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Thanks to AGW, looks like we're in for two days of soaking rain. That's perfect timing, because I did all of my Spring fertilizing this weekend: lawn, perennial gardens, shrubs, Raspberries - and Holly-Tone for the Rhodies, azaleas, hollies, etc. (I also put down Preen on most of the flower gardens. It saves a lot of trouble to put it down before the first weed seeds germinate.)
It makes sense to fertilize before things green up, because the roots wake up hungry and begin growing many weeks before anything green emerges. Early Spring is when roots do most of their growing.
My grass should be happy this year because I plugged it last year. Big power plugger, a bitch of a machine to handle. I went over all of it twice. The plugs disappear fast.
You've got it backwards BD, at least for turf. Fall is the best time to fertilize for root growth. The ground is still warm from summer and the roots are growing but the air is cool and top growth slows. When top growth stops you can apply a fertilizer application and you won't get any shoot growth but you will get root growth. In Spring it is almost the reverse. The ground is still cold so roots aren't doing much yet but with warm air you will get plenty of top growth. In fact, if you apply a late season fertilizer you won't even need a Spring application. You can easily make it until June if you use the right stuff.
You are both correct - depending on what kind of fert you put down when and your locale. Home horticulture (gardening for us common folks) is like raising kids or dogs - everybody knows the right way to do it!... especially turf management.
The correct way always depends on your region - soil type and ph; the type of turf you are growing; and the local climate. Many variables.
One thing that all "experts" agree upon is that most turf receives way too much fertilizer annually - the commercial lawn care companies are the worst. Much of what is applied to home lawns ends up in the local rivers and streams. Leaning out your applications of fert and water encourages your turf to put down deep roots and enables it to crowd out weeds. This approach takes several years but is worth it.
Local County Ag Extension Offices are a gold mine of info on best management practices.
At any rate - Happy Spring everyone! Let's get growing!
I thought about hustling out to get some fertilizers out for the rhodendron family in particular (hard winter on those guys), but the ground was still frozen here on the top of the hill. This rain has done nothing much for us, most of it went down into the Farmington river valley. The fertilizer would have gone with it.
Is there Ever perfect weather for one's outdoor endeavours?