Fertilizing my lawn for initial spring application

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nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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I've never used Milorganite but considering trying it. Do you want to apply before dry weather or before rain? I'm already doing Earl May's 5-step program for lawn applications. In that case, is Milorganite unnecessary?
Rain doesn't matter for applying. It won't burn. It needs warmer temps to release the nitrogen because it is broken down by soil microbes and that's what makes it available to the plant. It works, but not nearly as quick as synthetic fertilizers. It's best used when soil temps are above 70 degrees.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Will it hurt anything?
Generally it's not a significant problem for grass. I wouldn't bother applying a fungicide for this problem. Fungicides are relatively expensive, and when conditions change the fungus will die.

I've never tried it but you could buy a spray bottle in the garden section that has copper in it. It's generally used on garden plants like zucchini to treat powdery mildew but would likely work, or you could just wait until it gets hotter and drier out and it will go away.

Serenade might work too but I've never tried that product either.
 
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nocsious3

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Thanks for the suggestion. It has cone alive quite a bit but still not quite where I want it to be. I might be getting too particular though. I was hoping the overseeding would blend some of the dark and light patches but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m not quite sure the overseeding has done much at all yet TBH. Probably needs dethatched. The back yard is a bit of a mess from the dog, kids and a failure of a pool installation.

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Looks good. Color might even out if you raise the height of cut. Have you done a soil test to check the micro nutrient levels and pH? Try spraying some chelated iron. That will definitely darken it, but if you spray too much it will turn your turf gray or even black. It's safe and easy but "more isn't better" when it comes to spraying iron. I'm giving away super secret information here when I post about spraying iron.

Pro tip: don't get liquid iron on your driveway as it will stain. If you do, toilet bowl cleaner will get the stain out.

www.domyown.com/southern-ag-chelated-liquid-iron-p-2101.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwzZj2BRDVARIsABs3l9JH4KR_FUjYUqxT0ZxhzM9CpafjkQrEAjGHKedFwVBBW7RYyvAR9pgaAoFGEALw_wcB
 

spierceisu

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Jan 28, 2007
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I have been fertilizing my lawn regularly for years and it is pretty thick, but the color isn't quite there (at least in my opinion). My neighbors rarely fertilize and their lawns are dark green. Mine is lush but not as dark. Would this be a difference of grass types (not as much bluegrass)? The property line is a sharp contrast (where the sod was different). If it was fertilizer related I would think that the line wouldn't be so sharp since i broadcast spread without an "edge guard" spreader.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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I have been fertilizing my lawn regularly for years and it is pretty thick, but the color isn't quite there (at least in my opinion). My neighbors rarely fertilize and their lawns are dark green. Mine is lush but not as dark. Would this be a difference of grass types (not as much bluegrass)? The property line is a sharp contrast (where the sod was different). If it was fertilizer related I would think that the line wouldn't be so sharp since i broadcast spread without an "edge guard" spreader.
My post about spraying iron will darken it up for bit, but it's a temporary fix. You probably have an older variety of fescue that just isn't as dark genetically. Mowing tall will improve the color. A lack of a specific micronutrient can also have a big impact. If your pH is too high, that can be an issue as pH has a dramatic impact on the availability of the micronutrients like iron.

I do continue to see a common complaint among home owners that overseed into turf that is 20 years old. The new varieties of turf type tall fescue are just so much better then the builder grade sod or seed from 20 years ago. Homeowners complain that the new seeded grass doesn't match the older lime green grass. There isn't much you can do about that without a full kill of the old grass and putting in new sod or growing a new lawn from seed.
 

Tony Gunk

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Jul 12, 2017
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SIAP - I have some bare spots where I rid my lawn of orchardgrass and looking to reseed those patches. Are there products/seed ratios that anyone recommends? Any brands/products that I should stay away from? My lawn is a mix of bluegrass/ryegrass and is a combo of sun and shade. Overall things are good with the lawn minus those areas. I'm in northeastern Iowa. Thanks for any help/advice.
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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SIAP - I have some bare spots where I rid my lawn of orchardgrass and looking to reseed those patches. Are there products/seed ratios that anyone recommends? Any brands/products that I should stay away from? My lawn is a mix of bluegrass/ryegrass and is a combo of sun and shade. Overall things are good with the lawn minus those areas. I'm in northeastern Iowa. Thanks for any help/advice.
Tough question as most of the seed "patch" kits are fescue grasses. Whatever you end up putting down, look at the back of the bag and look at the label. It should read 0% weeds and if possible 0% other crop.
 
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Macloney

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Feb 28, 2014
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1 mile from the phog
SIAP - I have some bare spots where I rid my lawn of orchardgrass and looking to reseed those patches. Are there products/seed ratios that anyone recommends? Any brands/products that I should stay away from? My lawn is a mix of bluegrass/ryegrass and is a combo of sun and shade. Overall things are good with the lawn minus those areas. I'm in northeastern Iowa. Thanks for any help/advice.
This is the best brand of grass seed that I have found, but the price reflects it and can be prohibitive for some.

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Outdoors-Garden-Center-Lawn-Care/Barenbrug/N-5yc1vZbx8aZ9xu
 
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ripvdub

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Mar 20, 2006
8,095
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Sk-Ankeny
Do to the striping my Scotts spreader is doing that i posted earlier here, i reached out to them and they'll refund my money. But what brand do i get now? I have a riding mower, but i worry about bad coverage in a few spots with a pull behind? Is Agri fab ok for push or pull?
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Do to the striping my Scotts spreader is doing that i posted earlier here, i reached out to them and they'll refund my money. But what brand do i get now? I have a riding mower, but i worry about bad coverage in a few spots with a pull behind? Is Agri fab ok for push or pull?
I use an earthway branded spreader. I think I got it for around $100 or mabye $120. It's better than the Scott's I had previously. It still has it's quirks.
 
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nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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View attachment 72176

Sweet! What do you use for a lawn roller?

I built one out of PVC and I’m pretty happy with the results.
I had been mowing this new bluegrass lawn with a manual Great States reel mower at 1 1/4". I let the grass grow a bit taller in preparation for hotter weather and set the Honda mower at 2" and decided to throw down some stripes. I'm using the Toro lawn stripper kit and did double wide stripes. This was the first mow with a regular mower and first stripes on this new turf.
 

AgronAlum

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2014
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Looks good. Color might even out if you raise the height of cut. Have you done a soil test to check the micro nutrient levels and pH? Try spraying some chelated iron. That will definitely darken it, but if you spray too much it will turn your turf gray or even black. It's safe and easy but "more isn't better" when it comes to spraying iron. I'm giving away super secret information here when I post about spraying iron.

Pro tip: don't get liquid iron on your driveway as it will stain. If you do, toilet bowl cleaner will get the stain out.

www.domyown.com/southern-ag-chelated-liquid-iron-p-2101.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwzZj2BRDVARIsABs3l9JH4KR_FUjYUqxT0ZxhzM9CpafjkQrEAjGHKedFwVBBW7RYyvAR9pgaAoFGEALw_wcB
Soooo I had the deck raised and everything was looking pretty good. That is until my wife tried to help out by mowing today and set the front of the deck on the second lowest setting and scalped the ever loving **** out of portions of our yard, especially where the ground is uneven in the back.

I spent most of the night raking up grass clippings so the yard didn’t get choked out. I also went back over the yard with the mower to spread the clippings around and mulch them up.

Is there a way to speed up the growth on the portions that got scalped the most so there’s something more substantial there over the summer months? Or is it a lost cause until fall or next year even?
 

nocsious3

Well-Known Member
SuperFanatic
Aug 23, 2013
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Soooo I had the deck raised and everything was looking pretty good. That is until my wife tried to help out by mowing today and set the front of the deck on the second lowest setting and scalped the ever loving **** out of portions of our yard, especially where the ground is uneven in the back.

I spent most of the night raking up grass clippings so the yard didn’t get choked out. I also went back over the yard with the mower to spread the clippings around and mulch them up.

Is there a way to speed up the growth on the portions that got scalped the most so there’s something more substantial there over the summer months? Or is it a lost cause until fall or next year even?
My grass grew over an inch in two days. If you're getting the kind of rain I'm getting, it will likely be able to recover before the hot weather hits, although it's going to take some time before the scalped sections get good color back. If it's been over 2 weeks since you last fertilized, then I'd hit it with some more but with some special instructions. An organic would be a good choice going into the hot weather, but I would do something with some potassium content. That rules our milorganite. I was looking at home depot and found this option.
www.homedepot.com/p/Kellogg-Garden-Organics-20-lbs-Organics-Lawn-Food-3011/204701381

Bag rate is 6.25 lbs of product per thousand sq. ft. At 4% Nitrogen, that's just .25 lbs of nitrogen per thousand sq ft. I'd actually double that rate to get to 0.5 lbs of Nitrogen. Very little is fast acting nitrogen so you're not going to burn anything.
 
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cycloner29

Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2008
5,608
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Ames
Neighbor has a mowing service come mow theirs once every seven days. Due to all the rain we've had they needed a tractor and baler after it was mowed yesterday. I put three 35 gallon trash cans worth of grass on my garden last night.
 

mj4cy

Asst. Regional Manager
Staff member
Mar 28, 2006
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Iowa
Mowing every 3 days now and still needing to bag some...yikes.