Red Hen Soil Testing Procedures
Why is Red Hen selling fertilizer?
The big mass merchandisers have diluted their products so much they no longer deliver the essential nutrients grass plants in the Michiana area need.
Because of these watered down programs, we are getting more problem lawn calls that can be traced back to these insufficient programs.
The most responsible fertilizer program starts with taking an inexpensive soil test and then tailoring a fertilizer program to correct soil nutrient deficiencies. We don’t know of anyone else doing this and we want to offer consumers this option and assistance.
Instead of consumers reading small print on aisles and aisles of bags, trying to figure out what is best for their lawn, we believe in helping people choose the right fertilizer program for their lawn.
Since lawns are not standard 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 sq. foot sizes, we don’t think consumers should have to buy fertilizers that way. You tell us the square feet of your lawn, and we will tell you how much fertilizer to apply.
We think we can offer customers better fertilizing programs at prices less than they are paying at big box stores.
To soil test or not, that is the question! If you are particular about your lawn or have grass problems, you might want to start with pulling soil samples and sending them to the lab for analysis. The cost for each test is $8.25 plus shipping of soil to the lab. A test should be done every 10,000 sq. ft. every 3 years. Results are sent to us and we will evaluate them and make recommendations. Red Hen Soil testing procedures.
Our philosophy on fertilizers and pesticides
Always read and follow the instruction label on pesticides. Pay close attention to personal safety precautions. Avoid over spreading of fertilizer and pesticides on sidewalks and streets as they can become a pollutant in retention ponds and streams.
The first line of defense against weeds is to have thick grass and mow at minimum of 2.5 inches high as measured in the turf. Proper fertilization is essential for thick turf.
Mass merchandisers of fertilizer in the past years have decreased the amount of potassium contained in their products, which decreases plant health and leads to turf thinning.
All turfs have grubs, but they don’t cause a problem until there are more than 7 of them per square foot at the base of the grass plants.
We believe that advertising has caused many people to treat lawns for crabgrass and grubs when the risk of problems is low.
We will sell programs that treat for crabgrass. Once people thicken their turf with proper fertilization, the need for crabgrass prevention often disappears.
If grubs become numerous enough to cause problems, it is usually in certain areas and not the whole lawn. The first warning sign of a grub problem is a turf area that dries out sooner. At this time, it is easy to apply an insecticide to kill the grubs. This method of treatment saves people money and stops the needless use of dumping pesticides into the environment. Grubs
Or, you can read through the descriptions about our programs and choose the one you want. We have also developed a Fertilizer Decision Tree that walks you through the options. Fertilizer Decision Tree
Red Hen Fertilizer Program Descriptions
Basic 4 step program
This is a nice, basic 4 step program. It is good for non-irrigated lawns and lawns not on sandy soils. It is important to put step 4 on because it primes the lawn to look good the following spring.
Basic 5 step program.
The 5 step program applies a little more nutrients for the people wanting a bit greener lawn. 5 applications are recommended on sandy soils and especially sandy lawns with irrigation.
5 Step program with annual grass pre-emergent
Use this program when you have a problem with annual grasses, like crabgrass and want to treat the complete lawn.
5 Steps with 2 annual grass pre-emergent
Want to win the crabgrass war? Use this program if you have had crabgrass after applying a pre-emergent earlier. Applying a second treatment about July 1 will help stop the “summer flush” of crabgrass. Sandy soils are less able to hold on to the April pre-emergent and extra amounts of rain in June can dilute the herbicide.
5 Steps with spring broadleaf control
This program is a basic Spring weed and feed. A broadleaf weed killing herbicide has been applied to the fertilizer pellets. Apply this fertilizer when the dew is on the grass.
5 Steps with annual grass pre-emergent plus spring broadleaf control
This program combines two common problems, crabgrass control and broadleaf control.
5 Steps with annual grass pre-emergent and spring broadleaf control plus grub control
This program throws everything but the kitchen sink at your lawn!
5 Steps with fall broadleaf control.
Fall is actually a better time to control broadleaf weeds, especially clover. As the weeds melt away, the fertilizer provides the nutrition for the turfgrass to fill in those spaces making a more dense turf that reduces weed competition.
5 Steps with annual grass pre-emergent plus grub control
This is a program to use for a year or so if your turf is thin and you don’t have a broadleaf problem. The annual grass pre-emergent will control weeds while the fertilizer thickens the turf which will eliminate the need for a annual grass pre-emergent next year.
5 Steps plus grub control
This is a basic 5 step program to use when grubs have been a regular problem.
5 Steps with broadleaf and grub control
This is a basic 5 step program when broadleaf and grubs have been a problem.
Glossary of terms
Annual grass –This is a grass type weed that comes up every year from seed. The best way to stop these weeds is with a pre-emergent herbicide. Crabgrass is an annual weed.
Pre-emergent herbicide - This is a herbicide that kills the annual weeds before they emerge from the soil. It is important to water this herbicide into the soil after it is applied. This herbicide has no effect when placed on weeds that have leaves above ground.
Post-emergent herbicides – These herbicides work when they are absorbed by the leaves and stems of weeds that have emerged from the soil and are above ground.
Selective herbicides – These herbicides kill some plants but not others. A herbicide that will kill clover and not kill grass is a selective herbicide.
Non selective herbicides – These herbicides kill everything green and growing, grass and weeds.
Weed types – Plants can be divided into three groups, grasses, broadleaves, and sedges. Grasses generally have long slender leaves. The veins of the leaves when viewed from the bottom side have parallel veins. Broadleaves can be any shape, and the veins when viewed from the bottom have a netted pattern, not parallel. Sedges have long slender leaves but it has an unusual shaped triangular stem. Generally, herbicides are active only on one type of weed. Herbicides that kill broadleaves won’t kill grasses or sedges.
Red Hen Fertilizer Program Descriptions & Glossary of Terms