Friday, September 11, 2009

Fall Bulk Fertilizer

This September is the time for our third and last bulk fertilizer application to our fairways, rough, greens and tees. This fall application is probably the most important application of fertilizer of the entire year. Fall fertilizer is so important because it allows the turf plant to recover from all the stresses of the summer, developing more root structure and storing carbohydrates for the long winter. We should only see a little growth from this fertilizer application because in mid to late fall the plant is starting to harden off and storing energy for winter and spring green up. The definition of harden off is "The process of conditioning plants to more stressful environmental conditions". We harden off the plant by reducing the water, reducing top growth, and several applications of potassium sulfate which helps with plant stress.

We typically use a 70% organic fertilizer comprising of feather meal, fish meal, meat & bone meal, blood meal. The fertilizer also has elemental minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, ammonium sulfate, urea and potassium sulfate. These applications of organic fertilizers are not only beneficial for the golf course but the environment as well. With organic products we are building beneficial soil microbes that reduce thatch and diseases, and with little chance for runoff it also protects our water sources. At the end of the day if we could all use organic or recycled products our world would be a better cleaner place for generations to come.