Fertilizing my lawn for initial spring application

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coyoteclone

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Jan 7, 2009
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I know this topic gets discussed every year, but would like to adjust the question a bit. I know it has been said that we should fertilize our yards at the end of April/early May for the initial time. Should this be adjusted since we are trending towards warmer temperatures earlier than normal?
For grabgrass preventer, soils have to be 55-65 degrees before germination occurs. Its not air temp, its soild temps
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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Is there any issue to putting crabgrass preventer down today when the grass is still wet from rains in the night? The instructions say to apply when the grass is dry but I wasn't sure if that's a big deal or not.
You want the prills to fall below the leaf canopy, so you want to do it on dry grass and then later water it in. Pre-M works by getting into the soil and forming a vapor barrier below the soil surface that interferes with germination process of some plants. How long this vapor barrier lasts largely determines how long you get effective control. You can actually break the vapor barrier and create gaps in your protection if you later disturb your soil, so don't aerate in Spring after applying pre-emergent herbicide.

As far as harming grass by applying on wet turf, I honestly don't know how toxic the different pre-M chemistry is when it sticks to the grass blades and whether much would even get absorbed through the grass blades. Anyhow, the protection gained is through the soil route, so please do follow the label and apply to dry turf.

Conversely, weed 'n feed products must be applied to wet turf. The herbicide must actually stick to the weed leaf and be absorbed by the foilage. It's for that reason it's not my recommendation to kill weeds this way. You need to get lucky and have the weed killer actually land on the wet plant leaf, and so much is just wasted as it falls to the soil. Only if you had a lawn with like 50% weeds would this be a decent plan of attack and I'd still prefer a blanket liquid spray in that scenario.
 
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mj4cy

Asst. Regional Manager
Staff member
Mar 28, 2006
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Was about to put the spring weed/feed saturday morning but got rained on before I could get to it. Suppose I can do it this week...never a good time for me it seems.
 

khardbored

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Oct 20, 2012
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My front yard is the last one in my neighborhood to turn green.

We had sod laid about 4 years ago, and it stays dormant long. Usually around May 1st it gets really nice looking, it just takes a long time. I use a pre-emergent crabgrass/fertilizer combo each year, fertilize in late Fall, etc.

Are there just some grass varieties that mature slower each spring?
 

nocsious3

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Aug 23, 2013
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My front yard is the last one in my neighborhood to turn green.

We had sod laid about 4 years ago, and it stays dormant long. Usually around May 1st it gets really nice looking, it just takes a long time. I use a pre-emergent crabgrass/fertilizer combo each year, fertilize in late Fall, etc.

Are there just some grass varieties that mature slower each spring?
Grass type and cultivar do impact green up. Typically rye

grass, followed by fescues, and lastly bluegrass green up in spring. Individual cultivar can make a big difference too, so your variety of sod may be a big part of that. There are some cultural things you can do to help. Putting the grass to bed in early winter with carbohydrate stored in roots leads to earlier green up. You do that by an aggressive fall fertilization schedule. You can get all the thatch and dead material out. That will allow the soil to warm more quickly. Your last mow before winter should cut the grass very short.
 

mramseyISU

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Nov 8, 2006
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Waterloo, IA
My front yard is the last one in my neighborhood to turn green.

We had sod laid about 4 years ago, and it stays dormant long. Usually around May 1st it gets really nice looking, it just takes a long time. I use a pre-emergent crabgrass/fertilizer combo each year, fertilize in late Fall, etc.

Are there just some grass varieties that mature slower each spring?
This is my first spring in this house but I'm looking to be in the same boat. All the yards that touch mine look like a golf course already. Mine still looks terrible, I'm blaming that on the previous owner of the house not taking care of it, at least I can have that excuse for the next couple years anyway.
 
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cyfan92

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Sep 20, 2011
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Augusta National Golf Club
Most of the lawns growing like crazy right now in my neighborhood have had lawn care company's dump massive amounts of synthetic fertilizer on them.

Same lawns will have massive water bills this summer trying to keep it green. I'd rather have a slow green up with huge root development. No fert until after Mother's Day!
 

megamanxzero35

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May 31, 2011
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I have some small patches of onion grass in my yard. Anyone have experience? Best sprays or ways to get rid of it?
 

AgronAlum

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Jul 12, 2014
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My lawn doesn’t seem like it’s coming in the best this year. I’ve got dead/dying/dormant spots scattered all over my yard while my neighbors is green as can be right now. I over seeded about 3 weeks ago, fertilized with milorganite two weeks ago and just put down a grub control yesterday. No chemicals other than spot spraying since last year because of the overseeding. I did not get on a fall weed and feed last year but did some apps of fertilizer earlier in the summer and spring. Any suggestions?

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ripvdub

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Mar 20, 2006
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Sk-Ankeny
Most of the lawns growing like crazy right now in my neighborhood have had lawn care company's dump massive amounts of synthetic fertilizer on them.

Same lawns will have massive water bills this summer trying to keep it green. I'd rather have a slow green up with huge root development. No fert until after Mother's Day!
So what would you suggest?
 

nocsious3

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SuperFanatic
Aug 23, 2013
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My lawn doesn’t seem like it’s coming in the best this year. I’ve got dead/dying/dormant spots scattered all over my yard while my neighbors is green as can be right now. I over seeded about 3 weeks ago, fertilized with milorganite two weeks ago and just put down a grub control yesterday. No chemicals other than spot spraying since last year because of the overseeding. I did not get on a fall weed and feed last year but did some apps of fertilizer earlier in the summer and spring. Any suggestions?

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Milorganite doesn't work very quickly until soil temps get warmer. Mow and a light rake wouldn't hurt. Go get some fertilizer and apply at .5 lbs of Nitrogen per thousand sq. ft. Return in a week or two and let us know how it's doing. That grass looks like it needs nutrients.
 

cyfan92

Well-Known Member
Sep 20, 2011
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Augusta National Golf Club
So what would you suggest?
Pre emergent in this spring
Spot spray 2-4-D on weeds
Milorganite heavy 3 times end of May. Late August and early October
Never had a grub problem. Only been in the house 3 years so we will see
Overseed after aerator. Usually the week before labor day. Every other year.

That's it. I don't water my lawn because it's a horrible waste of a natural resource and expensive.
 

AgronAlum

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Jul 12, 2014
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Milorganite doesn't work very quickly until soil temps get warmer. Mow and a light rake wouldn't hurt. Go get some fertilizer and apply at .5 lbs of Nitrogen per thousand sq. ft. Return in a week or two and let us know how it's doing. That grass looks like it needs nutrients.
Just apply some N or do I apply some P and K too? Ive got some 30-0-3 in the garage but would something like a 10-10-10 work better?

I’ve been keeping up with mowing and raked out the crappy spots because I laid some seed down. The grass in that pic is only about 3 inches, it’s just not standing up. I haven’t aerated or dethatched since I moved in a couple years ago. I should probably do that I guess.