those apps.

    First fertilizer app is around Memorial Day, after bluegrass has gone to seed. At this time the grass is actively growing and storing energy to survive the summer, and you help by fertilizing then. Irrigated high maintenance lawns get a smaller shot of fert around mid-July, again depending on weather and growth, to keep them standing out through the summer.
  7. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    Thanks a ton Jim, you are truely a wealth of information.

    I am sure you are right, I just want my customers to be pleased, and I am not sure of some of their expectations. Some have had Truegreen and the like, and may expect imediate green up, with a growth surge. I will have to educate them, and give them reasonable expectations and such.

    What do you think about 10-6-4 with 1%fe, and dimension? It is 58% slow release. Would this be ok for a double app in the early spring and late spring? Or would it still be excessive on the Nitrogen regardless of the percentage of slow release. I ask because I found what looks to be a good price, and I figure with the Fe, it would foster quick green up.

    Will a 1% Fe stain concrete? I wondered, even after blowing off walks, if you got a good rain if it could still stain the concrete?

    Thanks again for the super advice
  8. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    For the last 15-18 years at least, I have told a new fertilization account in the spring that they will not see any difference in their lawn until next spring. This is because spring is the end of the life cycle of our cool season turfgrasses. How can anyone expect to make anything improve greatly, if you are starting at the end instead of the beginning? LOL. This year's lawn depends on what you did last fall.

    If you are using a combo product, the rate depends on the special ingredients. In this case, the application rate is dictated by the quantity of Dimension in the product. If you do not apply at proper rate for Dimension, you are wasting it. And then you are stuck with the amount of N you get with that rate. I have not used Dimension, but many have had great success with split apps; just follow label on single or split apps.

    I use a homogenous fert with 0.5 to 2.0% Fe. Have never had a staining problem. Not sure, but I think most staining problems are when you are applying straight Fe.

    And don't worry so much about having it just right. If I was perfect on all my lawns, I would have quit long ago. Would have found something different to muddle around in and learn.
  9. Haley Lawn Care

    Haley Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 119

    Also if you want a fast greenup use some ironite. This is only for a fast response and does not take the place of the regular fert. program.
  10. NC Big Daddy

    NC Big Daddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Well done Jim! If you ever move to North Carolina you've got a job waiting! :D

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