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Smallaxe
11-24-2008, 09:28 AM
There is another person/company wanting to start organic lawncare next year.
For those on this site that has strategies for healthy goodlooking lawns that are on their way to complete organic program:

...What is the FIRST significant step that you will take next spring?

Sharing this information can be very helpful to us all.
[The "first mowing of the season" - can be used as the timeline benchmark for applications in your zone..]
Thank-you

ICT Bill
11-24-2008, 10:25 AM
There is another person/company wanting to start organic lawncare next year.
For those on this site that has strategies for healthy goodlooking lawns that are on their way to complete organic program:

...What is the FIRST significant step that you will take next spring?

Sharing this information can be very helpful to us all.
[The "first mowing of the season" - can be used as the timeline benchmark for applications in your zone..]
Thank-you

We will need to make some assumptions to get the ball rolling. Lets assume that they service each site completely. Mow and Blow as well as fertilize, disease and pest control. Is that Okay or.......?

The first step is realizing what your program will look like and how you will break down services. Not every customer is going to want exactly the same services or may not be able to afford the cadillac service.

Then wrap products and labor into those services, you will probably want to make a simple door hanger as well

Smallaxe
11-24-2008, 10:45 AM
We will need to make some assumptions to get the ball rolling. Lets assume that they service each site completely. Mow and Blow as well as fertilize, disease and pest control. Is that Okay or.......?

OK

The first step is realizing what your program will look like and how you will break down services. Not every customer is going to want exactly the same services or may not be able to afford the cadillac service.

The idea is to simplify. For exa.,
My first step will be Compost and/or maybe molasses/sugar after the second or third mowing.

Then wrap products and labor into those services, you will probably want to make a simple door hanger as well

I was more thinking about the first step in getting the grass to grow better. Business management comes after your important steps are determined.
Thanks for the reply.

JDUtah
11-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Business management comes after your important steps are determined.


:nono:
my .02

Prolawnservice
11-24-2008, 03:58 PM
:nono:
my .02

In the immortal words of the underpants gnomes PHASE 1 collect underpants............PHASE 3 profit. What's phase 2 "we don't know":hammerhead:

Littleyardgnome
11-24-2008, 07:17 PM
DID SOMEBODY SAY "GNOME"?

Start with a good soil sample on each property. Plan on an early preM application. Start to manage weeds that are already present.

Get the soil sample, analyze, develop the program for that specific lawn.

ICT Bill
11-24-2008, 07:34 PM
I thought this thread would go all over the place, everyone has a different starting point

I start with cost and that decides the price to the end user. if you don't start with what is profitable and know your cost up front, your done, kapput, over, bye bye

what is the program specifically in your head, write it down. what do you have to do in order to get the materials to complete the first job. materials should be 20% of your cost MAX

Littleyardgnome
11-24-2008, 08:23 PM
That makes sense, but you don't quote until you have some research in your pocket? I think you would lose out on accounts if you can't at least range your program price wise without the necessary base info. Most want some concrete figure.

This is the hard part for me...bidding a program without enough info to bid properly. With synthetics, you just bid your program without concern for what it does necessarily because the apps are not a course of building the necessary soil/microbes to make it last. The apps are designed to replace the natural biology artificially.

To 180 it, the organic program is built to assist/expedite the natural manufacturing of the environment (soil) and the needs change as development of the organic system ages/changes/challenges are presented.

I think this is where we are at a significant disadvantage because quoting to at least acknowledge a higher but reasonable pricing structure can pin you in a corner when there is later a need for more invasive assistance and you can't profit when you rise to the challenge. Many small companies cannot weather such circumstances.

DeepGreenLawn
11-24-2008, 09:36 PM
OK, this is my deal for right now...

I am organic-based and work with Bermuda lawns 95% of the time. Bermuda is sod grown so there is no way people are going to pay to have their lawn torn up and replaced... and bermuda grows fast enough I can get a bad lawn decent by years end.

For a bad lawn, I start with a typical synthetic program, properly, fast simple and the weeds are controlled like the customers want...

From there I change out to organic... but keep the synthetic pre-ms until the lawn is in great enough shape to keep the weeds out on its own, this takes some time, I have 1 organic lawn that needs assistance in one area...


A nice chem treated lawn... that is in decent shape, nice, thick, and weed free...

Depending on the shape of the lawn, start with synthetic weed controls and organic ferts. Then after I get a feel of the lawn and customer when I feel the lawn is thick and healthy enough, kick the chems to the curb...

I should be able to take multiple customers to all organic next year... may start with a pre-m in spring to be safe and then pass in fall...

I know many people don't agree 100% with this... but that is what I have found, to this point, to be the best route that keeps the customers happy and allows me to have the main goal be organic... just takes some time to get there...

Barefoot James
11-24-2008, 09:46 PM
WOW - this thread will set back organics 100 years!

DeepGreenLawn
11-24-2008, 09:56 PM
lol... I am new to this and haven't been able to get the organics to work like I want them too... I plan on visiting tree soon to work out the kinks...

My thing is more of a patch until I can get the real deal going...

treegal1
11-24-2008, 11:04 PM
WOW - this thread will set back organics 100 years!
LOLOL

spring??? like when all you Yankees go home and stop wanting to "trim" aka molest and harm your palm like every other yahoo and freak.LOLOL, yes spring end of my season.......................

ICT Bill
11-25-2008, 09:20 AM
Lets get down to basics, the 2 basic things that have to happen is soil organic matter above 2, hopefully we can get it and keep it between 5% and 7%, and supporting the beneficial microorganisms. these are the good guys that get nutrient cycling going, protozoa eat the bacteria, nematodes eat the fungi, microarthropods tunnel and increase soil porosity, worms move through the profile and supply plant available nutrients, plant do their photosynthisis thing and store carbohydrates and sugars in their roots, roots exude nutrients that feed the good guys in the soil. classic nutrient cycling

Ok so how do you set up a program to get nutrient cycling going? I suggest some type of aeration, over seeding, spray compost tea into the core holes and top dress with a good to great compost, spray compost teas through the season and watch the sites for needs. If the customer says "my grass isn't as thick as I would like" suggest more seeding, if you have to move to N and K or micronutrients (I am not going to put "P" in there any more) to step it up a bit and meet the needs of the plant (and customer) before you get nutrient cycling going.

Go for it, just at 25% of the recommended rate and then look at the site the next visit

Go here and look at the soil biology chart http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html this chart has been up on the USDA site since 1998 or 97. for 10 years the USDA has been promoting nutrient cycling

Okay, how do you get there with a "program"
Rent areator - $
buy seed - $
buy compost - $
deliver yourself, compost tea and compost to site - $
perform service - $
Clean up and move to next site - $
PROFIT - $

Next site visit
deliver yourself and compost tea to site - $
buy bag of organic based fert just in case (no phos) - $
carry seed and compost with you at all times - $
throw seed down where needed - $
Hand dig a few weeds - $
apply compost tea - $
Clean up and move to next site - $
PROFIT - $

Repeat as needed, batteries not included

Smallaxe
11-25-2008, 09:21 AM
So Barefoot, What is your first step on a new lawn on the way to organics?

Funny you should say back 100 years. 100 years ago everyone grew 'organically' and knew what they were doing. :)

Smallaxe
11-25-2008, 09:31 AM
...

Okay, how do you get there with a "program"
Rent areator - $
buy seed - $
buy compost - $
deliver yourself, compost tea and compost to site - $
perform service - $
Clean up and move to next site - $
PROFIT - $

Next site visit
deliver yourself and compost tea to site - $
buy bag of organic based fert just in case (no phos) - $
carry seed and compost with you at all times - $
throw seed down where needed - $
Hand dig a few weeds - $
apply compost tea - $
Clean up and move to next site - $
PROFIT - $

Repeat as needed, batteries not included

So this one starts up with aeration, overseeding, compost and CT apps.

A couple of people start with Pre-M, others with a soil test, but so far no real mention of fertilizer.....

I too should have mentioned throwing seed down under the compost. :)

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-25-2008, 11:04 AM
first step, look at lawn, what shape is it in? good/bad....weeds/no weeds? a few? deal with weeds/get under control if needed/renovate/hand pull/spray..............irrigation?
2. what does costumer what? and how fast? budget? past site maintenance/history?
3. take muitible soil core's from different areas to survey soil type ete. dicide if it's a good canadent to take organic?bridge? sort of bridge:)?the programs salesman offer?
4. if you have microscope view soil 0 and A horizons for soil life. DEPENDING on time of year whats present and active or missing?
5.soil test..ph/available nutrients/om
6.amend accordingly/ compost, real tea, green sand,kelp meal,bone meal,wood ash,alfalfa meal,soy meal,corn meal, molasses,rock dusts,ete,ete,
7.if soil has sufficient om/structure/soil life? transition can happen fast if not use small amounts of synthetic n or other to maintain growth till soil food web is established and kicking
most keep all apps that containing salts "ions" low to not harm soil life
8.continue building om if needed and soil life #'s
9, feed soil life accordingly
10. grow nice grass

treegal1
11-25-2008, 11:26 AM
1) soil test for a chem yard ( no chem yard, virgin soil more or less) maybe not
2) add compost and worm casts( does this count as fert???)
3) compost tea out the wazoo!!!
4) aerate the walk ways and dog yard( we have sand and rarely have soil compaction)
5) fish oil or neem, garlic, pepper, nematode's,BT, BTI, milky spore as needed for hard to get pests as a spot treat.
6,7,8) MORE COMPOST\
9)turn off or reset the water timer!!!!
10)lambaste and threaten the lawn guy to mow the grass taller, maybe wave the spray gun at him some, or stand there with the pitch fork.LOLOL
11)sea weed, and metals, i.e Fe Mg Cp Br Se.
12) hand weed like mad or spot spray and compost( northern guys use seed) try vinegar real strong or SCYTHE herbicide.
13) pre emergence, first time chem or (hate to say it) some CMG or soy or some other type of seed meal or thiamine, like rosemary. Cinnamon bark for crab grass, or spot spray. dont let the weeds get out of hand there is never a next time get them that time(this is the life or death of your program!!!)I am going to go on about weeds!!!

20% weed infestation is almost past the threshold of becoming an organic yard its almost impossible to get a yard to come back at that weed concentration!!!! NUKE IT AND START FRESH, or spot spray till the cows come and go again, or start with some chems to get it under control, then cross over, or do like I do and just tell them to start over and be happy or let it go like it is and hate your yard always. just stay on the weeds from the get go!!!!!

14,15,16) more compost in large piles day and night.LOLOL

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-25-2008, 11:35 AM
1)
10)lambaste and threaten the lawn guy to mow the grass taller, maybe wave the spray gun at him some, or stand there with the pitch fork.LOLOL
1


NICE!

i will not take on organic costumers anymore unless it's worth big$$$ or i can totally care for the property...cutting/fert/irrigation

treegal1
11-25-2008, 11:38 AM
we dont even have to seed, get some good soil and the stuff just takes over!!! when we farm sod all we do is let a little stay behind and re grow 2 " of sod and 12 " of compost, 8 weeks later its sod again!!

treegal1
11-25-2008, 11:41 AM
NICE!

i will not take on organic costumers anymore unless it's worth big$$$ or i can totally care for the property...cutting/fert/irrigationyep thats it all or nothing and I control the whole thing!!!! that or its $$$$$$ to make up for the extra work fixing some others short fall.

JDUtah
11-25-2008, 12:56 PM
So Barefoot, What is your first step on a new lawn on the way to organics?

Funny you should say back 100 years. 100 years ago everyone grew 'organically' and knew what they were doing. :)

lol, nice catch

JDUtah
11-25-2008, 01:00 PM
10)lambaste and threaten the lawn guy to mow the grass taller, maybe wave the spray gun at him some, or stand there with the pitch fork.LOLOL


That made me lol, a lot

Kiril
11-25-2008, 08:52 PM
Why is it aways about turf ..... turf this .... turf that ....... get rid of the damn turf!

In soils with high clay:

Step 1: Do nothing -> or take a soil sample if new property or when establishing a baseline.
Step 2: Make adjustments to OM/nutrients if needed based on step 1 results.
Step 3: Observe landscape & monitor soil moisture
Step 4: Verify/establish irrigation schedule per hydrozone based on soil moisture (assuming irrigation is efficient)
Step 5: Do nothing until a need is established (either per step 1, a visual indicator, or plant tissue test)
-> Step 5a: Compost with any necessary amendments

Barefoot James
11-25-2008, 10:38 PM
First off I'm surprised Kiril did not send us a link on how to write a business plan - LOL. Seriously Kiril this site is all about turf like it or not people want nice grass. Just because CA has no water most of us do and we have to focus on the turf - what's the name of this .com ohh that's right LAWN site.
Back to reality and this thread -

Depends on your budget and how much business you want to do. Most folks just don’t understand the whole sales process so with that said most will be LUCKY to do 40K in year 1 – that’s $1440 a week for 36 weeks – if you can sell you will do $2000 a week. If you have some capital and can advertise – who knows? Even to do $1440 a week you better get a good color flyer 5x9 full color both sides and get those out soon – yes this winter – why? Nobody else is going to (this time of year) and folks will keep it and call. The other reason is if you start now and focus on areas you want to get traction in (high end hoods) you can get them 2, 3 even 4 flyers before spring and you will have plenty of customers with little advertising investment – but many hours of delivering door to door or mailbox. This is THE MOST EFFECTIVE way to start with limited funds which – let’s be honest everybody starting out reading this “does not have”.
So let’s review – How much do you want to make? Do you have any funds? Start advertising now in the winter.
Now call your State Ag board and get you pesticide license pack and study and take the test to get your license – Why cause you need it. Expect to pay about $800 for insurance to get your license.
Next determine how you are going to spread compost – no budget get a wheel barrel, large flat shovel and heavy duty back pack blower – like the most powerful one you can get $500 – if you have $$ get a www.ecolawnapplicator.com about 5.5K. Find a quality compost place in town – expect to pay $18 to $30 per sq yard (27 cu ft) Does about 4 to 6 K coverage in top dressings.
Buy a Compost tea brewer – Tim Wilson www.microbeorganics.com – ICT Bill www.ictorganics.com for back up, You will have to inventory at least $350 from ICT and Tim’s set up will cost you $500.
Tea Sprayer – If serious about this end of business then buy a 10K brewer/sprayer from www.greenprosolutions.com - talk to Gary. I wish I went this route! I bought a $3000 CT sprayer from Rittenhouse – works great but I use up tons and tons of time brewing, cleaning, pumping form basement to sprayer, and then more cleaning. Hours of waste – every batch.
You will need a Turf Revitalizer – see link on this site to do seeding in fall $2500 refirb, $4500 new get a 9hp – seeding is money and you will not survive your first year without
Next you are probably going to need some mowing jobs to supplement things while you ramp up your organic business. Mower (Wright), Blower – see above, edger/trimmer.
Truck (assume you have one?), landscape trailer etc. 15 to 20K. Get new blower and trimmer.
Get a Gopher software program, quick books and a CPA and start reading past threads to learn how to use all this stuff.
You will get a huge tax right off your first year and pay for most stuff but you won’t make much money – IF you are good (an/or have experience – but you still have to be good, honest, care about others and follow up) and learn and study and listen to others then you may have the opportunity in year two to transition to FT organics for year 3.
Organics is all about Compost, CT and seeding – Simple version lots of other stuff but this is where the $$ is. Because most folks have no patience, you will still have to use some roundup, speed zone and Q4 and preemergents, but you should learn each property and eventually get the upper hand and get clients who will pay you what you are worth and what 100% organics cost, so in time these toxins will go away (and the clients who request them). But that’s another forum.
Bottom line there is 1000’s of more pages to write on how, when, why, etc but this is it for now. ICT, tree and the others have already furnished more than enough and I got it all from them to get this. Learn from the others they make this site great.

also I guess I should have said take this tread back to the 70's when it was still ok to spray agent orange on the lawn LOL.

Kiril
11-25-2008, 10:45 PM
First off I'm surprised Kiril did not send us a link on how to write a business plan - LOL. Seriously Kiril this site is all about turf like it or not people want nice grass. Just because CA has no water most of us do and we have to focus on the turf - what's the name of this .com ohh that's right LAWN site.
Back to reality and this thread -

First, I don't give a rats azz what the name of the site is. The majority of the people who participate on this site are landscapers (all inclusive), not "turfscapers". There is more to a landscape than turf, unless all you do is mow and blow, which would also mean you are in the wrong forum. We have hit this topic on more than one occasion, which I am sure you are aware of.

Second, not all of CA is without water and even you would cry at the water waste I see around these parts.

Third ... don't have any business plan links. :laugh:

Barefoot James
11-25-2008, 11:13 PM
Am I the first??? I'm honored.

My daughters were born in CA. We loved all the earthquakes, gang activity, rolling pollution (lived in San Bernardino by the Arrowhead in the Mountain) and watched the smog roll in every AM form LA), cig alerts, jumpers on the overpasses, motorcycle dudes driving between the stopped cars on the highway doing 70. Loved it all. Water waste ha is there anyplace in the USA that does not waste everything they can. We moved.
I doubt here in Louisville with the mighty Ohio we will EVER have to worry about water (in my life). I do feel for CA and FL and other states that have been overpopulated to SUSTAIN there folks but this dude who started this thread wanted to know about how to start his business in the spring - I gave a solid answer (it has worked for me) that's all I got. Thought I could dig a funny and get cursed at. Like I said this LAWN site (for landscappers?? don't they have a forum too) is a great site - is this a great country or what??? This place cracks me up. :laugh:
hey-
The Partridge Family is coming back on TV - just like the 70's - I loved Shirley and Susan Dey.

Kiril
11-25-2008, 11:33 PM
Am I the first??? I'm honored.

Certainly not the first, I've had a few wing-dingers in the irrigation forum.

You need to visit the latest one and my rant against golf courses. Might give you a different view on water waste.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=252471

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 09:25 AM
There seems to be alot of interest in Compost and/or CT for the initial steps. The basic rule of thumb beyond that seems to be, to Watch, Adjust, and Amend if necessary. Bridge programs are used for the sake of customer satisfaction. [So there is always a safety net if the color, density, etc. begin to fade]

Weed control philosophy of Treegal is definately different than for us northerners. It is easier to kill broadleaf weeds over 50% of the lawn and overseed than to start from scratch. :)

Water control and mowing control was brought up as well. IMHO it is a huge part in Organic/natural grass health and vigor.

I believe everyone who contibuted had something sensible to offer and the conclusion one would draw from this is that: It Ain't That Complicated!!!
Thanks for the replies. :)

ICT Bill
11-26-2008, 09:31 AM
It is truely mind boggling how much water a golf course can use in day. I used to go to Palm Desert often and play, bright green golf courses in the middle of the desert, now there's a sustainable message. I forget the numbers but I do believe it is in the millions of gallons a day

unbelievable

Kiril
11-26-2008, 09:55 AM
It is truely mind boggling how much water a golf course can use in day. I used to go to Palm Desert often and play, bright green golf courses in the middle of the desert, now there's a sustainable message. I forget the numbers but I do believe it is in the millions of gallons a day

unbelievable

Check out this page. I didn't verify the sources so I can't speak to the accuracy of the info, however it is consistent with some other numbers I have seen.

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/797

treegal1
11-26-2008, 12:37 PM
well we have a one day per week permanent water restriction. lots o brown sports turf

Kiril
11-26-2008, 12:47 PM
lots o brown sports turf

WOOT :clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

BROWN IS BEAUTIFUL

treegal1
11-26-2008, 12:49 PM
WOOT :clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

BROWN IS BEAUTIFULespecially when I can make em green in more ways than one!!!!

Kiril
11-26-2008, 12:52 PM
especially when I can make em green in more ways than one!!!!

This doesn't count. :nono: :laugh:

http://www.detonationfilms.com/tips%20and%20tricks/HolidayGreen717Spray.jpg (http://www.detonationfilms.com/low_budget_chroma_green_paint.htm)

dishboy
11-26-2008, 02:12 PM
First, I don't give a rats azz what the name of the site is. The majority of the people who participate on this site are landscapers (all inclusive), not "turfscapers". There is more to a landscape than turf, unless all you do is mow and blow, which would also mean you are in the wrong forum. We have hit this topic on more than one occasion, which I am sure you are aware of.

Second, not all of CA is without water and even you would cry at the water waste I see around these parts.

Third ... don't have any business plan links. :laugh:

It's my observation that the main traffic on Lawnsite is "Lawnboys" who do indeed only mow and blow. Moving into the Organic forum is a no brainer for "Lawnboys" who want to leave clippings on site by mulching clippings. BTW the new style Walker 42" and and now available 36" mulch decks is cutting edge technology for those of us who mulch. Non soluble N fertilization and showcase turf is why I am here.

In my opinion the first step for your spring Organic program happened last fall with your two last TURF feedings.

Kiril
11-26-2008, 02:33 PM
It's my observation that the main traffic on Lawnsite is "Lawnboys" who do indeed only mow and blow.

No offense to you or any other "lawnboy", but IMHO, lawnboys should stick with mow and blow and leave land management to someone else. Why do I think this -> Personal observation of how most lawnboys manage landscapes in my area. This doesn't mean it is like this everywhere, but generally speaking, lawnboys are clueless when it comes to land management.

You might want take a tour of this site sometime. This site caters to all landscape professions, and even some non-landscape professions even if the lawnboy forum gets the most hits.

I am also curious, do you consider a lawnboy as someone who ONLY handles lawn care, or do they handle maintenance for the entire landscape?

dishboy
11-26-2008, 03:14 PM
No offense to you or any other "lawnboy", but IMHO, lawnboys should stick with mow and blow and leave land management to someone else. Why do I think this -> Personal observation of how most lawnboys manage landscapes in my area. This doesn't mean it is like this everywhere, but generally speaking, lawnboys are clueless when it comes to land management.

You might want take a tour of this site sometime. This site caters to all landscape professions, and even some non-landscape professions even if the lawnboy forum gets the most hits.

I am also curious, do you consider a lawnboy as someone who ONLY handles lawn care, or do they handle maintenance for the entire landscape?

My personal observations is that most Landscape Managers are also clueless and being identified by that title is is not something I would aspire to. The "Lawnboy" term is not mine but one coined by the famous Bobby G. I am a Gardener.

Barefoot James
11-26-2008, 06:37 PM
Go on curse the dishboy - :laugh: You know you want to. OK I'm done you know I'm just funnin.

Kiril
11-26-2008, 06:47 PM
Go on curse the dishboy - :laugh: You know you want to. OK I'm done you know I'm just funnin.

Nah, not worth it.

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 06:48 PM
...
In my opinion the first step for your spring Organic program happened last fall with your two last TURF feedings.

Good answer - unless you have a 'Spring" feeding b4 the 3rd mowing.

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 07:05 PM
... No offense to you or any other "lawnboy", but IMHO, lawnboys should stick with mow and blow and leave land management to someone else. Why do I think this -> Personal observation of how most lawnboys manage landscapes in my area. This doesn't mean it is like this everywhere, but generally speaking, lawnboys are clueless when it comes to land management. ...

By the same token - Irrigation technos are good plumbers perhaps, but they are clueless to water needs of a given landscape. They talk big , which makes it difficult to feed and water grass correctly. The client has a tendancy to believe the overwatering bs. One size fits all. :laugh:

Kiril
11-26-2008, 08:34 PM
By the same token - Irrigation technos are good plumbers perhaps, but they are clueless to water needs of a given landscape.

If an irrigator does not know how to schedule an irrigation system, then they are in the wrong trade. This is why plumbers can't be irrigators, but most irrigators could likely be plumbers.

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 09:14 PM
If an irrigator does not know how to schedule an irrigation system, then they are in the wrong trade. This is why plumbers can't be irrigators, but most irrigators could likely be plumbers.

In a perfect world. :) I agree.

Right now they are my greatest irritation. They have all been taught one thing. Overwater - Either 5 days in a row or 7 days in a row. It doesn't matter - Just remember boys , when you get out of this classroom, and into the real world - Overwater, overwater, and overwater.

Irrigators could be plumbers - if - they could think of a way to run hose separately to the bushes and separately to the turf; Without it costing so much extra! :)

Kiril
11-27-2008, 02:41 AM
In a perfect world. :) I agree.

Right now they are my greatest irritation. They have all been taught one thing. Overwater - Either 5 days in a row or 7 days in a row. It doesn't matter - Just remember boys , when you get out of this classroom, and into the real world - Overwater, overwater, and overwater.

Irrigators could be plumbers - if - they could think of a way to run hose separately to the bushes and separately to the turf; Without it costing so much extra! :)

Well, don't know about irrigators in your area, but in my area you just spot on described lawnboy irrigation scheduling.

Prolawnservice
11-27-2008, 09:36 AM
This is quite off topic, but I asked an irrigation co owner one time why they always set the systems to water 20min every zone every day, his reply was "people spend a lot of money on these systems and they want to see it working" I didn't know what to say to that;):confused:

Smallaxe
11-27-2008, 09:38 AM
An interesting point about organics and root depth is oxygen/water shifts and balances in the soil. Overwatering does not allow the soil to dry out enough for oxygen to come in behind the water in heavier soils. Om and living soils tend to open air passage as soil structure improves(?).

*From a Kiril link...
http://www.cmg.colostate.edu/gardennotes/261.pdf
*Roots only grow where there are adequate levels of soil
oxygen. In clayey or compacted soils, where a lack of large pore space
restricts oxygen levels, roots will be shallow.*

"Well, don't know about irrigators in your area, but in my area you just spot on described lawnboy irrigation scheduling."

Around here the lawnboys and homeowners learn from the 'experts' that overwatering is the way to go. The experts of course are the irrigation guys. :)

Smallaxe
11-27-2008, 09:46 AM
This is quite off topic, but I asked an irrigation co owner one time why they always set the systems to water 20min every zone every day, his reply was "people spend a lot of money on these systems and they want to see it working" I didn't know what to say to that;):confused:

Not off topic at all. Springtime strategies through falltime strategies will all be foiled with improper watering.

Kiril
11-27-2008, 10:48 AM
@smallaxe

Glad to see someone is reading the references I post. :) Maybe you can teach your irrigators a thing or two.

ICT Bill
11-27-2008, 10:55 AM
over watering also promotes anaerobic growth of microbes in the soil, not a good thing

treegal1
11-27-2008, 04:24 PM
over watering also promotes anaerobic growth of microbes in the soil, not a good thingok now this is a little confusing??? my farm land is from 20 inches out of the water to 5 inches under water, the rice and bamboo, sugar cane, taro and malangas all seem to love the standing water. the purotis palms like the 3 inches of root crown out of the water and don't like any less water it seems??? and the cypress seedlings that got planted in the standing water are the only ones to come up!!! OUR SOD FARM WE JUST PUMP WATER OUT OR IN TO THE DITCHES TO RAISE OR LOWER THE WATER TABLE. SO FAR IT SEEMS TO WORK JUST FINE WITH ALL SOILS HAVING GOOD DO2??? why is this, also the nematode pop is out of hand and protozoa in large herds.

JDUtah
11-27-2008, 05:30 PM
ok now this is a little confusing??? my farm land is from 20 inches out of the water to 5 inches under water, the rice and bamboo, sugar cane, taro and malangas all seem to love the standing water. the purotis palms like the 3 inches of root crown out of the water and don't like any less water it seems??? and the cypress seedlings that got planted in the standing water are the only ones to come up!!! OUR SOD FARM WE JUST PUMP WATER OUT OR IN TO THE DITCHES TO RAISE OR LOWER THE WATER TABLE. SO FAR IT SEEMS TO WORK JUST FINE WITH ALL SOILS HAVING GOOD DO2??? why is this, also the nematode pop is out of hand and protozoa in large herds.

I posted it before... water surface area can exchange CO2 and O2... it is a principle important in fish keeping... Your area might be flooded, but the balance still exists...

Dump a bunch of your CT food into the standing water and spike the microbe population... then your DO2 numbers will decrease, but only because organism respiration is happening faster that the CO2, O2 exchange in the water...

JDUtah
11-27-2008, 05:31 PM
over watering also promotes anaerobic growth of microbes in the soil, not a good thing

Why is this not a good thing? (I admit I am fishing for something)

treegal1
11-27-2008, 06:08 PM
Why is this not a good thing? (I admit I am fishing for something)thanks buddy sink my boat and pull in my bait, then throw out your own.LOLOL lets see what you catch.LOLOL

Smallaxe
11-28-2008, 08:56 AM
ok now this is a little confusing??? my farm land is from 20 inches out of the water to 5 inches under water, the rice and bamboo, sugar cane, taro and malangas all seem to love the standing water. the purotis palms like the 3 inches of root crown out of the water and don't like any less water it seems??? and the cypress seedlings that got planted in the standing water are the only ones to come up!!! OUR SOD FARM WE JUST PUMP WATER OUT OR IN TO THE DITCHES TO RAISE OR LOWER THE WATER TABLE. SO FAR IT SEEMS TO WORK JUST FINE WITH ALL SOILS HAVING GOOD DO2??? why is this, also the nematode pop is out of hand and protozoa in large herds.

I personally believe that of all the watering strategies that I have tried in my gardens over the years - flood irrigation is the most effective. I get by with once a week or every 2 weeks during the heat of summer, but then I have a heavier clay soil. As long as there is a significant period of drying in between , the garden excels. Moreso than overhead sprinkling or even drip.

In sandy soils I would think you could flood a lot more than I do and still have plenty of air in the soil.

Kiril
11-28-2008, 10:00 AM
In sandy soils I would think you could flood a lot more than I do and still have plenty of air in the soil.

Nay :nono: You cannot effectively flood irrigate in a sandy soil.

JDUtah
11-28-2008, 03:18 PM
Nay :nono: You cannot effectively flood irrigate in a sandy soil.

Excessive leaching of nutrients and a simple inability to do so (it is ineffective because it leaches down too quickly) come to mind as reasons?

JDUtah
11-28-2008, 03:19 PM
thanks buddy sink my boat and pull in my bait, then throw out your own.LOLOL lets see what you catch.LOLOL

Lol, my bad Tree. We will see... hopefully. "Here fishy, fishy, fishy"

Kiril
11-28-2008, 03:44 PM
Excessive leaching of nutrients and a simple inability to do so (it is ineffective because it leaches down too quickly) come to mind as reasons?

Yes and no.

Prolawnservice
11-28-2008, 06:25 PM
Why is this not a good thing? (I admit I am fishing for something)

is that for bill or can anyone answer

JDUtah
11-28-2008, 09:27 PM
is that for bill or can anyone answer

Anyone and everyone. Post away.

Prolawnservice
11-29-2008, 11:09 AM
From what I know

1. Anaerobes will compete with and destroy aerobes
2. Anaerobes will assist in volatilizing and leaching nutrients
3. Most plants without oxygen in the root zone can't take up water or nutrients and therefore will be weakened or possible die.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-29-2008, 12:30 PM
Isn't Fertilizer apart of Organic Lawn Care? I reviewed all 7 pages, and not a definate answer about fertilizer. I've researched going Organic, but there seems to be a lack in NPK amounts in most organic based fertilizers. I would be afraid if I applied an Organic Based/All Natural type fertilizer down, the customer would not see the results they are looking for "Fast Green Up", and I would be unsuccessful. Any take on this?

Prolawnservice
11-29-2008, 12:41 PM
Isn't Fertilizer apart of Organic Lawn Care? I reviewed all 7 pages, and not a definate answer about fertilizer. I've researched going Organic, but there seems to be a lack in NPK amounts in most organic based fertilizers. I would be afraid if I applied an Organic Based/All Natural type fertilizer down, the customer would not see the results they are looking for "Fast Green Up", and I would be unsuccessful. Any take on this?

A synthetic fertilizer application is an "event", organic fertilization is when done correctly is a "process". You'll need to sell it, or your right, most customers will not understand. NPK is the synthetic mentality, with organics the NPK and whatever the plant needs comes from the soil, and you feed the soil so it feeds the plants.

Kiril
11-29-2008, 12:46 PM
A synthetic fertilizer application is an "event", organic fertilization is when done correctly is a "process".

That is a very good description, barring slow release ferts. :clapping:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-29-2008, 12:47 PM
Yeah, that makes sense, were building a solid foundation so whatever is built upon that will have a readily supply of food, but doesn't grass need/require nitrogen to become green? Maybe this is just a misconception for most.

How do you feel about blended Organic fertilizers with supplemental products like Micorrhizae, such as Dr. Earth's Super Natural? I've also seen different products with Mircrobial soil innoculants and beneficial soil microbes.

Any suggestions or user testimony on any organic based fertilizers used and or tested? Is there any company that utilizes a system to make this whole process less fool proof?

Thanks for the great info!

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 12:53 PM
Isn't Fertilizer apart of Organic Lawn Care? I reviewed all 7 pages, and not a definate answer about fertilizer. I've researched going Organic, but there seems to be a lack in NPK amounts in most organic based fertilizers. I would be afraid if I applied an Organic Based/All Natural type fertilizer down, the customer would not see the results they are looking for "Fast Green Up", and I would be unsuccessful. Any take on this?

Depends on your goal. Are you in organics to reduce inputs... or to settle on a niche market, or to be more "safe" for people, or to help the environment, or to satisfy a fascination...

Different reasons, different answers... why are you interested in organics?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-29-2008, 12:57 PM
I would say my intentions are "ALL OF THE ABOVE", using products safer for the environment, requires less input, and satisfies the niche market.

I found this company who appears to have a step program to make this process a little less work?
http://www.dirtworks.net/Organica-Lawn-Fertilizer.html

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 01:09 PM
Then I would say less NPK is your first step. Yes grass needs input though, so close the system... get all your customers to leave the clippings... adjust the water to not overwater...

Then you can work to build the soil... really any organic input will help build soil structure... and if your lawns need a little more pick-me-up than the organic only can do, use bridge products that mix organic and synthetic nutrients to achieve best results...

My current plans for my organic program only puts down 2.3 lbs N per 1,000 per year. (Some organic and some synthetic)

But the main point is, if you reduce loss of nutrients as much as possible, then you can use less inputs. Organic practices and products both work to help reduce nutrient loss thus adding NPK becomes less important.

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 02:52 PM
Yeah, that makes sense, were building a solid foundation so whatever is built upon that will have a readily supply of food, but doesn't grass need/require nitrogen to become green? Maybe this is just a misconception for most.

Chlorophyll makes grass green...

Chlorophyll is made out of... C, H, O, N, and Mg
http://chemistry.about.com/library/graphics/blchlor.htm

Yes N is needed... the question is, how to best keep N (and other nutrients) in the system so you do not need to constantly replenish it (them)?

Other nutrients are also needed for chlorophyll synthesis.

ICT Bill
11-29-2008, 04:23 PM
Hey JD, anearobes make ammonium/ammonia, is that what you were looking for.
Have you ever messed with a pile of grass after it has sat for a couple of days, BANG your nose is flooded with the smell of ammonia, anaerobics gone wild
Kind of like girls gone wild but a little different, do bacteria have boobies :rolleyes:

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-29-2008, 04:36 PM
healthy soil = protozoa's nematodes and bigger bugs make N available with out the
volatile organic acids like anaerobic bacteria produce

but im just guessing????

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 06:21 PM
While I agree ammonia can harm plants, it is not the problem/reason that we do not want anaerobic microbes in our soil...

The fundamental question is why are there anaerobic microbes in the soil in the first place?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Anaerobic.png

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-29-2008, 06:50 PM
jd,

there you go again being too smart for you own good.

microorganisms are all around us all the time.......evironment/food/air will select which ones are in great #'s

if you build it they will come?

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-29-2008, 06:52 PM
and different organisms have different roles to play............

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 07:20 PM
microorganisms are all around us all the time.......evironment/food/air will select which ones are in great #'s

if you build it they will come?

Exactly my friend... and if there are anaerobic microbes in the soil that means that the environment was conductive for them. Why were they selected? Because the soil has no air...

And last I checked... (most) plant roots require air... (especially the turf we deal with)

The plants are not necessarily harmed by the anaerobic microbes, but they are harmed by the environment that selected the microbes in the first place...

It comes back to, take care of the plant, and the right microbes will be present through natural selection.

In other words, and in answer to my original question... you do not want anaerobic microbes in your soil because that means your soil has minimal oxygen and your plants will suffocate. It isn't the microbe that is the problem. It is the environment. The microbe is just a sign of the harmful environment.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-29-2008, 08:08 PM
Exactly my friend... and if there are anaerobic microbes in the soil that means that the environment was conductive for them. Why were they selected? Because the soil has no air...

And last I checked... (most) plant roots require air... (especially the turf we deal with)

The plants are not necessarily harmed by the anaerobic microbes, but they are harmed by the environment that selected the microbes in the first place...

It comes back to, take care of the plant, and the right microbes will be present through natural selection.

In other words, and in answer to my original question... you do not want anaerobic microbes in your soil because that means your soil has minimal oxygen and your plants will suffocate. It isn't the microbe that is the problem. It is the environment. The microbe is just a sign of the harmful environment.


is this one of those what came first the egg or the chicken kind of things?:eek:

Prolawnservice
11-29-2008, 08:30 PM
From what I know

1. Anaerobes will compete with and destroy aerobes
2. Anaerobes will assist in volatilizing and leaching nutrients
3. Most plants without oxygen in the root zone can't take up water or nutrients and therefore will be weakened or possible die.

ahem , JD did you miss this post

NattyLawn
11-29-2008, 09:01 PM
ahem , JD did you miss this post

He's good at doing that...Focusing on a few sentences and leaving the rest alone...

JDUtah
11-29-2008, 10:36 PM
No I saw it. I didn't address it specifically because I was still waiting for others to respond. Sorry I forgot to refer to it when I expanded.

Smallaxe
11-30-2008, 10:55 AM
A synthetic fertilizer application is an "event", organic fertilization is when done correctly is a "process". You'll need to sell it, or your right, most customers will not understand. NPK is the synthetic mentality, with organics the NPK and whatever the plant needs comes from the soil, and you feed the soil so it feeds the plants.

This is an excellent statement. :)

So what is our process for getting the roots to grow deeper and having adequate oxygen and nutrient in the deepened root zone?

Prolawnservice
11-30-2008, 12:29 PM
This is an excellent statement. :)

Thank you:)

growingdeeprootsorganicly
11-30-2008, 04:26 PM
A synthetic fertilizer application is an "event", organic fertilization is when done correctly is a "process". You'll need to sell it, or your right, most customers will not understand. NPK is the synthetic mentality, with organics the NPK and whatever the plant needs comes from the soil, and you feed the soil so it feeds the plants.


NICE...............:clapping::drinkup:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-30-2008, 06:10 PM
Here's a great article I found on the internet, explains the organic process in great detail I never really knew how it worked.

Organic Lawn Fertilizer Options
More people are asking for information regarding organic lawn care. Most want to decrease or eliminate the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on their lawns. The most common reason is their concern that so-called synthetic lawn products may be harmful to humans, beneficial insects, wildlife, and pets.

Fertilizers are really just basic building blocks of our environment. However, we've come to identify these basic building blocks as either inorganic (synthetic) or organic.

Inorganic fertilizers are used in traditional lawncare. More correctly, inorganic fertilizers are better described as soluble fertilizers. This means all they need is water to be available for plant absorption.

Organic fertilizers have the same basic chemical make up as inorganics, except for this one important thing: they have not been processed to the degree that soluble fertilizers have been processed. For these organic fertilizers to be useful, they will need to go through an additional step before doing plants any good. That additional step is performed by microbes living in the soil.

Microbes ingest the organic fertilizer (usually in the form of some type of protein) process it and excrete it as soluble nutrients that can then be absorbed by the plants. Voila! Almost instant fertilizer. Well, not quite instant. Ever see how small a microbe is? That's why organic fertilizers take longer for results to show up in the lawn.

Organic fertilizers are more expensive pound-for-pound than inorganic's. Organics take longer to work, but your microbes are happier, and in the long run, your lawn will be happier too.

Limited scientific research has been done on exclusively natural organic lawn care programs. However, well-documented research has been done on many practices that are integral to organic lawn care such as core aeration, increased mowing heights, and top-dressing with compost.

Recommendations for a completely natural organic approach are therefore based on years of collective experience.

How do I fertilize organically?
There is a growing number of commercial organic dry fertilizers, such as Epsoma, Ringers, Greensense, and Texas Tee. These products are protein based and can be readily digested by soil microbes. The major source of these commercial fertilizers include ground corn, feather meal, alfalfa, cottonseed, corn gluten meal, soy, and other grains. Any ground seed or bean is good as an organic fertilizer including used coffee grounds. These same ingredients can also be purchased in bulk form from farm or feed stores.

A good application rate for these grain based fertilizers is 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Organic fertilizer may be applied any day, any time of day, rain or shine without fear of hurting the turf. The only exception is that organic fertilizers are not as effective in cold weather simply because the microbes don't like to work when it's too cold. Under normal growing season weather, it takes about 3 weeks for the microbes to process the protein to a degree sufficient enough for the benefits can be seen in the grass.

How do I get started in an organic program?
Getting started is as easy as stopping the use of inorganic fertilizers and switching over to an organics program. It's a good idea to get your soil in good condition first—that means plenty of microbe activity. This can be done by replenishing the microbes with a thin layer of compost. Compost is loaded with microbes and the compost helps boost the existing microbe count already present in the soil. The next thing to do is start using protein based fertilizers like corn meal, alfalfa meal, coffee grounds, soy meal, cottonseed meal, sorghum meal, or what ever you can get inexpensively at your local feed supply store.

The next thing is to start mulching your lawn clippings instead of bagging them. This adds a considerable amount of organic fertilizer to your lawn for free.

Are organic fertilizers better than inorganic fertilizers?
Whether a fertilizer is organic or inorganic, after it's applied to the lawn, that fertilizer must be converted into a form the grass can use. Whether it's converted by water or microbes, the plant doesn't know the difference.

•One of the advantages associated with organic sources is the low chance of burning grass.

•Some inorganic fast-release fertilizers have high salt levels that increase the chances of burning the lawn.

•Most inorganic fertilizers are now time-released and less likely to burn grass.

•Organic fertilizers take longer for results to show up in the lawn.

•The percentage of nitrogen in organic sources is low, meaning it takes considerable amount of material to be spread over the lawn to give the proper rate of nitrogen.

Combining both is a good compromise
As already mentioned, to a lawn, it makes no difference where the nitrogen comes from. By combining organic supplements in the form of mulched lawn clippings, adding compost to the lawn occasionally and then reduce the amount of inorganic fertilizers being applied (perhaps just one or two applications in the fall for cool season lawns, or one or two in the spring for warm season grasses) and you should have a happy, healthy lawn and soil.

Organic weed controls
CORN GLUTEN MEAL: At the top of the list is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of corn processing. It is used in cattle feed and dog food as a source of protein. Not long ago it was discovered to prevent seed germination if applied at the right time of the year with the right environmental factors. Read here for more in depth information concerning corn gluten meal

BOILING WATER: Other organic weed control methods that have been sited include pouring boiling water directly on a weed. This is a very dangerous method. Boiling water can cause serious burns if you accidentally spill it on your skin. While the boiling water will kill the top growth of many weeds, it does not control weeds with deep roots.

VINEGAR: Vinegar (acidic acid) is another chemical that can be used. Vinegar comes in differing strength percentages. For effective weed control, household vinegar just isn't strong enough as a reliable weed control. Household vinegars are in the 5% range, yet studies show that 25% concentrations were required for effective weed controls.

Smallaxe
11-30-2008, 07:06 PM
Here's a great article I found on the internet, explains the organic process in great detail I never really knew how it worked.

Organic Lawn Fertilizer Options

Fertilizers are really just basic building blocks of our environment. However, we've come to identify these basic building blocks as either inorganic (synthetic) or organic.

Inorganic fertilizers are used in traditional lawncare. More correctly, inorganic fertilizers are better described as soluble fertilizers. This means all they need is water to be available for plant absorption.


It is noteworthy here that water is all that is needed for leaching as well. From what I understand N is also very volatile in this form and is subject to evaporation pressures.
A large percentage of N can be lost b4 it is ever used by the plant, depending on conditions.


Organic fertilizers have the same basic chemical make up as inorganics, except for this one important thing: they have not been processed to the degree that soluble fertilizers have been processed. For these organic fertilizers to be useful, they will need to go through an additional step before doing plants any good. That additional step is performed by microbes living in the soil.

Microbes ingest the organic fertilizer (usually in the form of some type of protein) process it and excrete it as soluble nutrients that can then be absorbed by the plants. Voila! Almost instant fertilizer. Well, not quite instant. Ever see how small a microbe is? That's why organic fertilizers take longer for results to show up in the lawn.

... However, well-documented research has been done on many practices that are integral to organic lawn care such as core aeration, increased mowing heights, and top-dressing with compost.

... The only exception is that organic fertilizers are not as effective in cold weather simply because the microbes don't like to work when it's too cold. Under normal growing season weather, it takes about 3 weeks for the microbes to process the protein to a degree sufficient enough for the benefits can be seen in the grass. [/B]

The grass is also subject to temperature changes as to when it is actively growing , so not an important issue when you plan for cold weather in your 'winterizing' strategies.
In the spring, the grass grows quite well just from what has been stored and synthesized through the winter months. At least for the first few mowings.


... Whether it's converted by water or microbes, the plant doesn't know the difference....

•The percentage of nitrogen in organic sources is low, meaning it takes considerable amount of material to be spread over the lawn to give the proper rate of nitrogen. ...


One consideration here is that in converting a new lawn to organics is that there is, usually, plenty of 'material' in the turf already. Thatch is a source of plenty of carbon/nutrients and supplying the environment conducive for the breakdown of this stuff is part and parcel to the breakdown of corn or soy meal. So perhaps the amounts are exagerated - for the most part. In heavy soils anyways.

Good article. :) It covered many basic ideas very well.

I am still curious of ideas about increasing root depth by the building of soil structure and watering techniques of organics vs synthetic modes. Any insights by anyone?

treegal1
11-30-2008, 07:12 PM
another spin, ok article, corn sucks..............

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-30-2008, 07:26 PM
I guess the point is there is no miracle solution, if there were either everyone would be using it, or no one could afford it.

I'm still not sold on the Organic concept, I think its a good idea for both the environment and the longevity of the program. I think its a great idea to let nature take its course, and I feel in the long run this whole Organic process is beneficial, but most customers want results now and they want them to be consistent, I know you have to sell the organic idea to your customers, but if I'm into my 2nd or 3rd application with minimal results, how many are going to be satisified/happy and going to continue with your service? With so many products on the market that incorporate bio-stimulants/beneficial bateria/humates/mycorr. into their organic fertilizers, has anyone found an all-inclusive product/formula/step program?

I'm very interested in putting together a season long program from step 1 - step7, or however many applications are needed within the year, with season specific applications. I haven't been able to find a solid program as of yet, and or a solid company that is on the west coast, I have found several on the east coast, but haven't found any close to me in Oregon.

treegal1
11-30-2008, 07:44 PM
dude your in Oregon !!! put your own system together???

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-30-2008, 07:48 PM
I would love to, but I'm not real sure where to start? Now with chemical fertilizers its a no brainer, there's spring/summer/fall/winter products, which make it easy, I'm still doing some research and do plan on putting a program together and marketing it.

Any advice or ideas on where I should start? Liquid or Granular?

Thanks

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
11-30-2008, 08:29 PM
Also, organic products seem to be a bit more expensive, have any of you figured out a method to charge customers? Lets say a customer has 2000 sq. ft. of lawn areas, and a bag of fertilizer costs $30 and it covers the 2000 sq. ft., how much more would be a respectable labor charge for the application?

treegal1
12-01-2008, 07:10 AM
compost and real CT are what I use mostly and it whips the Hyde off any product that there is out there!!!!! we only get 152$ per 44K

Smallaxe
12-01-2008, 07:57 AM
I would love to, but I'm not real sure where to start? Now with chemical fertilizers its a no brainer, there's spring/summer/fall/winter products, which make it easy, I'm still doing some research and do plan on putting a program together and marketing it.

Any advice or ideas on where I should start? Liquid or Granular?

Thanks

To answer that question is exactly why this thread was put together. Springtime fertilizer creates thatch and shallow roots. So fertilizer is unnecessary for springtime, at least with cool season grasses.

A good place to start would be overseed with compost covering and maybe some molasses/sugar. [I would still like to get going on teas]

Once the ground warms up to 50 degrees the seeds start to germinate, the soils come alive and the roots are actively expending their stored foods at a reasonable rate, growing grass at a reasonable pace. The lawn should look great for the first 3-5 mowings.

What you would do next is lawn specific.
Not too hard to do as long as long as you are looking at the soil building rather than fert apps.
Do you have the capability to physically inspect the soil?

ICT Bill
12-01-2008, 09:04 AM
New City Lawn,
Please spend a few minutes at this site, http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/concepts/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html

and then go to this site, www.organiclandcare.net and download the "standards for organic land care" and read it

Then purchase "teaming with microbes" by Jeff lowenfels and read it

Then sign up and come to the Ecological Landscaper Association meeting in February (Springfield Mass) and hear it first hand

you can also go to www.soilfoodweb.com, there are several books here on compost teas and composting. these guys are based out of Corvalis OR and teach classes now and then on composting and compost teas

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-01-2008, 10:13 AM
What you would do next is lawn specific.
Not too hard to do as long as long as you are looking at the soil building rather than fert apps.
Do you have the capability to physically inspect the soil?

Yes, we can do soil samples, but what should we test for, just the basic NPK & PH testing? Or should I be sending these samples off to a lab somewhere?

Thanks for the Info guys!

treegal1
12-01-2008, 10:22 AM
Yes, we can do soil samples, but what should we test for, just the basic NPK & PH testing? Or should I be sending these samples off to a lab somewhere?

Thanks for the Info guys!
bio assay and nutrients, less the N, most of my soil samples are done for free by a fert co that sell some organic amendments, they all say that I need N and then the tissue tests come back and its all good, worm casts test at like .007 N% and they work just fine for a fert and grow veges like mad. the npk mind set is for chems. diversity and OM are the real keys, then its on to cost and recycling waste

ICT Bill
12-01-2008, 03:32 PM
Yes, we can do soil samples, but what should we test for, just the basic NPK & PH testing? Or should I be sending these samples off to a lab somewhere?

Thanks for the Info guys!

Just do the standard testing for now, it should show Micro and macro nutrient needs as wel as Soil Organic Matter (SOM). as you do more and more of them you will start to get a feel for your area and the typical needs

2 important things IMHO come back from this test CA to Mg ratio, it should be 6 to 1 or 7 to 1 and SOM readings. SOM should be 2% minimum we would like to see 5% to 7%

It will also make suggestions on how much NPK per acre should be applied, I don't look at those because as Tree said, NPK mind set is for chems

People say that our product has a nice green up and its true but if you look at the applied N it is something like 0.003 per 1000

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-01-2008, 04:09 PM
Where is a good place to send off my soil sample and get these detailed spec's? IMHO?

treegal1
12-01-2008, 05:14 PM
http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/

we like this also for tests and its low cost

Smallaxe
12-01-2008, 05:23 PM
The test I was refering to is 'Physically Inspecting The Soils'. Pull a plug and squeeze it between your fingers and see if it is clay or sand, wet or dry, dark or light, and all the variations in between.

Once a month or more do a physical inspection of your soil condition. Mainly to see the root depth and moisture levels at that depth and below. After the first 3 to 5 mowings you will want to know the individual needs of your various lawns to provide what they need, If Anything.
Generally , regular additions of good compost and Milorganite handle most of my lawns, no matter the soil types. But WATER - - That's a killer. Remember, grass is extremely simple. But we tend to make the roots grow at the surface - Don't we? :)

I don't believe in soil testing unless the compost and general maintenance are failing in a big way. If it is sandy for example - it is not to difficult to think that - We need to hold water and nutrients in the root zone. "Oh! I know that one!! Add some more compost." :)

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-01-2008, 06:10 PM
Just do the standard testing for now, it should show Micro and macro nutrient needs as wel as Soil Organic Matter (SOM). as you do more and more of them you will start to get a feel for your area and the typical needs

2 important things IMHO come back from this test CA to Mg ratio, it should be 6 to 1 or 7 to 1 and SOM readings. SOM should be 2% minimum we would like to see 5% to 7%

It will also make suggestions on how much NPK per acre should be applied, I don't look at those because as Tree said, NPK mind set is for chems

People say that our product has a nice green up and its true but if you look at the applied N it is something like 0.003 per 1000

I found a test sample sheet, I can see those #'s your talking about, anything else on this test sheet that should be pointed out? Most of the companies I found charge over $30, with the exception of the link above from UMASS.

http://www.westernlaboratories.com/Soil/Agri/testExample.pdf

treegal1
12-01-2008, 06:40 PM
that thats some messed up soil in that test and needs some OM and loads of K and metals to get the Ca Mg ratio over to the 8:1 range and the boron for my area would be yellow/ dead palms for miles, well all the metals are low..........

and from silt loam??? sounds more like sand with that ph...............

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-01-2008, 06:42 PM
Yeah, I'm not sure what that was, but it was just a sample report for a soil test done by that specific company.

treegal1
12-01-2008, 06:45 PM
well thats the basic test now whats still alive in that dirt= bio essay or microscope.

almost every one in the hardcore organic world has a microscope of some kind at some level of expertise....

treegal1
12-01-2008, 06:47 PM
lately my $$ has gone to tissue tests and bio assays.....

Kiril
12-01-2008, 08:59 PM
well thats the basic test now whats still alive in that dirt= bio essay or microscope.

almost every one in the hardcore organic world has a microscope of some kind at some level of expertise....

You don't need a microscope or bio-assays to go the organic route. Stop scaring away the noobs TG.

treegal1
12-01-2008, 09:11 PM
not trying to do any thing like that, just wanted to tell him what there is out there. and a microscope is so cool to look at, even the cheap kiddie scopes that use a USB port are a hoot and real helpful for many things.

he ask any ways...................

treegal1
12-01-2008, 09:19 PM
here a cool idea, chill out and watch this and have a pint:drinkup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYPThhiG8bw&feature=related

treegal1
12-01-2008, 10:18 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4SoaTpTvmw&feature=channel

Smallaxe
12-02-2008, 07:49 AM
Just do the standard testing for now, it should show Micro and macro nutrient needs as wel as Soil Organic Matter (SOM). as you do more and more of them you will start to get a feel for your area and the typical needs

2 important things IMHO come back from this test CA to Mg ratio, it should be 6 to 1 or 7 to 1 and SOM readings. SOM should be 2% minimum we would like to see 5% to 7%

It will also make suggestions on how much NPK per acre should be applied, I don't look at those because as Tree said, NPK mind set is for chems

People say that our product has a nice green up and its true but if you look at the applied N it is something like 0.003 per 1000

Here is where the synthetic fertilizing NPK mindset never ends. If Chemlawn can toss fert out there on a one size fits all program and keep the grass green and customer happy ---
without --- testing and micromanaging every tiny detail of the soil --- and fitting it into a box of "nutrient balance" according to academic way of thinking ---

Why does it take testing and amending to fit a theoretical box and educational opinion papers and seminars etc. to mimic what has been done naturally??!!?

If SOM is not 2 - 7 % - what difference does it make to KNOW that? Add compost after its tested? The amount of compost added is more logistics than analysis. Can you add too much?

Compacted soil with a thin layer rootzone is not going to use any of the nutrients that you "find" in a 3" soil sample plug.

Methods of soil testing -
Do they:
1) show what is available to the plant now?
Or:
2) show what is "potentially" there?

Diversions and complications to confuse the issues. That is what happens in organics and everyone says to heck with this - My NPK program works just fine.
If I didn't already know better and took all this testing/analysing stuff seriously I would walk away myself.

Prolawnservice
12-02-2008, 08:33 AM
Why does it take testing and amending to fit a theoretical box and educational opinion papers and seminars etc. to mimic what has been done naturally?. WE(not nature) want certain plants to grow in a certain areas therefore WE need to either install the correct plants for the condition that is already there, or change the condition of the area to suit the plants WE want to grow. Either way takes some insight.

If SOM is not 2 - 7 % - what difference does it make to KNOW that? Add compost after its tested? The amount of compost added is more logistics than analysis. Can you add too much? Yes, you also need to know whats in the compost, compost with the wrong nutrients could set you backward, too much of any one nutrient will displace another nutrient and unbalance the system.



Methods of soil testing -
Do they:
1) show what is available to the plant now?
Or:
2) show what is "potentially" there?
Depends on the test you use/request they are both available.

Diversions and complications to confuse the issues. That is what happens in organics and everyone says to heck with this - My NPK program works just fine. Does it, how much does fungicide, herbicide and insecticide cost EVERY YEAR?, if the cides worked why do you need them every year?

Smallaxe
12-02-2008, 08:39 AM
here a cool idea, chill out and watch this and have a pint:drinkup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYPThhiG8bw&feature=related

The funny thing is that what is being said, in Kenya, is the same farming philosophy I grew up with, listening and talking with the neighbors.
[i.e., "Animal husbandry involves, caring for animals in accordance with its nature."]

During the time that this was practiced in the fields and gardens at home I was being "EDUCATED" at the gov't school about the virtue and necessity of all the new chemicals we have developed, to increase production, in the field, and penning up newborn calves in the dark for a couple of months, b4 turning them into veal.

College educated morons talking that foolishness, while 5 miles from the University - well water is filled with nitrites and aldicarb. A danger for children in the womb. Is there any bells going off yet , Professor?? Does your Phd have a clue what to do next? :laugh: Here's a nickel - buy a clue from your elders.
:laugh: Your new fangelled ways already pose a danger to rural Wisconsin.

As Jerry Crowler once said, "... educated beyond their intelligence."

However, compost isn't necessary for most things farmed. Mulching accomplishes the same result while protecting the soil from the sun, and is a lot less work that way.
When the guy said "The first thing you NEED is compost" that was kind of a turnoff for organic gardeners.

Otherwise, it was fun to hear them saying what they did. :)

Smallaxe
12-02-2008, 08:56 AM
WE(not nature) want certain plants to grow in a certain areas therefore WE need to either install the correct plants for the condition that is already there, or change the condition of the area to suit the plants WE want to grow. Either way takes some insight.

Yes, you also need to know whats in the compost, compost with the wrong nutrients could set you backward, too much of any one nutrient will displace another nutrient and unbalance the system.



Depends on the test you use/request they are both available.

Does it, how much does fungicide, herbicide and insecticide cost EVERY YEAR?, if the cides worked why do you need them every year?

We are talking about grass. :confused:

You are telling me that you have compost tested for a certain balance of the TINY amounts of NUTRIENTS that are in there?!?
Wild swings from one pile to another I am sure. !!!

So your tests can go either way, which one should I use? That was never mentioned b4. Is their a difference in which data is being analysed or do we just get a result and start throwing on the 'nutrients', without really understanding which result we are looking at? Real wise professional attention to detail on that one.

"*cides", ? What is it that organics do for soils to help protect from evil fungal diseases and what does that do to with testing??? WE created the problem with funal diseases in lawns. WE not nature, WE screwd that up with Wasting resources for Profits. WE decided to sell N to homeowners for mature trees. WE chose to do a lot of things.

Think about it, please.

Kiril
12-02-2008, 09:13 AM
The amount of compost added is more logistics than analysis. Can you add too much?

The short answer .... Yes.

Compacted soil with a thin layer rootzone is not going to use any of the nutrients that you "find" in a 3" soil sample plug.

That depends on the soil.

Methods of soil testing -
Do they:
1) show what is available to the plant now?
Or:
2) show what is "potentially" there?

Relatively speaking ... both. Any good management program should start with an in depth soil test, but not necessarily to the level of bio-assay.
We are talking about landscapes here, not Ag. :rolleyes:

Kiril
12-02-2008, 09:17 AM
WE(not nature) want certain plants to grow in a certain areas therefore WE need to either install the correct plants for the condition that is already there, or change the condition of the area to suit the plants WE want to grow. Either way takes some insight.

I beg to differ. "We" should not be promoting using plants that are not compatible with the regional environment.
What a soil test should be used for is to discover what damage has been done to the soil from years of abuse so it can be fixed.

ICT Bill
12-02-2008, 09:29 AM
Interesting range on the test as well, they suggest 6-20:1 CA to Mg. I had not seen that large of a range before, it may be localized testing parameters

New City, Our local extention agent sends out tests and it costs $14.00, most local governments and or Universities will do the testing for very little money

Prolawnservice
12-02-2008, 09:31 AM
I beg to differ. "We" should not be promoting using plants that are not compatible with the regional environment.
What a soil test should be used for is to discover what damage has been done to the soil from years of abuse so it can be fixed.

Kiril, I agree with your statement on soil tests, that is what everyone "should" be doing and then following up with a native landscape, and I know your stance on turf grass. WE collectively as Americans want lawns that is what most of our customers hire us(my company)for, however almost none (turfgrass)of it is native.
Yes, Smallaxe grass is a plant.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-02-2008, 09:58 AM
Wow, it seems like this whole process is very complicated, I've lost track of what you guys are even talking about.

How about this I found a local Organic Fertilizer company that has a 100% Organic 9-3-5 with beneficial soil microbes and 3 species of Endo Mycorrhizae, how about I throw this on everyone's lawn? Do you think I can go wrong with this product?

Kiril
12-02-2008, 10:06 AM
Wow, it seems like this whole process is very complicated, I've lost track of what you guys are even talking about.

You don't really need to keep up with our techno-babble, just find a good source of compost and proceed.

ICT Bill
12-02-2008, 11:16 AM
Yes, you also need to know whats in the compost, compost with the wrong nutrients could set you backward, too much of any one nutrient will displace another nutrient and unbalance the system.

Typically "WE" throw whatever is locally available in the compost pile and then spread when done. There are many out there that kick it up a notch and use amendments in order to have a certain result. We have talked about adding lime to the compost pile for acidic soils as an example

There are some (Ingham for one) that make specific compost for specific applications, tomatoes come to mind. What kind of soil does a tomato flourish in, the composting process takes those attributes into mind and tries to make an end result that fits those parameters

We are doing some of these things as well in Horticulture trials. Applying certain foods to select for the type of plant which in turn provide the microbial environment for the plant to flouish

We can do it simply by adding tree bark mulch (great fungal food) around perrennials, shrubs and trees, these guys like a fungally dominant soil. You hear some folks that like to make up a fungally dominant tea, why? because the bacterial numbers are high an they are hoping to balance the soil.

In soils that are disturbed by new construction you are hoping to get the bacterial colonies going first so a high veggie or high in simple sugar compost would be better than a compost that comes from a wood source, select for bacterial compost. If you are selecting for a bacterial compost guess who comes along for the ride, lots of colonies of bacteria

Kiril
12-02-2008, 12:23 PM
There you go again Bill .... scaring away the noobs. Landscapes Bill, Landscapes .... not Ag.

COMPOST DOES A SOIL GOOD!

treegal1
12-02-2008, 01:08 PM
let me take a stab at this one more time,

we are like the local mechanics, tune up new brakes, oil change.

some have newer nicer machines and better education, some of us just do it old school and change tires.

then there is auto engineer's and metallurgists, and a whole host of specialty's that go with a car, some of us have learned a few of these trades to be better mechanics. yet it is still not our specialty, we sell tires, some may even re tread a few or something like that, but we are not tire manufactures or engineers.

same thing with land care and organics, be it for lawns or AG(more or less) its just a matter of growing good crops, ever one has there "way " of doing things, maybe just find a fert that works get a little help from the fert test co or extension, and let that work. maybe some milorganite and lime X# of time a year, maybe just turn off the water and put down some sugars??? thats up to you.

knowledge is power and nothing to be afraid of, take your time and learn about what it takes to get by in your area with as little as possible and use that.

and compost or mulch or fert its just some more ORGANIC mater that hits the soil

Kiril
12-02-2008, 01:45 PM
knowledge is power and nothing to be afraid of, take your time and learn about what it takes to get by in your area with as little as possible and use that.

and compost or mulch or fert its just some more ORGANIC mater that hits the soil


http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=102550&d=1205082443

ICT Bill
12-02-2008, 09:19 PM
There you go again Bill .... scaring away the noobs. Landscapes Bill, Landscapes .... not Ag.

COMPOST DOES A SOIL GOOD!

I beg to differ, have you noticed how long these threads, where we explore different sides, go..... a long way

there are many more lurkers out there than you think that are eating this up

Hey BTW, sign up and get on here and ask some questions, the same 10 people get a little........ well the same sometimes

Every place I speak, almost every talk starts off with "the basics to organic lawn care is organic matter, compost. Its that simple" you are preaching to the choir Kiril

I just like to explore, you do have to admit you have been thinking about amendments you could use to kick it up a notch though

HUH, HUH come on admit it. :)

Kiril
12-02-2008, 09:26 PM
I beg to differ, have you noticed how long these threads, where we explore different sides, go..... a long way

Yes, and I enjoy those threads, but we techno-junkies need to be careful when new comers start showing signs of :dizzy:

I just like to explore, you do have to admit you have been thinking about amendments you could use to kick it up a notch though

HUH, HUH come on admit it. :)

Generally speaking, no. I am a minimalist when it comes to managing landscapes and I see no need to tweak the system unless there is a very good reason to do so. I also enjoy class 1 & 2 soils, so I don't need to work as hard as some others to maintain the status quo.

Smallaxe
12-03-2008, 06:44 AM
Wow, it seems like this whole process is very complicated, I've lost track of what you guys are even talking about.

How about this I found a local Organic Fertilizer company that has a 100% Organic 9-3-5 with beneficial soil microbes and 3 species of Endo Mycorrhizae, how about I throw this on everyone's lawn? Do you think I can go wrong with this product?

That fertilizer is probably good enough to use as backup when the lawn start to lose color or something. The thing to remember is - build the soil and build the root depth. [Dumping any fertilizer on in the spring will defeat that end]

Activate the soil life with compost and sugars - chances are - you will release enough nutrients tied up in the soil for one whole season.

[If you decide to use testing as the first thing you do. How are you going to make the adjustments? And when will you put those additives down?]

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-03-2008, 07:52 AM
Activate the soil life with compost and sugars - chances are - you will release enough nutrients tied up in the soil for one whole season.]



be careful about how much sugar you use, a few problems can happen

1. drive the soil anaerobic 2. tie up nitrates



smallaxe,

do you have lawns that just got molasses/milorganite? how where the results this year and how often did you apply the milorganite?Rate per 1000sf?
i have a local suppler that sales milorganite very cheap, and nutrients plus has a line i have access too almost as cheap -shipping,
im not a big fan of it but if it's effective i might find a place for it in some of my larger field apps?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-03-2008, 09:46 AM
That fertilizer is probably good enough to use as backup when the lawn start to lose color or something. The thing to remember is - build the soil and build the root depth. [Dumping any fertilizer on in the spring will defeat that end]

Activate the soil life with compost and sugars - chances are - you will release enough nutrients tied up in the soil for one whole season.

[If you decide to use testing as the first thing you do. How are you going to make the adjustments? And when will you put those additives down?]

When you say sugars, are we talking I go to the grocery store and buy cane sugar and spread that over the lawn?

I would assume if testing showed a low % of Organic Matter, this would be adjusted by top dressing with a good Organic Compost, corrrect? What if I don't have a top dressing machine, could compost be spread with a heavy duty push spreader? Early spring to put additives down? I'm in Oregon.

What is milorganite?

JDUtah
12-03-2008, 01:26 PM
I would assume if testing showed a low % of Organic Matter, this would be adjusted by top dressing with a good Organic Compost, corrrect? What if I don't have a top dressing machine, could compost be spread with a heavy duty push spreader? Early spring to put additives down? I'm in Oregon.

What is milorganite?

It can be spread in various ways... yes. How is your back??

About milorganite...
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=what+is+milorganite&spell=1

stimpy
12-03-2008, 09:43 PM
NEW CITY...Dr elaine ingham and paul staments are right in your back yard and give classes

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-03-2008, 09:48 PM
NEW CITY...Dr elaine ingham and paul staments are right in your back yard and give classes

WHO? I'm not sure who they are?

treegal1
12-03-2008, 10:12 PM
WHO? I'm not sure who they are?Dr I, is the leader of our cult and Paul is the mushroom king...........fungi perfecti

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-03-2008, 10:15 PM
OH I SEE, they are forum members in my area? They give classes?

Kiril
12-03-2008, 10:19 PM
Dr I, is the leader of our cult and Paul is the mushroom king...........fungi perfecti

No comment :dizzy:

treegal1
12-03-2008, 10:21 PM
OH I SEE, they are forum members in my area? They give classes?
no no no, Dr I founded the soil food web inc. and Paul is a mycologist on the west coast that is the foremost IMO in the field. they both have contributed, scratch that made there life's work in there fields to help organic land care..........

try a google search??????

http://www.fungi.com/front/stamets/index.html

http://www.soilfoodweb.com/

treegal1
12-03-2008, 10:25 PM
No comment :dizzy:
aw come on that was funny, at least I did not jump down his neck about the google button.LOLOL:laugh:

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-04-2008, 06:39 AM
Dr I, is the leader of our cult and Paul is the mushroom king...........fungi perfecti


I am the walrus....Goo Goo Ga Joob

wallzwallz
12-04-2008, 07:35 AM
Tree and Growing both funny, Kiril you didn't find that funny?

ICT Bill
12-04-2008, 09:23 AM
I once watched Paul speak and he had cotton mouth so bad he went through a couple of glasses of water, when he was out and couldn't speak because his lips were stuck to his teeth, I got up and gave him mine, he said PPPHHHTTHHAnks.

great guy, heavy thinker

I thought it was funny and had visions of zombies

Smallaxe
12-04-2008, 10:17 AM
When you say sugars, are we talking I go to the grocery store and buy cane sugar and spread that over the lawn?

I would assume if testing showed a low % of Organic Matter, this would be adjusted by top dressing with a good Organic Compost, corrrect? What if I don't have a top dressing machine, could compost be spread with a heavy duty push spreader? Early spring to put additives down? I'm in Oregon.

What is milorganite?

Milorganite is sludge from the Milwaukee sewage system. De-toxified and pathogen-free w/out heavy metals being a problem. Heavy metals were a problem earlier I guess.

The sugar is fine no matter what kind it is. I used beet sugar last year as well as dried molasses from the feed store. Grocery store sugar works too, but expensive. It is just for the purpose of boosting microbrial activity and populations. Molasses also has more micro-nutrients than the processed sugars, and is cheaper than sugar at 50 lbs bag prices.

Compost is the main stay of what I do to increase the ability of soil to cycle nutrients. More nutrients available naturally the fewer that need to be applied. I never found a suitable compost spreader, so what I do is, fill a wheel barrow and broadcast by hand, (as if broadcasting seed) while a helper pushes it along.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 10:31 AM
Now when you say compost, what should I be looking in for a good quality Compost?

My local landscape supply company has:
http://hiltonlandscapeandsupply.com/soils_compost.html
http://www.biomassone.com/landscaping_materials.php?PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

Kiril
12-04-2008, 10:35 AM
Now when you say compost, what should I be looking in for a good quality Compost?

My local landscape supply company has:
http://hiltonlandscapeandsupply.com/soils_compost.html
http://www.biomassone.com/landscaping_materials.php?PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

This is your best bet for turf, given the second companies products are unknown.

http://www.biomassone.com/landscape_material_view.php?material_id=6&PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

The other one would be OK for non-turf applications.

http://www.biomassone.com/landscape_material_view.php?material_id=2&PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

Smallaxe
12-04-2008, 10:44 AM
be careful about how much sugar you use, a few problems can happen

1. drive the soil anaerobic 2. tie up nitrates



smallaxe,

do you have lawns that just got molasses/milorganite? how where the results this year and how often did you apply the milorganite?Rate per 1000sf?
i have a local suppler that sales milorganite very cheap, and nutrients plus has a line i have access too almost as cheap -shipping,
im not a big fan of it but if it's effective i might find a place for it in some of my larger field apps?

It is interesting you say that because tieing up nitrates and boosting the populations that do so - is how I got started on sugars in the first place. It helps with the concentrated urea of dog urine. Eventually of course the cycle continues and those nitrates are released at a later time.

I have 2 lawns that only got compost, molasses/sugar and Milorganite, that are unirrigated, and another that is irrigated. for a couple of seasons that is ALL they got, besides the clippings and sufficient water to survive.
I am still adjusting amounts of each and timing of each to maintain the good color. This year I applied one 40 lbs bag of Milorganite to 2000 - 3000 sq.ft., a couple of times only. June and August. Sugars in the spring and one or two applications of compost during the summer.

They looked pretty good for the most part, being w/out irrigation, however this fall when the rains came regular and the temperatures cooled they looked great.
After a few weeks they started to fade, so I need to boost the applications of Milorganite and compost. Starting in June I am going to apply Milorganite, every month through September or October depending on what I learn about 'winterizing'. And maybe 2 or 3 good applications of compost , now that I found a bulk source.

This should complete my research phase and feel confident that I could advertise for organics being healthier for the lawn and pets. I would like to start playing with more lawns organically. The current clients I have are 'dyed in the wool' chem folks.

Barefoot James
12-04-2008, 11:28 AM
And his name is Paul? I am the Walrus. koo koo ka jooob.

The Walrus was Paul - a Norwegian Viking symbol of death - and the original Paul was supposedly dead - replaced by the Paul we know and love (alive) - Great PR those dudes had. Abby Road walking a Knight (never buried with their shoes on) the knight was Paul. They are walking into a cemetery.

Lots of fungi in Strawberry Fields.

Play revolution#9 - turn me on dead man

tree are you going to be writing some new Beatles songs?

That was funny.

I'm done - just had to get all that out!

stimpy
12-04-2008, 08:14 PM
Smallaxe any concerns or problems with no K in the milorganite.

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-04-2008, 08:36 PM
stimpy,

molasses has k in it as well as others

ICT Bill
12-04-2008, 08:36 PM
Smallaxe any concerns or problems with no K in the milorganite.

Stimpy, I do believe that smallaxe is trying to stay away from NPK on those sites so the K comment is ...............well a little off base

There is plenty of K, eventually, just not on the label. it is produced by getting nutrient cycling going

Organic lawn care is very simple, organic matter in the soil and supporting the beneficial microorganisms, or what I like to call plant growth promoting rhizobacteria PGPR.

Do a search on it some time

treegal1
12-04-2008, 09:20 PM
Smallaxe any concerns or problems with no K in the milorganite. 2 pails of wood ash and your in the game, and save on lime too...

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 09:25 PM
Can you guys explain whether Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, and sulfur coated urea are considered Organic or Natural? They say its 40% OM. I guess this would be a blended product with both Organic sources and Synthetic?

treegal1
12-04-2008, 09:30 PM
lawns call It what ever you want to call it, there is little to no regulation, Ag or food crops and the USDA, different animal all together. its like an alien ----- probing with hot irons and electricity

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-04-2008, 09:34 PM
whether if it's a natural chemical found in nature or not,
if it is synthetically made "synthesized" it is not organic/natural.......doesn't mean you can't use it...but just know what your dealing with

Kiril
12-04-2008, 09:36 PM
The "tree huggers" ;) will tell you that unless urea is naturally derived it is not organic .
Chemically speaking, it does not matter where it came from, the make-up of the molecule is identical.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 09:38 PM
http://www.nutrientsplus.com

Any thoughts on their products, they recommended I use the Screamin' Green 16-2-3?

treegal1
12-04-2008, 09:41 PM
The "tree huggers" ;) will tell you that unless urea is naturally derived it is not organic .
Chemically speaking, it does not matter where it came from, the make-up of the molecule is identical.so true, if only we could make the synthetic stuff out of beer and not natural gas or petrol

growingdeeprootsorganicly
12-04-2008, 09:41 PM
Can you guys explain whether Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, and sulfur coated urea are considered Organic or Natural? They say its 40% OM. I guess this would be a blended product with both Organic sources and Synthetic?


40% om from where?

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 09:44 PM
40% om from where?

poultry manure and biosolids.

http://www.nutrientsplus.com/16-2-3Label.html

Kiril
12-04-2008, 09:46 PM
http://www.nutrientsplus.com

Any thoughts on their products, they recommended I use the Screamin' Green 16-2-3?

Dude, you need to get out of the bagged mindset if you truly want to be sustainable.
Only use bagged products as a LAST RESORT!

Do yourself a favor and go find a chicken farm ... cause that is what you are getting in those bags.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 09:51 PM
so what are you saying, I should go to my local Egg Farm, and ask for their chicken manure? & Just start shoveling that stuff into the back of my truck and spread that over everyones lawn?

Call me stupid or what have you, but I guess that's why I'm here to learn and know more about what Organics are and how to use them, and would like to find a repeatable, successful system.

Kiril
12-04-2008, 09:56 PM
so what are you saying, I should go to my local Egg Farm, and ask for their chicken manure? & Just start shoveling that stuff into the back of my truck and spread that over everyones lawn?

Basically yes ... they must have some compost piles going somewhere that are finished and ready to be applied. If not, and you have the space, finish the composting process yourself and mix in some green waste while your at it.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 09:57 PM
Basically yes ... they must have some compost piles going somewhere that are finished and ready to be applied. If not, and you have the space, finish the composting process yourself and mix in some green waste while your at it.

Green waste as in Grass clippings?

treegal1
12-04-2008, 09:59 PM
so what are you saying, I should go to my local Egg Farm, and ask for their chicken manure? & Just start shoveling that stuff into the back of my truck and spread that over everyones lawn?

or horse or rabbit or worm or goat or mix all of the above and some weeds and grass and wood chips and stir till done and then you got some ultra potent sh*t!!

ITS CALLED COMPOST!!!!!

treegal1
12-04-2008, 10:01 PM
Green waste as in Grass clippings?
its deep green again, I know it. JK lol

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 10:02 PM
I could just buy this stuff and spread it?
http://www.biomassone.com/landscape_material_view.php?material_id=6&PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142
http://www.biomassone.com/landscaping_materials.php?PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

Wouldn't compost have a natural NPK rating?

Kiril
12-04-2008, 10:06 PM
I could just buy this stuff and spread it?
http://www.biomassone.com/landscape_material_view.php?material_id=6&PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142
http://www.biomassone.com/landscaping_materials.php?PHPSESSID=019f4fa9dcf1291b52f338476a140142

Wouldn't compost have a natural NPK rating?

That would be the better option, sustainably speaking, and economically.
As far as nutrients are concerned, it would depend on the source material.

treegal1
12-04-2008, 10:11 PM
:clapping::clapping::clapping:compost, yes compost.:clapping::clapping::clapping:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 10:29 PM
So scientifically what is Compost going to do for a lawn? Replenish the natural organisms? How is this going to make a lawn green?

Kiril
12-04-2008, 10:44 PM
So scientifically what is Compost going to do for a lawn? Replenish the natural organisms? How is this going to make a lawn green?

Ouch .... how to compress a college education into a couple of sentences.

How about this. ..... it will restore what has been robbed from the soil and will promote a naturally sustainable system.

Wow, that was one sentence. WOOT! :laugh:

COMPOST DOES A SOIL GOOD!!!

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 10:48 PM
So straight compost will sustainably keep a lawn green without adding any fertilizers whether natural/organic or chemical?

I guess the whole goal here is to find a way to naturally keep a lawn green and keep it that way.

Kiril
12-04-2008, 10:51 PM
So straight compost will sustainably keep a lawn green without adding any fertilizers whether natural/organic or chemical?

Yes, that is the gist of it. How successful you will be at using only compost depends mostly on what type of soil you are dealing with, your source of compost, and the clients expectations.

I guess the whole goal here to find a way to naturally keep a lawn green and keep it that way.

Yes grasshopper, Yes. :clapping:

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 10:56 PM
Okay, Thank You for all your ideas & suggestions! I really appreciate it.

What if straight Compost just isn't doing the job or I need a little jump start, what would you recommend?

Kiril
12-04-2008, 11:11 PM
Okay, Thank You for all your ideas & suggestions! I really appreciate it.

What if straight Compost just isn't doing the job or I need a little jump start, what would you recommend?

Most all landscapes will benefit from a bridge program (combination organic & synthetic) in the beginning. The goal is to remove all synthetic inputs, and reduce all other inputs as much as realistically possible.

In my soils I have successfully bridged with only one synthetic input/season until the system no longer needs it.

NEW CITY LAWN CARE LLC
12-04-2008, 11:15 PM
What do you use a Liquid or Granular, and is it a store brand or what?

treegal1
12-05-2008, 07:02 AM
at that point its simple $ to product and is there a way to get it for free = waste

Smallaxe
12-05-2008, 08:10 AM
Smallaxe any concerns or problems with no K in the milorganite.

Interestingly enough Treegal is right. I had one last trouble spot on one of the terraces on the organic nonirrigated lawn. I put down horse manure tea and wood ashes. If that spot does not turn around soon I may have to break down and (eeghads!!) test the soil. :)

Kiril
12-05-2008, 08:22 AM
What do you use a Liquid or Granular, and is it a store brand or what?

at that point its simple $ to product and is there a way to get it for free = waste

TG pretty much covered it. Use whatever the client or you have laying around. If you need to buy, then you might as well supplement your compost with whatever you can put your hands on for free or cheap as possible.

Smallaxe
12-05-2008, 07:12 PM
*** "Do you use a store brand or what???" ***

I say - use what is needed. Do you need synethetic ferts? Then use them.

Use them sparingly and wisely.

*Sparingly and Wisely*, is a philosophy - That puts you ahead of every other LCO - that you may or may not be in competition with. :)

At the same time learn what the soils and climate in your area need, to grow excellent lawns, and move away from the flawed philosophy of NPK inputs.

Smallaxe
12-05-2008, 07:32 PM
BTW, normally what is needed is OM. (not NPK)
I hate to say it but: Kiril is right... :)

Compost does a soil good.