Its getting late in the season but still plenty of time for some fall fertilization. We are slightly later in our application this season than I would like but the rains over the last few weeks has forced us to change our plans somewhat. Its also difficult to place fertilizer on the ground when you are blowing leaves which could move the fertilizer away from the intended areas where it should stay. I would like to put some fertilizer down in September but I do not want to encourage and strengthen our bermuda grass that is in our rough. As you are aware, we are treating our bermuda in our close rough with our herbicide treatment. As we are able to remove the bermuda from some rough areas, we will then begin to fertilize a partial amount in late summer/early fall and then the rest in late fall. The early fall application does assist the cool season turf from summer damage. Its not the optimum time to apply but it does give the damaged areas a chance to recover before winter.
We put down about 75% of our rough turf requirements in the fall in which part of the material is quick release. The quick release portion is of the fertilizer will be used to provide just a very slight growth in the leaves of the plants but will mostly be used by the plant in storage and root growth before winter arrives. The remaining material is slow release which will be available to the turf next spring as it comes out of winter dormancy and begins to grow. The stored materials as well as the slow release material will provide energy throughout the spring. At the beginning of summer in June,
we will then apply a smaller amount of fertilizer for the summer months to help the turf to fight off and suppress disease and to strengthen the plants for the stress of summer.
Below you can see assistant Mike applying our fertilizer in our main rough with our Lely spreader. Some areas around greens, tees, and narrow fairway areas require walk spreading which we have completed over the last week or two.
Link to a nice article on late season fall fertilization from now retired Dr. Paul Rieke from Michigan State University.