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4 Tips for Managing a Fertilizer Supply Shortage

By Pat Gross on November 10, 2021 in BlogNo Comments

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As your trusted partner, Ewing is staying on top of recent reports about supply chain difficulties affecting fertilizer prices and availability. While this is not welcome news, especially for the turf and landscape industry, it is possible to achieve the same degree of quality with less fertilizer.

Along with our previous guidance about how to deal with supply chain disruptions, here are four tips to consider if it becomes necessary to adjust your nutrient management plan.

  1. Perform soil tests to see exactly what is needed
    Chemical soil tests are an important first step in determining the current levels of nutrients in the soil and what needs to be added through fertilizer applications. For detailed information about when and where to get a soil test, read this article on our blog.
  2. Be intentional with fertilizer applications
    The entire turf area may not need a fertilizer application. Consider focusing on a few key areas:

    • Fertilize high-visibility areas only.
    • Fertilize high-traffic areas to speed recovery.
    • Spot treat only weak areas that need a boost.
  3. Fertilize at the time of year when it will provide the most benefit to the turf
    Consider the annual growth cycle of your turf. Cool season turf, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and tall fescue, benefit from spring and fall applications of fertilizer when active growth is at its peak. Warm season grasses such as bermudagrass, zoysiagrass and St. Augustine grass respond best to summer applications of fertilizer when growth is most active.
  4. Use micronutrients like iron sulfate to maintain green color instead of just using nitrogen
    There are other ways to produce a healthy green color in turf other than using nitrogen. Light applications of iron sulfate or chelated iron can produce a greening effect similar to nitrogen without creating excessive growth.

Keep in mind that fertilizer is just one part of your overall fertility maintenance program. Proper cutting height, a quality irrigation installation and regular pest control are other key aspects of a successful turf management program that require equal attention.

Visit your local Ewing branch for more information about managing a healthy stand of turf this season.

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Pat Gross
After a 28-year career with the USGA, Pat Gross joined our Ewing Golf Inside Sales team. Pat completed more than 2,000 on-site consulting visits for the USGA, focusing on agronomy and providing practical information to help golf courses conserve water and improve course conditions.
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