on Thursday, September 10, 2020
Tips & Safety
Cool-season turfgrass fertilized in September and again between late October and December (depending on latitude) greened up two to six weeks earlier than grass that had only been fertilized in spring and summer, according to researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU). What's more important, the late-fertilized turf wasn't just greener, it was healthier, too.
Root growth. Late-fall nitrogen fuels root growth, which continues in cool soils after shoots stop growing. It also helps produce chlorophyll, which boosts grass' green color and allows it to build up carbohydrates in late winter and early spring.
Apply 0.75 to 1.0 pound of N per 1,000 square feet in September, advises OSU, then again after shoots stop growing but before the grass loses its green color. Use a form of N like urea or ammonium sulfate, which don't require much microbial activity for release - microbes slow down when soils are cool.
Bits & Pieces by Steve Werblow as printed in The Furrow Sept/Oct 2020 - Homestead Edition page 33. Illustration by Paul Lange
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