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hotwired
03-28-2006, 07:18 AM
HI Gang
Well I've done some more research with moving to organic program and this is what I'm going to try but I have a question or two.

1. foregoing the "nutrients plus" program. By the time I got thru my initial price jumped 60% because I wasn't buying a full truckload. I really don't like the whole "tractor trailer, pay extra for a drop ramp, pay extra for making appt., etc." anyway. I do 400,000 sq. ft. of turf 2-3 times per year.

2. Going with lesco dimension for my early app. My reasearch on Corn Gluten tells me that there is about a 90 second window of opportunity to put this stuff down and the jury is still out as to whether it even works period.

3. Going with Espoma "turf tone" which is 'enriched' with organic material but still some chem fert and also 100% espoma turf fert. Checked home depot but there stuff is made from "activated sewage sludge" which , well, I don't know, need I say more??

4. I will reduce my lime use a bit as a result of the calcium in this product as well as the fact I've been wacking 50lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. 4-5 years in a row on most of them now.

5. Will continue to spot spray for weeds with backpack sprayer vs. weed n. feed. (Ah, the glory of not having to get up at 4 am, and rush around while the dew is on the grass!!)

Now, my questions: I've heard about 2 products in particular. Cracked corn and Alfalfa pellets as well as lessers like feather meal, etc. that are supposedly high in protein and will indirectly add nitrogen, etc. to the lawn as well as organic matter. Does anyone have input regarding these products vs. a commercial product???

Thanks all! I'ts been very educational doing this research!! It strikes me that this info is VERY spotty and difficult to nail down in one place, though if I keep looking I might just find a "central" informational site that suddenly has everything.

nocutting
03-28-2006, 07:50 PM
HI Gang
Well I've done some more research with moving to organic program and this is what I'm going to try but I have a question or two.

1. foregoing the "nutrients plus" program. By the time I got thru my initial price jumped 60% because I wasn't buying a full truckload. I really don't like the whole "tractor trailer, pay extra for a drop ramp, pay extra for making appt., etc." anyway. I do 400,000 sq. ft. of turf 2-3 times per year.

2. Going with lesco dimension for my early app. My reasearch on Corn Gluten tells me that there is about a 90 second window of opportunity to put this stuff down and the jury is still out as to whether it even works period.

3. Going with Espoma "turf tone" which is 'enriched' with organic material but still some chem fert and also 100% espoma turf fert. Checked home depot but there stuff is made from "activated sewage sludge" which , well, I don't know, need I say more??

4. I will reduce my lime use a bit as a result of the calcium in this product as well as the fact I've been wacking 50lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. 4-5 years in a row on most of them now.

5. Will continue to spot spray for weeds with backpack sprayer vs. weed n. feed. (Ah, the glory of not having to get up at 4 am, and rush around while the dew is on the grass!!)

Now, my questions: I've heard about 2 products in particular. Cracked corn and Alfalfa pellets as well as lessers like feather meal, etc. that are supposedly high in protein and will indirectly add nitrogen, etc. to the lawn as well as organic matter. Does anyone have input regarding these products vs. a commercial product???

Thanks all! I'ts been very educational doing this research!! It strikes me that this info is VERY spotty and difficult to nail down in one place, though if I keep looking I might just find a "central" informational site that suddenly has everything.
Now thats a way ta make a real Bizness dec:hammerhead: ision

nocutting
03-28-2006, 07:56 PM
HI Gang
Well I've done some more research with moving to organic program and this is what I'm going to try but I have a question or two.

1. foregoing the "nutrients plus" program. By the time I got thru my initial price jumped 60% because I wasn't buying a full truckload. I really don't like the whole "tractor trailer, pay extra for a drop ramp, pay extra for making appt., etc." anyway. I do 400,000 sq. ft. of turf 2-3 times per year.

2. Going with lesco dimension for my early app. My reasearch on Corn Gluten tells me that there is about a 90 second window of opportunity to put this stuff down and the jury is still out as to whether it even works period.

3. Going with Espoma "turf tone" which is 'enriched' with organic material but still some chem fert and also 100% espoma turf fert. Checked home depot but there stuff is made from "activated sewage sludge" which , well, I don't know, need I say more??

4. I will reduce my lime use a bit as a result of the calcium in this product as well as the fact I've been wacking 50lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. 4-5 years in a row on most of them now.

5. Will continue to spot spray for weeds with backpack sprayer vs. weed n. feed. (Ah, the glory of not having to get up at 4 am, and rush around while the dew is on the grass!!)

Now, my questions: I've heard about 2 products in particular. Cracked corn and Alfalfa pellets as well as lessers like feather meal, etc. that are supposedly high in protein and will indirectly add nitrogen, etc. to the lawn as well as organic matter. Does anyone have input regarding these products vs. a commercial product???

Thanks all! I'ts been very educational doing this research!! It strikes me that this info is VERY spotty and difficult to nail down in one place, though if I keep looking I might just find a "central" informational site that suddenly has everything.
I'd go with the corn, than at the end of the season I'd make Pop corn to compete with the local movie theater:laugh:

quiet
03-28-2006, 08:19 PM
nocutting - why so cruel? The guy has given some good thought to his program. He's fertilizing 400,000 sf of (I assume) customers and wants to make a transition at a reasonable economic level for him and his customers.

Here's a chance for you to critique and point him in a few more directions; instead you give him this. Twice! Too many threads on this forum degenerate into name calling or worship of compost teas. Here's a guy putting a commercial program together and wanted comments, but he gets the wise-ass treatment. And give the guy credit for at least reading the research on CGM.

muddstopper
03-28-2006, 08:41 PM
I am probably going to get jumped on here but what the heck

To go totally organic you must know the nutrient values of the organic materials you are using. You should start with a soil test that give you available nutrients in your soils, not just total lbs. Organic materials will contain only the nutriens that where available in the soils that they where grown on. If the soil was low in P, the organic materials will be low in P also. Soil low in sulfur, the material will be low in sulfur also. Most nutrients that are found in organic materials are eaiser for the plants to take up simply because thoswe nutrients have been process once already. this means they are easier for microbes to digest and for the enzymes from the exudates of the plants roots to absorb. Simply buying organic materials like alfalfa pellets or corn gluten meal doesnt insure that you are getting all the nutrients your soil needs. You need a balanced organic material that contains all the nutrients necessary for plant growth before you can actually improve your soil. Yes, you might get some short term results, but if you keep adding the same nutrient deficient organic materials, your soil will evenually get out of balanced and you will get nutrient tieup, even tho you have been using totally organic nutrient sources. One organic material will not supply a balance of plant usable nutrients simply because some plants take up more of one nutrient than they will of others. This means you must mix and match your organic sources the same way you would choose a fertilizer. You must also match your organic nutrients to the nutrient needs of the soil. If your soil need P, you need a high organic source of P, you need K, an organic source of K. Cow manure and chicken manure are higher in K, hog manure is higher in P. Turkey manure also contains copper, buckwheat has a lot of calcium. Mix and match your organic materials until you build your soils nutrient levels. Just applying organic materials that are high in N will only leach out the calcium levels in the soil and cause nutrient tieup of the other nutrients the plants need. You might get good results just adding high N organics the first year or two, but sooner or later, you will find that your magic N source will stop working because the soil is lacking other necessary nutrients.

lilmarvin4064
03-28-2006, 10:19 PM
anyone ever try Sustane 10-2-10 + Nutralene? I was thinking of trying some of this out.

http://www.sustane.com/pdfs/specs/Specs_Sustane_10-2-10.pdf

quiet
03-28-2006, 10:57 PM
Mudd - why would you think you'd get jumped?

You're greatly advancing this thread (and forum) by reminding us of the complexities of soil science and it's interrelationship on fertilization programs (organic or not). You are greatly contributing to our knowledge base and understanding of this vastly complex industry.

You're helping people "elevate their game"!

hotwired
03-29-2006, 04:43 AM
Thanks for those responses. Yeah, I had to read the first two posts 3 times in disbelief. I just couldn't understand why someone would actually take valuable time out of their day and make those replies. Made me a little sad for them and their families. I say that because NOTHING shows up in one place that doesn't show up EVERYPLACE in one form or the other.

Thank you very much for the advice on moving around a little with the organic sources. That's partly why I'm also supplementing with a "proven" if you will "off the shelf" product like espoma turf tone. It actually gets much of it's NPK from plain ol' regular sources as well as the organic material. I'll probably offer soil testing as I get going as well to really nail down the micronutrients.

I am also looking at sustane myself and comparing products there. My theory is get out there and try something first and see what happens, tweak as you go.

Any other thoughts would be very much appreciated. Even the smart @ss ones!!

muddstopper
03-29-2006, 06:53 PM
I suggested a soil test to start your organic program. The reason behing that suggestion is two fold, first, you cant fix something if you dont know whats wrong with it. Second, using the proper chemical fertilizers to get the nutrient levels in the correct ranges before starting organics is a much faster way of building the soil. There are a lot of standard fertilizers that are acceptable for a organic program.

Once the soil available nutrients are in the proper ranges, you can go totally organic and never have to buy chemical fertilizers again. Maintenance levels of nutrients are a lot easier to apply using organics than building nutrient levels in your soil. Once the nutrients are present in the proper ranges and if you are not removing clippings, the nutrients will continuously recylce themselfs. Each time those nutrients are recycled, they become easier for the microbs and the plants to use. Never needing chemicals is a big statement, nutrients can and do leach from the soil and must be replaced. Using the wrong organic materials can increase the possibility of and actually increase the amount of leaching of different nutrients, depending on which nutrient you are applying to much of. Testing your organic sources for actual nutrient values helps insure that you are not applying something you dont need or not applying something you do need. A lot of commercial organic fertilizer are following the chemical fertilizer companies lead. They just list NPK and dont list the the amount of micro nutrients that they contain. You can get to much npk and be way short on other necessary nutrients that the plants need. Leaf analysis show just as much sulfur content as Phosphorous in healthy plants, NPK is made available to plants with calcium. Magnesium is needed for chlorphyll production. Plants need a lot more than NPK, and until people realize this, the chemical and orgainc fertilizer companies will continue to push NPK.

OrganicFert
03-31-2006, 12:14 PM
Nutrients PLUS is a value... I must disagree with your "60%" comment. Truck load pricing for 16-2-3 is $10.75 bag...per pallet order is $14.35 for Maine. For a product that has 40% organic matter and gives your customer results, sounds like a bargin to me. Please post your compariable product decision and it's realized cost for all to see.

livingsoils
04-01-2006, 04:08 PM
Organicfert
Where do you get 40% of organic matter from the 16-2-3?:confused: I checked out the label and see only 2.4% of the N is organic material and mostly from biosolids. 13% on the N is from ureas, no wonder you get good results.:weightlifter: (Nutrientsplus is Organic fert on steroids):weightlifter:

nocutting
04-02-2006, 12:40 AM
nocutting - why so cruel? The guy has given some good thought to his program. He's fertilizing 400,000 sf of (I assume) customers and wants to make a transition at a reasonable economic level for him and his customers.

Here's a chance for you to critique and point him in a few more directions; instead you give him this. Twice! Too many threads on this forum degenerate into name calling or worship of compost teas. Here's a guy putting a commercial program together and wanted comments, but he gets the wise-ass treatment. And give the guy credit for at least reading the research on CGM.
Sorry you view my comments as "Wise ass", look at Muddstoppers advice......obviously this guys got an established biz, wouldnt it be nice if he applied himself by reading a few books before comein in here lookin for short cuts?,,,,,hes got little knowledge of applied organics and is only looking for a cheap price to get on the organic wagon, of which I have little respect......"Quiet", as for me, probably 500 of my posts are in the positive range, I put in alot of time and "Free" advice as I see the need.....I would hope in the future,that, that guy would educate himself as much as the time hes putting in at his accountants office tryin to cost cut his way into organics on the Cheap......a guy like that, makes us all look bad as he /and his program usally crumbles and his customers are left with a bad taste in their mouths.:usflag:

Microbe
04-02-2006, 07:17 AM
Its those with no knowledge who will make "us," organic landscapers look bad, especially when there ORGANIC fertilizer contains more sources of sythetic nitrogen than some straight chemical fertilizers. Don't worry Nocutting when your president you will have your own group of "dedicated, more than knowledgable truely organic landscapers who will change this industry slowly, and will leave a positive footprint in the agricultural industry for years and years after we both become part of the earth once again. I can't even tell you how much customers appreciate skill and knowledge over blinded, money hungry, herbicidal lawn dummies. You'll see and you have seen already that organics works FAR better, longer, replaces lost nutrients do to guy's like this, and will once again rein suppreme over the pollutive method, "a chemical for this a chemical for that." I just had 4 people switch over to a fully organic program because they hate when there gardener spray's......... THANKS CHEM GUY"S KEEP UP THE DAMAGE!!!!!!!!!

NattyLawn
04-02-2006, 09:47 AM
Nutrients PLUS is a value... I must disagree with your "60%" comment. Truck load pricing for 16-2-3 is $10.75 bag...per pallet order is $14.35 for Maine. For a product that has 40% organic matter and gives your customer results, sounds like a bargin to me. Please post your compariable product decision and it's realized cost for all to see.

No offense OF, but suggesting the 16-2-3 as a suitable "organic" fert is a little off base here. We use Nutrients Plus, but do we ever put the 16-2-3 down in any round? Nope, but we do sell it to homeowners as a retail product for them to put down themselves. Sometimes price wins over Organic vs Chemical, but at least it's a start. As a bridge product, the comparison would have been OK. We use the 4-3-1, 6-2-4 and 4-3-2 in heavy rotation and are using the the 10-4-2 with Cavalcade this year. Is it completely organic? Nope, but we try to keep our customers happy, and a lot of times CGM is too expensive (we don't use feed grade) and our customers lawn services do the CGM no justice because of low mowing, bad trimming, etc. If LCO's want to start using organics or bridge products maybe we should embrace them rather than bashing them. You have to start somewhere, and at least it's not the "how do I fertilize" thread over in the pest forum.

By the way hotwired, CGM does work, and the application window isn't as short as you think. Also, it's a good idea to cut back on lime, because dumping it year after year and not knowing PH can be detrimental to the turf and surrounding ornamentals. Goood idea about offering soil testing, especially for new customers.

Mudd, no offense, but you tell most people on here how to do things right. Keep up the good advice.

muddstopper
04-02-2006, 05:09 PM
Sorry you view my comments as "Wise ass", look at Muddstoppers advice......obviously this guys got an established biz,

First i want to explain something about my business. I dont do any fertilizer or pesticide applications, whether chemical or organic to anybodies lawns. I have a hydroseeding business in which I plant grass and vegitation on road sides of development roads and lawns on new home sites. I am telling this because some here seem to think I am more than what I am. My hydroseeding business has doubled each year for the last 4 years and growing exceeding my capacity to keep up this year. I attain the rapid growth to my better educating myself as to what actually works and what is snake oil. I spend countless hours researching ways to better improve my business. I have found that there is way to much mis-information flying around on web forums such as this one. Not unusual, since most people dont understand the principles behind feeding the soil and letting the soil feed the plant. I am only shareing the information I have been able to discover by reading various websites, something more people here should try for themselfs. Anytime you are thinking of how much NPK your fertilizer or orgainc material contains you usually are trying to provide the nutrient needs of the plants. To me this is the wrong approach to feeding the soil. To properly feed the soil and therefore feed the plant, you need a proper balance of nutrients. Once the soil contains the proper balance of nutrients, excess nutrients will become available to the plants. Just applying a few selected nutrients, (NPK) and ignoreing the other nutrients will only cause nutrient tieup in the soil of the nutrients that are in the smallles percentages. To much N wheter orgainc or chemical must either be used by the plants or the soil microbes, otherwise it will leach out of the soil, either thru runoff or volazation, nitrification or runoff. Nitrogen runoff will also attach itself to available calcium and carry it off the so as it leaches. To much phosphate will convert to tri-calcium phosphate and lock up even more of the calcium in the soil, again making it unavailable to the plants. People that apply organics solely on NPK content are only ruining their soil more. The effects will be the same as if you had used chemical forms of those nutrients. Short term effects might seem amazing but the long term soil health will suffer. The organic industry is catering to the same customers as the chemical companies. the customers are only hearing NPK, so thats what they base their buying power on. I wish a true organic company would step foward and actually promote organic fertility instead of following the chemical companies lead. To this date, I have yet to see a truely organic company that is doing any more than trying to compete with chemical fertilizer companies. Not saying one isnt out there, I just havent found them yet. Present company here included.

fireshawn
04-02-2006, 09:42 PM
It is more than just NPK. You have to feed the soil on the microbial level. Healthy soil=healthy plants for the most part. I am not saying that chemicals don't have there place but long term organics will greatly out perform chemicals w/ less inputs. Established organic principles have been shown to work on small and large scale projects. And to the haters-don't knock it unless you've tried it. Not once, because it is a process. It doesn't make your yard look neon green after one application at a soil temp in the 60's. And just to qualify myself to speak since the peeps on this board want stats I have numerous all organic customers that have the best looking yards on the block, and 15 acres of my own that is green in spite of the drought that we in TX have been experiencing.

NattyLawn
04-07-2006, 09:23 PM
First i want to explain something about my business. I dont do any fertilizer or pesticide applications, whether chemical or organic to anybodies lawns. I have a hydroseeding business in which I plant grass and vegitation on road sides of development roads and lawns on new home sites. I am telling this because some here seem to think I am more than what I am. My hydroseeding business has doubled each year for the last 4 years and growing exceeding my capacity to keep up this year. I attain the rapid growth to my better educating myself as to what actually works and what is snake oil. I spend countless hours researching ways to better improve my business. I have found that there is way to much mis-information flying around on web forums such as this one. Not unusual, since most people dont understand the principles behind feeding the soil and letting the soil feed the plant. I am only shareing the information I have been able to discover by reading various websites, something more people here should try for themselfs. Anytime you are thinking of how much NPK your fertilizer or orgainc material contains you usually are trying to provide the nutrient needs of the plants. To me this is the wrong approach to feeding the soil. To properly feed the soil and therefore feed the plant, you need a proper balance of nutrients. Once the soil contains the proper balance of nutrients, excess nutrients will become available to the plants. Just applying a few selected nutrients, (NPK) and ignoreing the other nutrients will only cause nutrient tieup in the soil of the nutrients that are in the smallles percentages. To much N wheter orgainc or chemical must either be used by the plants or the soil microbes, otherwise it will leach out of the soil, either thru runoff or volazation, nitrification or runoff. Nitrogen runoff will also attach itself to available calcium and carry it off the so as it leaches. To much phosphate will convert to tri-calcium phosphate and lock up even more of the calcium in the soil, again making it unavailable to the plants. People that apply organics solely on NPK content are only ruining their soil more. The effects will be the same as if you had used chemical forms of those nutrients. Short term effects might seem amazing but the long term soil health will suffer. The organic industry is catering to the same customers as the chemical companies. the customers are only hearing NPK, so thats what they base their buying power on. I wish a true organic company would step foward and actually promote organic fertility instead of following the chemical companies lead. To this date, I have yet to see a truely organic company that is doing any more than trying to compete with chemical fertilizer companies. Not saying one isnt out there, I just havent found them yet. Present company here included.

All right then Mudd, devise a plan for a company that will do a soil test for every customer, carry all the amendments, ferts, etc on a truck, and have it economcially feasible for both the customer and the business to actually compete in the marketplace today. You can only go as far as the customer is willing to pay.

livingsoils
04-07-2006, 10:25 PM
I would like to see that plan:clapping:
Mudd, that would be a good weekend project for you:weightlifter:

Prolawnservice
04-07-2006, 10:49 PM
All right then Mudd, devise a plan for a company that will do a soil test for every customer, carry all the amendments, ferts, etc on a truck, and have it economcially feasible for both the customer and the business to actually compete in the marketplace today. You can only go as far as the customer is willing to pay.

We soil test every customer at sign up, then again every two years after, its part of our self renewing contract. Based on the soil test results we make recommendations on amendments, this is additional to a basic feeding and weed suppression. Lawns can be grouped for the most part, you don't have to carry around one product for each lawn, but you will need more than one product. A quick glance at the customers file when you stop and you know what to put down. We are not 100% organic yet, but we do have customers that have a 100% program and our other customers get the best of both worlds with a program easy to transfer to complete organic once the soil is better balanced. The key is not to compete but create your own market. :waving:

muddstopper
04-08-2006, 10:11 PM
All right then Mudd, devise a plan for a company that will do a soil test for every customer, carry all the amendments, ferts, etc on a truck, and have it economcially feasible for both the customer and the business to actually compete in the marketplace today. You can only go as far as the customer is willing to pay.

You are 100% corrrect, you can only go as far as the customer is willing to pay. Impossible to cary every combination of fertilizer or nutrient to every job site, but then again, you dont have to. Every fertilization program should begin with a soil test. There just isnt anyway else that I know of to determine what the customers lawn needs. There is no set rule that says you have to apply every single nutrient in one application. You will find that if you take certain steps to improve the soil fertility, your soil microbial level will improve on its own, without having to resort to stimulants or heavy chemical applications.

Consider what the first nutrient you should try to correct in the soil. Calcium, without calcium, plant uptake of nutrients is severaly limited, soil porousity is poor so oxygen levels in the soil will be reduced, which further reduces the ability of micro organisms to thrive. Without porespace, water isnt able to perculate down thru the soil so more irrigation is needed to keep the soil moist and plants growing. Without moisture, plants cant make the exuades that convert rock minerials into bite sizes that plants can take up and use. Once calcium levels are corrected, porousity improves and microbial life expands and now you not only have plant exudates trying to convert nutrients but you also have the microbial life helping out. To much Calcium and you can lock up available Phos keeping it from becomeing available to the plant.

Once the calcium levels are corrected, you can then concentrate on correcting magnesium levels. Actually you might even be able to address Calcium and Magnesium levels at the same time. Magnesium is what holds the soil together. to much magnesium and the soil will become hard and compacted, Magneisum draws and holds moisture, the more moisture in the soil the less airspace. Less airspace means less microbial activity. Magnesium will hold moisture so tightly that it will keep the moisture from becomeing available to the plants. If moisture doesnt flow, neither can other nutrients since most nutrients are takenup in a solution of water and nutrient.

Then concentrate on Sodium and Potassium levels. When these are in proper ranges, the plant will take up potassium instead of salt resulting in more efficient use of water. Most weeds like higher potassium than the grass and food source plants. Getting potasium levels in the correct range will help reduce weed pressure in a lawn. Potassium will also make plants hardier and more durable in high traffic situations.

With these nutrients corrected you can then concentrate on sulfur levels. Most soils are deficient in sulfur yet leaf analysis in plants show that plants require as much sulfur as they do Phos. Sulfur is easier to take up by the plants as it is more water soluible than P so less lbs is needed but the plant requirement is the same. By the way SOP is an accepted source of Potash and sulfur in an organic program.

Now you can start on the micro nutrients, Boron, copper, Molylibeum, zinc manganese, these are your disease fighters in the soil. the amounts needed are low and can be measured in single digit ppm's or 1 or 2 lbs per acre. One lb will go a long ways just doing lawns. To much of either of these can kill or severly damage a lawn if the levels of the other nutrients are not in proper proportions. The correct amounts can keep insects and diseases away.

You dont have to carry every single blend or brand of fertilizer on your truck, but you do need to carry the ones that your customers lawns need. Like chemical fertilizers, you dont apply the same amounts of the same blends on everyones lawns. If you are, you are not doing what is best for your business or your customers lawns. Organic fertilizer companies could help out a lot more if they would list a complete analysis of what nutrients their products contain. We then could pick and choose the blends that we need to increase our customers soil fertility levels. Its alright to list NPK, just list what else is also in their products

Simply adding NPK to the soil throws everything out of balance. A carbon to nitrogen ratio between 10:1 and 20:1 needs to be maintained. Rations of less than 10 parts carbon and 1 part N will result in an increase of microbial activity. This increase means that there are more microbes to feed than there is a food source. The microbes will either die off or start consuming what ever food source they can find. This is usually the plants themselfs or the soil humis. To much N results in losing the Humis that we are trying to build in the soil and usually turf diseases as the nitrogen carbon loving bacterial and fungi attact the living plant. Unused nitrogen that starts to leach from the soil will also attach itself to the available calcium resulting in calcium leaching from the soil as well.

A carbon to nitrogen ratio of greater than 20:1 results in the microbes using all the available nitrogen just to consume and break down the carbon in the soil. Since more nitrogen is needed by the microbes, less becomes available to the plant. This results in additional applications of N just to keep the plants growing. The application of readily availabe nitrogen results in a burst of microbial activity. Since the microbial population expands as a result of that nitrogen application, as soon as that readily available source of nitrogen is consumed, denitrified, violatized, or leached, the living microbes will again start attacting the plant and consumeing soil humis until the microbial levels are again reduced to a sustainable level that the nutrients can support.

NattyLawn
04-09-2006, 10:23 AM
Good post...I was going to add in my post that we do soil tests for all new customers, go over the analysis with them, and reccomend applications from there. We are like Prolawnservice, as we're not 100% organic, but we do have customers who are. We do our best to educate our customers, and we have an organic base, but the chemical ways of TGCL and others are ingrained in peoples minds. It's an uphill battle to fight through that while growing a company at the same time.

muddstopper
04-09-2006, 11:12 AM
I also want to add that, while it can be expensive to correct the soil biology and nutrient levels,(chemical fertilizers can help with this), once they are restored, maintaining that balance is relativly easy. Large nutrient applications will only be needed if removal of nutrients are done by removing grass clippings or by removeing vegitables from our gardens. Clipping, fruits and vegitables all contain certain amounts of nutrients and once they are removed from the soil they must be replaced to maintain a balance. Some nutrients will also leach from the soil, but regular applications of composted materials, those that contain the proper nutrients to replace the ones that are lost, is all that will be required. Mulch mowing of our lawns will return most of the nutrients that where used in the growing of the grass. You will also find that problems such as thatch seem to take care of themselfs. Thatch is left over plant residues that the microbes just love to munch on. A good aerobic zone will support enough microbial life to easily take care of any thatch buildup that can occur from a thick lush lawn.

Composted materials are usually better sources of nutrients than manures (including bio solids), or leaf and grass clipping. the compost will contain nutrients in root acid soluible forms that plants can takeup, but they also already have a good carbon to nitrogen ratio of between 10-20:1, so that they wont throw the microbial life out of whac trying to adjust to changeing carbon and nitrogen ratio's. It has also been shown that heavy metals are usually not a problem in compost, even tho the compost material might have contained large amounts of those heavy metals before they where composted.