Winter fertilizer

hogan_njOctober 23, 2009

What should I use for a winterizer and when should I apply?

I have a new front lawn and a older established back yard,should I use the same for both?

The landscaper that did my new lawn did fert. about two weeks ago and I think he used a starter fert.

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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

High number, fast release nitrogen, applied after top growth has stopped for a week two or three, but before ground is frozen.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:22PM
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hogan_nj

Thanks Gary. My front lawn is new and looking good. The landscaper applied starter fert when he seeded back in sept. About 6 weeks later he fert again (I think with a slow release high nitrogen fert.).

He said I was good for the year now. What do you think could i apply the winterizer this year(the one you recommended)or not. Just don't want to over fert. but also want an early and healthy green up next year.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:00AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

I like the fast release of straight, un-coated urea for fall, once top growth has stopped, since it dissolves quickly and is absorbed rapidly as the weather turns to frosts and or hard freezes. Since it is too cold for any top growth, all that nitrogen is stored within the root system as carbohydrates all winter long. Come spring, you allow the grass to green up naturally with the warming weather, except you are the first to green up on the block because of all those stored carbohydrates from the nitrogen.

Please see links for references.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2005/octf1024.htm

http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/4DMG/Lawns/mythwint.htm

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/scene3de4.html

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:56PM
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hogan_nj

Where can I buy un-coated urea? Also how much per 1000 sq ft?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:55AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Hogan, like any fertilizer, your goal is to apply one pound of nitrogen per every thousand square feet.

For about $22, Lesco and the farm supply places sell generic brown paper 50Lb bags of urea. It is 46-0-0. This bag will cover 23,000 square feet, when applying 1Lb of nitrogen per 1000 ft2. (.46 X's 50 = 23Lbs of actual nitrogen within the bag itself. The other 27Lbs of product is just the carrier for application purposes)

You have to look at labels on the commercial fertilizer bags. They all are required to show the nitrogen break down. Most nitrogen in commercially sold fertilizers have some kind of coating, a time released formula if you will. Straight urea has none.

This link explains that.

Characteristics of Nitrogen (N) Fertilizers

If I remember correctly, the last time I checked this Vigoro product at Home Depot Click here - Vigoro Super Green it was uncoated urea. Take a look at the label the next you are there after you read the link above about nitrogen and can then recognize the names used.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 1:17PM
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saabman

Of course, I just applied the slow release Scotts 22-0-5. Vigoro or a quick release next year will be what I do.

But, since it seems most here suggest the last fert should be 44-0-0 (or there abouts) can't I just do my 22-0-5 a second time at the same setting to get the 44N?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 9:33PM
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organicnoob

It doesn't matter what the numbers on the bag are, you just want to make sure to get 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:26PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"Of course, I just applied the slow release Scotts 22-0-5."

Where are you located? I'm zone 5 also in Chicago. I may be mowing on Thanksgiving.
The key to last feeding is fast release nitrogen is applied AFTER top growth has stopped for a week or two, but before the ground is frozen. Then the N is not used, but rather stored as carbohydrates until spring.

>"can't I just do my 22-0-5 a second time at the same setting to get the 44N?"

No, you are misunderstanding the numbers.
My bag of 46-0-0 contains 46% nitrogen for every pound of product. OTOH your 22-0-5 contains 22% nitrogen in every pound of product. Whether you buy a 2Lb bag or a ton of these fertilizers the percentage of nitrogen 'per pound' of product doesn't change. It's no different than a pint of 2% milk or a gallon, it's still 2% fat content of the whole amount.

What changes is the amount of total product applied over 1000 ft2.

To apply 1Lb of N over 1000 ft2 with 46-0-0 you drop 2.17Lbs of product.
To apply 1Lb of N over 1000 ft2 with 22-0-5 you drop 4.54Lbs of product.

What noob stated "you just want to make sure to get 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft" .... I would add - which you do when you follow the manufactures spreader settings, which are designed to drop 1Lb of N per 1000 ft2.

In your case, you dropped (give or take) 4.5454Lbs per 1000 ft2 because each pound of product contained 22% N - or about 3.5oz.

However, since straight urea is a professional product shipped in a generic brown paper bag, it has no spreader settings. Homeowners just set their spreader near the lowest setting possible and wing it. If nothing seems to be coming out you have two choices. Make multiple passes or open it up another notch. Since you are applying so close to winter, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to stripping or burning. Also - if you end up applying .89Lbs or 1.27Lbs / 1000ft2 due to the spreader - so be it, that's close enough (just like a pro) ... call it a year.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 1:55AM
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saabman

re: garyinchicago comments

thanks for the help on the numbers. Not as confused . . . I think.

I do the fed holiday fert schedule so I did what I thought was my final one last week. I figured with the 2 hard frosts we had my grass would grow no more but what I getting from you is that the ground won't freeze till late Nov. Is it okay to do the 46-0-0 at that time or should I call it a fert season?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:40AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Every year is different, saab. Let the grass tell you not the calendar. A frost won't stop growth, but it sure slows it. Growth stops when you get a hard freeze.

Use the bag on your mower for a pass, then look what's inside. If you are only mulching leafs - it's getting to be time for the last drop before everything freezes up.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 11:23PM
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albany1(5)

So the trick of winter fertilizing(zone 5) is when there is no more growth
But the ground is not yet frozen,true?
We had a freeze but grass seems to still be growing..
What to do?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 7:35AM
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morpheuspa

When it stops growing, before ground freeze and/or winter dormancy (if your lawn goes winter dormant, mine doesn't tend to).

We've also had a frost here, but the grass won't even notice that. Growth continues well after first frost and first freeze, frequently for me right up until we're getting freezes every night and days are in the low fifties.

In this case, just let the growth rates be your guide. When it stops, winterize.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2014 at 1:36PM
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MBinNY

"Since you are applying so close to winter, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to stripping or burning"

-Is this true? I'm still learning but thought urea had to be used with discretion and watered in afterward. I assume late fall applications are much different than other times of the year. Just put down urea in the approximate concentration of 1lb N/1000ft and I will be good?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 1:46PM
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ForsheeMS(Lexington, NC)

"Is this true? I'm still learning but thought urea had to be used with discretion and watered in afterward. I assume late fall applications are much different than other times of the year. Just put down urea in the approximate concentration of 1lb N/1000ft and I will be good?"

You need to water it in with at least 1/4" of water whether it's rainfall or sprinkler. In late fall when temps are cool there is almost no chance of burning providing you get a good even application.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 2:28PM
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morpheuspa

I do tend to drop winterizer just before a rainfall (not difficult, as a general rule).

If it doesn't rain...well, I tend to ignore it. The next one will get it, and at those temperatures (and my pH), outgassing will be minimal.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 2:36PM
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tdhawks

Gary -

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I wanted to confirm what you are saying -

"For about $22, Lesco and the farm supply places sell generic brown paper 50Lb bags of urea. It is 46-0-0. This bag will cover 23,000 square feet, when applying 1Lb of nitrogen per 1000 ft2. (.46 X's 50 = 23Lbs of actual nitrogen within the bag itself. The other 27Lbs of product is just the carrier for application purposes)"

You are saying, the full 50lbs. bag contains only 23lbs of actual nitrogen, even though it states it covers 23,000 square feet. My lawn is 4600 sq ft, would I then need 2 bags of this to get my 46 lbs. of nitrogen needed, even though it would then cover 46,000 sq. ft. when my yard is only 4600.

Am I reading this wrong? Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2014 at 8:56PM
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morpheuspa

I'm pretty sure Gary de-camped a long time ago.

The target is 1 pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet, so your 4600 square feet would require 4.6 pounds of nitrogen, or about a fifth of the bag that would cover 23,000 square feet.

If you were to target 10 pounds of N, you'd kill the lawn.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 10:10AM
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tdhawks

I totally misread it. . You are right. Thanks.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 10:39AM
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