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PostPosted: October 30th, 2009, 4:44 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2009, 9:38 pm
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The History of LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

In the 1980s, educators like Anthony J. Koski, of Colorado State University, and Wayne R. Kussow, of the University of Wisconsin, helped re–shape and modernize our understanding of LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION.

More specifically, in 1988, Koski, then working at The Ohio State University, wrote one of the definitive articles that helped modernize our knowledge regarding LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION for those regions subject to cold winter conditions. For golf courses, sod farms, municipalities, and lawn care companies, he claimed that the most important factor regarding fall nitrogen use was TIMING.

The Definition of LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

Here is an overview of the scientific literature of the time ...

LATE–FALL FERTILIZATION was a concept that flew in the face of so–called common sense, at a time when many « experts » were saying, erroneously, that such a practice would reduce turfgrass resistance to cold temperature injury. Today, we recognize that such fears were almost totally ridiculous.

LATE–FALL FERTILIZATION is an important part of the TOTAL nitrogen fertilization program. Nevertheless, the turf manager must be reminded that he role of nitrogen in turfgrass maintenance is important THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE GROWING SEASON, including the fall months.

For those turf managers that are concerned that LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may « awaken » turf during the fall months, we urge them to bear in mind that lowered light and diminishing temperatures are the true environmental « cues » that signal all plants that it is time to prepare for winter dormancy. It is a mistake to believe that nitrogen applications will so easily « over–ride » the effects of these « cues ».

LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION will NOT « awaken » turf. Nor will it increase turf susceptibility to cold temperatures. In fact, LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION will potentially DECREASE turf susceptibility to cold temperatures. However, this type of fertilization may be injurious to turf that is « sensitive » to application. (See later for more details.)

The Benefits of LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

When nitrogen is applied as LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION, a large portion of the plant’s carbohydrates will placed into storage. This is good for the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures. It is also good for a quicker spring green–up or faster recovery from foliar winter damage.

When nitrogen is applied as LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION, the first application of spring nitrogen can be delayed for at least TWO TO FOUR WEEKS.

Additionally, root development will be favoured, and shoot growth will be reduced.

Nursery sod growers that employ LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION have reported that turf is much more heavily « knitted » for spring harvest. Moreover, in some cases, the harvester has actually been forced to slow down slightly because of the denser root mass.

The Implementation of LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

The most important factor regarding LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION is TIMING.

This type of fertilizer application must be performed when ALL SHOOT GROWTH HAS STOPPED.

When average autumn temperatures range from 7 to 10 degrees Centigrade (45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) for a period of THREE TO FIVE CONSECUTIVE DAYS, shoot growth will stop. This is the time to apply fertilizer for OPTIMUM LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION.

For example, in Eastern Canada, this time period is likely to occur between LATE OCTOBER and MID–NOVEMBER.

The Rates Used for LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

For municipalities and lawn care companies, LATE–FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may be defined as 1.25 to 1.75 pounds of nitrogen per one thousand square feet in a single application within the time period of LATE OCTOBER AND MID–NOVEMBER. These rates must not be used on turf that is « sensitive » to application. (See later for more details.)

The benefit of late–fall fertilization on putting green turf may be of dubious value.

The Definition and Benefits of DORMANT Nitrogen Fertilization

AFTER the optimal time period for LATE–FALL FALL FERTILIZATION (after mid–November), nitrogen is merely applied to turf that is in a DORMANT STATE.

At this time, there can no longer be sufficient root uptake of nitrogen to provide the benefits of LATE–FALL FALL FERTILIZATION. Obviously, once the ground is frozen, there will be NO uptake of ANY nutrients.

Nitrogen applied AFTER MID–NOVEMBER is called DORMANT NITROGEN FERTILIZATION. At this time, there will be no further uptake of nitrogen, and no significant storage of carbohydrates. The fertilizer will simply remain on the surface of the soil, and will essentially become available during the following spring, once the snow has thawed and temperatures begin climbing. This may be good for a quicker spring green–up or faster recovery from foliar winter damage. It is NOT LIKELY that DORMANT NITROGEN FERTILIZATION will improve the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures.

The Disadvantages of DORMANT Nitrogen Fertilization

This type of nitrogen fertilization may potentially reduce root development, in a fashion similar to the effects of excessive spring fertilization. Nonetheless, it should be pointed that some studies have indicated that dormant fertilization on golf course turf with Milorganite, an organic slow–release source of nitrogen, may actually improve root growth.

When nitrogen is applied to DORMANT TURF, the first application of spring nitrogen can be delayed for at least TWO TO FOUR WEEKS.

The Program That Will Optimize LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

In order for LATE–FALL or DORMANT NITROGEN FERTILIZATION to work optimally, turf must be previously maintained with a BALANCED fertilizer program. Again, this applies to both LATE–FALL, and DORMANT fertilization programs

When nitrogen is supplied in MODERATE quantities EARLY IN THE FALL (i.e. LATE AUGUST to LATE SEPTEMBER in Eastern Canada), turf will remain green throughout the fall. This is a good indicator for the plant’s resistance to cold temperatures.

GREEN TURF IS A SIGN OF HEALTH, even during autumn months. Green turf is NOT normally an indicator for an impending cold temperature calamity. Many « experts » have claimed, erroneously, that green turf in the fall is an indicator that turfgrass will have diminished resistance to cold temperature injury. Today, we recognize that such fears were almost totally ridiculous.

For municipalities and lawn care companies, MODERATE EARLY FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION may be defined as 1.00 to 1.25 pounds of nitrogen per one thousand square feet in a single application between LATE AUGUST and LATE SEPTEMBER. These rates must not be used on turf that is « sensitive » to application. (See later for more details.)

On golf course putting greens, MODERATE EARLY FALL FERTILIZATION may be defined as 0.5 pound of nitrogen per one thousand square feet applied EVERY TWO WEEKS. It should be noted that one application of SOME very high–quality slowly–available fertilizer (i.e. long–chain methylene ureas) may provide adequate nitrogen for a period of four to six weeks. Hence, only a single application may be required in the early fall. (It should be noted that soluble sources of nitrogen are exhausted from the soil within two weeks.)

A BALANCED fertilizer is recommended at any time during the fall, based upon, of course, soil tests and previous experience.

The Definition and Benefits of WINTERIZER Fertilizers

The so–called « winterizer » fertilizers, which is extremely high in potassium, are of DUBIOUS value. For example, a 1–to–4 ratio of nitrogen–to–potassium.

Fertilization that is excessively high in potassium, but very low in nitrogen, will not likely serve the better interests of turf.

However, we should all keep in mind that many research reports have indicated that a 1–to–2 ratio of nitrogen–to–potassium can provide OPTIMAL cold temperature resistance. This is not necessarily an extremely high use of potassium.

The Definition of SENSITIVE Turfgrass Conditions

We should all bear in mind that normal fertilization programs performed in early fall, LATE–FALL, and DORMANT, may NOT be appropriate for turf that is deemed « sensitive » to high, or even moderate, nitrogen, and even potassium, fertilization.

Turfgrasses growing in shade are naturally « sensitive » to nitrogen, as well as turf that mowed very short (i.e. putting greens).

Some turfgrass species may be naturally sensitive to nitrogen. Examples of « sensitive » species include the bentgrasses, the fine–leaved fescues, and rough bluegrass. Annual bluegrass on home lawns can act as a « sensitive » grass.

All turfgrasses can become « sensitive » to nitrogen when unseasonably dry conditions occur in the fall.

All such conditions will render turf « sensitive » to high or excessive nitrogen, although problems do not frequently occur in EARLY FALL.

For municipalities and lawn care companies, MODERATE EARLY FALL NITROGEN FERTILIZATION ON SENSITIVE TURF may be defined as NO GREATER THAN 1.00 pound of nitrogen per one thousand square feet in a single application BEFORE LATE SEPTEMBER.

You can only do so much for turf that is « sensitive ».

Learning How To Use LATE–FALL Nitrogen Fertilization

For those turf managers that have never tried this aspect of the fertilization program, it is suggested that you begin the « learning curve » by observing the results on turfgrass that is growing under good growing conditions.

For example, a Kentucky bluegrass lawn consisting of improved varieties located in an open, sunny, and well–drained area.

Again, avoid those conditions where turf may be « sensitive » to nitrogen.


William H. Gathercole and Norah G

National Organization Responding Against Huje that harm the Green Space Industry (NORAHG)

William H. Gathercole, Founder

For a free Force of Nature e-newsletter, contact


FORCE OF NATURE was launched for continuous transmission on the Internet on January 1st, 2009. It is a series of e–newsletters destined for the Green Space Industry, the Environmental–Terror–Movement, Government Officials, and the Media, nation–wide across Canada, the United States and overseas.

Force Of Nature is the brainchild of William H. Gathercole and his entourage. Norah G is actually an acronym for the stable of anonymous producers and writers that contribute to this e–newsletter and have now replaced Mr. Gathercole. They consist of people from the following industries : Distribution, Fertilizer, Golf, Lawn Care, Manufacturing, Municipal, Nursery, and Orchard. Many of these people are leaders in their own industries. The opinions expressed in Force Of Nature, even though from an INDEPENDENT PERSPECTIVE, may not reflect those of everyone in the GREEN SPACE INDUSTRY, or Mr. Gathercole’s many associates. Be warned ! Force Of Nature may sometimes be very irreverent and fearless with these e–newsletters. Mr. Gathercole is now retired from Force Of Nature, although his name continues to appear as the founder.

William H. Gathercole is a principal FOUNDER of the Modern Professional Lawn Care Industry in BOTH Ontario and Quebec. He holds a degree in Horticulture from the UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, and another pure and applied science degree from McGILL UNIVERSITY. He has worked in virtually all aspects of the GREEN SPACE INDUSTRY, including GOLF and PROFESSIONAL LAWN CARE, and has served in public affairs, workplace safety, and environmental compliance. Mr. Gathercole has supervised, consulted, programmed, and/or overseen the execution of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of pest control applications in the urban landscape. He has trained, instructed, and consulted with THOUSANDS of turf managers and technicians. Mr. Gathercole has also been an agricultural agronomist. For many years, Mr. Gathercole was a contributing columnist for TURF & Recreation Magazine, Canada’s Turf and Grounds Maintenance Authority.

Mr. Gathercole has followed the evolution of ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM for over a quarter–century. His involvement in environmental issues reached a fevered pitch in the 1990s, when he orchestrated, with his colleagues, legal action against the prohibition of pest control products in the Town of Hudson, Quebec. For FIFTEEN YEARS, the strategies designed and implemented by Mr. Gathercole and his colleagues guaranteed the control of Enviro–Terror for the entire Modern Green Space Industry across Canada. Although he can be accused of being Anti–Environment–Movement, he is, in fact, simply a strong advocate FOR the Modern Green Space Industry. However, this position has not precluded him from criticizing the Green Space Industry itself. Nonetheless, his vast knowledge of our long journey with environmental issues is UNDENIABLE. ( Hopefully ! )

The mission of Force Of Nature is as a National Organization Responding Against Huje that harm the Green Space Industry (NORAHG) with statements and activities seeking to prohibit FEDERALLY LEGAL, SCIENTIFICALLY SAFE, and TOTALLY IRREPLACEABLE conventional pest control products. Enviro–Maniac–Culprits are identified on the basis of their statements, activities, affiliations, and whereabouts. Even though each Enviro–Maniac–Culprit is a mis–guided adversary, each still deserves our respect. The terms Maniac, Culprit, Terrorist, or Basterd are not accusations of any legal wrong–doing. Force Of Nature is simply holding Culprits accountable for conspiring to change public policies that TERRORIZE and THREATEN the Green Space Industry. Force Of Nature believes that the pretentious prohibitionist policies of the Environmental–Terror–Movement is leading to LOSS OF REVENUES, BUSINESS FAILURES, BANKRUPTCY, and UNEMPLOYMENT, inflicting DESPAIR and DESTITUTION for THOUSANDS of victims throughout the Green Space Industry. The actions of Maniac–Culprits–Terrorists–Basterds in the movement are viewed as a form of TERROR against the Green Space Industry. The information presented in Force Of Nature has been developed for the education and entertainment of the reader by providing a sequence of historical events with commentary. Additionally, Force Of Nature inspires people to believe that ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISM can be STOPPED ! The events, characters, companies, and organizations, depicted in this document are not always fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, may not be coincidental. All document excerpts and pictures contained in Force Of Nature were found somewhere on the Internet. We believe that they are in the public domain, serving one of the following purposes : archive, education, promotion, publicity, or press release.

The following Force Of Nature documents are currently available ― ● Alberta Prohibition ● British Columbia Prohibition ● Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment ● Canadian Cancer Society ● Canadian Environmental Law Association ● Consequences ● David Suzuki Foundation ● DDT and Politicized Science ● Death and the Environmental–Terror–Movement ● Enviro–Money ● Environmental Terrorists Unmasked ● Fertilizer-Terror Is Next ● June Irwin, The Clown of Junk Science ● Kazimiera Jean Cottam ● Landscape Trades Capitulate ● New Brunswick Prohibition ● Nova Scotia Prohibition ● Ontario Prohibition ● Organic Fertilizers ● Pesticide Free BC ● Pets and Lawn Care Chemicals ● Prince Edward Island Prohibition ● Quebec Prohibition ● Rachel Carson, The Queen of Junk Science ● Salmon Arm BC Prohibition ● The 9/11 Era of the Green Space Industry ● The Failure of Integrated Pest Management ● The Looming Golf Industry Shipwreck ● The Industry Strikes Back ● The Misconceptions About Cancer ● The National Annihilation of the Modern Green Space Industry ● The Wisdom of Bill Bell ● The Wisdom of Drysdale ● The Wisdom of Health Canada ● The Wisdom of Holland ● The Wisdom of Lowes ● The Wisdom of Mains ● The Wisdom of the Solomons ● Ask For a Copy of Any Back Issue of Force Of Nature Today. Read All About Enviro–Maniacs and Their Environmental–Terror–Organizations in Force Of Nature ! The Whole Truth From An Independent Perspective ! Force Of Nature is TOTALLY INDEPENDENT of any trade association or business operating within the Green Space Industry. DON’T THANK US. IT’S A PUBLIC SERVICE. AND WE ARE GLAD TO DO IT.


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