Sod farm is telling me I should have fertilized in early Spring?

BarnAnimals(7)April 18, 2012

I maintain my daughters 1 year old sodded lawn. It is coming out of dormancy very slowly, to the point that I think the remaining brown grass is dead, considering all the lawns around her have been totally green for over a month now. The lawn has only had some Milorganite this year. At certain angles it appears all green, at other angles you can see a lot of brown, like a brown undertone. If you are on top of it and look straight down, you see a lot of brown. The edges near the road and drive are green and areas towards the center have the brown. The local sod farm says that I should have fertilized in early Spring. They say the brown is dormant grass, I say it looks dead to me. Fertilizing in early Spring goes against everything I read on here.

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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

What kind of sod do you have? If it's zoysia, do you know the variety, like Meyer, Empire, El Toro, Belaire, Palisades, Emerald.

If it's zoysia, it need to be cut low compared to cool season grasses, otherwise it will produce lotsa thatch. It will also thin out if cut as high as the cool season grasses. Do you know what height you cut the lawn at last season, say 2 inches, 3 inches, or some other height?

To measure your lawn mower's blade height at each setting, you'll need to place an index card (or something similarly short) under the deck. A 12-inch ruler is too tall to place under the mower's deck. Then mark with a pen where the blade reaches on the index card. Make sure the index card is as perpendicular to the ground as possible--in other words, the card should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground.

After you use the pen to mark the blade's height on the index card, place the card on a table, and use a ruler to measure the distance to the mark on the card from the card's edge. That will give you your mower's blade height for each wheel setting. I measured all 9 of my wheel settings :-)

What state are you in for Zone 7?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:00PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

By the way, if you don't happen to know the variety of Zoysia or Bermuda you have, just call the sod farm you bought it from.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:03PM
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oceanfrank(9)

Here is some more reading for you.....

Sounds like Zoysia so depending on the cultivar it can come in 1-2 months after several other grasses and you don't fertilize Zoysia until it is 50-75% green anyway otherwise you waste some of the nitrogen. Since you are using 100% slow release, hopefully you will not loose as much as synthetic.

Did you do a Soil test? How do you know the ratio of fertilizer to use and at what rate if you didn't? Nobody can tell you this without a soil test. If the soil is nitrogen rich then 5-2-0 works or maybe you need 39-0-0 (slow release), or a 29-0-10 (50% slow release) The soil test will tell all. You can simply go to ACE Hardware or Amazon to get an over the counter soil test $10. It is a less accurate a test than an extension, but gives you a start.

Good Luck

Brown Grass
http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/why-grass-stays-brown.html

Fertilizer 101
http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/lawn-fertilizers.html
http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/fertilizer-numbers.html
http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/chemical-fertilizer.html

Fertizlier Calculator:
http://aggie-turf.tamu.edu/aggieturf2/calculators/fertsheet.html

Tips if it is Zoysia Grass (know your cultivar)
http://aggieturf.tamu.edu/answers4you/mowing.html

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:17PM
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BarnAnimals(7)

It is tall fescue

Sent in a soil test and results were good. Soil test guidelines said to fertilize three times in the fall, gave specifice numbers, and said that I do not need anything right now.

Installed Spring 2011, fertilized once in September after the heat broke and put down Urea in December. Milorganite mid March and mid April. Always water 1" a week, etc...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 7:27PM
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john_in_sc

?..
in most of Zone 7... Fescue doesn't turn brown in the winter... Not a good sign...

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:02PM
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BarnAnimals(7)

Fescue definitely can and will turn brown in Central and Northern Maryland in winter. Some of it or most of it, that depends, but even in the mildest of winters, there is always some brown.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 9:51PM
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ZoysiaSod(6a/6b St.Lou TranZone)

Do you know what variety of tall fescue it is? It's not K-31 is it? Your sod farm should know if you're not sure. Maybe they have several varieties of tall fescue in your sod.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:29PM
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BarnAnimals(7)

Durablend Tall Fescue from Central Sod in Maryland

From the website:

"All of our Durablend Tall Fescue is Maryland Certified sod. Our seed mixture contains 10% Kentucky Bluegrass and 90% Tall Fescue"

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:48PM
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BarnAnimals(7)

It also says:

"Our Maryland Certified Durablend Tall Fescue has 90% Tall Fescue and 10% Kentucky Bluegrass. It will most likely have three varieties of Tall Fescue at 30% each. Our varieties in the mixture will change yearly as new and improved varieties come to the market. Please call our office for the variety we are currently harvesting."

    Bookmark   April 18, 2012 at 10:52PM
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reyesuela(z7a)

There wasn't enough snowfall last year, and even though the winter was warm, the fescue ALL went brown. In years with lots of snow, it stays green.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2012 at 10:34PM
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jeffwul

My fescue stayed green all winter. I use OM year round though, some of the coffee grounds were wet. Although, I'm right by the bay, it did brown some through the recent drought

    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 8:13AM
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