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Too much nitrogen

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Tim C., Apr 23, 2014.

  1. Tim C.

    Tim C. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I have a customer who decided to fertilizer her own yard this year, well she applied a 15,000 sq ft . bag to a 3,000 sq ft area. The ferilizer contained 30 percent nitrgen. She called me after she realized mistake. I told her to start watering the yard heavily to try and dilute the fertilizer. Any other ideas on how I can save this yard?
  2. Ditta&Sons

    Ditta&Sons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    I hope you have a 'per cut rate' because you will be cutting that every day!
  3. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,845

    It's not terribly hot yet in your area I'm sure, which is a good thing. I still wouldn't feel comfortable putting a whole lot of water on a yard with that much nitrogen, that can even further the fungus issues while trying to save it from burning. What I would do is flood that yard every morning early in the a.m. with several inches of water and make sure it starts drying up by evening and hope for the best. Water, water, water is pretty much your only option that I can think of with that much nitrogen. Good luck with the cuts also!
  4. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 156

    Google peti-green and get a bunch of it on there pronto! Its a product for dogspotting that buffers against excessive nitrogen.
  5. Tuttled

    Tuttled LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    what did the bag weigh and what was the formula? If it was a 50lb bag she applied it at 5lb per 1000 square feet. I usually spread nitrogen at 1.35lbs per 1000 square feet each app. She spread it at an increase of 270%. Enough to last her till next July! If applied at the proper rate. I'm assuming it is KBG/fescue/rye mix? Its going to grow and need lots of cutting. I don't want her water bill!
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,708

    That is real excessive.
    However...if it was high in slow release it will likely not burn the grass. Moist soil at the time of application is a help. Cool temps at the time of application is a help.
    I hope she is lucky.

    However...burns happen fast...usually within 24 hours. If it looks OK after 24 hours. It will probably be OK. No need for all that excess water.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930

    I would honestly tell her up front:

    Do not over water
    She is going to need extra cuttings if temps start getting hot

    If you over water, will cause excessive growth and thererfore will allow for fungle and other lawn diseases to set in. This can be prevented of the crown of the grass is allowed to dry out

    The big problem with over fertilizing besides nitro burns, the lawn is allowed to grow too much between cuts, then cut at normal height where it may not get sun. No sun, its yellow and no protection from sun. instant dry lawn. You need sun light for photosynthesis to occur.

    A cheat that I will use as well as many other supers to green up lawn without pushing growth is to use chelated iron. Any good commercial grade ferts will contain some percentage of iron.

    Nitro greens up the lawn because of growth. Iron induces photosynthesis which will green up without necessarily cause excessive growth.

    Only thing is be carful where you apply because it will stain, but there are versions that won't stain sidewalks and such.
  8. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,573

    Probably going to fry the lawn. If it does manage to survive, you'll be able to watch it grow. Water and prayer.
    Also, get ready for fungi, as turf diseases love love love surge growth
  9. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,845

    Gus, I agree to disagree. It's a two way street. Water is needed to dilute that nitrogen down. Water will cause a surge growth, you stand correct. That's when it needs to be watered and mowed very, very often. It's a 50/50 the lawn will survive, if it's taken well care of. I had a lawn that the owner applied 30+ lbs of "Scott's Green Max" on a 3,000 square foot lawn last year. I had them water deeply two times a day to help dilute the nitrogen and advised them to let me cut it daily. All they could afford is every three days. It quickly out grew the three day period and should have been cut everyday. As for how the lawn turned out, it got so much water that the burning was not an issue. But the grass still got pretty tall between 3-day cuts. As you know; heat, high amounts of nitrogen, and moisture, what happen. The lawn caught Grey Leaf Spot. The whole lawn for that matter. One treatment took care of the grey leaf spot, and the lawn survived the 30 lbs. of fertilizer with no burning. I think the high amounts of water and mowing is what saved the lawn, I think the grey leaf spot could have been prevented with daily mowing if the customer will pay for it. In the end, the fungus was cheaper to fix then a whole new or "burned" lawn.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,993

    Primo Maxx. I have seen zoysia given too much slow release granules. Did not burn because of watering. But the grass grew 6+ inches in 7 days. Convention for yard service in Hawaii is 2x per month. I had nothing to do with that lawn, but got to laugh and point for the next 90 days while the granule was active.

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