46-0-0 Urea application and timing instructions

johngood5(7)November 16, 2011

This will be my first time using 46-0-0 Urea. Lawn is tall fescue.

I have read on here that Thanksgiving weekend is usually around the right time to apply it but that is not very specific. The lawn has not grown for 14 days, the temperatures are still mild here in Maryland, and I can see the blades of grass beginning to go dormant. I have read on here to apply it about 2 weeks before the ground freezes and after there is no more top growth. The lawn has already met one of those two criteria.

I have read a lot of warnings about burning the grass with Urea. I plan to only apply 1lb per 1,000 sq ft on dry grass during a cool, cloudy day, with a broadcast spreader. Then I plan to immediately water the lawn with about 1" of water.

Any tips or advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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Yes, winterizer should be applied when top growth has stopped, but the ground isn't frozen. This usually means soil temps are below 50 degrees. Fertilizer burn is more of a concern when it's warmer, but you should definitely water it in, but it's not like a game of beat the clock. You probably want to apply two pounds of fertilizer per 1000 since urea is 46 percent available nitrogen.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 11:50PM
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How long before kids and pets can walk on the lawn?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 4:31PM
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Give the lawn about 1/2" of water - then they can go on the lawn.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 6:47AM
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I just spread some 46-0-0 and followed it up with a nice blast of iron and my lawn is by far the greenest in the neighborhood. Not really sure if the deep green color is attributed to the UREA or the IRON. But man my lawn is greener now than its ever been.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 5:47PM
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UPDATE*** I put the Urea down the first week of December and followed the guidelines. The ground froze slightly for a few nights in mid to late December but we were slammed with a warm winter after that. My lawn is fully awake now and it is MUCH thinner. What was once a plush 1.2 acres of amazing green goodness, is a weak thinned out lawn with green grass blades mixed with a lot of brown dead blades. Much of the brown that I thought was just dormant over the winter never turned green.

I think the Urea application burned up a lot of the grass. Looks like I need to hope for very little trouble from weeds over the next 5 months and shoot for a fall overseeding.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2012 at 4:44PM
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So what do you all think after the update?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 12:11AM
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any input?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 10:58PM
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46-0-0 is roughly double the nitrogen of what you'd find in other fertilizers, so it is important that you use less if you want to avoid burn. You can always add more fertilizer later, so it is easiest to err on the underside - remember, nobody is routinely applying fertilizer in nature, but the plants seem to do just fine . . .

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 1:45PM
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If you really want to use 46-0-0 on your lawn and don't want to burn it, get a bag of 46-0-0 with Uflexx and apply it at 3 lbs (actual product) per 1k sq ft.

If you didn't fertilize in the Fall and your lawn is pale green right now, you can use 21-0-0 for quick green up and up to 5 weeks of beautiful green color.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:26PM
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How does Uflexx prevent burn? I thought its formulation only reduced volitization and nitrification.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 10:28AM
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Green... Only thing you care about? "Quick" green? "Green" does NOT equate to healthy and anyone that has an iota of brain matter on this board will attest to that. But, if you're in the habit of wasting money on urea for a fast "green" lawn, that will fail on you unless you continue to dump chems and ferts, enjoy burning your cash. Try some pellets. Cheap, easy, and they work without stressing your grass or your soil's microbes (that you kill using urea). They also add some org matter. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:02AM
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Will not burn if apply according to label. I have used it with great success and have not burn one blade of grass.

This is a slow release 46-0-0 due to Uflexx, VERY different from the regular 46-0-0.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:38AM
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A couple of things came to mind when I saw this board.

First, Tall Fescue does remain green year round, but it isn't actively growing year round. The Nitrogen is used by the plant for chlorophyll, protein production, etc., but is only going to be absorbed during times of active growth when soil temperatures are 60-75 degrees. So, applying high Nitrogen fertilizer when the ground is frozen won't help the turf.

Second, 46-0-0 urea is usually mixed into a solution and sprayed. For example, I will be mixing it with 0-0-62 and a pre-emergent this Spring. This allows me to deliver a balanced fertilization and a pre-emergent at the same time.

The balance in Spring is usually a 2-1 ratio of Nitrogen to Potash delivering 1# of N and 1/2# of K. Also, try to find a slow-release mix as you don't want your Nitrogen level fluxuating dramatically between applications.

I recommend going with a lower Nitrogen count, such as 16-0-8 w/minors (2-1 ratio and usually 30% slow release). Over Nitrogen use actually depletes the carbohydrate reserves in the plant as the growth surges and it struggles to keep up. A steady growth with a good balance of nutrients will give you better color and more importantly, lasting color.

I put a link to a picture of a Tall Fescue lawn I started last Spring. The neighbor had a service that was aggressive in Spring with a lot of N, while my service focuses on nutrient balance and soil structure. The picture is from late June and the lawn does not have an irrigation system. The homeowner just figured we were getting more rain than usual; in actuality we had less during that Spring and Summer than we had since the 2007 drought. in Atlanta.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 4:02AM
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