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post #1 of 75 Old 03-22-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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If you want a nice lawn

We've got sunshine today and I've mowed some already. It's time to fertilize the lawn. I'm certain that most of you are aware of the three numbers on the bag of fertilizer. When it comes to grass, the first number is the only one I consider. That's the nitrogen content. You cannot beat Scotts turf builder for quality and if you've a very small lot, you might want to consider that product. It's so slow to release, that it's hard to burn your lawn with it.

I've got 12 acres, though, and for the portions of it that I fertilize, Scotts fertilizer would break the bank. As I've stated many times, I'm cheap, so I want my dollar to go as far as it will. I just got back from the Co-op where I buy all my feed and my fertilizer. I picked up six bags of nitrogen 46-0-0. That's 46 % nitrogen. Nitrogen causes the grass to grow quicker, taller, and greener. That's all I've looking for fertilizer to do. I paid $13.66/bag. You might think "That's not such a good deal". But hear the rest of the story! Scotts fertilizer ranges from the 20's to the 30's in nitrogen percentage and is happy to sell you a 20 pound bag. This 46% bag of nitrogen weights in at 50 pounds. It's derived from bovine urea (that's cow pee) and is relatively fast release. So, what I do is spread at a lesser rate but do it more often.

I'm guesstimating that I fertilize five to six acres total of my twelve acres. You know, the frontage, along the road leading to the house and then around the house and other out buildings. Think about the volume of product, and the strength of it and then the price. Wow! How could you possibly go wrong.

Please give me your comments.
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post #2 of 75 Old 03-22-2019, 04:44 PM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

That's a pretty good plan and helpful to know. I ran into some severe issues last year when the state and town finally got to a finishing point on the road in front of my house. For a period of over two (2) years I had allowed my front yard to be used as the construction do anything site. That included crushing stone, gravel, sheds, heavy equipment, trees, culvert, valves and anything else to do with the project.

Needless to say my yard and the trees in it were destroyed. To that end the state contractor came in and simply put 2" of poor quality loam down and then hydro seeded. I don't have enough time to tell you about my many conversations with the state and the town, but in the end 10" of quality screened loam and quality hydro seed were applied.

Now before the town dropped the loam I used my 30 tiller to till the entire 1/2 acre front lawn down to a depth of 6". Then came the 10" of loam, then I tilled again, spread the loam a bit more, and then the hydro seed again.

The result has been that grass started covering the yard just before the first snow and cold weather set in. I was pleased with the results and am looking forward to this year and having a full spring/fall cycle to develop the lawn.

The next steps to be taken, once we have a steady temp above 50%, will be to sweep, slit aerate, seed, fertilize, and then roll the yard.
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post #3 of 75 Old 03-22-2019, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

I'm sorry to hear that mess. "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help" comes to mind. I think I'd have settled for MONEY. That way it would get done to my satisfaction. As long as they'd pick up their junk, I'd take care of the rest. I've got 1000 feet of road frontage on a State Highway and I've had people pull off the road onto it with car trouble. If we've had a LOT of rain, they'll make ruts and I take a heavy tractor just before it dries out completely and roll the big back tires over to level it.

But generally, unless the people have an absolute vehicle failure, they see that its not just a bushhogged field and they'll stay off.

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, liquid cooled!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #4 of 75 Old 03-22-2019, 08:14 PM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

I don't have a massive yard, so I use Scotts. It is expensive, but I know it works! I use the crabgrass stuff twice in the spring, then 32-0-4 turfbuilder after that. The turfbuilder I get comes in 42lb. bags. Last fall Walmart clearanced their remaining 42lb. bags of turfbuilder for $19.99/bag. Needless to say, I bought them ALL. The stuff is usually $45.00/bag out the door. I'm set for awhile!

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post #5 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 07:33 AM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

OP,

You have opened up a really big topic, i.e. fertilizers.

By rights one really should do soil analysis to see where it is at and where it needs to be. Last year after taking samples I bought a pallet of fertilizer containing phosphorus due to clients lawns and my own being deficient. The Govt. has taken this necessary ingredient out of fertilizer for normal consumers. Phosphorus promotes root growth and makes turf much healthier. The results were very good.

Generally straight urea 46-0-0 is not spread, it is sprayed in fairly diluted rates but frequently, i.e. golf courses. Growth is very short lived but works extremely well. If you really want incredibly green grass, mix in some iron in the spray and within a day grass will an unreal shade of green.

What I can tell you is you get what you pay for in fertilizer. It all boils down to the rate of release, a good portion of your nitrogen is lost through leaching and volatilization. Rate of release is controlled by coatings, they types are:

1. Sulphur coated, not ideal but better than none.
2. PCSCU, Poly coated sulphur coated urea. Much better as it has a much more predictable breakdown rate.
3. Rxn, This is not coated at all, but the nitrogen is stabilized to avoid leaching and volatilization. This gives a good 6-8 weeks of slow release.


http://www.ecgrow.com/userfiles/file...eet/rxn_ss.pdf


I use a LOT of 33-0-5 W/2% Iron. Have had really good results for years. This is the biggest seller of the vendor I deal with and is what the golf courses use. Golf courses don't buy cheap fertilizer.

Here is my yard and it gets a good 100 trips a year through it with truck and trailer hauling wood.
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post #6 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Years ago, with a forty foot lot, I controlled the types of grasses I had in the yard. Now, with acreage, I've taken my Dad's view (He was an old farmboy), "If it's green, mow it". I'm only particular about dandelions up close to the house, next to the road coming up to the house, and the frontage (about 1/2 acre) that everybody sees when they drive by. However, I have all kinds of different grasses and weeds but when mowed all to the same height, it looks great and the nitrogen feeds everything.....yes, even the lions! During the spring, when dandylions are most active, I mix up some weed-be-gone by Ortho or equivalent broadleaf control in the backpack sprayer. I do one side of the road on my way to the frontage. After the frontage, I get the other side of the road on my way back. I then refill the sprayer and walk around the house, cabin and out buildings. I do this for about two weeks. It does not eradicate them but makes the property look so much better.

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In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, liquid cooled!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #7 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 09:50 AM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

I had good success with Milorganite last year, and in the fall I dethatched, aerated, limed, overseeded and fertilized. This year I want to tackle crabgrass so I plan to use, lime, Halts and a light aeration early.


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post #8 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 10:31 AM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
I had good success with Milorganite last year, and in the fall I dethatched, aerated, limed, overseeded and fertilized. This year I want to tackle crabgrass so I plan to use, lime, Halts and a light aeration early.

Sorry to be critical but often I just ask "why"?

When I was in College I worked 10 years on golf courses and now have a small chemical application business spraying herbicides and fertilizing. So based on my limited experience:

- Dethatching isn't done on golf courses but it is a excellent way to get weed seeds and crabgrass into the soil to germinate.
- Lime should only be used if soil PH requires adjustment
- Aeration will defeat the pre emergence chemical in Halts (Pendamethalin) by breaking through the barrier it provides. Keep in mind the active ingredient is good for approx 60-90 days.


If you are using a pre emergent, Pendamethalin, Diopthor or Prodiamine, (my preference) make sure you get it on before soil temps hit 60 degrees 3 days in a row. Also mow as high as you can, 3.5-4" and keeps soil cooler. Crabgrass is opportunistic, It germinates all season long. You may need to re apply if pressure is high.

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post #9 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
I had good success with Milorganite last year, and in the fall I dethatched, aerated, limed, overseeded and fertilized. This year I want to tackle crabgrass so I plan to use, lime, Halts and a light aeration early.
How's the cost of Milorganite nowadays?? Make certain you wash anything that come into contact with it. After all, it's re-purposed human manure! I knew a gal who used it 30 years ago in her vegetable garden. She had green bean that were a foot long!!! I certainly wouldn't want to eat one, though. Ha!

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, liquid cooled!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #10 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 11:54 AM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

I have rhyzoming tall fescue in my yard, zone 5 climate. I aerate in the spring, then apply Scotts w/halts in April. I do a second application of halts mid to late May. Then I do Scotts 32-0-4 turf builder once a month after that. I occasionally spray for fungus. I'm happy with the results I get. Chemicals help a bunch, but watering is key.
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post #11 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 01:15 PM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by c5rulz View Post
Sorry to be critical but often I just ask "why"?

When I was in College I worked 10 years on golf courses and now have a small chemical application business spraying herbicides and fertilizing. So based on my limited experience:

- Dethatching isn't done on golf courses but it is a excellent way to get weed seeds and crabgrass into the soil to germinate.
- Lime should only be used if soil PH requires adjustment
- Aeration will defeat the pre emergence chemical in Halts (Pendamethalin) by breaking through the barrier it provides. Keep in mind the active ingredient is good for approx 60-90 days.


If you are using a pre emergent, Pendamethalin, Diopthor or Prodiamine, (my preference) make sure you get it on before soil temps hit 60 degrees 3 days in a row. Also mow as high as you can, 3.5-4" and keeps soil cooler. Crabgrass is opportunistic, It germinates all season long. You may need to re apply if pressure is high.
You know, I never had a dethatcher until I got the fancy Deere one at a could-not-pass-up deal for $25. I guess I dethatch now because I can. I always aerate and prep the soil first, Halts goes down last, and it is amazing that if you disturb the soil at all while protected by Halts, crab grass will grow on that spot in just a few days. I guess that's how you know it's working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
How's the cost of Milorganite nowadays?? Make certain you wash anything that come into contact with it. After all, it's re-purposed human manure! I knew a gal who used it 30 years ago in her vegetable garden. She had green bean that were a foot long!!! I certainly wouldn't want to eat one, though. Ha!
Milorganite is about $12 a 46 lb. bag, and if you follow the prescribed dosing it could get real expensive. Walmart had the stuff listed with free shipping last spring. I bought 6 bags which arrived over a 3 day period and the "free shipping" offer was hastily removed from the web site! I usually buy a few bags at a time and spread them out on the lawn. Seemed to work last year.


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post #12 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
Milorganite is about $12 a 46 lb. bag, and if you follow the prescribed dosing it could get real expensive. Walmart had the stuff listed with free shipping last spring. I bought 6 bags which arrived over a 3 day period and the "free shipping" offer was hastily removed from the web site! I usually buy a few bags at a time and spread them out on the lawn. Seemed to work last year.
Great price!

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, liquid cooled!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #13 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 04:42 PM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggsteve View Post
Milorganite is about $12 a 46 lb. bag, and if you follow the prescribed dosing it could get real expensive. Walmart had the stuff listed with free shipping last spring. I bought 6 bags which arrived over a 3 day period and the "free shipping" offer was hastily removed from the web site! I usually buy a few bags at a time and spread them out on the lawn. Seemed to work last year.
46# bags Walmart online are $35-50, but all free shipping.

https://www.walmart.com/search/?quer...ypeahead=milor

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post #14 of 75 Old 03-23-2019, 04:50 PM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Too much nitrogen with a lot of rain ( or over watering) will cause red thread...which becomes difficult to get rid of...you need something also with iron and potassium to help protect against heat and bugs ...pre emergent crabgrass preventer by Memorial day and then good fertilizer...there is no question that Scotts, despite its prices has the best seeds and fertilizers
The only producer of milorganite is the Sewage district of Milwaukee...but it is organic

Last edited by MARK (LI); 03-23-2019 at 05:02 PM.
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post #15 of 75 Old 03-24-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re: If you want a nice lawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARK (LI) View Post
Too much nitrogen with a lot of rain ( or over watering) will cause red thread...which becomes difficult to get rid of...you need something also with iron and potassium to help protect against heat and bugs ...pre emergent crabgrass preventer by Memorial day and then good fertilizer...there is no question that Scotts, despite its prices has the best seeds and fertilizers
The only producer of milorganite is the Sewage district of Milwaukee...but it is organic

I disagree. The cure for Red Thread is APPLICATION OF SMALL DOSES OF NITROGEN.

I get Red Thread in my yard and my clients. I tell them not to worry about it and the fungicides to abate are not worth the money. The key is healthy turf that will just outgrow the fungal infection and good time release fertilizer is the answer.

Another note I see a lot in irrigated yard is over use of small amounts of water.

Modern golf course management for care of turf, especially bentgrass on greens is NOT TO WATER AT ALL, especially in the early season. Not watering stresses the turf and drives the roots deeper, i.e. healthier. So when the stress of Summer comes the deep root structure is better able to handle the heat. Then irrigation is a wonderful thing, but it should not be used until it is needed. In Wisconsin, often this is not till July.

https://www.extension.purdue.edu/ext...P/BP-104-W.pdf

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