The importance of a late fall, or winterizer application, cannot be overlooked.  It is the application that allows your turf to repair itself from the drought damage and heat damage it suffered through this past summer.

Just like the leaves change color due to the shortening of daylight hours, the grass plant also makes changes due to the shorter daylight hours.  These shorter days tell the grass plant winter is coming, and instead of moving the nitrogen from the roots to the blades it reverses this role and moves the nitrogen from the leaves down to the roots.  Approximately 75% of the amount of nitrogen you apply goes to the roots and 25% to the leaf tissue.  In the spring the opposite occurs. This allows the plant to put out new tillers and fill in the damaged areas.  If the damaged areas are larger than a one-foot square then seeding will probably have to take place.

The amount of nitrogen should be as close to one pound per 1000 sq. ft. as possible.  When you do this application in November or early December, the soil temperatures will be declining and a portion of the nitrogen will still be available in the spring.  This allows you to apply a smaller amount of nitrogen with your crabgrass prevention control product, reduce potential spring fungus problems, and keep your grass clippings somewhat under control.  This is not an application that you want your customers to skip. You not only make your most profit from this application, but it will affect the health and appearance of the turf the following season.