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#147823 02/04/09 09:29 PM
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I am the volunteer caretaker of a 300 foot long earth dam on one end of a 3 acre neighborhood pond in Midland, Georgia. The pond is stocked with bass and bluegill.

The grass on the dam is bahia. What precautions should I use for caring for the grass near the lake? I think I can use Scotts Weed and Feed and Scotts fertilizer with 2% iron safely enough. I am staying away from pesticides completely.

Is there a pre-emergent herbicide for preventing crabgrass that I can use by the pond? I haven't found one yet that said it could be used by water.

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I can not directly answer your question. However most herbicides when applied properly will not harm anything in the pond. Pesticides, ant killer etc has a much greater chance to causing a fish kill. While it is great your are being safe I do not feel any preemergent on the market could do any damage to the pond if applied within label specfications.


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GeoPond, I do not know if Prodiamine (barricade)is labled in Ga or not, It does have a low toxcity and stays put in the soil "however"all pesticide labels will state in the Enviromental Hazards section that they can be a problem if they enter the water, or reach a level beyond solubility.We use approx 12 tons per year impregnated on dry fertilizer of a 40% slow release with no P205 (18-0-7 with .29 Prodiamine) and a good share of it is applied around ponds and lakes with no problems.I apply it also to my own 7.5 acre lawn which has much of the watershed going into a small pond.My second choice would be "Dimension" and lastly Pendimethalin. Search to see if they are labeled in your state on your grass type.

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Thanks for the replies!

Both Pendimethylin (Scotts Halts) and Dimension mentioned fish toxicity, so I was wary of those. I don't want to be responsible for any kills or three-headed bass. The dam has had no maintenance done other than mowing for the 6 years I've been here and probably another 4 years before that and it looks it. I'm volunteering as caretaker for the dam and learning as I go.

The Prodiamine (Barricade) sounds great, low toxicity and an eight month effectivity. What Prodiamine only products can be spread with a fertilizer spreader? A Prodiamine/fertilizer combination should be perfect for a September application here in central Georgia.

Ted, do you know of a Prodiamine/fertilizer that is readily available in stores?

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Mole crickets are a problem on the dam. Does anyone have any pond friendly advice on controlling those?

If anyone doesn't know what a mole cricket is, google for some pictures. UGLY little buggers!

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Home Depot carried the Lesco line last year,Lesco always had Prodimine available impregnated on fertilizer. John Deere Landscape bought out Lesco so I do know the marketing plans.I would try HD first for retail sales.Prodamine has been around forever and should be easy to find.You may want to do a seasrh on Shaws and SpringValley and The Andersons fertilizers as they are all major players.The Andersons have a .48% Barricade impregnated on DG Pro (which is just a granular carrier no fert)that is applied @3.5-4 lbs per 1M sq ft.The key with prodamine is to get it applied early as it is root and shoot absoarbed and has no post activity.I would stay away from liquid formulations unless you irrigate as it can hang up in thatch and grass and a mowing can then wind row the product. Timing on crabgrass germination in your area should be well documented and may vary from large,smooth or hairy crabgrass. I prefer application at least 30 days prior to germination if you can not irrigate.Mole cricket control and water and fish will be more difficult to find a product you can be comfortable with.

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Thanks Ted.

I did see Lesco and Ferti-lome had some fertilizer/Barricade combinations. Lesco looks like it has way too many combinations. At least I have until September to figure out which one to get. Any recommendations?

I don't think I've seen Lesco at our Home Depot, just Vigoro and Scotts I think. We do have a John Deere Landscape store though.

I think I have my products and schedule figured out for the year:

April - Scotts Weed and Feed
June - Scotts with 2% Iron
September - fertilizer/Barricade combo

How does that sound? I'm hoping the Barricade will provide bluegrass, crabgrass, and some weed suppression for most of the year.

We do have irrigation by the way. There was a sprinkler system put in about 10 years ago when the dam was first hydroseeded. The system was used the first year and then shut off. It took a while to find all of the system.

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You may want to switch April and September around as Barricade in Sept wont control crab grass, We prefer fall applictaions for broadleaf weed control,(weed and feed)Most broadleaf weed control impregnated on dry fert do a lousy job and you have a lot more broadleaf options if you spray (unlike crabgrass control)Scotts brand normally is too fast a release to be a good value for our cool season turf, yours may be different. I would lean towards talking to JDL especially about what type of annual grass you have and germination dates.A good site for information is http://www.lawnsite.com but be aware if you post they will come down hard on most.I do mostly "search" there as the personalities can leave a lot to be desired at times on that site.

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Who is JDL?

I'm sure you are right about the Scott's releasing too fast. They'd have you fertilize every month if they could. It is just a name I am familiar with. What you you recommend for slow release?

Let's see, if I apply Barricade in April that will last me until November, correct? I think that would allow for sprouting of blugrass and cool season weeds. A September application would last until April and then allow the crabgrass to come out. Weeds might pop up too, but soon after April the heat will kill them out.

This year I want to avoid applying a pre-emergent in April because we will be seeding in many areas.

The weed and feed is to help with the weeding. There are actually 3 lakes and 2 dams in the neighborhood with 40,000 square feet of area to look after. Our new home owners association is hopefully going to get a service to take care of the fertilizer and weeding.

By the way, the growing season for bermuda and bahia grass here starts in May and the grass will stay green as late as November.

I'll lurk around lawnsite. Thanks for the warning

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I think it is picture time. This is the dam closest to my house.

5-9-08:



10-17-08 after filling the ruts with more than 3 cubic yards of topsoil and seeding:



6-18-08 better pictures of the ruts:



6-16-08:



10-15-08:



The second dam needs similar work done this year.

Last edited by Georgia pond; 02/12/09 06:02 AM. Reason: Added 10-15-08 picture.
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This is the other side of the same dam towards the end of 2008 after some good rains. It is amazing what a little care will do:



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JDL would be John Deere Landscapes and yes a little care goes a long way. We dont apply anything less than 50% slow PCSCU (poly coated sulfer coated urea)If a pre is impregnated then 25% is plenty as you dont want to tie up the herbicide. All of our applications have 2-3% iron.We average 3-5 lbs of total N per 1000 sq ft for the entire season April to November.This can take from 3 to 6 total applications.

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Thanks for your help and patience Ted. Obviously I have a lot more research to do.

The bank on the dam away from the lake wasn't nearly as rutted as the lake side was. Last April it was nothing but nearly foot tall dandelions. We couldn't even see if there was grass or not. With water and some fertilizer the bahia eventually filled in all the numerous bare spots. Nature always amazes me with her ability to bounce back. We had some strips of bermuda that I thought might need resodding. With some effort they bounced back beautifully. This is not a bad neighborhood by any means. These areas were just terribly neglected for some reason. Bahia is a tough, ugly grass, but it does need some care.

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Hi Georgia Pond:
I don't know about lawn care in Georgia. But here in our homeowners assn. we have just banned the use of any fertilizer with phosphorus. We are promoting reduced applications (of course you have to stay way back from the lakes like 15 ft) to avoid the run-off into the water, and want reduced number of treatments with slow release nitrogen products used. We are also suggesting a core aeration in place of a fertilizer treatment. Will be interesting if water testing of the water coming in through the storm drains comes out any better this year than last year. The slope in your photos looks like it just slopes right to the water, ever considered native plants in place of the grass?


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Hi 2catmom.

I'd read about the phosphorus concern around lakes. Much to my surprise the company that manages the lake added phosphorus last year.

I do want to keep applications to a minimum to keep costs and effort down too. I'll get no-phos if the levels are ever found to be high. I stay a few feet from shore when fertilizing.

Native plants could be a good idea. For now I want to re-establish the grass and then see how much care it needs to stay established. Erosion as shown in the pictures is pretty common in Georgia where the grass gets nothing but rainfall. We have areas where I work like that.

Another contributing factor in our erosion is the mowing service that loves to scalp areas of the grass to the ground. The scalped areas easily die in the summer heat. We need to quit going with the lowest bidder on everything

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Have you considered using corn gluten meal as an organic pre emergent? I've never used it but it is supposed to work well.

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Hey There Georgia Pond:
I just mailed out a Press Release today to all the local papers about the banning of phos. If you in your sub want a copy I could send it to you. We don't allow salt, why they have let lawn companies come in and put down 6 applications with untrained workers all these years with the storm drains going into the lakes makes no sense at all. It is a matter of getting what you pay for, I know the climate is different down there. They say there is enough phos. in midwestern soils already, maybe that isn't true about Georgia, I just don't know. Too much nitrogen isn't good either, I guess it depends on the use of your lake/pond, here it has always been swimming, floating, etc. We use the saying: "Use your head, you live in a watershed."


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RobA, You are correct about positive results about using corn gluten meal. There is some good information on it in the "Organics" section of http://www.lawnsite.com 2cat I think phos will be eliminated in most lawn care programs with the recent high cost of product.In the past it was a cheap way to get some "N" as products lake MAP (mono ammonia phosphate 11-52-0 and DAP (diammonia phospahte 18-46-0 had N @ 2-3 cents per lb Most formulators use a method called "least cost formulation" to get to a certain analysis 16-16-16 for example will have some 46% N urea sone 21%N (ammonia sulfate) and some Dap or Map in it to arrive at the 16% N. I have soil tested thousands of acres in NW Ohio over the last 30 years (mostly for crop production) and rarely find that an established lawn needs any phos.I applaud Michigans efforts to rid phos in lawn care.Look for "K" pot ash to go the same direction as phos in lawn care due to cost over the next 3-5 years.It seems that cost always over rides common sense when it comes to the enviroment, if it takes expensive fertilizer to curb use in lawn care high prices are a great thing. The down side is that expensive fertilizer adds to corn production being about $4.00 per bushel to break even and with a $3.60 corn market its easy to do the math on why we will subsidize agriculture for years to come.(I'll come down off of my soap box now) \:\)

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Just another suggestion on Organics. Corn Gluten is a wonderful organic pre emergant it will also help with FA blooms in the pond. Try local farm stores or ganden centers. Try dirtdoctor.com for more organic information for the lawn. I am not sure on the timing in your area, but north central Texas timming is now until first of March.

Just a side note most chemical weed and feed products contain some not so good chemicals.


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Thanks everyone. This is exactly the information I am looking for.

I read a little about corn gluten as a pre-emergent. How costly and effective would it be compared to Barricade? Cost is definately a concern as the home owners association does not have unlimited funds.

The Scotts Weed and Feed has 2,4-D and Mecoprop as herbicides. I was hoping these were safe enough to use within a few feet of the lakes. From what I've read I believe I should stay away from anything with "amine" or "salt" on the end of the name.

I had planned on putting down some weed and feed this March before we fill and seed in April and May. Could someone recommend a fertilizer for this first application? I'd be willing to give up the "weed" part if it would be bad for the lakes. Available vendors nearby are John Deere Landscapes, Home Depot, Lowes, and stores that carry Hi-Yield and Ferti-lome.

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2catmom, I'm not hearing too much concern about phosphorus yet. I need to do a proper soil test and see what our content is.

Ours are not swimming lakes. Our lakes are pretty murky from the clay soil and pretty shallow, 10 feet max would be my guess. We do have quite a few people fishing though. I'm hoping that restoring the dam banks will help clear up the ponds.

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Georgia pond
If you use the Corn Gluten it is a mild fertilizer. Look at the local garden center for a humate or we use gardenville soil food both are all organic. Do not get concerned about the numbers on the bag, unlike synthetic fertalizers organics will feed the soil not the plant directly. Healthy soil makes for healthy lawns.

Did I also read you had a cricket problem. Crickets is easy to solve with benifical nematodes.


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Thanks Chuck. Where do you get your nematodes? How do you apply them?

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Consider just hand spot spraying weeds are they appear,Lot safer approach to weed control A good 2 4 d that also has an Aquatic label will work fine, We use Weedar 64 up to the waters edge and it has an Aquatic label.Your local JDL should have it or search NuFarm products that are labeled in your neck of the woods.

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Thanks Ted. I'll check out the aquatic 2 4 d's.

Since I didn't use a pre-emergent last year there are all sorts of weeds everywhere now, making spot spraying time consuming. I'm spraying with a Solo back pack sprayer. We have another volunteer on the other dam, but she is using a two gallon pump sprayer. That is why I was hoping for some relief by using a weed and feed.

It's all good though. Everything will still look much better than the same time last year when nothing was done but mowing. We are getting an early start on weeding. Plus, I don't think anyone expects the area to be weed free. The summer heat will kill most of the weeds anyway starting in May. Last year it was like someone hit a switch and all of the sudden the weeds died out and the grass appeared.

I started caring for the area starting last March when I grew tired of the neglect. The new home owners association is looking for a service to do the fertilizing and weeding. I may keep doing it if I can get good enough at it. The volunteer work has been rewarding and I am learning a lot. It is good to see the area slowly being restored to its original appearance.

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GP
Check this website they should be able to put you in contact with Organic solutions in your area of the state.

Georgia Organics
P.O. Box 8924
Atlanta, GA 31106
404-873-3034
404-873-3135
http://www.georgiaorganics.org/


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Hey Georgia Pond:
I was thinking about plants for that site (I know you are into the grass) and just what popped into my mind were anything in the Sedum family, and Vinca Periwinkle. My mom lived in Florida for a while I recall thinking about the Vinca Periwinkle we plant here as an annual, it grew like a little bush down there. Those plants are drought tolerant, require little care, and hold in the soil to prevent erosion and take up nutrients. The adavantage to the native non-invasive plants to your area is that the root systems grow deep and hold the soil in place. It was nice to think about those flowers at my mom's, she died in 1999.


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Thanks 2catmom. I'll look into those. We do need a woman's touch on the dam. We had one of the neighbor's daughters plant pansies out in front of the gazebos as a school project. That was great. Right now my priorities are re-establishing the grass, repairing the sprinkler systems, clearing overgrowth, and generally tidying things up. I'm glad the current home owners association is agreeable to all of this.

Do you have pictures of your area?

Chuck, thanks for the organics link.

Ted, you mentioned preferring Dimension over Pendimethalin, any particular reasons?

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Pendimethalin photo degrades quickly by comparison, it has a yellow dye impregnated on it to slow the process(UV inhibitor) until it comes in contact with moisture and soil.It can also be a root pruner and moves to some degree in the soil.The Ag sector know this product as Prowl and it is very old chemistry.Dimension is very much different in that it stays put and can be applied somewhat later than Pendi as it has some degree of reachback or post control on 1-3 tiller stage crabgrass.The midwest turf market leans towards Barricade and Dimension but they cost more than Pendi.In Ohio the heat thins out our desirable turf and sets the stage for crab grass germination and then the first week of October or a 35F night will kill it all out. Different situation than yours.

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Thanks Ted.

I went by John Deere Landscapes after work. The guy there sounds like one of the guys on lawnsite.com. His first suggestion was Rounduping all the bahia and planting bermuda. I doubt that is going to happen and I don't know that we would want to.

He gave me their Pendamethalin based program for bermuda grass. He said it would be good for bahia too, but who in their right mind would want that? The schedule is pretty extensive. I was so ready to get out of there I didn't ask about Barricade or Weedar 64.

I wish you worked at our JDL Ted.

For those who suggested organics, I'm not opposed to them, I just know I have even more to learn about them than I do chemical based methods.

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I dealt with the same guy at John Deere Landscapes last year. I was looking for a way to hold down our seeding on the bank. There is at least one company that makes a mulch with a tackifier in it and JDL sells it. He wasn't much help at all. I think that unless you are buying by the pallet he doesn't want to talk to you.

I ended up finding Soiltac. It is basically Elmer's glue. Mixed 40 to 1 with water it can be sprayed over seeding and it will prevent the area from washing out in a pretty good rain. The best thing is they will sell it in modest quantities.

http://www.soiltac.com/

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How did the soiltac work? From the website, it looks like the intended applications is for areas that will not have plants.


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The Soiltac worked great. It was perfect for the project and let me sleep like a baby unless a hurricane was forecast. I just mixed it in a two gallon pump or back pack sprayer and sprayed it liberally (about 2 gallons of 40:1 mix per 9 square yards) on where we'd seeded. A 40:1 mix equals 3.2 ounces of Soiltac per gallon of water. Any sprayer will do, but be sure to rinse it well after use.

While not advertised as a tackifier it is listed in their rate table:

http://www.soiltac.com/application-rates.aspx

I forget how I stumbled upon them. I wanted an organic guar gum tackifier, but couldn't find one readily available. While not organic, Soiltac seemed to be safe and environmentally friendly.

It was very hard to find information on tackfiers and when I did their ordering system would be terrible and they would only deal in huge quantities.

Soiltac has an easy online ordering system and they will sell in 1 quart or 5 gallon "sample" quantities. They were very helpful and would promptly answer any question.

It is pretty versatile. I plan to always have some around for holding problem drainage areas in place.

I also used Greenview Grass Seed Accelerator paper mulch which also seemed to help hold the seeding in place. I threw the mulch on at least an hour after spraying the area with Soiltac because I didn't want the mulch soaking it all up.

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Georgia Pond:
I have installed a vegetative buffer zone on my frontage. I am amazed at what grows in the sand and gets full sun. Ground cover Ajuga loves it!!! My frontage will be one huge mass of purple flowers this spring, and every spring after. I have some cool stuff growing, like all kinds of daylillies, iris, some plants that I don't know the names of, even hosta growing where the springs are, lots of coneflowers, and in the water I have Pickeral Weed, some zebra rushes, it has turned into a gardening experiment that I never expected. Very cool, people here have tried to keep sandy beaches they have to weed and reclaim the sand over and over and over. The plants retain the sand, and prevent erosion, attract wildlife like butterflies, birds, (those pesky muskrats) and the rocks make a nice home for frogs, I had two kinds last year, green and brown. Nobody has seen a frog around here in decades.
I don't know how to do photos yet on the computer. Every 6 months I pay a service to come out and clean up the computer, install stuff, next time out I will have them teach me how to post photos on PBF.


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2catmom, your description sounds wonderful.

I wish I could help you with the pictures. Do you have any digital pictures you could email me? I'd be happy to post them.

When I visit my folks in California I help my Mom with her computer. She has had one for years, but she still gets very frustrated with finding files and editing photos.

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Georgia:
Now if we can get the water to look good! I'll take photos this spring (it should be more mature this year) hopefully I can post them. I took the photos off the camera card and have 2 c.d.s with the photos on it. A customer today (a big time computer whiz) said he would come over soon and show me how to do it, that it was easy. Sweet of you to ask and offer. If you tire of the grass thing any local nursery could help you pick native non-invasive plants to your area. I forgot to mention all the dragonflies, they are cool too.


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I just had soil tests ran on the two dams and both are low in phosphorus. The fertilizer recommendations in pounds per acre are 75-175 Nitrogen (N), 80 Phosphate (P), and 40 Potash (K).

It looks like I will need a starter fertilizer to get those NPK ratios. Reading the Lawnsite forum it sounds like phosphorus shouldn't runnoff. Can I fertilize up to the water's edge safely, or should I stay back some and how far? The soil is clay.

I was told last year we added phosphorus to the lakes because they had too much nitrogen.

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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GP / Do you have a CEC and or an Organic matter reading,PH would help too. You state the recommendation is per acre, was that for turf as often results are given for AFS (acre furrow slice) which is 9.66 inches of depth (field crops) and turf is approx 40-50% of that depth.Lastly what depths did you pull the core samples ??

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 Originally Posted By: Ted Lea FOREVERGREEN
GP / Do you have a CEC and or an Organic matter reading,PH would help too. You state the recommendation is per acre, was that for turf as often results are given for AFS (acre furrow slice) which is 9.66 inches of depth (field crops) and turf is approx 40-50% of that depth.Lastly what depths did you pull the core samples ??


Hi Ted!

I don't think I had the CEC or Organic matter reading. The results I got back were for phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese and pH. The pH for one dam was 5.7 and the other 4.7. Phosphorus showed to be low. Magnesium was in the high range. Everything else was in the medium range.

I took samples to 4 inches per the Cooperative Extension office instructions. They catagorized the bahia grass as pasture.

Did I do wrong? Speak to me as you would a child

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Your N recommendation would be for the entire season. For stand establishment figure .5 lb per 1000 sq ft or 22 lb per acre basis.A standard blend which you should be able to find already bagged would be 8-32-16 and apply 250 lbs per acre which would calculate to 20-80-40 NPK. Phosphorus for the most part is immobile depending on the CEC (cation exchange capacity) since you state you have clay soils it should stay put. If you can do any kind of incorporation of this fert it will have a chance to move less.The 4.7 sample may be a little low but I defer to your local experts on desired PH for your grass.Consider asking your extension about feeding one lb of N with 2-3% iron per 1000 sq ft after stand establishment 2-3 times per growing season. All N applications should be 50% slow release IMHO.You probably have a low organic matter to call for those N levels. Normally a simple formula for soil N is 10-15 lbs N available per % organic matter.(3% OM could be worth 30-45 lbsN)An agonomist would cringe at that statement as many other factors play in but still result the same approx.

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Are the phosphorus and potassium recommendations for the entire season too? They don't seem to have been recommended differently from the N recommendation. I expected to use a fertilizer with a 2(or more):2:1 NPK ratio.

The recommended pH is 6.0 to 6.5. For the 5.7 pH dam the recommendation was .5 tons/Acre of lime (I calculated this as 23 pounds per 1000 square feet) to bring it to 6.0. For the 4.7 pH dam the recommendation was 2.75 tons per Acre to bring it to 6.0, which I calculated to be 126 pounds per 1000 square feet.

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The P&K would be for the entire season.That much lime will need to be incorporated. If you just surface apply it you will maintain a 10 plus PH for quite awhile on the surface and in the top 1-2 inches.(not good)There are many adverse effects to high PH on the surface. Calcium &Mag which is basically what you are getting in lime is immobile also. Think of phosphorus and lime as needing to be mechanically placed where you want it as it clings (anionic/cationic effect)to soil particles.Water just does not carry it well throughout the soil profile.Phosphorus is the main component needed to aid germination, too much N&K (potassium) can salt out or harm germination. an 8-32-16 mix would work for your situation@ 5-6 lbs per 1000 sq ft to establish a stand.

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Ted, do you have any advice on getting the 8-32-16 fertilizer? Lesco's website doesn't appear to have it. Lesco is about all I have for professional fertilizer in Columbus, Georgia.

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GP if it helps we have water soulble 10-52-4 (little less K)we come through Columbus for one clients pond. Of course Foxworthy is not too far north of you and taking him about 60 bags for his new lake this year. You are welcome to meet us on I-185 if you like.


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I would thnk any local Co-op or Ag supply would have it as it is a standard starter fertilizer in most areas.

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Thanks for the offer Greg. How well does pond fertilizer work for lawns? Is it slow release?

I'm still trying to find a co-op or ag supply. Readily available high phosphorus fertilizers would be Pennington 18-24-6 and probably Lesco 18-24-12 50%PPSCU.

I'm looking into mixing my own using 34-0-0 ammonium nitrate, 0-46-0 triple superphosphate, and 0-0-60 muriate of potash to get something comparable to the 8-32-16. Then again, the ammonium nitrate probably wouldn't be slow release.

Ted, how long should I use the low nitrogen fertilizer for establishment?

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Since I get ay my cost I have used it at my house when needing high phos. and appears it worked fine but no real scientific approach. It is not slow release in fact disappears quickly in pond water so being a water soluble is not slow release. Good luck!


Greg Grimes
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