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Winter fertilizer

Posted by hogan_nj nj (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 23, 09 at 20:29

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Winter fertilizer

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

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

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

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

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?

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

>"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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

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?

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

RE: Winter fertilizer

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?

RE: Winter fertilizer

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.

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