I was wondering what the best startup fertilizer for spring would be. I am a new LCO in the Red River valley ( ND ) and am looking for a good spread fertilizer. Any info for the spring would be greatly appreciated.
There will be a lot of opinions on this, especially to which brand to use, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
1. Clients do not want to see their lawns brown when others are green.
2. The more nitrogen you put down, the more shoot growth you will get, and the more you will have to cut.
3. Too much quick release nitrogen, such as in ammonia sulfate, will green up the lawn quickly but then in a short period of time lose its effect. You also have to make sure the lawn is watered after application and be extra careful not to dump too much onto one spot or it can easily burn the grass.
I like fertilizer in the range of 22-8-14 or 21-7-12... Over twenty percent nitrogen with a good portion of that being slow release. There is enough quick release to green things up fast but at the same time the slow release will keep it greener longer.
Basically, a fertilizer high in phosphorous is used for encouraging new root growth, such as for transplantings or new lawns, and fertilizers high in potassium are good fall fertilizers that toughen up the roots for winter.
From what I hear, the Red River valley has some very good nutrients in the soil and you could probably get by without dumping a whole lot of quick release nitrogen onto your accounts.
I have done very little fert and lime which is why I am here trying to learn however I find the State Extension service soil test to be a great sales tool. It is very unbiased and people seem to trust it and are willing to follow the recommendations which makes follow up program reasonably easy sell