Q: Is it too late to fertilize oats? I planted them early September, got plenty of rain and would now like to lightly graze them. I noticed that the blades are turning brown. (November 30, 2009)
A: Given your early September planting date, your oats should be fairly well along in growth. If the oats are still actively growing, that is, they are still vegetative or are in the boot stage; then you should be able to get some growth response to the fertilizer. If seedheads are emerging, then any forage benefit from fertilizing will be minimal. The other thing to consider will be the expected temperatures over the next month. Oats tolerate light freezes very well, but once temperatures fall below 20 to 25 degrees, growth will slow and stop and some freeze-down of the plants can be expected.