"Sorry if this is a rubbish question"
28 June 2017
This question came some months ago:
"I'm just pondering something about MLSN levels for Bent vs Poa and so hopefully you can clear it up.
Having seen a bit of research coming out about k levels affecting disease pressure differently for poa and Bent does that not mean there should be two different MLSN's for the two species?
Sorry if this is a rubbish question, I might have missed something somewhere."
That is not a rubbish question. There are three general points I'd like to make about this.
MLSN is a method for interpreting soil tests to prevent deficiency. That is, MLSN is designed to be conservative. The MLSN guideline serves as a quantity of K in the soil that the grass will never touch. The amount of K recommended as fertilizer using the MLSN approach differs based on three things: grass type, growth of the grass, and the quantity of K in the soil. The fertilizer recommendation for K changes for every situation, but the MLSN guideline remains the same.
This article by Doug Soldat has more about varying K fertilizer amounts and bentgrass and Poa annua diseases. If one wants to adjust the K fertilizer in an attempt to incite or suppress anthracnose or snow mold, or winter kill, then one might err on the side of a little bit more K for Poa in summer, and a bit less K for bentgrass, especially in autumn.
MLSN is meant to be simple, and is meant to answer two questions. Is this element required as fertilizer? If the answer to the first question is yes, then the second question it answers is "how much of the element is required?" It is meant to err on the side of recommending too much, rather than too little. One can use those recommendations as a reference, and then if one wants to try to reduce the intensity of snow mold, then cut the K.
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