Fertilizing my lawn for initial spring application

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by spierceisu, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. CYEATHAWK

    CYEATHAWK Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2007
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    I get it at Mill's Fleet in Ankeny. About ten dollars a bag. And that soil breakdown analysis you posted........you might as well be speaking Greek. All I know is clover thrives on nitrogen poor areas. And I was having no luck at all using chemicals without wreaking havoc on everything else. So I thought...what the heck. It doesn't grow well in nitrogen rich environments, and the grass will love it......okay. So every spring, I mix the spreader with a 50/50 of weed-n-feed and milorganite. The weed-n-feed has the fast acting and milorganite is slow. And you can spread it all times of the year without adverse affects. The milorganite......not the weed n feed. It was a shot in the dark for me and has worked rather well. Also, in the fall.....I mix the spreader with a 50/50 of milorganite and grass seed for the next spring. So as you can see, very little science involved on my end. But not much cost and the lawn looks great. May not be hosting any PGA tours anytime soon, but I hold my own with the neighbor who spends a butt load for a company to come in and take care of his.
     
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  2. Yaz

    Yaz Member

    Jun 29, 2018
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    In my experience, Milorganite doesnt really work that way...ie...create tremendous growth. You should be good. Keep that in mind. Also, you will be dropping a lot of that if green is your color.
     
  3. nocsious3

    nocsious3 Active Member

    Aug 23, 2013
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    Home Depot normally carries it. Fleet Farm. Menards, Ace, etc. Milorganite is fine as you could use some more phosphorus.

    Looking at those soil results, you're pH is high and that's a tough problem. At 7.9 most of your micronutrients are fully bound in the soil and not bio-available, but working to change it probably isn't worth it for most.

    If you want to start optimizing your soil, here's a few suggestions. First step is to try to lower that pH. That will take several seasons most likely, and I'd like to get it below 7.3 for sure and around 7 would be great. You do that by adding sulphur. They make a granular sulphur that can be easily spread. You'd want to add 5-10 lbs annually per 1k/sq ft. Sulphur works to lower pH in the summer through microbial action producing sulphuric acid. It's a slow process. The other thing you can do is get some organic matter in there by top dressing with a good screen compost. Adding peat would be good as it's very acidic. Raising boron is easy. Buy some borax, spritz your milorganite with a mist of water and spoon in 3 tablespoons of borax. Mix it with the Milorganite and spread like normal.
     
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  4. Yaz

    Yaz Member

    Jun 29, 2018
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    I live in central Iowa and have tried everything over the years from mil to Scott's. From my experience, I have found Site One products superior....ie used to be John Deere landscape I believe. I finally invested in a professional grade spreader and gave up on consumer grade spreaders. Now I have an acre of blue grass in which I over seeded last fall with fescue for a variety of reasons not applicable to the original OP inquiry. I did drop pre emergent this year, and probably will most years. However, I typically spray weeds and only fert eary spring, 2 months later I fert which lasts until September. Someday, I hope to go all natural, however, I havent seen it to be there yet. This spring I did not put down pre emergent until around May 21, which does have some fert, and my yard was the greenest on the block prior, oh BTW, I mulch mow, which is key i believe. Hope this helps.
     
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  5. JY07

    JY07 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2009
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    For those of you in the DSM area looking for grass seed, you might as well skip the home improvement stores and go directly to a seed shop:

    https://unitedseeds.com/product-category/home-lawns/

    How does the new grass compare to the existing blue grass?
     
  6. Macloney

    Macloney Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2014
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    Barenburg is some of the best in the business, wherever you can find it and whatever it is branded as.
     
  7. besserheimerphat

    besserheimerphat Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Haven't read the thread and have nothing of value to contribute, but wanted to tell the OP that this clip from the Simpsons Tomacco episode pops in my head everytime i see the thread title:

     
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  8. khardbored

    khardbored Well-Known Member

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    In an ideal world, we would all be mowing with a high setting 3 times per week mulching.

    But real life gets in the way, and sometimes I'm lucky if I get to mow once per week. So, if I run my mower on mulch mode, it's too long and gets clumpy and drops huge chunks of dead grass everywhere, which kills the good stuff.

    It's just easier to bag.
     
  9. Rogue52

    Rogue52 Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2006
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    Do you have experience of the “huge chunks” actually killing grass? Even when my lawn gets a bit too long, my mulching mower still does a pretty good job mulching. I am also surprised to see the number of people in this thread that bag.
     
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  10. BCClone

    BCClone Well-Known Member

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    Bagging is one of the worst things you can do for your lawn. Hurts the organic matter, hurts the fertility - you then add commercial fertilizer which typically is salt based and you up the pH on your ground. We mow at 3" and once a week most times, sometimes 5-6 days, sometimes 10-12 days. I don't mulch, pulled the chute up and let it fly. If it's long and windrows a little, mow it again about 5 days later and go a different direction so you don't just push it and it will start grinding it up. De-thatch in the spring and you should be fine.
     
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  11. nocsious3

    nocsious3 Active Member

    Aug 23, 2013
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    I side discharge in my backyard and at this point everyone know I'm a lawn nut. My 36" mower I use in the back didn't come with a mulch kit and I don't feel the need to buy one. Side discharge is fine too. It breaks down no problem as long as I'm mowing regularly.
     
  12. khardbored

    khardbored Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
  13. spierceisu

    spierceisu Active Member

    Jan 28, 2007
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    I have always mulched, but ended up bagging this time since it was so tall. I don't have a large yard and ended up filling 4 1/2 30 gallon yard waste bags. I will be mulching again the rest of the time as long as I can keep up with the mowing.
     
  14. Cyclones_R_GR8

    Cyclones_R_GR8 Well-Known Member
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    That's pretty much what I have been doing. Bag when it's deep, mulch when it isn't. I do need to power rake this fall due to the dead grass from the fungus. I also haven't power raked in about 10 years.
     
  15. BillyClone

    BillyClone Active Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    #255 BillyClone, Jun 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    Basically, I use a roughly 20" piece of 3" PVC and instead of end caps I use something called a "hard hat" to close the ends. I drilled holes through the center of the hard hats and used hex bolts and nuts (with washers for spacers) to create axles. I filled the pipe with sand and glued the ends on. I built a frame using angle brackets and flat bars and attached the roller to the frame. I drilled a small hole into the back of the mower and attached a heavy-duty angle bracket to work as a hitch. I used a clevis and cotter pin to hook the roller to the mower.

    Hopefully these pictures help...

    upload_2020-6-1_13-59-13.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_13-59-45.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-0-6.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-0-28.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-0-54.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-4-30.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-4-53.jpeg upload_2020-6-1_14-5-10.jpeg
     
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  16. BillyClone

    BillyClone Active Member

    Mar 20, 2006
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    Here's some fun patterns I've made with that roller

    IMG_1504.jpg IMG_1505.jpg IMG_1508.jpg
     
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  17. mj4cy

    mj4cy Asst. Regional Manager
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    Mar 28, 2006
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    I rarely bag but usually mulch/side shoot. If I don't like the big clumps, I'll just take a leaf blower and spread it out.
     
  18. JY07

    JY07 Well-Known Member

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    My mower is terrible at mulching, so if it's been too long since the last time I mowed I do the same thing: use a leaf blower to spread out the clump lines.

    If the clips are on the longer side, you will definitely see the ruts/strips of dead grass by the end of the year
     
  19. cyfan92

    cyfan92 Well-Known Member

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    This has 100% come true again. Neighbors are out watering 2 times a day to barely hang on to their grass. Meanwhile, I'm mowing at 4 inches and have almost the same looking turf with NO watering or artificial fert.

    Difference is my input costs are $0 outside of 3 yearly treatments of Milorganite and a bottle of 2-4-D concentrate to get me through the year.
     
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