SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

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SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Prospect » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:05 pm

So my question is... Is there a Spring Nitrogen/Fertilization program I should follow in the spring up til Memorial Day?

If memory serves me right I threw down ammonium sulfate then 3 weeks later some 16-16-16, 3 weeks later 16-16-16 then some milo on Memorial Day and again 4th of July then waited til September.

the fall blitz seems to work great so I'm wondering about Spring?
I know, I know, I know I should do a soil test. just looking for basic guideline to follow
Thanks

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Babameca » Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:42 pm

Spring is a great time to 'wake up' the lawn with some N. it is a very bad time to 'load' it. Only 1/3 of your total N should be applied in Spring. Some members here, experiment with zero N. Summer is also, when you have to dramatically back on N, or spoon feed and focus on micros: Humic acid, Kelp, Iron....Biochar if you want. Anything that will NOT put the grass into excessive growth pattern. Applying too much N in spring will make your grass 'explode' (it is the most active vertical growth anyway) and may create serious fungal issues, as well as making it weak to outstand the summer heat.
If you have no soil test, then I would recommend you a 0.75-1 N/M and 1/2 that amount of K for recovery. That's all you will need in spring. Split in 2 apps if you can. My plan is to do 10-1-4 (75% AS) mid Spring at 0.25N and 3 weeks later 0.75N of 30-0-6 or 24-6-12 FMS (Fast, Medium, Slow) depending on my sil results. No more N until the blitz, except of some foliar at very low rates.
Last edited by Babameca on Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Prospect » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:18 pm

Babameca wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 5:42 pm
Spring is a great time to 'wake up' the lawn with some N. it is a very bad time to 'load' it. Only 1/3 of your total N should be applied in Spring. Some members here, experiment with zero N. Summer is also, when you have to dramatically back on N, or spoon feed and focus on micros: Humic acid, Kelp, Iron....Biochar if you want. Anything that will NOT put the grass into excessive growth pattern. Applying too much N in spring will make your grass 'explode' (it is the most active vertical growth anyway) and may create serious fungal issues, as well as making it weak to outstand the summer heat.
If you have no soil test, then I would recommend you a 0.75-1 N/M and 1/2 that amount of K for recovery. That's all you will need in spring. Split in 2 apps if you can. My plan is to do 10-1-4 (75% AS) mid Spring at 0.25N and 3 weeks later 0.75N of 30-0-6 or 24-6-12 FMS (Fast, Medium, Slow) depending on my sil results. No more N until the blitz, except of some foliar at very low rates.
Is the General Idea in spring to focus on the health of the plant with minimal growth and the winter to "Carbo Load"?

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:43 pm

There is an aggressive Spring program for newly seeded lawns in their first or second year, or old and very thin lawns, or plugged areas of KBG that need help filling in, etc. It's very similar to the Fall blitz in how it's done, but you can use Potassium with the Nitrogen in Spring if it's something your soil needs. Of course, you have to be more mindful of disease in Spring. The Spring program is very effective, but you should only use it if you really need it.

Normally I'm using 1.0 lb N in mid to late Spring from organics. But sometimes you need more, like an extra small app of synthetic N. And there are are times you might need the full aggressive program.
Last edited by Green on Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Babameca » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:47 pm

@Prospect In (mid-late)Spring growth is already very intense. Plant will mainly use the reserves to get going. K is excellent for make the recovery faster. If you lawn is well established, soil health is number one priority.
Pushing too much nitrogen at any time, may create a disbalance as well. Feeding N also depletes soil reserves on other stuff. Plant, in order to 'feed' on N needs some P, K etc etc etc. If those are not available, or grass had enough N, then the rest is wasted. Don't forget, your own soil has a massive amount of N sources. The questions is how to 'unlock' them. OM and CEC results will help you fine tune your strategy.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by saidtheblueknight » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:58 pm

This is the reason I use a 5-5-20 fertilizer with prodamine in the spring, and then light applications of organic until late summer. I keep it going just enough, then blitz it in the fall.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Chris LI » Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:03 pm

Prospect wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:18 pm
Is the General Idea in spring to focus on the health of the plant with minimal growth and the winter to "Carbo Load"?
In a nutshell, yes. All suggestions made up to this point are good. Light conventional fert in early spring/spring, transitioning to organics in the early summer, with aggressive N fert (blitz) in the fall will reap the most benefits, with least risk for disease.
@Babameca and @Green make great points.

Some are:
1/3 spring 2/3 fall N
OM and CEC
Aggressive spring N (Google: Philes Phertilizer Lecture-you should find it on ATY and it should be reposted on TLF-I think it was me)

In retrospect, I needed a little more granular N going into the summer, this year. I ran short on time with work/life commitments, and chose organic foliar N, (I bought some AS to use in that case for next year before the foliar organics) because I skipped my summer biosolids app.
Last edited by Chris LI on Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by MassHole » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:59 am

Hoping to get some input from @g-man as I want to spot nuke any orchardgrass/triv I have in my reno and then encourage thickening, perhaps with the use of PGR?

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by g-man » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:51 pm

@MassHole two different approaches

For a established lawn that it is on maintenance: A low level of N in spring is ideal. This is to keep a healthy grow, but not a vigorous grow. Why? carb reserves. The plant stores carbs during the fall in the roots. Pushing for extra grow, will consume the carbs ahead of summer. Having those carbs help the plant survive summer better. The previous post above all shared some of the other issues with too much N. Lastly, there is a natural mineralization (converting N from decaying organic matter) that happens as the soil temps warm up. This normally drives grow without even having to add any N for me.

Second approach, a new lawn (Philes)
If you have a new lawn from a renovation or it is really thin, then extra N (and P or K per soil test), will push for grow. A frequent light feeding will help the lawn get more established and spread.

Nuke the orchardgrass and triv and feed does areas. If the areas are too large (more than 6in diameter), then plug them to get it to fill in faster.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Wolverine » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:24 pm

g-man wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:51 pm
@MassHole two different approaches

For a established lawn that it is on maintenance: A low level of N in spring is ideal. This is to keep a healthy grow, but not a vigorous grow. Why? carb reserves. The plant stores carbs during the fall in the roots. Pushing for extra grow, will consume the carbs ahead of summer. Having those carbs help the plant survive summer better. The previous post above all shared some of the other issues with too much N. Lastly, there is a natural mineralization (converting N from decaying organic matter) that happens as the soil temps warm up. This normally drives grow without even having to add any N for me.

Second approach, a new lawn (Philes)
If you have a new lawn from a renovation or it is really thin, then extra N (and P or K per soil test), will push for grow. A frequent light feeding will help the lawn get more established and spread.

Nuke the orchardgrass and triv and feed does areas. If the areas are too large (more than 6in diameter), then plug them to get it to fill in faster.
I did a full reno of elite KBG the first of June. I have also been pushing N pretty hard this fall (3lbs per M Sept-Nov)and it is filling in nicely. My approach will be a synthetic starter fertilizer early spring and then switching to an organic source in late spring while also following my K and P needs based a soil test this fall. New grass still needs the N in the spring in my opinion.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:26 pm

Wolverine wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:24 pm
I did a full reno of elite KBG the first of June. I have also been pushing N pretty hard this fall (3lbs per M Sept-Nov)and it is filling in nicely. My approach will be a synthetic starter fertilizer early spring and then switching to an organic source in late spring while also following my K and P needs based a soil test this fall. New grass still needs the N in the spring in my opinion.
Great. Keep it going until it either fills in fully, or gets too hot for more fertilizer.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:29 pm

g-man wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:51 pm
Second approach, a new lawn (Philes)
If you have a new lawn from a renovation or it is really thin, then extra N (and P or K per soil test), will push for grow. A frequent light feeding will help the lawn get more established and spread.
I did this in Spring 2018 on an area that I plugged. I used Scotts Step 4 frequently for spoon feeding, through the first half of the Summer I think. It worked well. But I ended up killing and redoing a lot of that area last Spring due to Triv. There was Triv hiding in some of my plugs, I believe.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by MassHole » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:49 am

g-man wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:51 pm
Nuke the orchardgrass and triv and feed does areas. If the areas are too large (more than 6in diameter), then plug them to get it to fill in faster.
I have lots of small scattered spots throughout, but they can be targetted.

The Bluebank filled out incredibly well, so I think i can easily target them (each spot is 2-3" in diameter).

I've been hand pulling this fall b/c the color difference is stark and I can easily see if I grabbed all the lighter grass. Is that not recommended?

Would you recommend PGR after the seed heads are gone?

Thanks @g-man
Last edited by MassHole on Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by g-man » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:25 am

Yes to PGR.

In regards to hand pulling, this is my opinion (not based on any research). If you can't use gly (like right now), I think pulling the leaves makes sense. Yes the plant will recover and return and maybe spread, but you are taking away the way to get sun/energy. You are making it weaker. This will make it easier to kill in spring.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by corneliani » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:37 am

Intrigued by this Philes method... would this work on TTTF as well? I've renovated for the 2nd time in 2 years .. it was pretty obvious come August in Atlanta that an irrigation system was necessary - and would like to drive these new grass roots as deep as possible before next August rolls around.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by osuturfman » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:25 pm

I would be inclined to use PGRs and very little N in April and May to drive any lateral growth and rooting.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:24 pm

Since Orchardgrass doesn't pull well, often breaking off, one thing you can do is grab a small hand shovel and loosen the soil around the roots before you pull.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:29 pm

corneliani wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:37 am
Intrigued by this Philes method... would this work on TTTF as well? I've renovated for the 2nd time in 2 years .. it was pretty obvious come August in Atlanta that an irrigation system was necessary - and would like to drive these new grass roots as deep as possible before next August rolls around.
Yes. I've done it on TTTF with good results. But note osuturfman's warning.

This is only for new or very thin grass, and small amounts of N (spoonfeeding) and/or slow release are safest. A fairly thick stand will not put effort into trying to get thicker with repeated N apps...it will just grow higher too fast. The ways to thicken an already fairly thick stand are mowing more often, and of course a PGR program as mentioned.

Also, best to balance with some Potassium if your soil needs more of it.

N is not really going to drive roots from everything I've learned.
Last edited by Green on Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by corneliani » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:12 am

osuturfman wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:25 pm
I would be inclined to use PGRs and very little N in April and May to drive any lateral growth and rooting.
@osuturfman @Green
I like the PGR concept, i've started using it on my bermuda last summer and like the results its giving me.

Just to clarify the dates/rounds: Are you suggesting very little N from the onset of the season (mid Feb)? April and May are rounds 2 & 3 for me and the majority of the pre-summer N is already down by then.

As an alternative I could throw down a good # worth of Milo late this season (Thanksgiving-ish or even Dec) instead of that Feb app? Our avg soil temps don't dip much below 40 over the winter months, based on the Greencast soil temp, so I imagine it could also benefit overwintering feedings.
Last edited by corneliani on Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: SPRING NITROGEN/FERTILIZATION BLITZ?

Post by Green » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:41 pm

corneliani wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:12 am
Just to clarify the dates/rounds: Are you suggesting very little N from the onset of the season (mid Feb)? April and May are rounds 2 & 3 for me and the majority of the pre-summer N is already down by then.
Here up North, yes. Because the grass here is stressed and dormant in the Winter, then it comes out of dormancy. It thrives in Spring, but it wants to grow super fast...I have to mow twice a week even without much or any fertilizer being added. And then our Summer hits, and it's relatively short but can be intense. The grass basically is not ready for it most of the time.

Since you don't have as much of a Winter, you probably do need late Winter/early Spring Nitrogen, due to the longer growing season...but you might be able to get away with less than you're used to if you experiment.

We never fertilize until April here, but I prefer to do it much later, a couple of weeks before Summer starts, to help with recovery from the crazy growth of Spring. In fact, it seems all of our optimal N timings here are near the end of one season/beginning of another...early to mid June, mid to late Sept., (and arguably late Nov./early Dec., until more research says it's a truly bad idea).
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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