Lawn Fertilizer

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by bobh33, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. bobh33

    bobh33 Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Tis the season and you guys are my experts! What brand do you suggest? Does it matter what brand as long as the numbers are the same and what are good numbers for nitrogen etc.? What brand/kind of spreader do you suggest? Also, had a real hack job done when our lawn was originally done. Does it make sense to continually spread black dirt in an attempt to build up the lawn?

    Thanks!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. Cyclonepride

    Cyclonepride Thought Police
    Staff Member

    Good questions. I'm going to do a weed and feed on my lawn, and have been curious if now is the right time, or if I should wait?
     
  3. Cyclonesrule91

    Cyclonesrule91 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2006
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    From a thread a couple weeks ago.....

     
  4. cyhawkdmb

    cyhawkdmb Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2010
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    Has anyone used the corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent before..? If so what is the per acre/lbs and when should that be applied with the pot ash etc.

    thanks
     
  5. ISUAgronomist

    ISUAgronomist Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2009
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    Here's the original research article for corn gluten meal:
    http://www.hort.iastate.edu/gluten/pdf/cornglut3.pdf

    The lowest application rate, 99 g/m-2, equates to just under 900 lbs/acre and only provided 50% crabgrass control in the field study. To get 95% weed control, which most chemical herbicides can provide, the rate had to increase to near 500g/m-2 or 4500 lbs/acre. Personally, as a weed scientist, I'd use more reliable methods of weed control.
     
  6. tazclone

    tazclone Well-Known Member

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    #6 tazclone, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    That advice is not good. The amount of phosphorus in that plan is WAAAAAAAY more than a lawn will need once it is established. In the end the phosporus will tie up other nutrients, most notably iron, and will help weed seed. Also, one must be careful when using ag grade fertilizers(DAP and Potash) on their lawn as they can burn the turf if not watered in immediately.

    If your lawn is established, find a fertilizer that has more like a 2-1-2 ratio. You just don't need much phosporus as it is immobile in the soil. Nitrogen for growth and potassium for stress.

    Turfgrass starts its biological processes when soil temps are in the 43 degree range. At this time you need a fertilizer with some available nitrgoen(nitrate) as some forms won't be available. If you look at the label, most fertilzers will have a nitrogen breakdown and will same something like "readily available" or "quick release." If it doesn't have that, then it will take time for the Nitrogen to relase and most times that is reliant microbial activity which is driven by soil temps (some exceptions).

    As far as pre emergent goes...IMO it is tooo early. Wait until the forsythia bloom and then apply your pre emergent. if you don't know what forsythia look like here is a link forsythia - Google Search.
    If you apply your pre emergent too early, it will breakdown and you will be unprotected later int he year.

    BTW- The best preemergent around is a good healthy lawn. I have maintained a golf course and didn't apply a preemergent for 3 years.
     
  7. Cyclones_R_GR8

    Cyclones_R_GR8 Well-Known Member

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    All I can add to this is to use a pre emergent. You have no idea how much it helps until you skip a year.
     
  8. tazclone

    tazclone Well-Known Member

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    If you have a healthy stand of grass, you shouldn't need pre emergent
     
  9. ISUAgronomist

    ISUAgronomist Well-Known Member

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    This is very true. Competition by a healthy stand of grass is very tough for weeds to overcome.
     
  10. ruxCYtable

    ruxCYtable Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2007
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    People will disagree with me but I think Scott's is crap. One year I ran out in the middle and finished with Kmart's K-Gro brand (which I believe is manufactured by Spectracide) and that part of my yard (the K-Gro part) was greener and healthier for the rest of the year.
     
  11. Cyclonesrule91

    Cyclonesrule91 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2006
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    I can point to quite a few lawns that use that fertilizer that would dispute your info. These yards that use the 9-23-30 look a heck of a lot better then the ones getting the 4 step plan. And the fertilizer will burn the grass if the soil is dry and the conditions are very hot. I usually apply it when rain is coming but if it is cool and the soil has good moisture there won't be any burning.......

    2-1-2 is too much N unless you like to mow your lawn 2 times a week. Commercial fertilizer programs are high in N because they want to show immediate results and above the ground shows up faster. Meanwhile root development at the levels applied by the Scotts program does not happen like it does when a higher rate of P and K are applied, although it takes a little longer for it to show up in the yard, but your mowing frequency does not increase. It also develops drought tolerance.

    Might start at 43 degrees but doesn't really start taking off till the grass gets to 50 and above......

    ON the last part we agree.

    The bad part of all these recommendations is that you can google lawn fertilizer and you can find links to support any fertilizer program out there no matter how scatter brained the program is. The research based on what I think should be applied is based on being in the agronomy business for 15 yrs and using the information I provide based on what I have done in the past.
     
  12. NebrClone

    NebrClone Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    #12 NebrClone, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    I use 50 lbs per 10,000 sq ft of a 10-10-10, 2-3 times a year. Am I putting on too much?
     
  13. tazclone

    tazclone Well-Known Member

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    #13 tazclone, Mar 21, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
    20 years of growing grass, a minor in agronomy, and my turfgrass degree from ISU tells me that is WAAAAAY too much phosphorus. Turfgrass has a large root system that can utilize phosphorus in the soil much better than a lot of plants due to its fibrous nature. The phosphorus is also not harvested and removed unless you collect clippings. It is mostly returned to the soil when you mow.The big difference between crops and turf, is when you harvest a crop, you harvest the phosphorus which isn't the case with turf. Putting down that much phosphorus is a waste. It will tie up the Fe, as well as other micronutrients that are essential for plant growth especially in a high pH soil. Fe is the foundation of the chlorophyll molecule and is essential to energy production. Long term tie up of Fe will in turn lead to a weaker plant. While phosphorus is THE component of energy storage, more P does not equal more roots. And yes, Ag grade fertilzers will burn the turf if not watered in. You need to apply just before a rain or water them in and get them off the plant tissue. That is what i said.

    If you want to build roots with little growth then use a nitrate fertilzer when soil temps are 43-50 degrees. That is when you build roots. Fertilizing at that time will produced stored energy (roots) without top growth as the turf plant is not producing top growth. KNO3 13.5-0-45 (my favorite but it is very hot) or Calcium nitrate this time of the year are great products. Spring and late fall are when you build roots and produce lateral growth. Then use light N and Fe applications through the summer for color as well as K 990-0-50)applicaions for stress. DAP is a poor reecommendation this time of the year(depending where you live) as ammonium isn't readily available to the turf plant and has to be microbially broken down before the plant can use it. And like I said, the best way to build roots is with nitrogen in early spring and late fall.

    I agreee 100% about 4 step programs. They are worthless. ALL fertility should be done based off a soil test. I recommend a 2-1-2 ratio because N and K are relatively mobile so that type of fertilizer will not create any issues in the soil but will provide for photosynthesis(energy production) and stress. Therefore, it is a safe recommendation without knowing the soil type or its fertillity levels. What you have recommended could have long term negative affects on soil fertility based on what kind of soil it is. Sandy soil will not be affected but a clay soil will see major issues. Heck a 2-1-4 ratio is what I consider ideal but you will rarely find that in a commercial fertilzer. Your growth rate can be manipulated with your fertility rates pretty easily. lb of N early in the spring(soil temps at 43+) and then .25 ll N/month throughout the season for color. Then a lb of N later in the fall. Throw in .5-1lb of K per month throughout the season.

    BTW- Phosphorus is not in a lot of commercial grade fertilizers because you don't need it and it has gotten expensive. That is also a big reason you are seeing phosphorus restrictions. Phosphorus is immobile in the soil but if you put it down on the quantities you suggest, it may leach prior attaching to the soil colloid. I am sure we will begin to see phosphorus deficiencies years down the road but most homeowners have over applied for years so initially it won't be an issue.

    In the end, unless a homeowner is collecting clippings(harvesting phosphorus), amount of phosphorus fertilzer needed is extremely low. The turf plant is very efficient in its phosphorus use
     
  14. CYdTracked

    CYdTracked Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2006
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    The one thing to be careful about when using a crabgrass preventer is if you are trying to repair or re-seed a portion of your lawn it really makes new seed difficult to take. I skipped the crabgrass treatment last year and my lawn could use it again but I am debating if I should use it again this year or not because I have a few patches I need to level out and re-seed.
     
  15. tazclone

    tazclone Well-Known Member

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    About right. Probably too much P(middle number) though
     
  16. NebrClone

    NebrClone Member

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    Thank you.
     
  17. tazclone

    tazclone Well-Known Member

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    Scotts, as well as other costly brands, utilize technology to release the fertilizer at a slower rate. the slower consistent release prevents the growth spurts associated with quick release forms. That way your fertilization can last longer and is slowly released at a rate the pant can utilize. This reduce applications a.nd reduces growth spurts. With thY said, I think Scouts is overrated
     
  18. Senolcyc

    Senolcyc Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
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    Old family secret --- get a St. Bernard and a rake.
     
  19. UNIGuy4Cy

    UNIGuy4Cy Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2009
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    I was just in Earl May yesterday and she said to put the Crabgrass Preventer on in the next two weeks, as you want to get it before it germinates and I have alot of it in my yard. She said to then do the Weed and Feed in June and Feed in July and then something else in the Fall. My sod was new a year ago, it did not grow well last year and had a lot of crabgrass, do I need the crabgrass preventer, it has fertilizer in it.
     
  20. UNIGuy4Cy

    UNIGuy4Cy Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2009
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    Also does anyone think its worth going through a law care company?
     

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