Is It Too Early to Fertilize my ” Yellow /Hungry Field ?

This winter has been exceptionally wet.  February alone has recorded 10 plus inches in the rain gauge.  The warm/cold cycle continues.  The soil temperatures are cold and applying normal analysis fertilizers will be a waste of money until the fourth week in March when the Spring Solstice arrives.  The night lengths begin to shrink and the days become longer and as a result the soil temperatures begin to rise more rapidly.  When the soil temperatures reach approximately 53 degrees the plants begin to take up soil nutrients more efficiently. So now with the cold temperature what can we do?  The old standby fertilizer ammonium sulfate is a very useful tool.  This material will release a little nitrogen every time the soil temperature in the top inch raises – as with a sunny day.  Consequently, the grass plants have a little nutrient immediately available to them.  The rate to apply is no more than 5 lbs. of product per 1000 sqft.  Make this application when there is the possibility of rain otherwise you may get a temporary burn.  If this product is used later in the season it may give you a strong flush of growth which will produce more grass clippings than you want to deal with.  But now the timing is excellent.  Later in March when you  apply the balanced fertilizer  – it will do even better because a healthy grass plant can better utilize the fertilizer.