Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Conspiracy Theory?

I was teaching the soils part of the Master Gardener Program here in Pulaski County yesterday. The class is a good one and asked a lot of good questions. We inevitably get sidetracked on to topics only related on the fringe.

The discussion was about fertilizers. And it turned to crabgrass control. UK recommends applying crabgrass control in late winter/early spring. Around here, that's March 15 or so. However, no fertilizer is recommended in the spring -- all fertilizers for turf should be applied in the fall and winter for our cool-season grasses.

Here's the buyer's beware: Just you try to find a crabgrass control product that has no fertilizer! It's dang near impossible! And it shouldn't be.

I'm not a conspiracy-minded person, but I truly believe that these chemical companies are in cahoots with lawn mower manufacturers. By putting fertilizer on legitimate spring crabgrass control, you are guaranteed to have to mow your lawn 2-3 times a week. Think about it. I don't think I'm that far off.

Here's another point. Several years ago, we were able to buy the crabgrass control only (with no fertilizer attached) from a dealer in Lexington KY. However, in 2005 this dealer did not carry the chemical by itself. The product they carried had 7% nitrogen! I asked them why? why? why?

The answer was that their lawn care guys (their customers) were demanding a crabgrass product WITH FERTILIZER! You make your own mind up. I have.

The picture above is 'Fireworks' goldenrod. A welcome splash of color this time of year.

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