Four ways to determine nutrient requirements

Ben Kebby has started a Facebook group, Tuesday Evening Research Papers, or T.E.R.P.S.

He shared this week an article I wrote in 2012 about understanding turfgrass nutrient requirements. I tried to write a 1 page update or overview to elaborate on that, but it spilled over to 2 pages. You can read it here, Four ways to determine turf nutrient requirements.

The four ways I described are the Jim Arthur approach, Ericsson’s demand-driven fertilization, MLSN, or guessing and experience. Arthur’s and Ericsson’s techniques both ignore the soil. I prefer MLSN because it considers not only the plant use, but also the amount in the soil. And while experience and guessing can work great, they don’t transfer well to other sites or grass types.

Understanding nutrient requirements—how much fertilizer to apply—is important because one wants to be sure to apply what is required. At the same time, one wants, as much as possible, to avoid applying any extra.

quotes from Zontek et al about extra fertilizer

On this topic, I also recommend the article by Zontek et al. about product choice, and product amounts, called Does the Grass Know the Cost?

Micah Woods
Micah Woods

Scientist, author, consultant, and founder of the Asian Turfgrass Center