ricks2524September 25, 2011

Hello everyone. I slice seeded my lawn 3 weeks ago and with the rain and cool weather it is doing great. My question is when should I fertilize with a winter application or should I do it?at all? I live in Zone 6 S/W Ohio

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Absolutely fertilize. Fall is the most important time to fertilize. Typically once around Labor Day timeframe and again in November. 1lb of actual nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. in the applications.

You should probably apply a starter fertilizer about now, then a more normal fertilizer in November.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 11:04AM
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Yes certainly apply a starter fertilizer NOW. Once the top growth slows down, then apply the winterizer but make sure that is before the ground freezes.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 8:29PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you are worried about timing for right NOW and having missed Labor Day, you can use organic fertilizer any day of the year, or every day of the year, and not affect your use of synthetic fertilizers. Definitely fertilize in late autumn, though. Thanksgiving is a good way to remember but sometimes T-day is freezing weather so watch the weather.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2011 at 2:54PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Bassplayer and Lawngeek both recommend starter ASAP. But I wonder how they know the OP's SW/Ohio's soil is in need of additional phosphorous?

New seedlings needs nitrogen.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 10:58PM
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My understanding is that it is important to the seedlings to have all the macro nutrients (NPK). If the OP didn't have a chance to get his soil tested, it is a way to play it safe, and, since it's just one application after or before seeding it shouldn't have a huge impact on the ultimate health.

Obviously a soil test would be the best way to tell exactly what is needed. The starter fertilizer is a good way to insure that seedlings get all three macros and that the nutrients are readily available to the new plants. JMHO

    Bookmark   October 4, 2011 at 9:00AM
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First of all, yes, fertilize right now. I've always heard it's important to fertilize in the fall. But I have a question about that:

A neighbor of mine is a Turf Farmer and he says that fertilizing during the winter is the trick to a healthy lawn. He even recommended fertilizing a total of 3, maybe 4 times between the months of September and March. That seems a bit much to me. Your thoughts?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 3:01PM
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That makes sense - fertilize 3 or 4 times a year.

I don't fully understand your question though. It seems like he said that it's best to fertilize in the winter - would that be in addition to the 3 or 4 times between Sep. and March?

Especially for KBG 4x per year is recommended for high maintenance.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Sorry I wasn't very clear.
He says to fertilize 3-4 times during the winter months alone. Which to me, seems like a bit much but he would know better than I would.

Make sense?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Oh, I see. I got the months backwards. One wouldn't know for themselves unless they tried it, I guess. It would be interesting to hear the reasoning behind it though.

Interesting thought though. If you find out more, let us know.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 5:34PM
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garycinchicago - the reason I suggested starter is because OP does not have (in my opinion) enough time to wait for soil test results. I live in Ohio and in my area it usually takes a week for the extension office to get back to you.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Fertilizing in the winter may not be appropriate for some people. For example, if I put fertilizer on my lawn during the winter, it would be on top of several feet ofsnow.

If the grass is green and not snow covered and the soil isn't frozen, that's a different story.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 6:25PM
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Very good point bp. I hadn't directly thought of that. But one would have directly thought of it when they went out to push a spreader through 6+ inches of snow. LOL!

I agree with your comment.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Hi GaryinChicago,

I have been reading through this message board trying to understand how to properly fertilize the lawn and I found an old post by you that was very helpful. I printed it out. Thanks so much. Your advice was great. I am new to this, and honestly am learning as I go along, and your advice was just straight forward and to the point!
Here is the link http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lawns/msg0617110515212.html

I had another question... I live in Northern Utah and today we had our first snowfall. I already applied the winterizer. Was this wrong? I see people saying to wait until November, but we will have a ton of snow by then...

By the way, We have Kentucky Bluegrass lawn.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 10:38PM
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OldDucky--You're in Utah. Gary's in Chicago. If you had snow, you must be at a higher elevation than I because we've only had rain.

If you read my earlier comment, I pointed out that location and weather conditions are the drivers. Don't go by the calendar. Go by the weather and the lawn. Fertilize after the top growth has stopped, but while the grass is still green. Once it turns brown, it can't use the fertilizer.

On another point, it's very unlikely that you need to use a "winterizer" type of fertilizer. Nearly all Utah soils are high in P and K, so there's no need to buy starter, winterizer, etc. Always buy the cheapest source of nitrogen you can get. Usually, that's going to be urea or ammonium sulfate. Note that urea is usually something like 39%-46% N, while ammonium nitrate is usually 21% N, so you have to adjust the cost for the amount of N you're getting.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 12:21AM
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Hi BPGreen,

Thanks so much! Yes, we had quite a bit of snow yesterday. But, today, most has melted.

I didn't know that about the winterizer. The guy at Home Dept told me that I should get that to encourage the root growth? So, when I saw it at Costco, I went ahead and bought it. Next time though, I will look for something that is the cheapest source of nitrogen and go from there.

Also, do you think I should just go for products that just fertilize and not "weed and feed." We had some crabgrass, rag weed, dandelions, and some kind of weird clover stuff this year. I know that when the Spring rolls around again, I will need some kind of pre-emergent. Is there a product that will prevent crabgrass and all of these weeds next year? Or, do you apply a seperate crabgrass preventer, and then weed preventer? I'm so new to this, and am slowly trying to catch on. This Lawn Care board is really helpful to people like me. So, thanks for the help and advice!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:03PM
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I hope I'm not answering someone else's question. :)

Don't bother with weed and feed. It is better to fertilize first, then after the weeds are growing quickly, kill them.

Dimension is a very common pre-emergent that works well. It will prevent most grassy weeds and is readily available. For your broadleaf weeds you can use some like Weed-b-gon, or Trimec if you would like something a little stronger. You can spray next spring for them.
just my two cents

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 3:11PM
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I'm not a big fan of the weed and feed combo products. I think you're better off fertilizing, then applying weed killer a week or so later. The reason for that is that the weed killer works best on plants that are actively growing. Also, when you apply the weed killer, unless you have a terrible weed problem, you can just go around spot spraying where the weeds are rather than blanketing the entire lawn.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2011 at 9:13PM
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Thank you, BpGreen and Bassplayer. I really appreciate the help.

Bassplayer, you mentioned "Dimension" as a very common preemergent that works pretty well. Is the Dimension a spray, as well? Or, is it pellets that you spread with the spreader? Do you know the specific names? Sorry, I am just trying to get (and write down) products that I might look for at Home Depot, so I can be ready to go when it is time.

I was thinking of using some of the Scott's "Halts" (without fertilizer) in, or around, early April. And then maybe using some "Bayer all in one" in May to help control the dandelions and other things we had this year. And, fertilizing around this time also. Does that sound okay?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2011 at 8:27PM
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oddducky, you likely won't be able to find Dimension at HD. A local farm store or something like that may carry it. It is typically in granular form that is best applied with a broadcast spreader.

Your plan sounds like it should work. Typically one would apply Pre-M when the redbuds bloom and that seems to happen mid-April. You can apply the Bayer whenever you start noticing weeds show up (provided conditions are right). I'm not sure about your area, but dandelions are usually pretty quick to get started.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:52AM
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Hi Bassplayer,

Thanks so much! You know, I would Google "Dimension" and I could never figure out which product it was. Thanks for clarifying!
Thanks again for all the help. Much appreciated. I am sure I will be back with more questions for all of you experienced folks!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 12:34PM
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Yes, hope it helps. Keep us updated on how it turns out.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 10:29AM
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