Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by kolbasz » Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:32 pm

Really? Ok, just need to resist the urge.

So mid May do a N app like starter or any typical spring fert?

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by g-man » Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:16 pm

I use simple Ammonium sulfate. That's it.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by kolbasz » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:25 pm

g-man wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:16 pm
I use simple Ammonium sulfate. That's it.
Really? So just you do pre m , nitrogen blitz and the tlf ASF and that's it eh?

Who would have thunk

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by CPA Nerd » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:09 am

Would this stuff work fine for the fall nitrogen blitz?

https://www.amazon.com/Urea-46-0-0-Nitr ... 136&sr=8-5

I would probably use Milorganite in August while it's still hot, then in September and October apply this stuff at 1 lb N, then a winterizer type fertilizer with some potassium around Thanksgiving.

Anything glaringly wrong with that? Where would my Pre-M + fertilizer fit in to this plan? I don't want to overapply N.

Maybe Pre-m and Milorganite in August, and then cut this stuff down to 0.75 lb N in September and October as to not overapply Nitrogen?

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by pennstater2005 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:14 am

CPA Nerd wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:09 am
Would this stuff work fine for the fall nitrogen blitz?

https://www.amazon.com/Urea-46-0-0-Nitr ... 136&sr=8-5

I would probably use Milorganite in August while it's still hot, then in September and October apply this stuff at 1 lb N, then a winterizer type fertilizer with some potassium around Thanksgiving.

Anything glaringly wrong with that? Where would my Pre-M + fertilizer fit in to this plan? I don't want to overapply N.

Maybe Pre-m and Milorganite in August, and then cut this stuff down to 0.75 lb N in September and October as to not overapply Nitrogen?
Yes that would work. I can get 50# at a local farm/feed store for about $13 though. I would call around and see if you can find a local co-op place.
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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by CPA Nerd » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:24 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:14 am
CPA Nerd wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:09 am
Would this stuff work fine for the fall nitrogen blitz?

https://www.amazon.com/Urea-46-0-0-Nitr ... 136&sr=8-5

I would probably use Milorganite in August while it's still hot, then in September and October apply this stuff at 1 lb N, then a winterizer type fertilizer with some potassium around Thanksgiving.

Anything glaringly wrong with that? Where would my Pre-M + fertilizer fit in to this plan? I don't want to overapply N.

Maybe Pre-m and Milorganite in August, and then cut this stuff down to 0.75 lb N in September and October as to not overapply Nitrogen?
Yes that would work. I can get 50# at a local farm/feed store for about $13 though. I would call around and see if you can find a local co-op place.
Thanks. How do I coordinate using a Pre-M+Fertilizer, Winterizer with potassium and Milorganite into the fall nitrogen blitz, without overapplying nitrogen?

Can I skip the urea and just do something like:

August: Pre-M + Fertilizer (0.80 lbs N)
September: Milorganite (0.75 lbs N)
October: Winterizer (for potassium) (0.80 lbs N)

This is 2.35 lbs of N in three months (which I know is not quite 1 lb per rolling month), plus what I've applied so far (1.8) for a total of 4.15 lbs N in a year. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that, would I?

How critical is it to have fast release N for the nitrogen blitz?
Last edited by CPA Nerd on Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by Green » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:24 pm

CPA Nerd wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:24 am
How do I coordinate using a Pre-M+Fertilizer, Winterizer with potassium and Milorganite into the fall nitrogen blitz, without overapplying nitrogen?

Can I skip the urea and just do something like:

August: Pre-M + Fertilizer (0.80 lbs N)
September: Milorganite (0.75 lbs N)
October: Winterizer (for potassium) (0.80 lbs N)

This is 2.35 lbs of N in three months (which I know is not quite 1 lb per rolling month), plus what I've applied so far (1.8) for a total of 4.15 lbs N in a year. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that, would I?

How critical is it to have fast release N for the nitrogen blitz?
I'd recommend doing Potassium in the Summer instead of Fall, because it'll help it with drought and heat stress. Especially if you can get SOP, since there's lower burn potential. (MOP can burn the grass bad in the heat.) But I don't do much with Potassium after early September or so, just in case it worsens snow mold problems later on if used too close to Winter.

You can use mixes of N with a little slow release added in, but it actually takes a little bit of experience to get a feel for how the different slow release chemistries/technologies react and how long they last, so you don't double up by applying another app before the previous one has diminished to an extent.

Also, are you sure your lawn will be ready for a lot of fertilizer in August? Here, August can still be in the 90s, and I assume it's the same there.

In mid September, I'd recommend a mix of both fast and slow release N. You can actually make your own by applying half Milorganite and half conventional fast release N like Urea.
Last edited by Green on Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz

Post by john5246 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:51 pm

chrismar wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:34 am
I know we're trying to steer clear of Mr. Wiz, but "the slow down" doesn't quite roll off the tongue like "the pause".
Is everyone here because they handle the passive-aggressive Wizard at the other site? I was banned from there for making a post about why we shouldn't horde milorganite and people that do so are nuts...that people should only buy what they need.
Last edited by john5246 on Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by BobRoss » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:26 pm

So I think I will not be doing the fast release since I just overseeded some TTTF last Saturday and don't wait to hurt the new grass. But, I did do some top dressing with some compost and also used Scotts starter fert with weed preventer. I am wondering if you can over-fertilize a lawn with too much nitrogen during the growing season without actually burning it. Like, at what point should I be saying ok, that is way too much fert this year? like 5lbs, 6, 7lbs? Is there such a thing as too much before burning?

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by g-man » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:55 pm

Grass does really get burned. The salts from the nitrogen screw up the roots ability to absorb water. So the plant dies by dehydration.

There are way to avoid “burn”, which involves more frequent and more water. But going crazy on nitrogen on a new or old lawn sacrifices root carbohydrates storage and development.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by MMoore » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:25 pm

What’s the normal tipping point?
4lbs/yr, ya?

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by ram82 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:43 pm

was thinking of giving this a try this year.doesnt putting nitrogen on lawn create surge growth and cause problems as your trying to lower height of cut as stated in first page?or does most of the nitrogen go to summer repair?just wondering.thank you

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by Green » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:39 am

g-man wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:55 pm
There are way to avoid “burn”, which involves more frequent and more water. But going crazy on nitrogen on a new or old lawn sacrifices root carbohydrates storage and development.
As far as old lawns, I think some of the issue is shallow roots due to thatch, which then get burned out by the salts easier. But a well-managed older lawn won't have lots of thatch. It also shouldn't need tons of N either, because the soil should be in better shape and have more ability to hold nutrients over time.
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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by BobRoss » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:02 am

g-man wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:55 pm
Grass does really get burned. The salts from the nitrogen screw up the roots ability to absorb water. So the plant dies by dehydration.

There are way to avoid “burn”, which involves more frequent and more water. But going crazy on nitrogen on a new or old lawn sacrifices root carbohydrates storage and development.
Without visible signs of the grass being burned, is there a point where there is just too many lbs of nitrogen being put down? I am already at roughly 5.5lbs this year. Not 100% on the amount due to guesstimation on the compost I used. Without the compost, I am at 4lbs.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by ken-n-nancy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:38 am

BobRoss wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:02 am
Without visible signs of the grass being burned, is there a point where there is just too many lbs of nitrogen being put down? I am already at roughly 5.5lbs this year. Not 100% on the amount due to guesstimation on the compost I used. Without the compost, I am at 4lbs.
Applications of nitrogen fertilizer to a lawn are essentially a "throttle pedal" for growth. In general, the more nitrogen applied, the faster the grass grows. Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends upon the availability of other nutrients, one's objectives, and one's willingness to scale up all other maintenance actions with a faster-growing grass.

How much nitrogen is "too much" is a politically-charged topic. Some would argue that the slowest-possible grass growth that looks "good enough" (or "sufficient") is the best thing. A slower-growing turf has a lower environmental impact -- less fertilizer used, less gasoline to run maintenance equipment, less time spent on lawn care. On the other hand, the faster the grass grows (if properly supplied with all the other needed nutrients, water, and light to sustain that growth), the faster it spreads into thin areas, the more dense the turf becomes, the more effectively it can out-compete weeds that don't respond as well to the high nitrogen levels, and the more quickly organic material levels can be improved in topsoil through root cycling and grass clippings being returned to the soil.

On Kentucky bluegrass, I have seen studies that report practically linear growth rate with nitrogen application, with high efficiency of turf usage (> 80%) of applied nitrogen at annual rates up to 12 pounds/ksqft, which was the maximum level of the study. The plot was even such that it seemed that even more would continue to result in faster-growing grass without a reduction in fertilization efficiency. Basically, the more nitrogen that is applied, the faster the grass grows, at least up to 12 pounds/ksqft annually on KBG.

However, the environmental impact of having a lawn increases at such high growth rates -- the lawn needs more of all the other nutrients to sustain a high growth rate, more mowing, more water, etc. However, if you have a short-term objective of helping establishment of a new lawn, the high growth rate can definitely speed up the process, as long as all the other needed care is being provided, too.
Last edited by ken-n-nancy on Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by CPA Nerd » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:27 am

Green wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:24 pm
CPA Nerd wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:24 am
How do I coordinate using a Pre-M+Fertilizer, Winterizer with potassium and Milorganite into the fall nitrogen blitz, without overapplying nitrogen?

Can I skip the urea and just do something like:

August: Pre-M + Fertilizer (0.80 lbs N)
September: Milorganite (0.75 lbs N)
October: Winterizer (for potassium) (0.80 lbs N)

This is 2.35 lbs of N in three months (which I know is not quite 1 lb per rolling month), plus what I've applied so far (1.8) for a total of 4.15 lbs N in a year. I wouldn't want to go much higher than that, would I?

How critical is it to have fast release N for the nitrogen blitz?
I'd recommend doing Potassium in the Summer instead of Fall, because it'll help it with drought and heat stress. Especially if you can get SOP, since there's lower burn potential. (MOP can burn the grass bad in the heat.) But I don't do much with Potassium after early September or so, just in case it worsens snow mold problems later on if used too close to Winter.

You can use mixes of N with a little slow release added in, but it actually takes a little bit of experience to get a feel for how the different slow release chemistries/technologies react and how long they last, so you don't double up by applying another app before the previous one has diminished to an extent.

Also, are you sure your lawn will be ready for a lot of fertilizer in August? Here, August can still be in the 90s, and I assume it's the same there.

In mid September, I'd recommend a mix of both fast and slow release N. You can actually make your own by applying half Milorganite and half conventional fast release N like Urea.
I actually decided to skip the fall pre-m. I don't think it's necessary.

I am going to put down 0.50 lb N organic and 0.5 lb N synthetic in September after it cools off. Then 1 lb synthetic in October and again in November, both fast release.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by BobRoss » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:45 am

Thanks Ken, that was an awesome explanation. 12 lbs is nuts! I couldn't imagine the upkeep!

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by ken-n-nancy » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:12 pm

BobRoss wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:45 am
Thanks Ken, that was an awesome explanation. 12 lbs is nuts! I couldn't imagine the upkeep!
You think 12 pounds / ksqft is nuts -- in the study, the tested application rates for creeping bentgrass went all the way up to 20 pounds / ksqft annually!

Even at that preposterous 20 pounds / ksqft / year, the grass kept growing faster and faster the more N was applied!

As long as the applications are sufficiently small to prevent burning (but very frequent), more N resulted in more growth from the grass.

Remember that there is a downside though -- applying more N means the grass needs more of everything else, too. If the grass isn't getting everything else it needs, you'll have fast-growing grass (due to the high N applications) that is deficient in something else, which essentially makes for sick fast-growing grass.

Of course, it is better to have healthy slow-growing grass, than sick fast-growing grass.

However, if you want to grow grass fast, give the grass everything it needs, and it can sustain amazing healthy growth. Sod farmers do it every year -- from bare soil to sod better than 95% of lawns in about 9 months.

Another way to think of the fact that more N gives more grass growth even above and beyond typical fertilization practices is that conventional N fertilization rates are purposely designed to give suboptimal growth rates and N deficiency as a normal condition. In other words, "... under normal fertilization practices, turfgrass is continuously N deficient from the perspective of clipping production..." (I should note that I can't take credit for these conclusions - the quote is from the article documenting the study I mentioned above.)

Saying that the conventional recommended nitrogen fertilization practices are "continuously N deficient" isn't exactly politically correct, but it's the truth. However, actually applying that much nitrogen annually to a home lawn is illegal in many (most?) states.

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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by Green » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:41 am

ken-n-nancy wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:38 am
Some would argue that the slowest-possible grass growth that looks "good enough" (or "sufficient") is the best thing. A slower-growing turf has a lower environmental impact -- less fertilizer used, less gasoline to run maintenance equipment, less time spent on lawn care.
And that's why I don't generally go crazy in the blitz, unless it's really necessary. With small doses that include a slow release component, I've seen grass recover from stresses, spread to fill in gaps, and turn a nicer color...all without much or any extra topgrowth in some cases.

That's why some of us have used PGRs...but withholding Nitrogen during certain seasons or only using lower amounts at those times is a valid strategy for controlling growth, too.

My goal is not to have it grow super fast and then have to mow more than 1.5x per week. I'm usually at 3-4 lbs N total per year, and often at the low end of that, with about half of that from natural N sources such as Milorganite, etc. There are exceptions though. But I'm no longer just doing an intense Fall program to see what it does...I've done that, and know what it does now. Only if/when certain areas need it.
Last edited by Green on Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fall Nitrogen Blitz (cool season grasses only)

Post by fusebox7 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:48 am

@Green that is my #1 driver for a reno of what is otherwise a very nice fully Northern Mix stand. It grows SO fast and I've only microdosed the N twice and I am barely irrigating (it's very wilty and brown currently). I am worried about keeping up with it because currently I mow TWICE a week and I am still taking off way way too much - I can't believe it. I really really miss the slow growth of the elite KBG... I am building a stronger and stronger case for getting back to what I know and like.

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