Winterizing window over?

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by danthony, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. danthony

    danthony LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I have been using a nitrogen winterizer of about 1#/k but I have struggled a little bit to get the timing down. Too early and supposedly I promote too much top growth. Too late and it might be a waste. I want to run my business honestly. Most of my winterizing is done, but I am wondering if some of the most recent ones I have done are a waste and I am reluctant to do any more.

    In central/upper IL the soil temps under 4" of sod are now down to about 35. The ground had some frost in it from some of the cold snaps we have had earlier, but I think with 50 today, that little frost may be gone. Today (Sat) thru Wed it looks like 40s (& even up to 50 Wed) with lows around 30... but Thursday on it gets colder and for about the next 2 weeks we get highs around freezing and lows in the teens. After that is Christmas week where highs are 'predicted' for the 40s a few days but we may be already frozen solid.

    The last moderate rain was about the 21st of Nov, with maybe a very slight amount since. ... Like I was wondering, have any of the late fertilizations done any good? ... and I am thinking I should just stop the Urea apps now as they might not do alot of good. any thoughts?
  2. FdLLawnMan

    FdLLawnMan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,246

    We'll, you are way south of me but if I were in your shoes and the ground had already been frozen for a while I would quit putting down the urea. Even when the ground thaws there is no way are the plants going to take up any appreciable amount of nutrients before a lot of it leaches away.
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  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    On lawns that have no irrigation and rely primarily on rain, I begin applying fert as soon as the intense heat is over in early Fall... If we get no rain or very little rain up through the time of grass going dormant, that one application IS the winterizer...

    I have never heard that N in the Fall is going to promote,,, "... too much top growth." and I have never noticed it to be true... we have squirt&fert guys running around putting on more N than the plants could ever use and the grass will always stop growing at the appointed time...
    The Fall app is called winterizer because the additional energy from the fert help promote the storage of carbs, grow deeper, denser root mass, etc., etc. in preparation for a cold hard winter...

    I schedule my last app about 6 weeks before the ground start to freeze, if there is adequate water to have the fert actually get into the soil... :)
  4. danthony

    danthony LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks for the reply. Smallaxe, when did you finish your final app?
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Up here it never makes any sense to go beyond the middle of Oct... We had a lot of rain just as the grass stopped growing and there were still pellets visible on the ground so my last app in some areas was early Sept... I did add more to an irrigated lawn in early Oct or so,,, but 1 app for the Fall was about it...

    The lawns really did brighten up green when the rains came so I believe the fertilizer actually was being used during that time... :)
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    We finished today with winterizer fert app's. No frozen ground here yet, but it's coming soon.

    (I-80/I-35 corridor)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Our ground is frozen now with a couple inches of snow cover that sticks... threw down some more seed yesterday and now we are supposed get another layer of ice/rain on top of that today...
    I think the activity in the roots will also stop now, in that, we're going below zero(0) Friday...

    Looks like you might get some of this cold air,,, americanlawn... :)

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