Contacts
 





Keyword Site Search










Spring fertilization






A standard fertility program for cool-season grasses is light applications of N in the spring and heavier in the fall.


Grass needs nitrogen (essential for plant growth, color), phosphorus (for the root system) and potassium/potash (to promote disease resistance and winter hardiness), elements that cannot be supplied from the soil alone. Because of this fact, fertilization will do more to improve subpar turfgrass or maintain good quality turfgrass than any other single management practice. A soil test by your local university extension should be done to establish the basis for a regular fertilization program. Liming is also essential to a good fertilization program and should be applied in accordance with the soil test.

Turf type fertilizer

Turf-type fertilizer usually has a 2:1:1, 3:1:2 or 4:1:2 ratio containing a minimum of 10% nitrogen, with 30% or more of the total nitrogen as water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen. Forty pounds of 20-5-10 grade fertilizer, for instance, is a 4:1:2 ratio containing 20 percent nitrogen (8 pounds), 5 percent available phosphates (2 pounds) and 10 percent water soluble potash (4 pounds).

The quality of the fertilizer should be the basis for your fertilizer choice. Value is based on the amount of plant food in the bag and the source of the nitrogen. If the fertilizer contains slow release nitrogen materials, the percent water insoluble nitrogen (WIN) or controlled release nitrogen (CRN) must be stated on the bag. A guarantee that 30% or more of the total nitrogen is water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen indicates a quality turfgrass fertilizer.

There is no magic formula or single N fertilization program for turf--it varies with the species, cool-season vs. warm season grasses and, of course, the soil type. Generally speaking, sandy soils will require more N that soils with lots of organic matter, and soils that get more rain will require more N. Soil tests labs can nail down the levels for you.

A standard fertility program for cool-season grasses is light applications of N in the spring and heavier in the fall.1

The annual needs of the cool-season turf grasses (bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue) may be from two to six pounds of nitrogen per year per one-thousand square foot area of lawn, depending on your soil type and weather.2

Warm-season grass fertilization (again, no single N fertility program and soil type and weather are always a factor) is less complex. The standard recommendation is for 1 lb. N/1000 ft2 per growing month (the grasses emerge from dormancy in the spring with maximum growth in mid-summer).

Fertilizing Guidelines

Peter J. Landschoot, associate professor of turfgrass science at the Penn State Cooperative Extension offers these guidelines:
o If the fertilizer contains 30% or more of the total nitrogen as water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen, apply in the late spring 1.5-0.5-0.5 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
o If the fertilizer contains 15-29% of the total nitrogen as water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen, apply in the late spring 1.0-0.5-0.5 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
o If the fertilizer contains less than 15% of the total nitrogen as water insoluble or controlled release nitrogen, apply in midspring and again in early summer 0.75-0.25-0.25 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft.
o If the phosphorus and potassium levels in the soil are high, you can apply just nitrogen. In late spring and again in late summer apply 6 pounds of 38-0-0 per 1,000 sq. ft. in a ureaform compound (a slow release ureaformaldehyde/methylene urea nitrogen source that breaks down via microbiological degradation).
or
o Apply 7 pounds of 31-0-0 per 1,000 sq. ft. of IBDU (Isobutylidene Diurea, the only slow release nitrogen source released through moisture rather than warm temperatures.)
or
o Apply 2 pounds of urea (approximately 45% nitrogen) per 1,000 sq. ft. in mid-spring (again in early summer, again in late summer and again in mid-fall).3

Sources:
1.Fundamentals of Turfgrass Management. Nick Christians, Iowa State U., 2004.
2. Curtis Swift, PhD, Colorado State U. Cooperative Extension.
3. Turfgrass Maintenance Fertilization. Peter J. Landschoot, associate professor of turfgrass science, Penn State Cooperative Extension.


STMA Releases Guide to Synthetic and Natural Turfgrass for Sports Fields






The guide is available for download at www.sportsturfmanager.org


At the Jan. 20, Friday afternoon session of the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., the STMA released its new publication, "A Guide to Synthetic and Natural Turfgrass for Sports Fields: Selection, Construction and Maintenance Considerations." The guide compares and contrasts, in general terms, the construction and maintenance requirements for both types of fields and gives broad price ranges for typical construction and maintenance costs. For more specific recommendations for a particular site, hiring an experienced athletic field consultant is advised. This guide grew out of the STMA's sessions on synthetic turf at the 2004 and 2005 conferences. The committee, chaired by Abby McNeal, CSFM, spent a year consulting by phone to develop the brochure.


Turf Spotlight






According to TPI, grass traps more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt from the atmosphere and roughly 50 percent of the heat striking a turf area is eliminated by the process of transpiration.


Turfgrass Producers International (turfgrasssod.org) has gathered some interesting statistical information on the turf industry:
o Turfgrass and the green industry provide the U.S. economy with annual sales in excess of $147 billion.
o Turfgrass sod sales represent one billion dollars in annual sales.
o Turfgrass seed sales exceed $750 million each year.
o Mass merchandisers sell in excess of $35 billion annually in lawn mowers, power equipment,
irrigation components and nursery products.
o Sales of power equipment for the lawn care and green industry commercial market exceeds $15 billion annually.
o Grass traps more than 12 million tons of dust and dirt from the atmosphere.
o Every 2.47 acres of golf course greens and fairways sequester one ton of carbon dioxide from the air.
o Front lawns of eight average houses have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning.
o A 100x100 ft. piece of turf (33.3 yards sq.) absorbs 6,000 gallons of rainwater without noticeable run-off.

Tree Facts

85: Degrees. During spring fertilization, herbicides should not be applied if temperatures are higher than 85. Source: University of Kentucky Extension Service

30 to 50: Percent. The level of nitrogen in slow-release form fertilizer products recommended for application during spring months. Source: University of Missouri Extension Service





Search Site by Story Keywords



Related Stories



May 26, 2019, 3:08 pm PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.