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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is time to get the yard ready for winter and get the winterizer out. We have 2.5 acres and only are mowing about 1.5 to 2 of those. Is it worth the money to buy scotts winterizer or should I check the local feed store for something cheaper? We are trying to get rid of the assorted weeds and crabgrass. What do you think????

:confused:
 

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Fertilizer

2 acres = 87,120 square feet. At 5000 squre feet a bag for Scotts, that's 17.424 bags. What does that stuff cost? $12 a bag? If so, that's $216 dollars. Ouch! What I would suggest (and what I did) is to buy a towable sprayer. You should be able to pick up one up at the local feed store for $250 or so. I got a 25 gallon one that actually mounts to the back of my tractor and has "booms" that go out to 90", and spray a 120" path. It has a 10' long spot sprayer as well so I can use it to spray just about anything I ever need to, i.e. spot treat weeds as I'm mowing. It is electric and connects to the tractor battery, so no more pumping for this boy! You can get some 2-4-D to broadcast spray for your weeds, and get some of the blue stain stuff so you can see where you've sprayed (same stuff the big boys and even the aerial guys use), and go for it. I spent a grand total of $40 in chemicals and still have some left over for the next application. And I have no weeds now and a relatively nice 1 1/2 acres of grass. I figure I will pay for the sprayer over using the bag stuff in the 2nd application.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fertilizer

I guess I should learn how to spell first!!! I have done the granular thing and am most comfortable with it. I really don't want to spend $200 bucks, but if that is what it is going to take then so be it.
 

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an organic alternative is CGM corn glutan meal, you are supposed to put it on 2 times a year and its about 5-7$ for a 50 LB Bag.

I tried it this year, reason: i have a pond with fish and did not want to risk killing the pond... the stuff worked OK i guess but it did nothing for crabgrass and dandelions...

sj
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have read a little bit about it on the other forum and the lawn site. They say it works well but may have some odor to it. The good thing is it won't hurt the kids or animals. I wonder just how much I would need for my place?????? Would the cost be the same when everything is all said and done???? I am leaning toward Scotts and just sucking up the cost. I have heard that Scotts is a good product and have used it before. I just worry about burning the grass if I get it on a little heavy!:eek:
 

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it was much less. Go to their lawn care forum on the other site and do a search for CGM. youll find tons of info..

I think it was 20 lbs for 1000 sq feet. the stuff is cheap, at a local feed store i paid 5-7$ for 50 lbs. i did not notice any smell.. but it does not do anything for weeds..
one more good thing is you only need to apply it 2 times per year...
 

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what grass do you want to keep?

What type of grass would you like to keep in your yard? Lots of herbicides are avaliable to kill certain things. I wouldn't fertilize in the fall because you will loose alot during the winter. Apply your fertilizer in the spring at the first sign of green-up. You could apply lime now as it takes a little longer to absorb into the soil. 2,4-d does work well an broadleaves and wild onions and garlic. MSMA will kill most grasses except bermuda. Plateau will kill most non-native grasses. If you want more details, tell me what you want to keep and what you would like to get rid of.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We have Bermuda, with the assorted weeds and pasture grass intrusions. Honestly I am not sue of the names of all of them but we have quit a few! We are surrounded by open fields on three sides. I was planning on putting down the Scotts winterizer blend in the next week or so. I may try spot treating the weeds next spring and see if that helps. I put down pre-emergent and the Scotts summer guard and that kept most of the little yellow flowers (dandelions) away but still have some weeds. The bottom line is keep the Bermuda and get rid of everything else. Kind of common sense I guess. What does anyone know about putting down irionite??? Is it a good idea, and does it work or hurt the grass?

:cool:

Thanks for the help!
 

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Re: what grass do you want to keep?

Originally posted by red-n-green
... I wouldn't fertilize in the fall because you will loose a lot during the winter. Apply your fertilizer in the spring at the first sign of green-up.....
Red-n-green....
That advice only works in certain areas of the country. In many "Northern" areas, and in my area especially, the Fall Fertilizer Application is the most important. Around here, if you can only fertilize once, do it in the fall, and use a blend that's lower on the first two numbers, and higher on the last.. In other words, a 5-10-20 is better than a 30-20-10

The potash helps to build strong roots for the winter, without all that nitrogen "jumpstarting" things just as the grass should be going dormant for 4-6 months.

In the north country, grass (predominantly Kentucky Blue and various types of Fescue) needs to be very strong to make it through the winter, with it's -40F temps, and it's 6' of snow ......

Tractorguy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Our grass is only dormant for a few months, then back to the mowing. We probably will have to mow until mid November and start again in April. That is just my guess. After Labor Day it got cool here. Our highest temp has been 88 or 89 if I remember right. I just want to stay ahead of the game with the yard. The folks that owned it last really didn't take care of it at all. I think the only reason they mowed it was so they could sell the property! We had quit a few weed and stickers, I have gotten rid of most of the stickers, I hope and am working on weeds!!! The worst of it is poison ivy, I got a mild case due to the weed wacker. I thought I was super man and got real dumb. Until I started itching and had to get some cream to make it go away!!! The Doctor laughed and confirmed “Yes that is Poison Ivy” :D
 

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fertilizer

Tractorguy,

My philosophy is that if I keep my soil in good shape I don't have to apply fall fertilizer. But I also don't worry about my yard because I raise hay. I will generally put about 400-200-200 an acre ( that comes out to about 1500lbs of actual fertilizer per acre) on my hay fields during the course of a year and the majority is put on in the spring. Yes you are correct about P and K helping promote strong root growth and resistance to disease but they also do many other things. But this should be done in plenty of time before the growth slows so the plants can take full advantage of the P and K as needed. Warm season grasses will not use enough of the P and K if applied now to do a whole lot of good unless you are pretty far south. And yes, certain cool season grasses could use a dose of P and or K in the fall, but should be applied at least a month before growth is expected to slow. Most growth slows enough in the fall to not warrant nitrogen application. One thing you do when you apply fall nitrogen is feed the winter weeds that most are trying to get rid of. A soil test should be used to see what is needed. I am not trying to start an arguement, this is just how I see things. And no, I don't have to worry about 40 below temps and 6 feet of snow because I am in Tn.

And about only fertilizing once, are you saying that its better to fertilize in the fall when most of it won't be utilized by the grass? If you fertilize in the spring, the plants have all summer to get deep roots and good disease resistance when there is plenty of rain and warm temps to help promote good growth. I have to respectfully disagree with your statement. And if you apply the correct amount in the spring, a good healthy, thick lawn will help choke out unwanted weeds.

Well, my fingers are getting tired, so I will let you respond before I go on.

Thanks for the good discussion,
Jay
 

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We live in different worlds....

Originally posted by red-n-green
My philosophy is that if I keep my soil in good shape I don't have to apply fall fertilizer
Originally posted by red-n-green
And about only fertilizing once, are you saying that its better to fertilize in the fall when most of it won't be utilized by the grass?

Many people support your idea in quote #1 above, but around here, Winter lasts 5-6 months, and is VERY hard on grass, so a shot of winter "K" fertilizer helps harden the roots before winter.

Yes also to quote Number 2, at least in my area.... Although the second partnof your quote ("most of it won't be utilized") certainly isn't true here.

I don't know what your conditions are out there in Oklahoma, but I think part of the problem is perspective...., Stewart is saying that after Labor Day, it cools down to 88 or 89F..... That' still pretty warm to me!

When it cools down after Labor Day around here, we have nights in the 20's and Days in the 50's or 60's....

By mid-October, it'll be below freezing more of the time, and by December it'll be below ZERO much of the time.

Our grass is a different type, with different fertilizer requirements... What seems odd to you is perfectly sensible to people around here, and is in fact NECESSARY to have a lawn next spring.

Have you ever had your entire lawn DEAD in the spring, and need to be replanted? It happens here about once every 5-6 year, because some winters are that severe.

Around here, Fertilizing is MOST important in the Fall, and the (optional) spring application of a high Nitrogen fetilizer is far less necessary....
 

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I agree TractorGuy, here in North Carolina we recommend fertilizing especially in the fall and reseeding then also. The grass is always greener in the spring and has a healthier root system because of the head start. Most grasses planted here in the spring often need to be redone in the fall because the root system isn't good enough unless you plant in the fall.
 

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fetilizer

Tractorguy,

An early fall shot of K will help better than a winter shot, the grass should be growing to get the affect of helping the grass get good roots. Dormant grass does not grow and to get good strong roots the grass should be growing. If you don't put down K till winter, it will not be utilized until next spring when grass growth begins. If you think that is not true, show me some scientific proof! And about the temps being 88 or 89, that would be during the day. Our temps in NW TN are often that high too, but drop down in the 50's at night. When the soil temps drop down below 65 to 70 degrees, warm season grasses slow down tremendously.

No, I have never had my yard dead in the spring, nor have I had any of my numerous hayfields dead either. And that is because I apply spring fetrilizer and give the grass all summer to get strong roots. The only thing I apply in the fall is lime. That is because it can take several months for lime to be absorbed into notill ground. I will also put down K on cool season grasses "wheat, rye, and fescue" when they are planted. But no N and P until spring. When you put down fall N, you are just feeding the winter weeds and grasses that you don't want.

I make half of my living farming, and if there were advantages of fall fertilization, I would be doing it. And the numbers you talked about applying "5-10-20 or 30-20-10" are way smaller than I can comprehend. The lightest amount I ever put on anything is a 100-50-50. And if I do that, it's because I will spread the same amount 2 or 3 more times throughout the summer. A 100-50-50 is 394lbs of actual fertizer per acre. If you want grass to grow, give it plenty of food.

And Amicks,

You said the reason why spring planted grass does not do well, that's because cool season grasses need to be planted in the fall unless they are irrigated heavily. And sometimes this still is not enough for them to make it. Cool season grasses go almost dormant in the dead of the summer and it's not because of fertilizer, its because that's how they grow. I wouldn't waste my time and money planting cool season grass in the spring of warm season grass in the fall. It just doesn't work out ofthen enough to pay.

I am not trying to make you change you habits because it's not my place, I am just trying to make you understand my point of view.

Jay
 

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Fertilizing in Wisconsin....

Originally posted by red-n-green
Tractorguy,

An early fall shot of K will help better than a winter shot, the grass should be growing to get the affect of helping the grass get good roots. Dormant grass does not grow and to get good strong roots the grass should be growing. If you don't put down K till winter, it will not be utilized until next spring when grass growth begins.


I am not trying to make you change you habits because it's not my place, I am just trying to make you understand my point of view.

Jay
red-n-green-
I guess you don't understand what I was saying.... When I talked about Winter Fertilizer, I meant that I apply P & K about Mid-September, as it will help the roots harden before winter. We usually have growing grass until mid-late October, then it starts to go dormant... If we don't have snow yet, it'll just sit there without growing until the ground freezes OR it gets covered by snow. When the snow melts in the spring (sometime between March & May), the grass is usually dead looking, but IF I'VE FERTILIZED IN THE FALL, the roots are very much alive, and green grass comes up by Memorial Day. If I haven't bothered to fertilize, It had better have been a mild winter, or everything will be DEAD! Obviously, my definition of Mild Winter would be different than yours, because of our Geographic Distance.

As for your 100-50-50 Fertilizer... I've never heard of a blend that high, and it would be cost prohibitive too, I suppose. I generally use about 40 lbs per acre, and the bill for that is about $50.00. I can't imagine using 394, as you do. I doubt the DNR would even let me .... as that would cause pollution of our water supply. I actually use fertilizer sparingly, as the shot of P & K about now will make my grass healthy when I next see it in March or April.


I'm sure you are a terrific farmer, but conditions here are different then wher you live... Here's a few examples of our differences ...

YOU--"When the soil temps drop down below 65 to 70 degrees, warm season grasses slow down tremendously. "

Me -- My soil temps are only above 65-70 dergrees for July & August!!! In the spring, my grass greens up as soon as it's above 50 degrees, and we plant the garden at 55.... After Warming to 65-70 in mid-summer, the temps are already falling by Labor Day... Today, it's 41 degees and raining outside. I imagine the soil temp is still in the upper 40's, but by late October, the ground could be frozen. As you see, we have an entirely different situation than you.


YOU--"I apply spring fetrilizer and give the grass all summer to get strong roots."

Me -- Around here, people use Notrogen in the spring for Lush Green Growth, but use Potash and Phosphorus for strong root growth. It works better in the fall, but some apply in the spring too. Fertilizing to promote Root growth works best when the grass is starting to get ready for winter , as that's when nature tells the grass to grow strong roots. Again, grass here will behave differently than in Tennessee or Oklahoma.


YOU--"When you put down fall N, you are just feeding the winter weeds and grasses that you don't want. "

Me -- I don't put down N by itself (EVER), as it's highly toxic, and almost unnecessary for our soil. I will occasionally use a blend like 10-25-40, as that gives my soil the Potash and Phosphorus that it TRUELY needs.. I don't worry about winter weeds and grasses because, here in Wisconsin, my lawn doesn't grow in the winter. It's under 4' of snow!!!!

YOU--"I am not trying to make you change you habits because it's not my place, I am just trying to make you understand my point of view."

Me -- I had the impression you were telling me fall fertilization was foolish, and frankly, you don't have enough knowledge of my local conditions to do so... I understand why you fertilize as you do, because that's what seems to work best with your local conditions. You need to trust that I also know what's best in my yard...

Our situations are vastly different.. I've stopped mowing already, and you won't start to prepare for winter for awhile yet. I'm awaiting the first snowfall, which is preficted for Monday or Tuesday, and you can't conceive of such an early snow....

I know how Geography clouds our perceptions... My wife's Ex lives in Phoenix, and visits his (our) son here several times each year.

He can't imagine why our son would choose to live with us in Wisconsin, instead of in Arizona with him. He thinks we have a terrible climate, while we delight in the blue skies, fresh air, and Beautiful lakes. We think of Arizona as a horrible place of no trees, no real grass, and 100+ temps from March to November.

We have a saying.. "our Lakes were made by God.. Arizona lakes were made by Caterpiller Tractor"

I guess you think things are strange here, but we're glad you do. We like the privacy......

Tractorguy
 

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fetilizer

Tractorguy,

Your arguement makes alot more sence now that you clarified when you apply fall fert. I was under the impression that you were applying your fertilizer in late Oct or Nov. So please accept my apologies.

If you don't farm, I couldn't expect you to be able to imagine how much fertizer I use. My bermuda hay needs about 400-200-200 a year per acre (@140.00 dollars an acre) to produce like it should. It should then produce 4 to 500 small squares or 12 to 15 large rolls per acre. When you continuously take all the grass off the ground it really drains the soil. Unlike just mowing which allows some of the nutrients to go back into the soil.

Last night was our first night of speakable cool weather at about 40 at 6am. And I have only seen it snow here in Oct. one time and that was on Halloween day, just about an inch. Lots of times we mow yards until then. Last weekend was the first weekend this year my yard wasn't mowed. I have slowed to mowing every 10 days instead of 7.

And you don't have to worry one bit about me invading the North, if I ever leave TN it would be to the Rocky Mnts in Colorado or maybe Wyoming.

I did enjoy our discussion though.
Good luck with your yard and look forward to debating with you again.

Jay
 

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Fall Weather

Quote from red-n-green---
"you don't have to worry one bit about me invading the North, if I ever leave TN it would be to the Rocky Mnts in Colorado or maybe Wyoming. "


I just thought I'd let you know we got 2-1/2" of snow last night!!!! See, I wasn't kidding about our climate differences..

I can understand why you'd think about re-locating to Colorado, as it's very pretty country, but can't imagine why you'd trade Tennessee for Wyoming?? I've been to Wyoming, and the part I saw was dry, dusty, and treeless.

I think I'll keep my Northwoods Paradise, as there's nothing prettier than NorthEast Wisconsin........
 

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Paradise..........

OK ARGEE, Have you ever been here????
I didn't think so, because if you had, you'd leave the Northern Michigan Trolls behind, and become a happy Hodag......

(wink)
 
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