- April 1, 2018
- By Mike
- In Lawns, Soil
I am constantly asked what fertilizers and herbicides we use it seems many think its simple. But the answer is always the same we use lots of different types selecting the correct granular or liquid product that has the correct active ingredient in the correct form to correct the problem in question applied at the correct ratio. There is a big difference between premium and budget fertilizers in the same way there is a big difference between budget anything from fuel to food. When we are talking nutrition which is the same for our bodies you get back what you put in.
Many people think a single treatment commonly referred to as a “weed & feed” will cure everything but this really is not the case. In general herbicides and fungicides are not good for your lawn. Reducing the amount of herbicide i need to apply will always be at the top of my list of priorities. With a goal of eradicating fungicide use completely.
Turf herbicides are classed as selective herbicides meaning they do not damage the turf plants but selectively kill perennial and broad leaved weeds. A Total herbicide will not differentiate between turf and turf weeds it will kill both so do not use Total herbicides on your lawn as i have seen many people do. Unless you intend to seed a new lawn or lay new lawn turf.
When selecting a herbicide it will be based upon the weed population you are treating then selecting the correct active ingredient for that species these can be the following. However its very important that you are licensed to apply these products. Wear correct PPE and use the correct calibrated equipment. Be mindful when using herbicides especially in the vicinity of children and pets whilst wearing coveralls or chemical suit, gloves, visor and respirator if required.
Fluxroxypyr is in the synthetic auxins class of herbicides and is used to control broad-leaved weeds and woody plants especially cleavers (commonly known as goose grass)
Dicamba is a selective herbicide in the chlorophenoxy family and is used on many broad leaved weeds and woody plants.
Clopyralid is in the picolinic acid family of herbicides and is used for control of broadleaf weeds, especially thistle and clover.
MCPA (2-methyl-chlorophenoxyacetic acid)
MCPA is a powerful selective phenoxy herbicide and is used to control broadleaf weeds, including thistle and dock.
Florasulam is a triazolopyrimidine sulfonanilide-based selective herbicide and is used for post-emergence control of broad-leaved weeds including dandelions, daisy and white clover.
Mecoprop-p is a chlorophenoxy herbicide used for the post-emergent control of broadleaf weeds including knotweed, clover and plantain.
So what fertilizers do we use? well some are displayed in the picture on this article but we stock an array of liquid and granular feeds for various applications of organic and compound origin. Specially developed for us and our ways of working we have designed them to reduce cost for you our customers and enable us to work a certain way with our other products each alone needs the other to be effective. But when selecting a fertilizer you must consider many things.
Start by assessing your root zone or soil use a spade or a soil corer if you have one. Begin by looking at the soil profile and consistency, roll it between your fingers to test its crumb and structure to identify clay from mineral free draining soils need more input. Its also a good time to assess and note root development within the root zone and overall compaction of the soil particles. Next we look at the ph level to test acidity and alkalinity this will dictate the species of grass that will thrive and which nutrients will be most available. With the above you will begin to form a good idea of the lawns feed requirements. But the foliage can give much clearer indicators it will clearly show disease or nutrient deficiency by the color and shape of the leaf blade. Finally return your core back into the lawn but before you do measure the amount of thatch in it and walk over the lawns monitoring moss and weed populations. To identify which active ingredients you will require to manage the weeds.
Once you have all this information you can now work out a program based around either a liquid, or granular program or a mixture of both keeping in mind leaching and surface run off. How you manage the space will be based around the location and how much of each element you need to apply over the year and the time of year. And your target NPK ratios.
Lets not forget about our microbial life! its our responsibility for a greener future for all of us if we take on better management practices and make sure we use more organic and sustainable sources to enhance our microbial life. I recommend liming for acidic lawns and as much seaweed or at least once a year in spring and summer particularly if you manage your lawns with lawn sand you may need to be aware you are acidifying your soil! So will continue to suffer from high levels of moss.
Cost vs Quality
You really get what you pay for with a lawn treatment. If your lawns tired and your considering lawn care give us a call and see what our program can do for you.