lawn fertilizer

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I have found that the best lawn fertilizer are the ones with a balanced mix of ingredients, i.e.- 12-12-12, instead of 31-4-4. I think the numbers represent nitrogen, potash, & potassium.
Alex
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The first number is Nitrogen that is what makes grass green and grow , so if you dont like to waiste time cutting grass a low 1st number- nitrogen, is best. But a 12-12-12 is usualy immediate release where as Scotts is more a time release. Quick release is assosiated with Thatch. Scotts summeriser, or winteriser have a lower Nitrogen level
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Alex wrote:

Depending on season, and slow release type is better too. Tony
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A big shot of nitrogen makes lots of green growth on top, but doesn't help the grass grow a better root system. I used the balanced stuff you mention for 20 years, every other year. The lawn was perfect, while my neighbors, who fertilized with high nitrogen stuff much more often, basically has basket cases on their hands. Go with your good idea.

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Alex wrote:

Well it all depends. In your case you are likely right. However each situation is different. The type of grass, time if year, weather and soil conditions all play a rule.
In general grass uses a lot of nitrogen. Nitrogen is also rather soluble so lots of rain tends to wash it out of the soil. Most manufacturers like to put lots of nitrogen in their mixes. Too much in my opinion. The extra makes the grass green up fast. Of course that is in temporary so in a short time you need more .. fertilizer and the manufacturer makes more money. It however does not make for good overall healthy lawns.
The only way to know, is to have your soil tested. Not many people do that, but I do recommend it for anyone having problems.
I like to use some of each. Most healthy lawns do use more nitrogen than potash or potassium just not as much as most bags supply. I also use slow release nitrogen so it does not wash away faster than the grass can use it.
It is a matter of finding what works for you. and it looks like you are on the right track.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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Joseph Meehan wrote:

fertilizer, it says DO NOT USE NEAR A WELL. There is a chemical in that stuff that is poisonous. I am sure glad I read the small print, as my well is under my lawn.
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Well, of course it's poisonous. It kills things. :-)
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Chuck B. wrote:

Even better, never use a weed and feed product. Almost always the result is adding fertilizer at the wrong time or using a weed product at the wrong time resulting in one or both not doing they best job. Also as often as not, people use the weed and feed when they don't need one or the other.
Another case of the manufacturers creating a product designed to maximize profit, not do the best job.
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The best advice in this thread!! Yhe middle number (phosphorus) remains in the soil FOREVER. In the proper amounts, it promotes good root growth and proper plant health. But as it builds up over the years, it is detrimental to plant health. And you cannot do anything to correct it other that removing the soil! If a soil test shows a large phosphorus buildup, you need to go to a 15-0-15 mix of fertilizer. I know from a bad experience.
Bib S.
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Potash is the name for potassium in fertilizer, so unless the numbers studder, the last one is phosphorus.
Why don't you use fertilizer made for lawns? That seems best.

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Because it often contains too much nitrogen. The goal in formulating SOME fertilizer is to give the customer what they want: Fast green. It doesn't matter what they cannot see - a less-than-healthy root system that makes the grass more vulnerable to a gamut of problems including drought and bugs.

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Couldn't you just use less of it?
Bob

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You could use less, but depending on the particular formula, you might end up providing next to nothing of the other two nutrients. The middle one - phosphorous - contributes to a healthy root system, which (to offer an extreme example) is why you're supposed to add bone meal to the soil when planting bulbs. The real question is, why would you want to waste time trying to make the WRONG product work, when you can just go out and buy the RIGHT one, and probably cheaper?
I'm absolutely NOT saying that my lawn represents a valid scientific field trial, but it's the only one I've ever maintained, so I have to base what I'm saying on the results. I've done nothing but mow correctly (max height when warm weather begins), fertilize with stuff NOT made for lawns, and add lime maybe 3-4 times in 20 years. I rarely need to water. The grass looks fine.
My neighbors, who bought whatever the commercials told them to, struggled constantly with brown grass in the summer, grubs whenever the hell grubs happen, weeds, and whatever other nonsense people obsess over. I never had grubs. I had a few weeds, but none of them got much of a foothold.
By the way, the best revenge against dandelions is to eat them. In cool spring weather, the leaves are delicious in a salad, especially when picked young. Try a dressing that's on the sweet side, like rasberry vinaigrette or one with balsamic vinegar. Once the summer heat kicks in, the leaves get too bitter for some people. Of course, you don't want to eat them if you've doused the yard with poison of any kind.

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No, no, no. The last one is potassium. The second one is phosphorus. The first is nitrogen. (NPK if you know the chemical symbols.)

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No, no, no. The last one is potassium. The second one is phosphorus. The

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Chicken shit is a good fertilizer.

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Alex wrote:

Just a data point. Fifty years ago, which is the publishing date of a lawn & garden book from my parents' bookshelf, the recco was fertilizing twice annually, using a 2-1-1 ratio in the spring and 1-2-2 in the fall.
I think the newsgroup blaming the companies is a little off base, though. This is a consumer climate that demands products that give you emerald green lawns in *24 hours* (for parties, etc.). I think the nitrogen content is just as much a consumer demand issue.
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Exactly. It also explains why there are a dozen "flavors" of Dawn dish liquid. Ridiculous.
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On Sun, 02 May 2004 14:38:34 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

It's all about marketing and profits. You can use 1/12 the amount of 12-12-12 or 1-1-1 and the grass won't know the difference. And, grass does not know the difference between a Scott's lawn fertilizer and another off-brand. Using a mulching mower automatically returns the nitrogen to the lawn, making or keeping it greener (that's what consumers really want, right?)
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