Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, Rye and Bent, etc
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falcon
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Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by falcon » November 7th, 2020, 9:33 am

As some here know, I have a large lawn (2 acres, 1 acre grass) that I have been working on for the first time this season. Thanks to those that made this a very successful first season, by the way!

I have a small front lawn - 3000k - that I renovated in the fall and is the only part of my lawn that is irrigated. The water here is insanely expensive - 2.86 cents per gallon - which should answer why I don't irrigate the whole thing. One inch of water on 3000k is 1875 gallons. During the growing season, made worse this year because of a drought, my QUARTERLY water bill is in the thousands.

I have been rigidly following a soil remediation program that Andy developed for me on the irrigated part of the lawn. I have also been doing the same thing on the non-irrigated parts of the lawn when the rain permits, which wasn't often this year.

I had first real frost on October 21. On October 31, we were supposed to get an inch of snow. We got four. Two days later it was gone. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and the forecast actually has a high/low for the next 6 days of 70/45. In October, I got five inches of rain after going nearly three months without any measurable rain. It's been a weird year for weather.

The lawn went into the pause around October 7th.

My last cut was October 30th, and there wasn't much being cut in the non-irrigated sections. I was mulching leaves like crazy. I also cut the irrigated part on October 30th and again yesterday.

Now to the questions:

1. Growth has stopped in the non-irrigated sections, but the irrigated portion is still growing. Is this normal? I gave all of the aforementioned detail because there are a lot of factors at play this year.

2. Since we have gone from late fall conditions back to 70 degree highs and 45 degree lows which appear they will last for at least a week, how should I be thinking about the winter urea application?

My concern with the latter question is that with the swing back to warmer temps, the last urea application I have been waiting to apply after stoppage might force top growth.

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ken-n-nancy
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by ken-n-nancy » November 7th, 2020, 8:19 pm

falcon wrote:
November 7th, 2020, 9:33 am
1. Growth has stopped in the non-irrigated sections, but the irrigated portion is still growing. Is this normal? I gave all of the aforementioned detail because there are a lot of factors at play this year.
When you say that growth has stopped in the non-irrigated sections, is the grass still green in those areas? I would expect the grass growth to be very slow in non-irrigated sections right now, but really slow is not the same as stopped. My personal metric for "stopped" is 7 days between mowings with NO new grass taken off. If I see even as much of 1/4" of grass blade getting cut off when mowing, then that is growth. Slow growth, yes. However, slow growth is not stopped. You want stopped before applying the late fall fertilizer as described in the "Fall Nitrogen Regimens" article.
falcon wrote:
November 7th, 2020, 9:33 am
2. Since we have gone from late fall conditions back to 70 degree highs and 45 degree lows which appear they will last for at least a week, how should I be thinking about the winter urea application?
I think you should be thinking about it in the normal way. If, after mowing the lawn 1 week after your last mowing, you have no detectable grass clippings from the lawn, then growth has stopped and you can apply the fertilizer. If you don't have that yet, then the growth has not stopped.

I would be stunned if you are actually at stoppage of top growth from a cool season lawn in Massachusetts. I am north of you and although grass growth has slowed down a lot, it definitely isn't stopped.

By the way, I would not be at all surprised if the irrigated portion of your lawn continues to have top growth after the non-irrigated sections. If you have a portion of the lawn which stops top growth sooner than the rest, then you can make the final fertilizer application to that portion of the lawn at that time, if you don't mind making partial applications.

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MorpheusPA
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by MorpheusPA » November 7th, 2020, 10:02 pm

Totally agreed. I'm in exactly the same conditions. It's going to be nearly 80 here tomorrow, but I don't irrigate. The lawn looks like September. Growth is extremely slow except where things stay wetter, but not stopped, in minimal November sunlight. We're well past first frost and first freeze, and even had our first snow.

I'm not thinking about applying my winter urea yet, it's just not that time for me, and temperatures are expected to drop to more reasonable (but still extremely warm) values next week. I'll re-evaluate then.

This is the point where I re-consider. There's usually also a point where I shrug, mutter "&%$@ it" and drop the stuff. Once growth is extremely to imperceptibly slow, even if there's one more mow or it continues to grow slowly through the next month, 99% of the nitrogen is going to storage.

With irrigation still producing growth, you're not at that swear-word stage yet. When it's too cold to irrigate and you shut down your system, that would be the moment to start to observe and see if it's time.

falcon
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by falcon » November 9th, 2020, 8:36 am

Checking back in. Yesterday was 8 days after my last cut, and I went out to do some more mulching and cutting. I'm talking about the non-irrigated section only right now.

There are parts of the lawn that get minimal direct morning sun because the sun isn't high enough to get over the trees at this time of year. They get afternoon sun for a couple hours. These parts have definitely stopped growing. It's only as you progress to the parts of the lawn getting more sun where anything is actually being cut, and it was about 1/4 inch.

Thanks for the advice KNN and Morpheus.

northeastlawn
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by northeastlawn » November 10th, 2020, 5:59 pm

Its always a crap shoot for me. in SE mass. We have had much warmer November last few years. I am not seeing a lot of cuttings, but then again i cut every two days to mulch leaves.

What always happens with me, is I have already blown out my sprinkler. So I have to balance when I think the lawn has stopped growing with when we get rain, and as you know we have not been getting much rain.

I think its going to be Thanksgiving or later this year and Ill probably be the nut hand watering the urea into the front grass when its 40 degrees out :-)


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MorpheusPA
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by MorpheusPA » November 10th, 2020, 8:20 pm

Yeah, I'm playing the same game. It looks like the drop will be the 18th at this point--rain's expected, it's late enough, growth will be very slow, and that's good enough.

After that, it gets kind of cold and I don't feel like doing it. :-)

edslawn
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Re: Some lawn growing, some lawn stopped. Questions.

Post by edslawn » November 10th, 2020, 11:06 pm

75 degrees today in Central PA. Grass is still growing... Urea in 2019 went down on Nov 16th, and, in 2018, Nov 20th. Hard to say if this will be a new record or not...

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