Warning: This guide is meant to make spraying the lawn fun. I am not telling you to ingest these products. The “cocktail recipes” in this guide are meant to be sprayed on your lawn or landscape. Always read labels. Have fun.
Featuring: Nitrogen Extension
Many of you have asked for various ways to use the N-Ext products from Greene County Fertilizer Company. As I have said in videos before, these products are all new to me here in 2018. But now I have some experience, and results with them and I’m glad I went ahead on faith with these guys.
I met the owner, John Perry at a conference in St Pete Beach earlier this year, sat in on a couple of his sessions on soils, and I was hooked. It was like a whole new world had been opened up to me and the possibilities of more ways to “Throw’er Down” and “Spray and Pray” while also doing something good for the turf and soil… that really got me fired up!
After a consultation with my trusted friend Matt Martin from The Grass Factor, any doubts I had were gone and I started emailing and calling John and Greene County Fert asking how I could get some of these products for my own lawn, and more importantly, for my community.
Please realize: I took a pretty big risk here. If these products did turn out to be “snake oil,” then it was my reputation that would suffer. But I learned a long time ago to trust a gut feeling and I did and the results are in as you can see above. That is a small section in my back lawn that has been given no macro fert (no Milorganite or other fert) since the fall of 2017.
It’s only been hit with treatments of varying degrees from the Bio-Stimulant Pack. You can see the first “Epic Dose” I gave it several weeks ago. Then, just 14 days before the picture above, I hit it with the “MicroDose” cocktail recipe you see below. I “made it a double” because that’s how I roll and as you can clearly see, the lawn has responded nicely. Especially since there has been some decent lightning in the rains we’ve had, that has given me some natural nitrogen from the sky for which my lawn is well optimized to receive and utilize.
With that, let’s give you some answers to your most frequently asked questions first:
Do I have to water these in?
Not necessarily but it won’t hurt. These products can be taken in by plants via foliar activity or through the soil so watering doesn’t really make too much of a difference. But as I always say, “don’t make a mess!”
So feel free to spray and pray all day… but if you are spraying products with iron in them (which can stain) then don’t spray during a heavy rainstorm… you’re just asking for a mess everywhere! Other than that, be logical.
Also, as a general rule (more below) the products with nutrients like 7-0-0 GreeneEffect and 0-0-2 MicroGreene are going to do better absorbing via leaf tissue whereas Humic12 really needs to get to the soil so water it in.
Can I mix them together?
Yep, sure can. They all play nice together. They also play nice with any other liquid blanket apps you may be spraying. So if you are blanket spraying prodiamine for a pre-emergent app you can also add in 3 or 6oz/gallon of RGS if you like. That would be a good idea considering prodiamine can have some negative effect on roots. Not enough to really do damage per say, but it’s still not “good for the plant” either, so give er’ a little RGS to sooth the pain and stimulate a speedy recovery.
You could also mix RGS, 0-0-2 or 7-0-0 GreenEfEct into your grub control, nuisance pest control or fungicide application too. All good, spray and pray, save time in the process. Just use a 3oz/gallon rate when you do this. No need to get too carried away. You could also mix your fungicide with your grub control with your RGS. All good too, and soupy!
Only concern you may have with the N-Ext stuff is if you have a cheap pump sprayer it may get a little cloggy. I highly recommend you invest in a quality battery-powered backpack sprayer and learn it.
I produced a video here that shows you how to calibrate your sprayer by doing a bucket test. In that video, I over-complicate it because that’s how I roll but it’s really not that difficult to understand once you do, spraying liquids will become easier and easier. In fact, you may get to the point where I am getting and that is that I enjoy spraying liquids more than I enjoy spreading granular. I know right? Something about that spray - just gives me satisfaction. Like I’m painting and my inner Bob Ross is just flowing out into the lawn.
Do I have any heat or cold restrictions?
The only concern that may come about is spraying RGS at over a 6oz/gallon rate on cool season grass on days over 90 degrees. If you do this, you may see some tip burn. If you forget and do it, just get it watered in immediately. Tip burn is not serious anyway.
That’s really it. Feel free to spray and pray with the rest of it whenever you like, just keep in mind some of these products can stain concrete so don’t get too crazy.
Additionally, you should still follow general common sense rules with these products such as:
Will any of this interfere with my fertilizer (Milorganite) or pre-emergent applications?
Nope. I’d like you to think of these applications as a completely separate program but also know that the N-Ext products will optimize your turf and soil to better utilize the N-P-K you are applying.
As a very general rule, Humic12 and Air8 are soil beneficial products. RGS is great for the soil too but also pushes dense, deep turf roots (RGS stands for Root Growth Stimulator). 0-0-2 MicroGreen and 7-0-0 Greene EfFect are there to balance out nutrients in small doses and when used in bigger doses can bring a color response. De-Thatch is just what it says - melts thatch away, hose it!
None of that really has any overlap with your regular treatments. But as I said, they will help your Milorganite (or other fertilizer) work much better.
In a very over-simplified way, it’s a two-pronged attack:
Optimize the soil - get more from your fert apps - Nitrogen Extension (that’s what “N-Ext” stands for)
Spray on micros - needed for optimum plant health and a boost of color (more domination)
With that, let me show you some basic cocktail mixes that you may want to spray on your lawn. Spray these any time you get the urge to “Throw’er Down!”
I’ll even give you some mix rates. Your mileage may vary based on the size of your lawn, and how much product you have on hand.
Just keep in mind:
When we mix, we mix everything in 1 gallon increments.
So if I tell you "3oz/gallon of RGS" that means you pour 3oz of RGS into 1 gallon of water, mix it up good. (called "agitation")
That one gallon of "mix" should be sprayed out evenly across 1,000 sq ft of lawn. If you do that, you will have the correct rates applied.
How far will my product go?
Now I want you to think about the product you have on hand. You can get 1 gallon jugs and 2.5 gallon jugs from me.
1 gallon is 128 oz.
If you keep all of your mix rates at 3 oz/gallon (which is perfectly fine) then 1 gallon of product will cover 42,666 sq ft.
If you have a 10,000 sq ft lawn, you will get 4.26 applications from 1 gallon of product.
Staying with a 3oz/gallon mix rate, if you have a 10,000 sq ft lawn, and you purchased the Bio-Simulant pack, then you will get:
4.26 applications of RGS
4.26 applications of 0-0-2 MicroGreene
4.26 applications Humic12
4.26 applications Air8
You can mix these in any combination you like and spray every 3-4 weeks.
Read that again if needed: It’s important to understand the math at a basic level so you don’t blow your whole load on the first day. Stretch this stuff out - spoon feeding is a good idea in most cases. No need to get crazy unless you have gallons and gallons on hand like I do. In which case then, feel free to spray away and pray!
With that, here are some basic recipes for success that you could start using right away. Remember, they are all good for all times of the year, although being logical is always a good idea.
Remember, all rates are per gallon, and 1 gallon covers 1,000 sq ft.
One Last Note:
Hose end sprayer - sure you can use this method too. Just get the product out evenly across the lawn, especially if it’s a product that will cause a color response like 0-0-2 MicroGreene.
If it’s RGS or Humic or Air8, just hose it!
This one we just introduced and it’s an easy and effective way to reduce compaction and turn your soil into beautiful topsoil teeming with life and abundance. No kidding. No need to drive and rent an aerator anymore. This will do it for you and create long-lasting results. The Air8 will hammer deep into that compacted clay while the RGS pushes deep, dense, root development to chase it down.
This is going to be pretty thick so be sure to agitate early and often. Spray this mix every 4 weeks, all year long. Water it in, we want it deep, quick. You could also use a hose end sprayer for this and do quite well. 6oz of each in the sprayer, walk evenly across the lawn until it’s done spraying brown. Do your best to get this applied consistently across the lawn knowing that is you mess up or get too heavy in one spot and not another - everything will be ok. No harm, no foul, practice makes perfect!
This one is really all about stimulating a color pop. On the back side, however, it will even out your micro-nutrient load which is good for everything else the turf is trying to do, namely photosynthesis. I started using this in between my regular fert apps to extend the color pop and it’s worked nicely.
9 oz 0-0-2 MicroGreene
6 oz 7-0-0 Greene Effect
This one should be done from a pump sprayer and keep it even and consistent across the lawn. Any areas you get too heavy on will be darker and if you miss any spots, you’ll be able to tell - so make sure you watch what you are doing here. This also makes a nice addition to your domination line if you want to get it just a little darker on the edges.
Side note: the term I often use “double dark” actually came from Jake The Lawn Kid in this video here.
Here in Florida, we have fertilizer restrictions during the summer rainy season. This is because the afternoon downpours we get are so sudden and heavy, they will literally wash fertilizers out of our sandy soils and off into rivers and the gulf or ocean. So how do we keep our lawns green all summer? We use this cocktail every 2-3 weeks, and literally “spoon feed” the micros.
3 oz RGS
3-6 oz 0-0-2 MicroGreene (dial this up or down depending on the response you get and how much you have on-hand)
Cool season grass friends: hey you can use this too! I have said before and I’ll say again, “I don’t like to push too much growth in the summer on cool season grass.”
Even if you are irrigating, heat spells over 90 degrees can really stress out Kentucky Bluegrass, rye and fescue too. Throwing quick release, synthetic nitrogen on a heat-stressed lawn is just asking for trouble. This is why I have recommended backing down the fert rates to ½ lb/N/1000 and using Milorganite or Ringer Lawn Restore (organics).
But what if you wanted to back them off almost completely and still keep her nice and green? This is your answer. Just because you don’t have a blackout doesn’t mean you can’t institute one of your own. This is an inexpensive way to keep nice summer color and not stress your cool season turf. Spray and pray every 3 weeks. Keep it irrigated.
Deeper Roots. That’s what The Dirt Diggler is all about. The deeper, the better. Hammer this one in a couple times per year (spring and fall) for the overall health of your soil. This one can also cure your lawn’s dry spots. Any areas that seem to dry out quicker than others, pack a load in heavy and watch those dry spots turn moist and beautiful within days.
Your best choice here is a saturation right out of your hose end sprayer. Load up the little tank and blow that load anywhere and everywhere. Your dirt will love the Diggler.
You can also spray this from a pump sprayer, just keep the mix well agitated as always, use the fan tip. The Dirt Diggler works fine from the tip, but you definitely want to get it watered in so it penetrates, deep.
Lastly, you can use a variation of this one for bare spot repair. Warm season turf that spreads by stolons or rhizomes (St Augustinegrass, bermuda, centipede, zoysia) just do this to your bare spots:
If you have cool season turf, do the same thing but throw grass seed on the bare spot first, then soak everything down, including the grass seed. You may want to cover the seed with something like peat moss just to keep the area moist because you still need to water every day for the seed to grow.
Have the bio-stimulant pack and want to really jolt your growth and thickness? Use this cocktail during growth periods. In cool season lawns this will be spring and fall and for warm season turf it will be early-to-mid summer.
3oz 0-0-2 MicroGreene
3 oz Air8
You can spray this via pump sprayer or hose end sprayer - whatever is easier for you. Apply every 3 weeks during growth periods and watch your turf get super chubby. In fact, if you have the bio-stim pack and want the easiest way to use it - this is your recipe, year ‘round.
Two of the biggest issues we hear, especially with cool-season lawns, are thatch and compacted soil. This is your tonic. Spray this every 3 weeks any time of the year, don’t limit yourself to just spring and fall if you have enough product on hand.
For zoysia - if you have zoysia, you know thatch buildup can be a real issue. If this is the case, plan to start mowing a bit lower, probably down to 2”.
But first, burn up that thatch and strengthen that topsoil by using this heavier mix:
Spray this on via hose end sprayer or pump sprayer. You can apply every 3 weeks.
I love this one for your trees, shrubs, and palms in the spring and fall time. This one requires a backpack sprayer and you will want a tip that can spray a longer stream, or be twisted down to produce a fan or cone. It’s the one that comes pre-loaded on most sprayers and looks like this photo here.
3oz 0-0-2 MicroGreene
Coat down the leaves or fronds until they are almost dripping wet, underside and topside if you can. Spray the trunks and woody parts of trees. You can also drench this at the based of plants that are smaller and definitely give a few squirts to your potted plants, right into the root zone.
This is truly a “spray and pray” type application and you can apply this every 2-3 weeks if you like. Just don’t spray this on anything that is in bloom, and don’t spray during day temps over 80 degrees. It will stain, so keep it off your driveway, sidewalk or house!
It’s beer for your tree roots! (palms and shrubs too). This is a soil drench technique for trees or shrubs in landscape beds. The first thing is you need to understand the measurements. This application is “per caliper inch” when we measure it out. So the first thing you have to do is measure the tree to be treated. We do this by getting the “DBH” or “diameter at breast height.” It’s super easy and you can learn how to do it quickly here.
If your tree is not that tall yet, then measure the same way, but at 12 inches from the ground.
So for Root Beer - you need a 3-gallon bucket. I recommend that no matter what size tree you are feeding, you mix the products into at least 2 gallons of water in this bucket. Remember, you need to drench all the way around the drip line of the tree and that may mean having the mix in more water so you can spread it across a bigger area. I hope that makes sense.
Here is the mix.
For Trees or Palms
1 oz product per caliper inch. (1 oz of each product per caliper inch)
- 4-0-2 FloraGreene
Mix this into as much water as you want. We just want to deliver a consistent application around the tree. A 3-gallon bucket is what I use. If your tree is surrounded by mulch or rocks, I recommend you water the area first. Saturate and get things moving, then pour the mix evenly around the entire drip line of the tree. Next, water that in again for just a few couple minutes. Let’s get that product down into the root zone, but not puddling or running off. No heat restrictions here.
You can’t measure diameter in shrubs or clumped palms planted in landscape beds so in this case you will want to just drench the beds around the plants.
Pour it on top of your shrubs and let it run down the woody stems and onto the ground beneath. Or bend down and dump the mix and drench it all around the beds where your shrubs live. Water a little before and after just to get everything moving down into the soil. If temps are over 80 degrees, keep this on the ground and not on the leaves of plants. If some gets on them, spray them off well with water… again, only if temps are going to be over 80 degrees. If you are just soil drenching, then there is no temp restriction.
An alternative for getting your root beer into your shrubs even quicker is to use the very same mix above but put it into your hose end sprayer and just spray and pray all day! Hose em’ down you can’t hurt anything. When the mix stops showing brown, re-load and continue, all the way down the line over the top of all of your shrubs. Just keep it off of anything that is in bloom at the time you spray. Pre-watering is recommended here too because remember, we do want this down in the roots so try and direct it down there as best you can.
This is best as a spring and fall time application method because again, don’t get it on leaves when over 80 degrees.
Ok so there are some of the basic recipes you can use on your lawn to really help get the soil and turf into gear using the N-Ext products. I encourage you to experiment on your own. Check your topsoil, compaction levels, root structure… check them often. Watch the progress.
One thing I noticed here recently since I started using them is that my lawn stays quite green even though no traditional fertilizer has been added in months.
My front lawn has gotten Starter Fert in Mid-Feb and since has had 3 treatments of RGS and some Humic12. It also got a heavy shot via hose end sprayer of the Dirt Diggler.
I also hit it with 0-0-2 MicroGreene and Greene Effect about 28 days prior to the photo above.
I’d say that is some good color considering that’s all that’s been added. More to come, stay tuned to the channel for updates weekly.
I’ll see you in the lawn!