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View Full Version : BOOOOO!!! "Scotts" pollutive lawn service!


Microbe
04-02-2006, 07:01 AM
When a lawn in florecent green in march not only does it stick out like a soar thumb, I can just imagine when it rains how much nitrogen and other pollutants are leaching its way down into the water we all drink from. Chemlawn, Scotts lawn service in BOHEMIA LONG ISLAND...... you are selling a service which is horrible for the environment and a selling tacktic that not only "lie's," to customers but also pollutes there property and gives them a false sense of what grass is supposed to do and its life cycle. IT JUST BOGGLES MY MIND HOW SOMEBODY COULD WANA PAY FOR A CHEMICAL BOMB FOR THERE PROPERTY.... I had a interested customer call me the other day and say that her neighbor has a lawn thats so green it looks fake......... WE"LL IT IS FAKE...... AND EXTREMELLY HARSH FOR THE ENVIRONMENT! Its funny, only if I had a diagram that actually showed how fast nutrients leak into the groundwater, I would post it on my truck! Organic lawns will take over one day...... There's so much truth in organic land care and so much good to come out of it...

Xterminator
04-02-2006, 08:17 AM
There is only one problem. The same argument can be made about all your Manures contaminating drinking water. If you use the Ferts you are talking about it will build up salts over time. Grass requires 4 to six #'s of Nitrogen per year to Survive if not it declines. Which I believe is about 1 TON per 1000
Sq Ft of Manure. How much run off goes in your drinking water

Here is a link http://www.cbf.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9141

NattyLawn
04-02-2006, 12:46 PM
There is only one problem. The same argument can be made about all your Manures contaminating drinking water. If you use the Ferts you are talking about it will build up salts over time. Grass requires 4 to six #'s of Nitrogen per year to Survive if not it declines. Which I believe is about 1 TON per 1000
Sq Ft of Manure. How much run off goes in your drinking water

Here is a link http://www.cbf.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=9141

That article is old news, and had a lot to do with bad farming practices. Farmers would take the manure and spread tons of it without knowing how much N they were putting down. I guess they had tons to get rid of, so they would dump as much as they had or could get. The manure wasn't composted either. It was just bad practices, and of course there was a ton of runoff and leaching into the water supply. The bay is F-ed up, no two ways about that, but don't blame us. I don't think anyone on this forum is dumping straight manure on any lawns, so think of something else X.

Xterminator
04-02-2006, 06:30 PM
If you use the right Chem. in th right spot its just as safe as organics. people are in the mind set that if its organic its safe and thats B S. I use both
so if you incorporate both in your program it is a plus

muddstopper
04-02-2006, 06:53 PM
A simple quote from that siteManure is an inefficient fertilizer because it is expensive to transport, so it often ends up on nearby land, which may become overloaded with nutrients. pretty much sums up what I have been saying about the organic companies and organic materials. There can be to much of any nutrient and when there becomes an excess, runoff and pollution will occurr. It doesnt matter if your nutrient source is organic or chemical. Once the capacity of the soil to absorb and hold those nutrients is exceeded, runnoff is going to occur. If it rains, you are going to get runoff.

On another note, the part about manures being inefficient sources of nutrients isnt totally correct. Nutrients that have been processed by plants and animals are easier for the next crop to consume and use. Requardless of source, partical size of the nutrient helps determine how fast and how easy it is for the plant and microbe organisms to use. Nutrients that have already been used or recyled are already converted to root soluible nutients, and even tho present in lower percentages of the normal sources of those nutrients, they are taken up and used much faster by the plants and microbes. Fertilizer sources of nutrients are usually taken from hard and solf rock sources of those nutrients. These nutrients are ground and pulverized into powders and then applied to the soil. Before those nutrients can actually be used by the plant and microb live, they must be attacted by enyzmes that basicly reduce the much larger particals into much smaller plant usable bite sizes. In other words you can actually get a much better plant response from smaller amounts of manures and compost than you can from larger amounts of their chemical counterparts. This usually results in the organic applicator think if a little did that much good, lets increase the rates, after all, its organic and it wont hurt anything. Then you just start the old pollution cycle over again, just like if you applied to much chemical fertilizer.

Xterminator
04-02-2006, 10:12 PM
I had a Customer who told me She spilled a bag of Millorganite on the concrete, and her dog ate it all but she was not worried because it was organic. When I told her what it was She didn't believe me at first. Then she came around.
I use microbes in my liquid programs and fish emulsion, but also incorperate regular SCU's. I have some of the best yards around if I do say so myself.
There is a place for organics & synthetics in my program as long as it keeps selling. I tell everyone I put down everything the big guys do and more

Microbe
04-03-2006, 05:48 PM
I followed him.... I visited like 2 lawns he was taking care of and they were "NEON" GREEN! WAY over the top when it comes to a natural color lawn. I thought I was tripping out or something lol...... Stood out like a sore thumb..... Just thought I would say something about it.... Xterminator it all depends on what type of a person you wana portray.... I understand that a mix of sythetic organic products and organic products may work "better," but does it really? I"m sure your lawns look great and thats very important, and also what ever helps to make that money is always a plus. We all have our message and practices, if I had a customer that wanted chemical I would practice chemical on there property but I first would try to sell him/her on a stict organic program first. I feel that most customers find it very interesting and safer when they know that there landscaper practices organic land care, even if they have some plants that they feel are un sightly in there lawn.

DUSTYCEDAR
04-03-2006, 05:55 PM
so do u guys have any pics of your lawns? and how they look now?

Microbe
04-03-2006, 05:59 PM
I wish I understood computers..... I'd love to take pics of my properties and post them...... how do you do it? Do you need a good digital camera? I have a cell phone camera... is that enough?

DUSTYCEDAR
04-03-2006, 06:14 PM
ask jodi she should be able to talk u through it
do u have a scanner to scan in reg pics
u just up load them to your putter and then on ls

muddstopper
04-03-2006, 08:19 PM
Take the pic's on your camera phone and then send them to yourself. Save the images on your hard drive in a place you can find them. To post the pictures on a forum just go down under where you write your message and click on the manage attachments, then hit browse and then go to where your pics are stored on your computerand double click the pic you wish to upload. then finish your message and hit enter.

nocutting
04-04-2006, 12:27 AM
I had a Customer who told me She spilled a bag of Millorganite on the concrete, and her dog ate it all but she was not worried because it was organic. When I told her what it was She didn't believe me at first. Then she came around.
I use microbes in my liquid programs and fish emulsion, but also incorperate regular SCU's. I have some of the best yards around if I do say so myself.
There is a place for organics & synthetics in my program as long as it keeps selling. I tell everyone I put down everything the big guys do and more
Dont think that was the best example of organics in use?......did it say on the lable to dump it on the side walk?........anything in abundance can cause harm......say it was alfalfa pellets, poured on a lawn, it would smother it just like anything would.........:dancing:

YardPro
04-09-2006, 09:57 AM
microbe.
if you understand so much about how the "life cycle" of plants actually work then you would know that there is absolutely NO difference in the nitrogen that is processed by humans, and that that is derived from microbes...

The elemental nitrogen that the plant uptakes is the same no matter where it comes from..
Manure has SO many more "pollutants" than a manmade fertilizer. the fertilizers have only what the plants can uptake .. nothing more.
as long as they are not put out at a rate greater than the plant can uptake, then there is not going to be one bit of contamination.
cow manure on the other hand, has whatever waste products that the cow has eaten. It has all the chemicals that are being pumped into the cows to get them to grow faster, produce more milk, and beef..etc... yea, that is way better for your yard....
also it takes the nitrogen fixing bacterias much longer to break down the material and fix the nitrogen. This process will NOT keep up with the nitrogen demands of high nitrogen turf like bermuda, st augistine, etc..

i have my degree in biology, so please let's get into a debate on this subject.....i'll bet i'll win.

the problem with "organics" as a whole is that there are a lot of uninformed people in this area of our business that do not really grasp the concepts of plant life and ecosystems, and are going on the knee jerk statements of others. Not on actual information.

did you know that that toxic lawn you are describing is cleaning enough air, and producing enough oxygen for a family of 3?


here is an example..
i have a friend who is the biggest "organic" guy ever.... he only buys hydroponically grown vegetables..

hydroponics is the growing of plants without any soil... no soil bacteria, nothing....
most are grown in a manmade media (usually rockwool insulation, or vermiculite and perlite). They are fed only with liquid ferts in water.....

not very natural is it???

Microbe
04-09-2006, 07:46 PM
First off I don't use "cow manure on my lawns or shrubs, and defenatly no manure I use is pumped up with hormone's and other chemicals." I buy products that are labled organic, not partially organic, or %50 organic. Organic means pure, no synthetic chemical toxins in or around that matter for 4 years or more. Yard pro..... Did you also know, that those lawns that are super green, the ones that are super green in early march, and the ones that are super green in the dead heat of august, not all, but most are just pumped up with chemical nitrogen that quickly leach's threw the soil, kililng benefical organisms, and does nothing for soil structure, or the addition of organic matter in the soil. At least when you use an organic fertilizer, the dominant form of nitrogen you recieve is NON WATER SOLUBAL NITROGEN. What does that mean? That it doesn't leach nearly as fast, if ever down into the ground water reservior's or streams. It stay's in the ground over time encouraging soil biology to grow, and helping soil structure and fertility. Chemical lawn care is the FAST FOOD of horticulture. Spray for this, fert for that, seems easy to me ya know? To understand and actually use nature with nature to me makes more sense. Petro chemical to nature, doesn't.
Oh and as far as the HYDROPONIC VEGETABLES OR WHATEVER, dude... your soooooo wrong about that its not even funny! Try eating an organic tomatoe grown in soil, compared to a hydroponic tomatoe grown in water. Also, try growing a tomatoe plant outside in rich organic matter and compare it to a hydroponically grown tomatoe grown under HPS LAMPS? If you think HYDRO IS BETTER, my friend your lost........ EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER ORGANICALLY GROWN! FROM POT TO PEARS AND FROM APPLES TO LETTACE, there all much more tasty, full of flavor, and just teaming with phytonutrients and other beneficial anti oxidants. HYDRO AND CHEMICAL ARE DRUG ADDICTED PLANTS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATLY CHOOSEN TO BE GROWN BY MAN.

muddstopper
04-09-2006, 07:57 PM
Yard Pro, I am willing to get into a Biology debate with you. Not because i think I can win or that i am smarter than you, but because a healthy debate might help some understand a little better the mechanisms that make up the life cycle of plants and microbial activity. Pick a subject and we will go at it.

Warning, I plan on cheating, I have a computer and wont hesitate to use it.

Xterminator
04-09-2006, 08:21 PM
HYDRO AND CHEMICAL ARE DRUG ADDICTED PLANTS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATLY CHOOSEN TO BE GROWN BY MAN.

Grass was introduced and brought over here from other Countrys by Man. Most varieties are not native to this Country or tolerant to these Soils. Fertilizers are needed to produce the results and make the grass thrive. How much of what do you put down to produce the 4 to 6 pounds per 1000 sq ft of N needed per growing season? You must do 12 apps per year to apply without run off

YardPro
04-09-2006, 08:42 PM
Yard Pro, I am willing to get into a Biology debate with you. Not because i think I can win or that i am smarter than you, but because a healthy debate might help some understand a little better the mechanisms that make up the life cycle of plants and microbial activity. Pick a subject and we will go at it.

Warning, I plan on cheating, I have a computer and wont hesitate to use it.

let's go... lol
i encourage cheating.. anything that will get people to learn information is a good thing. doesn't matter how they get it.

YardPro
04-09-2006, 08:54 PM
First off I don't use "cow manure on my lawns or shrubs, and defenatly no manure I use is pumped up with hormone's and other chemicals." I buy products that are labled organic, not partially organic, or %50 organic. Organic means pure, no synthetic chemical toxins in or around that matter for 4 years or more. Yard pro..... Did you also know, that those lawns that are super green, the ones that are super green in early march, and the ones that are super green in the dead heat of august, not all, but most are just pumped up with chemical nitrogen that quickly leach's threw the soil, kililng benefical organisms, and does nothing for soil structure, or the addition of organic matter in the soil. At least when you use an organic fertilizer, the dominant form of nitrogen you recieve is NON WATER SOLUBAL NITROGEN. What does that mean? That it doesn't leach nearly as fast, if ever down into the ground water reservior's or streams. It stay's in the ground over time encouraging soil biology to grow, and helping soil structure and fertility. Chemical lawn care is the FAST FOOD of horticulture. Spray for this, fert for that, seems easy to me ya know? To understand and actually use nature with nature to me makes more sense. Petro chemical to nature, doesn't.
Oh and as far as the HYDROPONIC VEGETABLES OR WHATEVER, dude... your soooooo wrong about that its not even funny! Try eating an organic tomatoe grown in soil, compared to a hydroponic tomatoe grown in water. Also, try growing a tomatoe plant outside in rich organic matter and compare it to a hydroponically grown tomatoe grown under HPS LAMPS? If you think HYDRO IS BETTER, my friend your lost........ EVERYTHING TASTES BETTER ORGANICALLY GROWN! FROM POT TO PEARS AND FROM APPLES TO LETTACE, there all much more tasty, full of flavor, and just teaming with phytonutrients and other beneficial anti oxidants. HYDRO AND CHEMICAL ARE DRUG ADDICTED PLANTS THAT WERE UNFORTUNATLY CHOOSEN TO BE GROWN BY MAN.

dude..
you are so wrong i don't even know where to begin...
first off if you don't understand at all what the word organic actually means
second, you have no clue what nitrogen is or does.. nitrogen does not kill any organisms in the soil... the only adverse affect is cuasing algae to grow in water supplies. the bacteria in the soils
all nitrogen is water soluble, it it was not it could not enter the plant root.. nor would it enter the soil at all.. it would simply sit on top of the area where you applied it.

i could go on all day about your post.. terrible spelling, misused terms, and a few made up words...
you are obviously way beyond any sensible discussion becuase you actually believe the nonsense that you are posting....

the hydroponic argument for example... the plants are not grown in water you doofus... they are rooted in a soil free media like vermiculite and perlite (what the majority of most "potting" soils are made of).
there are alot of "organic" liquid fertilizers.. urea for example...

try and learn a little bit more about plant biology and organic chemistry before you bite off more than you can chew, becuase you are really showing off your ignorance.

Microbe
04-09-2006, 09:40 PM
I'm rephrasing much of what I have been taught threw practicing organic land care and personal experience. Then what is an "ORGANIC PRODUCT," Mr. Chemical nitrogen doesn't hurt soil life. Mr. Chemical nitrogen just increases algea growth. What about nitrates and other residues which are very costly to clean up? As far as the word "doofus," please pick apart my statement for all that is really wrong. I would like to see just how off I really am. Please prove it to me. If "all" nitrogen in water soluble then why do some forms of nitrogen have to be broken down by microbes to be transformed into specific plant carbohydrates that only plants can use? Sorry I don't have a degee in biology Ya big geek, but I do know what I"M talking about and don't sound like your average grunt just pushin a mower. Say waht you want, YARD PRO SAYS CHEMICALS ARE PERFECTLY SAFE, if NOT MORE SAFE THAN ORGANIC LAND CARE PRACTICES. ok man, you rule..... bow down to yardpro...... Keep sprayin and keep injectin......

Microbe
04-09-2006, 09:54 PM
I also grew hydroponics a while ago, there are a few mediums you can use. As far as the fertilizer's they use, there prodominantly chemical water soluble fertilizers that are taken up by the plant quickly. You can go organic hydroponic but it becomes messy if not done correctly. Also, when you see landscapers applying chemical ferts, it seems like so much of the fert just goes into the streets and on the sidewalks, easily going into ground water. Most landscapers in my area after applications have prill's all over the sidewalk and street which just get blown down sewar systems. I could personally care less if I was wrong or right, but not perfectly correct, thats why were here right? To ask, to learn, to state opinions. Its funny how we'll I sell organic programs using the knowledge that I know. Its funny also how we'll these practices work, when I"m so wrong in every which way as yardpro stated.... I won't get offended mr. pro...... please rip that post to shreads.....

YardPro
04-10-2006, 07:42 AM
the reason that microbes have to fix nitrogen is becuase the plant can only uptake and use nitrogen in two forms. NH4 or NO3.. those are the only two forms of nitrogen that a plant can use. the bacteria have to break down the organic matter and thier waste product is one of those two.
and they are not turned into carbohydrates by the bacteria...
the PLANT makes the carbohydrates, not the bacteria.... again you show that you do not understand how plants work.

here's a good link describing the nitrogen cycle
http://helios.bto.ed.ac.uk/bto/microbes/nitrogen.htm


to others reading this post..

i am not at all against organic gardening in any way shape or form....
I do however have problems when people bash others for practices that they do not understand, and think they have all the information on a subject and don't know diddly except what they are told by others that do not know as well....

nitrogen pollution is a problem, but not as microbe thinks it is..
nitrogen and phosphorous pollution are the two main problems with typical fretilization practices. It comes from irresponsible applicators.. commercial and homeowner...as microbe stated... irresponsible applications of "organic" products can cuase just as much harm. Ever see a pig farm collection pond??? it's organic waste. Every hear what happens to the water supply's around those farms?????

and microbe.. you say that so much goes down the sewer draind into the ground water.... you know where the drains run to??? most run to a lake, etc...and yes i agree that if an applicator leaves fert all over the sidewalk or road it is irresponsible.. I do believe you are blowing it way out of proportion. I say this becuase there is alot of iron in fertilizers that leave nasty rust stains if left on a white sidewalk... are you seeing these discolored sidewalks everywhere???? i don't think so....


The two cuase problems when they enter the water supply and cuase algae blooms and this in turn can cuase o2 depletion by cuasing too much organic loading of the water.
nitrogen itself in not toxic whatsoever. The air you breath is 76% nitrogen, and only 23% oxygen...
please don't let guys like this sway others into believeing the hysteria.... it is simply not true.....

so i am not arguing aginst organic gardening... i am however arguing against ignorance. Most people are afraid of what they do not understand. This is how a lot of these organic companies sell thier wares, by disinforming people and scaring them into believing that the other way is terrible and runing the planet...

Microbe
04-10-2006, 03:43 PM
After seeing that website, you said you have a degree? wow.... Like my dad used to tell me, just to state your opinion is ignorant, but to have proof and research involved in your answer in another thing. But hey, I know I"m right to an extent, I know I"m not bullshitting people when I talk to them about organics I just don't fully understand the science behind it totally. I use a few weapons in my arsenal which include, Fafard organic topsoil, Metro mix from lesco, a weed hound or the long metal stick with the fork on the end, nematodes and beneficial insects. I"m still learning about benefical insects and how to release them correctly. I know enough about organics to sell a good lawn program to somebody and shrub care without using pesticides, yet I"m still young and wana learn. Yea I might have bitten off more than I could chew this time, but still Scotts lawn service had neon green lawns that looked way outta the ordinary. Hey could have just been me...... I've never seen that before.....

Thanks for the info yardpro, I"m not arogant and am perfectly ok in openly admitting that I was wrong or mis directed in my statement. Early day for me today gona read up and study.... peace

muddstopper
04-10-2006, 04:26 PM
Here’s a little more reading material for you

http://ohioline.osu.edu/agf-fact/0205.html
http://www.spectrumanalytic.com/support/library/subjects/
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/plantanswers/turf/publications/fertiliz.html
http://turfgrassmanagement.psu.edu/maintfert.html
http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/soil-lab.html#webCation
http://www.allabs.com/publications/soiltestreading.pdf
http://www.geogrowersinc.com/allaboutsoil.htm
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep02/soil0902.htm
http://www.ecticompost.com/what_is_composting.html
http://invam.caf.wvu.edu/methods/mycorrhizae/glomalin_brochure.pdf
http://www.ar.wroc.pl/~weber/humic.htm#start
http://www.rain.org/~sals/ingham.html
http://www.soilsalive.com/soil101.htm
http://www.organic-research.com/
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/crops-agriculture.html
http://www.kiwipower.com/QEI_Kiwi_Advantage.html
http://www.turf.uiuc.edu/turfSpecies/tourseason/CoolFrames.html
http://www.planthealthcare.com/discussion/forum.asp
http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/hort/g06954.htm#Table1 http://www.hort.cornell.edu/department/faculty/good/growon/containr/premacro.html

muddstopper
04-10-2006, 04:28 PM
ORGANIC CARBON: FROM TREE LEAVES TO SOIL ORGANISMS

Donald H. Marx PhD.
Plant Health Care, Inc.
Frogmore, SC

FROM TREE LEAVES

Let’s start this discussion off with describing the most important biochemical process on Earth…photosynthesis!! This is the process by which energy from the sun is captured by the chloroplast in green leaves and used to make organic carbon…the sugar glucose (the photosynthate)…from inorganic carbon dioxide and water. The process releases oxygen from the splitting of the water molecule. When the water molecule is split, high-energy electrons are released and, after many biochemical reactions, they are transferred to and stored in phosphorus-containing organic compounds like ATP. The spending of this stored energy, that can be traced back to the sun, eventually leads to the production of the sugar, glucose. Glucose is found in all living cells of all plants, animals and microbes and, as glucose phosphate, serves as the major substrate for cellular respiration. Nearly all of the energy, sugar and oxygen used by the diverse forms of life…plants, animals and microbes…on Earth come from photosynthesis! Life as we know it could not exist without this biochemical reaction and its end products, organic carbon as glucose, the captured energy from the sun and oxygen! All life, whether it is the smallest microbe or the largest animal, is dependent on the availability and utilization of this carbon, oxygen and energy. Carbon is the most abundant organic chemical on Earth and serves as the “building blocks” for all life. Everything living contains carbon! None of the biochemical reactions in photosynthesis are spontaneous. All reactions are facilitated by a large diverse group of unique proteins- enzymes – that are biological catalysts in virtually all biochemical reactions of all life forms.

The amount of sunlight and its duration has a controlling effect on photosynthesis. Leaves near the top of the tree canopy have a much higher photosynthetic rate than leaves near the bottom of the canopy. This is because there is more light saturation of the chloroplasts in direct sunlight. Inefficient lower branches with relatively few but highly shaded leaves of shade intolerant trees like ash, hickory (pecan), walnut, pine, birch, willow, etc., often do not contribute any new carbohydrates for growth of the main stem. The limited amounts produced in these shaded leaves are mainly used for maintenance of these specific leaves. Shade leaves are normally larger, but thinner, and have fewer stomates. Branches supporting these shade leaves normally shed, i.e. natural branch pruning, because of limited maintenance respiration. At low light intensities and for short durations, the rate of photosynthesis is higher in shade tolerant trees like maple, beech, buckeye, sugarberry and flowering dogwood, than in shade intolerant trees. That's why shade tolerant trees and shrubs can grow and thrive under the closed canopies of shade intolerant trees. These understory plants also benefit from the higher levels of respiratory carbon dioxide emitted from all the roots and organisms in the soil. This additional carbon dioxide somewhat compensates for the effects of reduced sunlight.

Sugar produced in leaves is translocated to the meristems, reproductive structures like seeds and other growth sinks where it is converted to energy (respiration) or to new tissue (protoplasm and cell walls). The main translocated sugar is sucrose…a disaccharide…which is glucose enzymatically combined with fructose, another sugar. Sugars and other carbohydrates are precursors to the synthesis of secondary or defensive chemicals (allelochemicals) and to all other biological reactions. What signals the tree to move these sugars? Very simply, the plant growth regulators (auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, abscisic acid and ethylene) are considered to be the sugar traffic police in that they direct the flow of carbohydrates from their site of production to where they are needed for growth and respiration. Since new growth occurs at the meristems that’s where most plant growth regulators are produced and concentrated. Trees and most other woody plants have three main meristematic areas…stem tips, root tips and the cambium. They grow up, down and around. Basically, sucrose is translocated and allocated to these various plant parts by a carbohydrate source-sink relationship. This concentration gradient may extend hundreds if not thousands of feet away from the tree leaf where the sugar is made to the root tips where it eventually becomes new tissue.

Trees move carbon from its production site…leaves…to where it is needed most. On average, a healthy tree normally allocates about 70 % of its carbon sugar for growth and respiration above ground and about 30 % for below ground needs. If a soil or root stress occurs, the damaged tree may allocate very large amounts of carbohydrates below ground to replace and repair the damaged roots. This will be at the expense of carbohydrates normally allocated to the top. This is why symptoms of root damage are top dieback. Severe defoliation due to pests, major branch loss due to storms and severe pruning are top stresses. The most obvious effect of these top stresses is loss of leaves and, thereby, loss of current photosynthesis and the physical loss of stored foods and water in the larger branches. This will cause a carbohydrate deficiency to the root system because most of them will now stay in the top to repair this damage. Roots will dieback as a result of reduced carbon allocation below ground. This, in turn, causes a snowball effect. Reduced roots equal reduced absorption of soil resources (water, nitrogen and minerals), which equals a reduced supply of these resources above ground. The net result is a very unhealthy tree. Increases in soil nitrogen availability decreases carbon allocation to the roots. The air pollutant ozone disrupts the photosynthetic process which also causes a decrease in carbon allocation to the roots. On the other hand elevated carbon dioxide in the air increases carbon allocation to the root system and the rates of respiratory carbon dioxide emitted from the soil.

Stored chemical energy is released by the enzymatic oxidation of carbon-based chemicals like glucose. The process is called respiration. There are two main forms of respiration. Growth respiration provides energy needed to synthesize new tissues at meristems and other carbon sinks. Maintenance respiration provides energy needed to keep existing tissues alive and healthy. These respiratory activities can utilize from 30 to 60 % of the daily production of photosynthate. Sugars are mainly synthesized in green leaves but they are consumed by respiration in every living cell of the plant. New growth occurs when the rate of photosynthesis, which creates sugar and oxygen, exceeds the rate of respiration, which burns the sugar, releasing energy, CO2 and water. Most of the glucose is enzymatically converted into hundreds of other organic chemicals, i.e., other carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, fats, lipids, hormones, growth regulators, etc., needed by trees and all other plants. Much is converted into cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin…wood! Some organic carbon is stored, as insoluble starch and lipids, to be used later. Wood is simply many glucose molecules attached to each other in a specific pattern. Starch is also many glucose molecules but they are attached differently than those comprising wood. Starch is made in most living cells but doesn’t move from cell to cell because it’s insoluble. How can it be used then as an energy source or building block? It must be enzymatically converted back to simple glucose which is used directly by that cell or translocated across membranes and utilized by other cells for growth and respiration? Trees and other woody plants use both stored and currently produced carbohydrates, often at the same time, for growth and respiration.

It is obvious that plant growth is the results of its' ability to fix carbon in photosynthesis, to allocate it to the meristems where it is incorporated into protoplasm and cell walls, and to release the energy via respiration to fuel the needs of the chemical reactions and growth. The partitioning of growth between above and below ground tree parts is a function of the photosynthetic potential of the leaves and the absorptive potential of the roots for essential soil resources. Any factor affecting green leaf area or leaf function will reduce the rate of photosynthesis and reduce the allocation of the carbohydrates to the roots.

muddstopper
04-10-2006, 04:29 PM
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Use for sidebars
v land plants produce about 100,000,000,000 metric tons of carbon each year of which two-thirds is produced by trees? This exceeds that of the entire world by a factor of four, and that of agricultural plants by a factor of more than two.
v one acre of young plantation trees removes about three-fourths of a ton of carbon each year. Old growth forests and their soils emit as much respiratory CO2 as their leaves fix in photosynthesis. You and I each add (via breathing, automobiles, heat, electricity, etc.) about 5 tons of carbon each year!! That means it takes over 6 acres of young productive forests to recycle the CO2 each of us “produces”!
v trees and other land plants capture about 40% and the ocean about 50% of the annual CO2 produced by industry (coal combustion and cement production). Eighty % of CO2 in the atmosphere comes from combustion of fossil fuels…60% from industrialized nations. Between 1750 and today CO2 has increased 30 % in our atmosphere.
v trees are also important commercially! They produce more than 5,000 wood and paper products…everything from baby food to rayon, and toothpaste to football helmets. Oil and coal are simply very, very old dead trees! Ecologically, trees are essential to land stability and hydrology. Imagine a world without trees…look at Haiti!!
v
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By now you know that organic carbon in its various forms is essential to all life. This means that every living organism must find enough carbon to sustain and reproduce itself. Lets’ look at that another way, all other things being equal, when you find a population of organisms, whether they are fish, elephants, butterflies, earthworms or soil bacteria, it is because they have satisfied their carbon-based dietary requirements. They wouldn’t be where you found them long without food, i.e. organic carbon in its’ many forms.

TO SOIL ORGANISMS

This leads us now belowground. What happens to the organic carbon that is shed aboveground (branches, leaves, flowers, bark, etc.) forming the forest floor. This is nature’s mulch. What happens to the carbon that is shed by the root system? Roots shed whatever tissue is no longer functioning (old fine roots and bark) and exude spent organic compounds just like the aboveground tree parts. These are recycled by various organisms. The number of species of organisms involved in this belowground carbon cycle is staggering! Because of this great diversity it is nearly impossible to isolate individual groups of soil organisms and identify precisely their part in the carbon nutrient cycle. This carbon cycle is a chain of events, each event with a different cast of characters (or organisms). It’s a succession. Each stage is based on the chemical form of organic carbon now available. Each group of organisms “eats” what they can, they leave or die and then another group follows and eats…and on and on…until all of the carbon is converted back to CO2 and H2O! We’re now back at the starting line for the carbon cycle to repeat itself! However, this may take a thousand years before the toughest carbon compounds, like lignin, are reduced to their original component parts. Soil organisms as a group may only represent about 5% of the total living and dead organic matter in forest soils, but are the gate keepers of the carbon-cycle responsible for the transformation and decomposition of all soil organic carbon.

Soils organisms do not photosynthesize as do green plants and are, therefore, dependent on external supplies of carbon energy like we are. Basically, you can separate these soil organisms into groups by how they obtain their organic carbon nutrition. By far the largest group is the saprophytes. They gain their carbon nutrition directly from usually long-dead organic matter, i.e., by decay or decomposition. Examples are fungi in wood decay, bacteria and fungi in compost piles and the litter in the forest floor, bread mold, bacteria in septic tanks and coliform bacteria in your digestive system.

Another group is the pathogens and predators. They gain their carbon nutrition directly from living hosts causing a physiological dysfunction (disease) of that host or by killing and eating them directly, i.e. predation. Examples of pathogens are fungi causing Dutch elm and oak wilt diseases, bacteria in crown gall and fire blight diseases and Pythium/Phytophthora causing fine root diseases. Examples of predators are beneficial nematodes, amoebae and other protozoa that ingest bacteria, fungi and algae.

The third group is the symbionts. They gain their carbon nutrition directly from their beneficial organic union with living hosts in which the hosts are not harmed but gain from the mutualistic partnership. Examples are fungi in mycorrhizae and lichens and the bacteria in N-fixing nodules of legumes.

The smallest and most numerous organisms in soil are the bacteria. These single-celled microbes are the simplest, smallest and most abundant forms of life on earth. Saprophytic soil bacteria are found in greatest numbers in the upper 12” of soil where their food, i.e. carbon in organic matter and in nutrients on and near roots is the most prevalent and where aeration, soil water, inorganic mineral elements, pH and temperature are adequate to satisfy their needs. A thimble of productive soil may contain up to 6 billion bacteria representing some 4,000 different species…that count nearly exceeds the entire worlds’ human population!

Bacteria perform many important processes in soil that are essential to all life on Earth. They decompose organic matter including the cellulose and lignin in wood. Certain bacteria have been used to bioremediate soil and water contaminated with pesticides, gasoline, crude oil, jet fuel, TNT, and other man-made hydrocarbons. Some of these bacterial soil processes require free oxygen (aerobic), some require intermediate amounts of free oxygen (microaerophilic) and others require no free oxygen (anaerobic). Soils productive for land plants are aerobic but most also contain microsites which are anaerobic and/or microaerophilic.

Many species of soil bacteria are opportunistic and live freely in soil colonizing particles of organic matter. Some are primarily decomposers of simple carbohydrates, organic acids and amino acids. Some species, called rhizobacteria, have adapted themselves to nonwoody absorbing roots where their food, i.e. organic chemical exudates and sloughed cells from growing roots, called rhizodeposition, are present. Rhizobacterial associations have been found on all plants. Rhizobacteria can increase mineral element (P, K, Ca, etc.) solubility from insoluble mineral sources, recycle inorganic nutrients especially nitrogen from organic forms, fix atmospheric nitrogen, reduce (by antagonism or competition) many root disease pathogens, and produce plant-growth regulators (auxins, gibberelins and cytokinins) which contribute to improved root growth and functions. Recently, certain bacteria have been found to increase mycorrhizal development (mycorrhizae helper bacteria); how they do this is not fully understood. They occupy and function in the rhizosphere of mycorrhizae (mycorrhizosphere). Recently, bacteria that fix nitrogen have been discovered actually growing inside the hyphae of mycorrhizal fungi revealing a tripartite symbiosis. Basically, all of these bacteria, carrying out all of the different soil and root processes, are collectively referred to as plant growth promoting bacteria.

muddstopper
04-10-2006, 04:31 PM
Gaseous nitrogen can be fixed symbiotically by nodulating bacteria (as with legumes) or fixed by free-living bacteria in the soil. The nodulating bacteria obtain their organic carbon nutrition directly from their organic union with plant host. The free-living bacteria obtain their carbon nutrition from the organic matter in the soil or from sloughed root cells or root exudates (i.e. rhizodeposition). The nitrogen fixed by these specific bacteria is eventually released as either ammonium or nitrate into the soil. These are the main forms of nitrogen absorbed by plant roots. This fixation of atmospheric nitrogen is the main way that “new” nitrogen is added naturally to plant ecosystems. Nitrogen is essential to the total organic carbon decomposition process. Carbon: nitrogen ratios in the soil between 15 and 30 to 1 are ideal. Greater ratios, like that found in raw wood chips (300:1), actually cause loss of nitrogen (denitrification) from the soil when applied as a mulch.

Actinomycetes are a unique group of microbes that actually link the bacteria and the fungi. They are saprophytic and decompose organic matter. Many live exclusively in the rhizosphere and give soil the earthy odor. Many have been isolated from soil and found to produce antibiotics. Streptomycin comes from the actinomycete, Streptomyces and actionomycin comes from Actinomyces. Their main functions in soil health are the antibiotics affecting root disease pathogens and their ability to decompose organic matter.

Other microbes, involved in this belowground carbon cycle, are fungi. Fungi are especially significant in acidic soils because many bacteria are adversely affected by acid soils. They produce enzymes more capable of decomposing structural components of the shed plant material like cellulose and lignin in woody debris than do most bacteria. There are thousands of these wood decaying, saprophytic fungi. Many produce large conks on living trees and on woody debris on the forest floor. Bacteria are also intimately involved with these fungi in a succession resulting in wood decay. Thousands of other fungi, like the molds Penicillium and Aspergillus, are saprophytes also. They decompose the simple carbon compounds like sugars in various organic matter in soil. Some produce antibiotics, like penicillin, that can reduce the populations of harmful bacteria and fungi. Others, like species of Trichoderma and Gliocladium, may produce effective antibiotics but also may directly attack and parasitize mycelia of pathogenic fungi and, thus reduce the incidence of root disease.

Algae represent another population of soil microbes that have important functions in soil. However, their numbers are far fewer than bacteria and fungi. They occur mostly in moist soils and their numbers decrease rapidly with soil depth because sunlight and photosynthesis is reduced except on the soil surface. They are highly susceptible to soil disturbance. Some algae fix atmospheric nitrogen and produce mucigel that contributes to soil aggregation.

Now let’s discuss the major symbionts of plants…mycorrhizal fungi. Over 95 percent of the green plants of the world form symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi. These unique, root-inhabiting fungi colonize either the outside of fine absorbing roots (ectomycorrhizae) or the inside of the roots (endomycorrhizae). Ectomycorrhizae occur on about 10 percent of the world flora or about 2000 species of woody plants. Pine, fir, larch, spruce, hemlock, oak, chestnut, beech, alder, birch, basswood, poplar, willow, hickory and pecan, Eucalyptus, Arbutus, and a few others form ectomycorrhizae. In North America there are more than 2,100 species of fungi that form ectomycorrhizae with specific trees; worldwide, there are over 5,000 species. Most of these fungi produce mushrooms or puffballs. Billions of spores are disseminated by wind, insects, and small animals from these fruiting bodies that spread the fungi to new locations. Ectomycorrhizae are only found on trees; they don’t occur on nonwoody plants. Most ectomycorrhizae can be recognized with the naked eye since they occur in different shapes, sizes and colors.

Endomycorrhizae are the most widespread of all mycorrhizal types and comprises three general groups. Ericaceous endomycorrhizae occur on four or five families in the Ericales and include Rhododendron, mountain laurel, cranberry and blueberry. Orchidaceous endomycorrhizae are another type that occurs only in the plant family Orchidaceae. These two groups will not be discussed further. Vesicular- arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) is the third group of endomycorrhizae. Vesicles and/or arbuscules are structures produced by these fungi in or on colonized roots. VAM have been observed in roots of over 1,000 genera of plants representing some 200 plant families. It has been estimated that over 85 percent of the 300,000 species of vascular plants in the world form VAM. These include agricultural crops (except the cabbage family Brassica), most wild and cultivated grasses, fruit and nut trees (except pecan), many hardwoods, vines, desert plants, flowers, and most ornamentals. VAM fungi are ubiquitous in all natural soils that are or have recently supported their host plants. However, their population density (i.e. number of spores and other propagules) and species diversity vary greatly in different soils supporting different plants. Degraded soils like those in our urban landscapes are low in organic matter, have poor physical structure, and are usually compacted. These characteristics limit plant growth and cannot support significant populations of VAM fungi. Healthy forest, desert and grassland soils with high plant density contain many of them. There are about 150 total species of VAM fungi identified, to date, worldwide. More are being discovered every year. VAM roots are not changed in either color or shape from nonmycorrhizal roots as are ectomycorrhizae. VAM can only be confirmed microscopically and thus, cannot be identified with the unaided eye. These fungi produce large spores on their vegetative threads (mycelia) either in or growing from roots in the soil. Because of their location and large size, spores are disseminated very slowly to new areas by soil animals and insects. VAM fungal spores are 10 to 20 times larger in diameter and volume than the smaller spores of ectomycorrhizal fungi produced in puffballs and mushrooms.

The host plants supply mycorrhizal fungi with organic carbon in the form of sugars and other essential organics, such as certain vitamins and amino acids derived directly or indirectly from photosynthesis. Since these mycorrhizal fungi cannot obtain these essential dietary carbon nutrients from any other source they are totally dependent on the photosynthates translocated to roots of their plant hosts for their survival and growth. This means, very simply, that the mycorrhizal fungi cannot grow and develop unless they obtain their dietary carbon from the roots of their plant hosts…that’s their restaurant! In return, the fungi extend mycelia far into the soil, significantly increasing the surface area of the roots (up to 700 % more) to improve absorption of water, nitrogen and essential mineral elements for its plant host. That’s why it’s called a symbiosis…both partners give and take in the association.

Let’s put this another way. In order to develop and maintain a significant complement of mycorrhizae, a plant will allocate between 4 and 15 % of its sugar made in photosynthesis to satisfy the sugar needs of the fungi in the symbiotic association. The expense of this “sugar tax” assures the plant of longer-lived (several months) mycorrhizal roots capable of satisfying the plants’ requirements of essential soil resources. A plant with few or no mycorrhizae will spend as much or more “sugar tax” producing and replacing (rapid turnover rate) the short-lived (1 – 6 wks.) nonmycorrhizal absorbing roots which are also significantly less efficient than mycorrhizae in acquiring these essential resources from the soil for the plant. Without significant mycorrhizal development the plant would waste carbon energy…they’re too efficient to do this, thus mycorrhizae! Few plants in their native habitat are without mycorrhizae. Research has shown that most plants, especially trees, have an obligate requirement for mycorrhizae…without them they die!

Recently, VAM fungi were reported to produce a glycoprotein exudate while in the mycorrhizal association. This organic chemical, called glomalin after the VAM fungal genus Glomus, plays a significant role in soil aggregate stability and can represent 4 to 5 % of total soil carbon and nitrogen in forest soils. This glycoprotein can form a continuous bridge between essential elements in soil solution in the rhizosphere and the plant root. This organic adds to the total rhizodeposition.

muddstopper
04-10-2006, 04:32 PM
Mycorrhizae are able to absorb, accumulate and transfer essential elements and water to plants more rapidly and for longer periods of time than nonmycorrhizal roots. From a practical perspective, it would require approximately 100 times more sugars and energy from photosynthesis for a tree to form enough nonmycorrhizal absorbing roots to produce the same surface area formed by the mycelia of mycorrhizal fungi and the mycorrhizae. Trees and other plants are simply not able to produce 100 times more photosynthate; thus, they evolved a dependency on mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae live and function longer than nonmycorrhizal absorbing roots, increase the tolerance of their tree host to drought, soil compaction, high soil temperatures, heavy metals, soil salinity, organic and inorganic soil toxins and extremes of soil pH. They also depress many root diseases caused by pathogenic fungi and nematodes. Recently, mycorrhizal plants were found to suppress the attacks by certain foliar insects by increasing the natural defense chemicals produced by healthy plants. Mycorrhizal fungi of any type do not significantly decompose soil organic matter but may acquire certain elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, from the organic matter and share them with their plant host. An important prerequisite to remember for mycorrhizal development is that nonwoody, susceptible roots must be preformed before they can be colonized by the fungi and become mycorrhizae. Susceptibility means that the simple sugars required by these fungi are available to them in these roots. Remember, everything is based on availability of essential carbon.

In natural forests and grasslands, many species of mycorrhizal fungi share common plant hosts and form a continuous, interconnecting network of mycelia on roots between the plants. It has been shown that dominant forest trees in full sunlight will actually transfer sugars through a common ectomycorrhizal fungal mycelial network to roots of adjacent understory trees that are shaded and produce less photosynthate. The dominant trees can function as nurse trees to the understory trees and improve growth and competitive abilities of the smaller trees. Photosynthate transfer between grasses sharing a common VAM fungal mycelial network has also been reported.

TO YOUR UNDERSTANDING

The preceding discussion was an attempt to describe the foliar and soil processes that support normal growth and development of plants in their native habitats. Note that I used the word normal. That’s deliberate. If you don’t know what normal is, how can you possibly recognize abnormal? You must be able to recognize a healthy plant before you can judge one to be unhealthy. You also have to identify what contributes to normal growth and what growth looks like without it.

By now you have a better understanding of the importance of the organic carbon cycle to the world. Also, you should have a greater appreciation for the importance of the biological factory that produces most of the world’s energy, oxygen and organic-based sugars…green leaves! All life on Earth is dependent on this factory and its products, including the diverse life in the soil. I bet you didn’t know you walked over such abundant and diverse populations of soil microbes that are so critically important to soil and plant health thru the soil processes they drive. Even through they represent only about 5% of the total organic carbon (living and dead) in soil, over 95% of the essential inorganic elements (N, P, K, etc.) pass through these microbes before these elements are passed on to plants.

Compared to natural soils, the soils in most manmade landscapes have little periodically renewed and recyclable high quality, native organic matter needed to drive natural soil processes, are compacted with poor aeration and low water storage capacity, and frequently have a creeping soil pH caused by alkaline or effluent irrigation water or fertilizer and lime treatments of turf. Trees and other plants growing on these sites must have the capacity to produce new functional absorbing roots, the soil must contain effective inocula of mycorrhizal fungi needed to form abundant mycorrhizae on the new roots and the soil must contain the proper organic matter and associated microbes to carry out all of the essential natural soil processes. If not, you have abnormal or inhibited growth. You are then forced to maintain these trees with a row crop mentality that involves the abundant use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers. These chemicals, when used in excess, can inhibit beneficial microbes, delay normal root function and natural soil processes and may actually increase the susceptibility of the tree and other plants to pests. Many states have already banned or have limited the use of many of these synthetic chemicals because of their purported damaging effects to the environment.

We have domesticated forest trees and other plants, by removing them from their natural environments and by growing them in commercial tree plantations, fruit and nut tree orchards, yards in subdivisions, manicured parks and golf courses, roadsides, sidewalk cutouts and other unnatural landscapes. Trees commonly occur in these various manmade landscapes by one of two events. Either they existed as a forest tree in the area before manmade development or they were transplanted after development. Roots of preexisting trees are routinely damaged during construction by trenching utilities, by drain fields, by grading for drainage, by compaction from vehicles, and by the ever-present urban forest floor of concrete/asphalt roads, driveways and sidewalks.

There is an old forestry saying “build the roots and the tops will follow”. Transplanted trees are routinely moved to their new environment with less than 10 percent of their original root system developed in the nursery but yet they are expected to maintain a normal growth rate on their new planting site. In reality these transplanted trees, if they survive, may need 10 years to replace the original lateral and absorbing root systems, if ever. Roots not only need large soil volumes for proper development but also they must have favorable soil conditions (oxygen, proper temperature, available soil water, soluble nitrogen and essential minerals) that allow them to develop. Remember, that with all of this, these plants must have a healthy green and dense canopy to produce the photosynthates (sugars) and energy needed for growth and respiration. Since photosynthesis and the allocation pattern of the photosynthate is essential to plant growth, it is obvious that the most important single indicator of plant health, especially trees, is the health of the canopy. Protect the factory!!

If your job is to manage trees and other plants then you must understand the belowground traits acquired by these plants from their former natural environment and design management practices in manmade landscapes to satisfy these requirements. Good quality organic matter in soil, an organic mulch over the rooting area of shrubs and trees, the largest possible volume of quality soil (preferred pH, good water storage and physical properties, high reserve of mineral elements) for maximum root expanse, and adequate populations of mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial rhizobacteria are a few prerequisites to healthy and normal root development and function. Inoculants of mycorrhizal fungi and rhizobacteria can be introduced to roots and soil in the nursery, at planting or during maintenance of turf, flowers, shrubs and trees. Use of these microbial and natural inoculants has been shown to improve the establishment and normal growth of these plants and also to improve the below and aboveground health and function of established mature trees in diverse manmade landscapes.

NattyLawn
04-10-2006, 09:14 PM
You two should feel good about yourselves. While Microbe did go overboard in some of his comments, he's the only one out of the two of you utilizing organic practices in a lawncare business.

Yardpro...You say organic lawn care companies are misinformed and selling fear to customers. Well, what about the yearly liming without soil testing, aeration and overseeding, fungicides and other useless fertilizer apps that chemical companies use? I can speak for me, and we don't sell fear. People have hear that from news, print, etc, and then they call looking for an alternative. The main selling tool for an organic company is building the soil, not feeding the plant. There's so much to learn and it's a constant process. I learn something new every day, and to me that's a good thing. Thanks for the links.

muddstopper
04-11-2006, 07:02 PM
You two should feel good about yourselves. While Microbe did go overboard in some of his comments, he's the only one out of the two of you utilizing organic practices in a lawncare business.

Actually, I do feel pretty good about myself. Its called trying to help. True, I dont use organics in a lawn care company, but then again I dont own or run a lawn care company. Which is the point of all my research. I am not going to sell something I dont know anything about. I have been considering expanding my business into the lawncare sector for the last couple of years, and when/if I decide to start providing lawncare, I might not know it all, but you can bet that I will be way ahead of my competition.

YardPro
04-11-2006, 07:22 PM
good posts mudstopper...Lots of good information

nattylawn
i am not arguing the pros or cons of organic gardening. If it works for you and you have a good client base that will pay the added expenses, that's great. There is nothing wrong with organic gardening... I incorperate alot of organics into my work.. soil prep, biomass addition to our local barren sandy soils, ipm practices... etc...

There are a lot of "organic" gardeners like microbe out there that go into hysterics and make these wild untrue claims... these are the people i have issues with.

people that bash those not using organic practices and saying they they are "poisoning the earth" are the ones i have issues with. The biggest benefit to organic gardening is that is much more difficult to cuase problems,

But i still stand by the claim that a well informed responsible professional that uses non organic practices is not cuasing any harm to the environment.


and microbe....

so what's wrong with that link...
did you even read it?
it is published by a PHD of molecular biology at the university of edinburg...

i would trust that he knows what he is talking about....
and the link was put there to educate you about the nitrogen cycle...
also try reading mudstoppers links... you may actually learn something.. but be prepaired... you just might realize that you have been posting rubbih.

Microbe
04-11-2006, 09:37 PM
I never said anything negative ya SHMATA about that page you posted. I was very impressed that somebody could have a degree in such a difficult area of science. If you think that %100 percent of all chemical landscapers are professional LOLOLOLOL THINK AGAIN BUDDY! You should see what goes on out there... mabye your closed up in a library reading and really never see what goes on out there...... I'd say 1 out of 20 landscape companies actually provide decent service.... When you hire 3 dummies to cut lawns down to the sheath, then spray and fert them so there green is just complete BULLSHIDT. If I honestly saw a company that practices professional I would think differently. But from my experience working for many landscapers chemical lawn care should be outlaw'd...... Hey, for the ones that really know horticulture and how to "really," use the chemicals I say thank god we have some out there....... But for the rest, I dont' know how they sleep at night.........

muddstopper
04-11-2006, 10:31 PM
Microbe, I can say the same thing about a lot of organic companies out there. There are way to many misinformed organic people, well intentioned maybe, but doing harm just the same. Thats the whole point, it doesnt matter if its organic or chemical, to much, or not the correct product, does more harm than good.

One of the biggest reason for all the screaming about Phosphorous poisoning our water is simply because the Mining companies want to sell more P. The soil test recommendation for P are based on water soluble P which means it must be water soluble for it to show up. The problem with that is that P isn't exactly water soluble so it takes large amounts for it to show up on soil test. Who set the standard for testing P, the phosphate mining companies. On the other hand, if you ask for a root acid soluble test, you will find that your soil contains much more P than what the water soluble test shows, but that would mean you would be buying less P and the Phos mines wouldn't sell as much. Of course this would also mean that all those mountains of gypsum and sulfur wouldn't be accumulating all over Florida. Water soluble also means that the P can be carried out of the soil by water, which is why everybody is screaming about P polluting the lakes and streams. Using proper amounts of P, the amounts that our plants actually need will result in negligible P run off. P has a triple negative charge which means it will attach to all the positive cations it possibly can before it allows itself to be carried out of the soil. The only way it can pose a pollution problem is if to much is applied and their isn't enough cations for it to attach to.

Bluefin
04-12-2006, 09:18 AM
Nice argument and discussion. Many points are valid and many are not. If you want the true "skinny" on these questions.....ask away. I am a retired professor of turfgrass management from the Univ. of Mass., Amherst. I hold a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in plant physiology and soil biochemistry. I am currently a private consultant primarily for golf courses and am very involved in developing fertilizers for a major mid-west food producer. My specialty is soil microbiology and organic management methods.

website: www.proturfconsulting.com

There is so much voodoo out there it's pathetic and it actually hurts the movement into organic management.

Norm Al
04-12-2006, 08:03 PM
what hurts the organics industry is products like corn gluten meal and sesame oil for nematodes,,,,,,,very little supporting evidence that they actually work!


products that actually work will help the organics industry!

Microbe
04-14-2006, 10:02 PM
Muddstopper I sincerely appreciate the info. The websites are great, and I thank lawnsite for being here. Can I just ask one more thing? When you use CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS say like Lesco 18-0-18 or 46-0-0 or Miracle grow, or scotts weed and FEED or any of the products that come in Nice colored Prills... Don't these products directly feed the plant and do nothing when it comes to adding organic matter into the soil which over time ruins the soil? Or even better, makes the plants completly dependent upon chemical fertilizers and pesticides to live? What about the whole theory of "Chemical addicted plants?" Kinda like when your addicted to ciggaretts "sorry my spelling isn't perfect, I"m not a PHD." There are just so many theory's that make SOOOOO much more sense to me, and all others that are environmentally concious. Is this a bunch of bull or what? Over time won't the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers kill the soil? Yes or no?

Microbe
04-14-2006, 10:28 PM
Norm.. There is also very little evidence that yoga works great to reduce stress.. THere is very little evidence that Echinachea and balanced nutrition will prevent illness. There is very little evidence that when you incorporate organic foods, reiki, acupuncture, juicing, they actually make you feel overall much more healthy and Prevent illness BUT THEY DO! The gov't doesn't want you to know that they work because they want you to stay "drug addicted," health insurance doesn't even cover NATURAPATHIC DOCTORS, and there better than any MD OR WHOEVER in the medical industry period. Just take tylenol and advil is what they say, and all the other drugs the FDA APPROVES that WORKS! Viox for example or Accutane. If there is soooo little evidence that natural products work, then why have they been used for THOUSANDS of years and still to this day are used. It wasn't until the invention of the PILL that america became almost totally dependent upon drugs and chemicals to "cure," certain ailments which indeed are not cured by using drugs.

What works then? DYLOX FOR GRUBS? yea that sure works! For the brainwashed american its the ONLY WAY! In sooo many other countries including ours they use NEMATODES and other natural products to combat pests and they do work. What because Cornell doesn't have a $500,000 study on nematodes they don't work? That to me is just wrong. They have these college studies to sell a product that they can patent. Like a drug... Even if its dangerous they will still FDA approve it to make BILLIONS! VIOX, PAXIL, ACCUTANE come on man the list goes on and on. Like miracle grow and 2 4d.... YEA there's tons of evidence that it works... but what does it do to the soil? Yea tylenol works, but what does it do to your kidney's and liver? They don't tell you that, do they? Do you see my point? Am I wrong or in Yardpro's words "IGNORANT." Please tell me because to me it makes such perfect/balanced sense, and also gives you that calm feeling when you hear it because in your stomach you know its true. Just because there's not a professional study with 10 years of documented research doesn't mean it doesn't work... it just means that companies can't make money off of it, so they bad mouth it. You can't patent REISHI MUSHROOM, so that means.that it doesn't help your immune system? They can't patent goldenseal root,so means it doesn't get rid of STREP THROAT right? If drug companies and CHEMICAL PESTICIDE AND FERTILIZER companies CAN"T MAKE MONEY ON SOMETHING BECAUSE ITS GENERAL AND SAFE THEN YOU NEVER HEAR ABOUT IT... They only test products that they can PATENT even if there dangerous and work....

Personally I take the criticism very well... I don't mind peole lashing out at statements I make if they are very IGNORANT,, I actually appreciate it, and will remember your words... "Organic land care emphasizes a holistic approach to plant health care by nourishing the soil life instead of feeing the plant directly," makes all the sense in the world.

Norm Al
04-15-2006, 01:43 PM
your a little touchy bro,,,,,you may need to get laid!

i was just pointing out the obvious,,,,,products that dont work hurt the organics industry! people use them, see no proof they work and move on,,,,,instead of purchasing REAL organic products that do work!

NattyLawn
04-15-2006, 04:48 PM
Al,
Some of your posts in this forum say the same thing time after time. You were pushing the organic crabgrass killer a few weeks back, but never told us what was in it. If so many products in the organics industry are snake oil, should we take your word that it's organic? Also, the comment about people using organics and seeing they don't work should be taken with a grain of salt. Organics aren't meant to work as fast as a chemical, and the results aren't immediately noticable. Why? Because with fertilizer we're trying to build the soil. I know we live in a fast food society where immediate results are wanted and needed. These are the types of customers and people that organics are not suited for.

Have you used CGM? I have used and do I think it works? Yes. Is it the same as putting down a chemcial pre-em? No. There's very little play as far as cultural practices go, and scalping, poor edging, etc. will lead to crabgrass breakthrough. Also, it doesn't have the same residual, but some people are willing to pay for the fact that they aren't putting any chemicals down.

Norm Al
04-15-2006, 10:41 PM
natty you are confusing what i say as something i think,,,,i was pointing out how OTHER PEOPLE view organics! 3rd person! I obviously use organics!

i dont use CGM,,,,tho it is organic it is useless! the proof is in the results (if we are talking about it as a pre-m),,,,,it does seem to have some good PH enhancing qualitys,,,,for which i use it!

now about the,,,"why i didnt tell you what was in that product",,,,, its not my "job" to teach you about a product,,,,,if you want to check it out,,,,check it out! if you bought into CGM,,,,,i would think you wouldn't have a problem spending a few bucks for a product that really works! but i will give you a head start,,,,it smells like cinnamon toast when you open the lid and smell it!

Microbe
04-16-2006, 12:52 AM
How do you get, "need to get laid from a post?" I"m stating how "I view," an organic/holistic approach to plant, landcare, and life for that matter to a point. Its like in since world war II all of a sudden all the thousands of years of practice using natural agricultural practices vanishes and is replaced with super fertilizers and toxic weed controls that kill all kinds of weeds. There had to be a way to achieve beautiful results before all these man made items became heavily advertised and marketed. Weeds are messegers, if we kill the messengers we really never get to the "root," of the problem which is the soil. Feeding the plant directly is "cheating," in my opinion and easy. I mean how hard is it to spread some fert and then even after you spread your fertilizer it doesn't build the soil, it leach's away and you have to re apply. Actually knowing what the soil needs and applying the correct material that will build the soil and stay in the soil to grow great plants makes more sense.

Norm Al
04-16-2006, 12:52 PM
microbe the part about gettin laid was a joke! i shoulda put a smiley face at the end! sorry.


now how is it that you "build the soil",,,,,,not for me i understand your comment,,,,,,for the lay person reading this that is saying to themselves,,,,"what the ^%$# does building the soil mean?" :)

Microbe
04-16-2006, 04:31 PM
We'll in a natural system organic matter such a leaves, gets broken down by thriving microbial communities which in turn releases organic matter back into the soil. If you consistantly have a diet of just water solubal nutrients which do nothing to actually help replenish lost organic matter in the soil, over time this will prove to become unsustainable. The organically maintained landscape retains and recycles organic matter which in turn rely's less on chemical fertilizers and other inputs. The soil must be fed carbon along with nitrogen threw the use of compost, and sometimes by growing clovers in farming.
"Horticultural methods which "SHORT-CUT," this natural order by directly feeding the plants synthetic nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium lead to damaged soil and a weak root system, making the plant more susceptible to insects, disease, and drought. Over-fertilizing the plant (chemical or organic) may also inhibit the development of mycorrhizae. Eventually the soil structure collapses and becomes infertile. To revive dead, compacted soil, it may be necessary to apply compost to improve and build soil life."

Its cool norm... I got ladies... I take no offense :) Been studying..... there really is much to learn... so interesting... The natual/organic methods just make so much more overall sense... But we live in a fast paced society were everything has to be NOW OR NEVER.... HUNGRY MACDONALDS.... BIG FLOWERS MIRACLE GROW..... BUGS GOT LOTS OF PESTICIDES... no problem... its those that are looking for the alternative will find us....

muddstopper
04-16-2006, 09:07 PM
Microbe, to address your last post and a previous post.

You take leafs or whole trees from a soil you also take the nutrients that that tree or its leafs containes. Now I dont know how it is where you live, but most areas of the U.S. and most of the rest of the world have had trees removed for years and even centuries. This timber is used for fuel so the elements are consumed in a fire or converted into carbon dioxide and released into the astmosphere. the lumber from the timber is used for building homes and is often torn down as it ages and either burnt, buried or removed to a land fill. In each case, nutrients are removed from the soil and made unavailable to the plants in the forest to recycle. One scientist made a statement, (I dont remember his name) that something like 90% of the forest now contain barely 30% of the necessary nutrients needed to thrive. Most forests are also diseased and dieing simply because of the lack of nutrients. More importantly to your theory of using tree leaves and compost to reclaim your soil, is simply the materials that you are composting, dont contain the nutrients your soil needs. If the soil the plant material was grown on didnt contain all the proper nutrients, the compost made from that material wont contain the nutrients either. You cant get something from nothing. Sure the compost will contain some nutrients, but will it contains the nutrients that your soil is lacking or the nutrients your plants need the most. Or will it contain nutrients that your soil already has an abundance of and create an imbalance that actually will lock up the nutrients that your soil and plants need.

Now your question of chemical fertilizers making a soil healthy, in the actually, proper fertilizers in proper amounts can make a soil healthier simply because those fertilizers will promote biological activity. But, in a more realworld situation, often times, fertilizers are just simply added to the soil without any consideration to the actual needs of the soil, but instead they are trying to feed the plants. this results in the wrong fertilizers, in the wrong amounts being used. The end result is stimulation of the wrong microbes that consume the wrong elements and unhealthy soil and therefore, unhealthy plants.

This process isnt just limited to chemical fertilizers, remember your compost doesnt contain nutreints in the proper amounts either. Therefore, the addition of to much or the wrong compost is the exact same as if you had chosen similar chemical fertilizers.

Now the real problem is that the totally organic crowd, just isnt going to believe that their compost isnt good for their soil or that the compost they are using is doing more harm than good. Organic fertilizer salemen arent helping the situation. They sell what they have on hand, not what you really need. You are not going to find any one product from any one company that totally meets the needs and requirements of your soils. They mass produce their products and are not about to taylor to every lawn or situation out there. Yor are not going to be able to make your own compost that will contain the nutrients your soil needs simply because you cant find enough of the proper materials to make it with, and if can find the materials, most people wont know how to combine the products and convert it to a usable material. I am starting to believe that most of the organic fertilizer companies are more after money than they are in produceing good organic products. If not, why dont they list all the elements in there fertilizers instead of just listing or promoting npk like the chemical fertilizer companies. I challenge any organic fertilizer company to list a truely organic fertilizer that includes all the major, macro, and micronutrients that their fertilizers contain. They wont and they cant, simply because they cant guarantee the analysis from one batch to the next. Why cant they guarantee the analysis, because they cant test every load of organic material that they bring in to their compost piles. They can add Urea and Phosphorous and potassium to the finished compost and guarantee the final analysis. By the way, Phos and potassium are accepted as organic in most organic circles as well they should be, since they are just ground up rock. The black rock phosphate mined in NC even contains nitrogen straight from the mine that is contained in the rock. Of course then you have super phosphate that is not considered organic since it is treated with sulfuric acid.

Microbe
04-16-2006, 09:48 PM
What are other people's takes on muddstoppers post? The theory he tell's about "not knowing for sure just what nutrients are present," is a good one. Hell, when I buy a bag of fafard organic topsoil, the product looks and smells perfect, but then again it doesn't say whats in it and it could be high in a nutrient that I don't need..

Grassmechanic
04-17-2006, 07:56 AM
What are other people's takes on muddstoppers post? The theory he tell's about "not knowing for sure just what nutrients are present," is a good one. Hell, when I buy a bag of fafard organic topsoil, the product looks and smells perfect, but then again it doesn't say whats in it and it could be high in a nutrient that I don't need..
I agree more with Mudstopper than you. His viewpoints are commonly from results of sound, scientific study. Yours are the result of feel-good emotions. You believe that by applying a fertilizer to the turf that it does not prompote organic material back into the soil. That is completely wrong! MANY university studies have been done to show that a fertilized lawn will add organic matter to the soil vs an unfertilized. How? By the simple fact that as you promote a plants growth, you also are promoting to the plants mass, i.e. the roots, leaves, stems, rhizomes, etc. As a plant grows, parts also die. As these parts die (through normal biological regeneration) they add to the soils organic matter.

muddstopper
04-17-2006, 08:08 AM
Microbe, dont take this the wrong way, I am all for the organic approach. Its just the more I learn about plant nutrients needs, the more I am convinced that no one single organic approach is going to work 100%. I try to base what I post on science, biology and common sense. Way to often I will read about an organic product that is supposed to work wonders on the soil, the reviews are written by salesmen or scientist with a product to sell. Bias information to say the least. Not to say that their products are worthless, they are great products, its just that the salesmen dont tell the complete story. Take humate for example. Salemen wll tell you that the product is great and their product is better than veryone elses simply because they us a certain process to extract the humic acid from the humate, well we could go on about that process but the botom line is that most use the same process to extract the humic acid, just different acids. (does this remind you of how super phosphate is made). Anyways, the Scientist, the ones with the Phd's and actually study the stuff will tell you that ground up Lenoardnite will give you the same results as the expensive humic acid, simply because it is the same product that hasnt be treated with acid. There is a difference, in ground up lenoardite. every time the particle of lenoardnite is split, its soil helping properties will multiply by a factor of 4. Micronized Lenoadnite is a lot cheaper than the acid treated humic acid sources, a lot safer to handle, and will provide the same benefit to your soil. The story doesnt end there, Those same salesmen will tell you how great the micronized lenoardnite is but they wont tell you that if you already have a high organic soil, chances are, you dont need the Micronized lenoardnite, or the humic acid, simply because a high organic soil already contains those products. the application of humic substances to high organic soils has very little effect to the health or well being of the plants, science, biology, and common sense. Why wouldnt a organic company tell you to not apply their product to a high organic soil, because if they did, you probably wouldnt by their product. Now they have taken a perfectly good product and turned it into snakeoil, simply to make a sale. Will the product work, yes, will it work in your situation, simple test is how much organic matter does your soil already contain. If you are above about 2 or 3 percent organic matter, chances are you will see very little benefit from apply humic acid products, If you bought the product and used it so now you tell everybody the product doesnt work. One the other hand, your soil contains no organic matter and you buy and use the product and WOW! the results are amazing and you tell everybody just how well the product works. The humic company is pleased, they made two sales to two customers and have a 50% satisfaction rate, but its easier to sell a product if you have a few testimonials, now just which customer will you go to to get your testimonials. You also can them say, the person that didnt have sucess with your product must have did something wrong, because look how well it worked for all these other people. No the customer with the poor results didnt do anything wrong, he did what the company told him to, the company just didnt tell him that he already had a high organic soil and he didnt really need to buy there product.

Bluefin
04-17-2006, 08:55 AM
Right on! Now you're on the right track.

topsites
04-17-2006, 01:17 PM
If you use the right Chem. in th right spot its just as safe as organics. people are in the mind set that if its organic its safe and thats B S. I use both
so if you incorporate both in your program it is a plus

I agree.

Just because organics are supposedly safer (yes in some ways they are) doesn't mean synthetics will lose out any time soon. Synth ferts are a lot stronger / pound (less labor and fuel in hauling and spreading), are man-made and thus do not consume as many natural resources (yes, organics require more than poop), and the list of synth benefits goes on and is at least as long as the organics, the reasons for the head-to-head competition is because both are good solutions.

muddstopper
04-17-2006, 01:24 PM
Ouch, looks like I need to start prove reading my post, please forgive the poor punctuation and spelling

muddstopper
04-17-2006, 01:44 PM
With the depletion of nutrients in the soil, and consequently depletion in the plants, compost alone is no longer the whole answer to soil fertility. That doesn't mean you cant use compost, it just means it needs to be doctored a little. There are a lot of fertilizers that are acceptable in an organic program. Hard and soft rock phosphate for P, potassium sulfate for K and S, good old lime for calcium and magnesium, gypsum for calcium and sulfur, copper sulfate for copper and sulfur, magnesium sulfate for magnesium and sulfur, ferrous sulfate for iron and sulfur. The list can go on for a while but I cant remember all of them in my head. Notice I didn't list any sources of nitrogen. Most of the nitrogen needs can be gotten from the regular compost, products such a CGM and Soymeal etc and they are also sources for a lot of the other elements I just listed. The goal is to know just what you are putting on and supplement the rest using naturally mined sources for what ever is missing. To do this you must first know something about what the soil needs to be healthy. Feed the soil and the soil will take care of the plant needs.

sheshovel
04-17-2006, 02:48 PM
This is an absolutely excellent thread..all of you have contributed to helping to understand both sides of the debate.
You all have to realize that some things..even some things that plants do to grow and how the soil and microbes in the soil react to chemical and organic compounds are not and may never be fully understood.
Microbe is doing the right thing by questioning the practices of chemical companies that are around him because he can SEE something is just not right with the color of the lawns they are treating.
There is nothing wrong with this..this is how we learn.
It is a prov en FACT that the over application of lawn chemicals DO contribute greatly to pollution of our ground water, rivers and lakes and oceans but it is also a prov en FACT that animal manures,wood waste products and other "Organic" material do too.
It is not necessarily a correct assessment to ...with one fail swoop of the wand condemn all chemical applications,and claim Organics will take care of all the problems man has created with the soil.
I do believe that Organics..used without scare tactics or hysteria...will be the step in the right direction for the future health of this planet and all the things that grow here that we depend on for our very survival.

Norm Al
04-18-2006, 05:28 AM
now we're gettin somewhere cracka!

muddstopper
04-18-2006, 07:56 PM
I agree more with Mudstopper than you. His viewpoints are commonly from results of sound, scientific study. Yours are the result of feel-good emotions. You believe that by applying a fertilizer to the turf that it does not prompote organic material back into the soil. That is completely wrong! MANY university studies have been done to show that a fertilized lawn will add organic matter to the soil vs an unfertilized. How? By the simple fact that as you promote a plants growth, you also are promoting to the plants mass, i.e. the roots, leaves, stems, rhizomes, etc. As a plant grows, parts also die. As these parts die (through normal biological regeneration) they add to the soils organic matter.


I want to comment on some of Grassmechanic's statements.
the part about a fertilized lawn versus an unfertilized lawn adding organic matter back to the soil and in effect actually making humis and organic matter. Microbial activity is needed to convert the chemical, as well as organic, nutrients into a plant usable form. Plants also use root exudates that help breakdown the elemental nutrients, converting them into oxides, ate's (Phosphate, Nitrates etc), ases, (Protienases, Ligenases, cellousease etc. the improtant thing is that every time that the source nutrient is consumed by the plants, it becomes easier for the next generation of microbes and plant exudates to consume them. This occurs thru decomposition of the host organic material.(cut grass, leafs, sticks, roots, etc)

Now it seems a natural assumsion to think that adding more organic or chemical fertilizers will greatly increase the buildup of these already plant processed nutrients, but the reality of the situation is that there is a certain law of maximum that the soil can absorb and hold of every nutrient. Once that law of the maximum is exceeded, you will start to see nutrient tieup in the soil. Each element has a certain attraction to other nutrients and if you get to much of one, then you will experience tieup of the other that is in lesser supply. Anion elements, (negitive) are attracted to Cation elements,(positive). ie.,Elements such as Phosphorous have a tripple negitive charge, to much calcium will attract phos, and the conversion is tri-calcium phosphate. Tri-calcium phosphate is an unuseable form of calcium and phosphate that is basicly tiedup in the soil and unavalable to the plants. You soil still contains the same amounts of calcium and phosphate that it had before the conversion, only your plants cant use it until it gets broken down again by the microbes and plant exudates.

Compost made of plant materials, or any other material, will contain different carbon to nitrogen ratio's. Actually the materials will contain different carbon to nitrogen ratio's. Once completely composted the compost should be in the 10:1-20:1 range. Outside of thes ranges and you will get a microbial inbalance between plant availability of N and microbial availablity of N. At 10:1 c/n ratio you will have great nitrogen levels available to your plants simply because there is excess nitrogen available to feed the microbes, so much so that your turf might start to experience an overload of nitrogen loving bacterial or fungus and then you might start seeing pythiium blight, brownpatch, etc turf diseases. At 20:1 C/N ratios, you migh see just the opposite of not enough nitrogen to feed the microbes. Thsi results in the microbes stealling all the available nitrogen an none or very little being available to the plants. The other problem is that the microbes will actually start robbing the nitrogen from the soil humis and therefore destroy the fertility levels of that soil. Grass clipping have a C/N ration of around 10-20:1, Wood bark, around 500: and wood chips at 700:1. This is why when making compost that it is always recommended to add green plant material with the brown. To increase the Nitrogen availablity to feed the microbes. Different manures contain different levels of NPK, and these can vary even more depending on which farm they come from and the condition of the soil on those farms. Hog manure contains more P than K, cow manure contains more K than P, horse manure is pretty even P and K. Chicken manures can vary depending on the reason for raising the chickens. Layers will contain more calcium than fryers. All these manures will contain low C/N ratios and make great additons to your compost piles, plus they add other nutrients that your plant materials might not contain simply because farmers supplement the animal feed with nutrients that the animals need to grow. Turkey manure is a good source of copper because turkey farmers like to feed turkeys copper.

Anyways, mixing and matching the organic materials will result in a better balance of nutrient sources for your turf or gardens. This mixing and matching should also take into consideration the nutrients that are already available in the soil. You wouldnt want to add Hog manures to a soil that already has high P levels nor would you want to use cow manures on soils with high K levels. Which ever manure you choose to use, should first be composted. Not only does this reduce smells, but it also insures that the nutrients are root acid soluible for the plant exuadates and that the manures wont upset the C/N ratios of your soils.

NattyLawn
04-18-2006, 08:23 PM
I agree.

Just because organics are supposedly safer (yes in some ways they are) doesn't mean synthetics will lose out any time soon. Synth ferts are a lot stronger / pound (less labor and fuel in hauling and spreading), are man-made and thus do not consume as many natural resources (yes, organics require more than poop), and the list of synth benefits goes on and is at least as long as the organics, the reasons for the head-to-head competition is because both are good solutions.


How much closer did the price gap get between synthetic and organic fert this year? Organics aren't sucking up the petroleum and natural gas.

NattyLawn
04-18-2006, 08:50 PM
I agree more with Mudstopper than you. His viewpoints are commonly from results of sound, scientific study. Yours are the result of feel-good emotions. You believe that by applying a fertilizer to the turf that it does not prompote organic material back into the soil. That is completely wrong! MANY university studies have been done to show that a fertilized lawn will add organic matter to the soil vs an unfertilized. How? By the simple fact that as you promote a plants growth, you also are promoting to the plants mass, i.e. the roots, leaves, stems, rhizomes, etc. As a plant grows, parts also die. As these parts die (through normal biological regeneration) they add to the soils organic matter.


Where does Microbe state that adding fert doesn't add organic matter to the soil?

Also, any soil that doesn't have enough food for the microbes will result in them consuming the organic matter. So does it matter whether you put synthetic or organic fertilizer down? Yes.

Here's a link to the Vicious Cycle:
http://www.naturesafe.com/content/newsletters/08-00-3.html

WARNING: It's written by a salesman. According to Muddstopper, they have a product to sell. What Mudd won't tell you is, he was told all the nuances of of a certain product, and admitted to me that a lot of what he was told was "over his head". Now, in this forum, months later he states a lot of what was "over his head" is now false and people are selling him snake oil of which he knows very little, but please, since he posted it, take it for fact.

muddstopper
04-18-2006, 10:44 PM
Natty, before you start attacking me and making a general nusiance of yourself. Yes i did talk to your Humate salesman and yes i did buy some of his product. The difference is that I didnt stop there, I also looked for other sources of information. And I did find a lot of facts. I talked to folks that are certified soil scientists and hold PHD's on the subject of humates. I have also read numerous scientific papers on the subject from other folks that have PHD's on humate and humic acids. and Nowhere have i made the comment that your humate salesman is selling snakeoil. In fact, i plan on buying some more from him in the very near future. I have also never stated that I have any kinds of degrees concerning organics or argronomy, in fact, somewhere I am pretty sure that I made it a point to tell everybody that I dont hold any degrees or special education that would qualify me as an expert in organics. Now I know I have probably made a few mistakes in all of my post in this forum. Now the challenge to you is, point them out, show us what you know. but dont start petty attacks on me. In other words, putup or shutup.

muddstopper
04-18-2006, 10:53 PM
The Vicious Circle
by Ken Quandt, Regional Sales Manager

Many turf managers fail to realize just how important the beneficial soil microbes are for maintaining healthy turf. These beneficial microbes are the best friends that a superintendent can have, yet they are often starved out and killed with fertilizer and chemical programs that wreak havoc on them. This is unwittingly done through a process that I like to call "The Vicious Circle". It happens something like this:

The turf is fed exclusively with synthetic nitrogen sources that do not contain enough carbon to adequately feed the soil microbes. This results in slow starvation for the microbes.
The starving microbes, desperate for a source of carbon, deplete the soil of organic matter, which is the only other source of carbon available to them.
The soil structure slowly begins to deteriorate because the class of organisms that flocculate, or glue the soil particles together to create a granular, well-aerated soil, are no longer being adequately fed. The soil then begins to compact and resemble adobe bricks.
The high salt content in many synthetic fertilizers and the compaction of the soil combine to cause the roots of the plants to decline.
The lack of sufficient soil organic matter tends to reduce the buffering capacity of the soil, which allows the high salt content synthetic fertilizers to cause increased damage to plant roots.
The water-soluble synthetic fertilizers tend to promote surge growth that tends to build up thatch layers.
The lack of adequate populations of beneficial microbes keeps the thatch from decomposing rapidly enough, so the thatch levels continue to build, particularly with some of the vigorous new cultivars of turf that we now have available.
The build up of thatch gives the pathogenic organisms a wonderful place to breed.
The pathogens sometimes run wild due to a lack of competition from the beneficial microbes that have been starved out.
The weakened plants with poor roots systems, growing in compacted soils, are easily preyed upon by pathogenic organisms.
Usually, toxic chemicals are then applied in an attempt to control the fungi, nematodes or other pathogens that are creating problems for the turf. Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals kill off more of the beneficial organisms.
Further depleting the beneficial organisms sometimes opens the door for more exotic diseases to attack the turf, so more chemicals are applied and the problem only gets worse.
Expensive, controlled release synthetic fertilizers are applied in an attempt to reduce the problems, but the soil microbes are still being starved because of a lack of carbon.
The result is weakened turf that easily succumbs to stress factors such as traffic and heat. In a year with lots of stressful weather, the superintendents' jobs become Hell!

Natty,
Thats pretty much what I have already posted on this subject. Just exactly where does this saleman writings, disprove anything that I have written.

sheshovel
04-19-2006, 12:18 AM
Well whoever this guy is..his "Visicious Cycle" is streight out of Rodales work on organics

Grassmechanic
04-19-2006, 07:00 AM
Where does Microbe state that adding fert doesn't add organic matter to the soil?.
Go back and re-read his opinions, they are there in several posts.

muddstopper
04-19-2006, 05:59 PM
Lets look at the salesman’s statements line by line.

The turf is fed exclusively with synthetic nitrogen sources that do not contain enough carbon to adequately feed the soil microbes. This results in slow starvation for the microbes.
Yes, nitrogen sources like urea can and do stimulate increased microbial population explosions. I hate to break it to you, but high nitrogen sources like CGM and Soy meal can have the exact same effect, if too much is put on.
The starving microbes, desperate for a source of carbon, deplete the soil of organic matter, which is the only other source of carbon available to them.
Notice I stated in my previous post that the correct carbon to nitrogen ratio had to be maintained
The soil structure slowly begins to deteriorate because the class of organisms that flocculate, or glue the soil particles together to create a granular, well-aerated soil, are no longer being adequately fed. The soil then begins to compact and resemble adobe bricks. the soil structure starts to deteriorate when the balance of soil, humis and pore space are thrown out of whack. Good soil will contain 45% dirt, 5% humis and 50% pore space, and that pore space will contain 50% air and 50% water. The addition of nutrient sources that contain too much of one nutrient and not enough of others will cause the compaction and hard soil. The imbalance in nutrients can come from both chemical and organic fertilizer and isn’t limited to any specific blend. Too much nitrogen is usually the biggest cause of compaction and soil hardness because as it is leached from the soil it carries other nutrients with it.
The high salt content in many synthetic fertilizers and the compaction of the soil combine to cause the roots of the plants to decline. High salt contents can be found in organic fertilizers as well. Raw manures tend to be extremely high in sodium and should always be composted before applying to soils. The composting also helps kill off any harmful pathogens that might be present in the manures.
The lack of sufficient soil organic matter tends to reduce the buffering capacity of the soil, which allows the high salt content synthetic fertilizers to cause increased damage to plant roots. As stated above, salt content isn’t limited to chemical fertilizers. It is true that humis will collect and store harmful metals including sodium, but it will also store valuable nutrients, good organic matter will contain proper amounts of each nutrient, but just because you are applying organic matter to your soil doesn’t mean you are getting good organic matter, it the nutrients are not in the plant material that makes up the organic matter, the nutrients wont be in the organic matter either. You can’t get something from nothing.
The water-soluble synthetic fertilizers tend to promote surge growth that tends to build up thatch layers.
The lack of adequate populations of beneficial microbes keeps the thatch from decomposing rapidly enough, so the thatch levels continue to build, particularly with some of the vigorous new cultivars of turf that we now have available.
The build up of thatch gives the pathogenic organisms a wonderful place to breed.
The pathogens sometimes run wild due to a lack of competition from the beneficial microbes that have been starved out.
Thatch buildup is a result of an improper carbon to nitrogen ratio. The addition of nitrogen in the forms of chemical as well as organic can cause a flush of growth leading to a thatch buildup. As long as the proper balance of nutrients are present, and over applications are not used, thatch should never become a problem. Again, just because you use organic fertilizers doesn’t mean you wont have thatch problems. To much organics just mean the problem takes longer to get started and is harder to correct.
The weakened plants with poor roots systems, growing in compacted soils, are easily preyed upon by pathogenic organisms.
Usually, toxic chemicals are then applied in an attempt to control the fungi, nematodes or other pathogens that are creating problems for the turf. Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals kill off more of the beneficial organisms.
Further depleting the beneficial organisms sometimes opens the door for more exotic diseases to attack the turf, so more chemicals are applied and the problem only gets worse.
Expensive, controlled release synthetic fertilizers are applied in an attempt to reduce the problems, but the soil microbes are still being starved because of a lack of carbon.
The result is weakened turf that easily succumbs to stress factors such as traffic and heat. In a year with lots of stressful weather, the superintendents' jobs become Hell!
Lets look at what caused the poor weaken root growth in the first place, an imbalance of nutrients that caused the compaction issues in the soil. This imbalance can come from both chemical and organic fertilizers. It isn’t the materials fault, it is the fault of the applicator that limited his knowledge of how the soil works and consequently using the wrong or to much material to try and maintain the lawn. The results are the exact same thing whether you are using chemical or organic fertilizers, it doesn’t matter what you use if you use the wrong materials in the wrong amounts. Simply going down to Lesco or you local compost supplier and getting a load of compost, or mixing and spraying a load of compost tea, isn’t going to fix the problem. If you want to fix the disease problems, start using fertilizers that contain the disease fighter nutrients. These nutrients are Boron, manganese, copper, and zinc just to name a few. Its not a matter of being able to get these nutrients, but it is extremely important that you know which ones you need and in what amounts and what other nutrients that your soil need correcting to prevent toxicity of the disease fighting nutrients. (If you are going to add boron, you better be damn sure your soil contains sufficient calcium levels.