Fall Fertilizer

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Its Fall should I fertilize?

Yes! The Fall is the best time to feed your plants! That includes your turf as well as the plants in your landscapes.  This article will review both landscaping and turf.

Landscape Plants and Trees

Fall fertilizer in the landscape beds will help the plants come out of the winter quicker and be less stressed.

  1. The first way to get the fertilizer to the plant the quickest is early Fall with leaves still on the plant, to spray a foliar application. Miracle-Gro is an example of a foliar application, but we would recommend a stronger application. The current application that we have been using on our newly planted plants and seasonal color is Macron and its 16-32-16. This is a well balanced fertilizer with Nitrogen (16%), Phosphorus (32%) which in most cases is lacking in the soil and will help build stronger roots, and Potassium (16%) will help with chlorophyll in the leaves.
  2. The second way to get fertilizer to the plants is a granular application that the roots will uptake. We normally will do this the first part of November, so that some will be in the soil in the Spring for the plant to grab and the rest will be taken up by the plant in the Fall and will store it and use it though the winter. This as well will help the plant spring into Spring! The product that we are looking at using in the landscape beds this fall is very similar to the product that we are applying to the lawns right now!

Again going with the theme of the season, with the wet weather and the soil getting leached out with all the rain, now is the time to put some nutrients back in the ground!

Turf

For turf 75% of the Nitrogen should be put down in the Fall.  Again with all the rain you might have noticed that green isn’t as dark green as normal.  Normally, we apply about 25% of your yearly Nitrogen (N) to the yard in the Spring, as we normally have surplus in the ground from the previous Fall.  This year our surplus got used up, so this Fall we are going strong.  Our early Fall application is going to put about 1 pound of N back into the soil/turf! That is about ¼ of a pound more than normal.  But with this application it will be 50% slow release so that grass doesn’t just spring out of the ground,  and will keep feeding, until we do the late Fall which is all mineral and will put 1.25 pounds of N back in, for the quicker green up in the Spring, and a thicker healthier turf. On an average year, cool season turf (Blue Grass and Fescue) should receive 2-2.5 lbs of N per year.  Studies have shown that once you get over 3 lbs. per year you are increasing your chance of fungus!

 

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About the Author:

Chief Executive Officer for Brummel Lawn & Landscape LLC. Nick has a bachelors degree in Horticulture from Northwest Missouri State University. Nick started Brummel Lawn & Landscape LLC while still in college and has grown the business ever since.
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