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FishingIdiot

Winterizing

25 posts in this topic

You can get out and do it now.

We're starting as well as most of the other commercial applicators.

Now until the end of the month.

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Fertilizing.

I am going to apply a 32-0-10 at 1# of nitrogen/1000ft2 when the grass stops growing...end of Oct or early Nov.

the fertilizer helps grass stay green longer while feeding the roots without the extra growrh of the grass. It also gives you earlier green up in the spring without excessive growth of the grass and reducess summer disease.

Also, you want to make sure your lawn gets plenty of water if it gets dry and windy in late fall.

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I put the Scotts Winterguard(22-2-14) down right before the last rain - with a forecast of 50 degree average(colder) temps afterwards.

Since I already had my sprinklers blown-out, I'll have to rely on Mother Nature to work it into the soil.

How many applications of fertilizer did everyone put down this year. I put 4, my neighbors think I put too many, I think.

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Most of my properties I only put down 3 this year. Even with the irrigation it got too dry.

The ones that we did fertilizer 4 times, we were irrigating at least 3 cycles per zone on days we were allowed to water.

If you're doing more than 4, IMO it's a waste. Most fertilizers are good for 6-8 weeks, if you have a good quality, slow release fertilizer.

At best, we have 24 growing weeks around the Twin Cities. 4 x 6-8, would be 24-32 weeks. I could understand a split app of fertilizer with crabgrass preventer in the spring, but even that is almost overkill.

The most important feeding is about 1 month ago, and then again in the next 2 weeks.

I'm personally using a 10-0-20, slow release. I float every other year between putting down a high nitrogen in the fall, low potash, to low nitrogen, high potash.

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I have half of one of those big bags of the regular Scotts summer stuff. Should I put that down in a week or so, or would I be better off buying the wintergard and either discard the high Nit stuff or use next year?

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I would use what you have.

IMO, The word "winterizer" on a bag of fertilizer is just a way to let home owners know what to put down in late fall and to add a few dollars to the price of the bag.

High Nitrogen at the end of Oct. will not hurt your turf and make it grow like mad come spring. The roots will take in the nitrogen and store it to make it stronger over winter. And it will give you a much quicker green up in the spring.

The main thing is to get something down before winter to help your lawn for next year.

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I was at Fleet Farm Friday night looking at the fertilizer as I was walking by.

Scott's winterizer is a 25-0-10 (or something VERY similar to that) and I believe the summer blend is something like at 30-0-8. That's not a difference to worry about.

Scott's is a marketing company first. They're going to put words on labels so people can walk into a store and know instantly what they're supposed to buy.

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Blowing and sucking up leaves now and going to mow for the last time this year later today.

I am putting my winterizer down this evening or early tomorrow, then I will cycle the sprinklers a couple times during the day and blow out this weekend.

Fall is here officially, were did the summer go? grin

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I layed sod on Sept 26. should I winterize? I was told by the sod comapany I didnt have to. Would it be good to do or just leave it? Thanks

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I planted a bunch of seed this year, early in the year in some spots and late in the year in other spots. Any suggestions on helping it to get through the winter?

I put down a slow release fert. when I planted so I'm not sure if adding some additional will do much or if its even going to be too much.

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Ok my lazy and chemical free winterizing tip that will cause problems for some? Its a tip your lawn care service will never tell you.

If the leaves are not totally covering your lawn, run them over with a mulching mower and dont bag them. The lawn has now issue growing thru the chopped leaves which will serve the same as a winterizing fertilizer.

If your leaves are in a think dense pile over your entire lawn rake most of the piles off so your grass is not completely buried. then hit it with the mulching mower.

Chopped leaves are a great slow release organic fertilizer for you lawn. I have had awesome results doing this. It completely eliminates the need for your winter fertilizer.

Yes there are skeptics that say this wont work and you absolutely need the chemicals. You really dont but do as you will.

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And I know very few people that put down winter fertilizers. They simply follow my suggestion above and have the best spring lawns around.

But realize my anti-chemical bias that people dont like.

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Truth be told, just because you put down a winter fertilizer, does not mean you're putting down chemicals.

You can put down an organic fertilizer.

The problem that alot of people have when trying to mulch their leaves (no different than cutting the grass and not bagging) is that they don't get the pieces small enough and the leaves end up smothering the grass. No different than not mowing your grass for 3 weeks in the spring, and then wondering why there's big dead spots under the clumps of grass.

If you have ash or maple trees, essentially a softer wood, you won't have as much of an issue with trying to mulch the leaves, since these leaves basically turn to dust anyways.

If you have harder wood trees, such as oak, and you don't mulch the leaves repeatedly, you're going to have problems with the leaf layer creating a mat, especially if you live in an area with alot of mature trees.

I am a company that "applies chemicals" but does so in accordance to labels and licensing by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Chemicals can be your friend. They can also be our enemy.

Lastly, most turf universities say the most important time to fertilize your yard is mid-September and again end of October.

Now, that doesn't eliminate Quetico's response of mulching the leaves. Just remember to get the pieces small enough so they don't create a mat that the grass can't get through again in the spring.

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Would a weed and feed winterize application do any good now, in between snows? I have some left over and didn't get part of the lawn finished. Or should I save it for next year?

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Huskie- is the ground frozen? I know some areas of the metro have had a frozen layer in the ground this week. If theres any frozen lay within the top few inches of ground, I wouldn't. If the snow is sticking to any part of your lawn don't.

My issue here is that the chemicals will sit on top of the frozen ground all winter. Then the spring melts will just wash all of it off. Thus all of that extra winterizer just ends as pollution.

Even if your lawn is not frozen, the extra application wont have enough chance to do much of anything.

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The grounds not frozen here in extreme s.Mn yet, but as you said, I'll just wait and use it need season, thanks.

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I went with the leaf mulching method this year. I went over my yard with a good mulching mower 4-5 times this weekend. I don't think there is a leaf chunk bigger then a dime left on the lawn. We'll see how it looks next spring I guess.

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Man I'd never go over it more than once or twice. Dont waste the gas going over it multiple times. Just realize your damaging your lawn every time you mow it. Especially those with huge lawn tractors. Those tires do damage as well as the added compaction.

Theres no point to go over it multiple times. Your lawn service will tell you there is because they charge you extra for it. Doing it 4 times vs 1 does more harm then good.

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C'mon Quetico. Seriously. You're kidding, right?

I'm glad that you have your opinion on how things should get done, but to throw a lawn service under the bus because you think they're just trying to screw a customer, that's not right.

I'm glad that you think mulching is the ONLY way things are possible, but in reality, it's going to totally depend on the amount of leaves you have, along with the type of leaves.

If your going to be in a lawn that's completely covered in mature oak trees, you're absolutely not going to be able to mulch those up enough to disperse the clippings.

If you're living in a newer development with trees that are 5-10 years old, with Ash, Maple, softer wood trees where the leaves basically turn to dust, then sure, mulch away.

I'm running 31 hp diesel mowers, with mulch kits and commercial grade mulching blades.

With these mowers, we usually ending up bagging.

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Dang dude that took you long. Hey, I'm just stating the info gather from my days doing actual field research on turf. And studying at a major University.

I would hope no one would argue that your huge lawn tractors do cause compaction. If they dont do any compaction then what does? I guess my buddies New Holland skid doesn't cause compaction either. (Oh wait, then why did it leave 1/2" deep track marks in the ground)

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I would not argue that tractors are going to cause compaction. That's why I don't use tractors.

I use Zero turn mowers with over-sized tires. Since you've studied at a major University, then I'm sure you're familiar with sod fields.

They use tractors, large tractors.

There's nothing that's going to cause over compaction from going over your yard 4 times to mulch up the leaves. If that's the case, then you should only mow your yard 4 times, or best case scenario, aerate after each mow job.

Oh, wait, that's right. You're of the belief everyone should switch to no-mow fescue yards where the grass is 8" tall all summer.

You have the right idea Quetico. Fact is though, it's too general of an idea to cover every base.

You'd have to agree as well that there IS a threshold where you can no longer just mulch away your leaf situation.

There are many many situations where people smother their lawns because they don't mulch well enough, or try to mulch too many leaves at one time.

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Maybe I should clarify what I did.

1. I live in St. Paul and my yard is pretty small, no riding lawn mower needed here. Just your standard Lawn Boy self propel walk behind. If walking on my lawn is causing compaction then I'll have to learn to live with that i guess.

2. I have one large tree and one small tree in my yard. One oak and one maple. The leaves where not piled up in most places, so parts of the yard had no leaves on it at all. The areas near the fence that caught alot of leaves I raked up and desperese some around the lawn that had no leaves. Its was a pretty light covering in general.

3. I mowed 4 times to ensure I got the pieces small enough and well disperesed. The pieces where small enough to fall between the blades of grass and are not covering the lawn. If any place was too thick I raked and bagged the excess.

4. I wanted to run my mower out of gas for the winter so I just kept mowing until it was gone. Hardly a major waste of gas since I put maybe a cup of gas in and that ran the mower for an hour or so.

5. I fully intended on fertilzing this winter but never got around to it. It is the first year for me in this house and there are far too many projects on my list right now.

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