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View Full Version : Compost top dressing NOW....20 degrees and windy!


OrganicsMaine
12-09-2010, 01:16 PM
Hi guys,

I just dormant seeded and top dressed my last one for the year. Funny thing is that I got the place aerated last week before the deep freeze hit us. Now that it is pretty damn cold out there, and I have the compost spread I got to thinking(never a good thing!): Is there any negative implications with topdressing at this time of year? We will probably have snow cover within the next few weeks that will be with us until mid-late March.

BTW I used a seed mix of TTTF and KBG, went down real heavy with it.

Puttinggreens
12-09-2010, 02:23 PM
We have topdressed under similar circumstances for the last few years in December and January. Never noticed any negative effects. As long as the topdressing pile is dry and does not freeze I feel it is easy work.

phasthound
12-09-2010, 02:24 PM
Hi guys,

I just dormant seeded and top dressed my last one for the year. Funny thing is that I got the place aerated last week before the deep freeze hit us. Now that it is pretty damn cold out there, and I have the compost spread I got to thinking(never a good thing!): Is there any negative implications with topdressing at this time of year? We will probably have snow cover within the next few weeks that will be with us until mid-late March.

BTW I used a seed mix of TTTF and KBG, went down real heavy with it.

If you are applying compost to frozen ground, it will most likely add to the nutrient runoff problem.

OrganicsMaine
12-09-2010, 02:28 PM
Barry,

Even if it is buried under snow and thaws slowly like the ground? We just got our first very hard freeze in the last day or two, then it will go to 40 for a few days and then back down, so some freeze thaw action. Hopefully not too much runoff.

OrganicsMaine
12-09-2010, 02:30 PM
PG, how did you keep your pile from freezing? I did notice that the majority of the pile that was under a tarp was not frozen yet, but the parts that were uncovered did have about an inch of frozen crust.

Kiril
12-09-2010, 02:30 PM
If you are applying compost to frozen ground, it will most likely add to the nutrient runoff problem.

That would be my concern as well in the spring assuming the ground is still frozen when your spring snow melt starts. I'm surprised you don't have snow yet. :dizzy:

OrganicsMaine
12-09-2010, 02:45 PM
That would be my concern as well in the spring assuming the ground is still frozen when your spring snow melt starts. I'm surprised you don't have snow yet. :dizzy:

Nope, no snow yet! I'm in southern Maine and on the water, so while we have certainly had a lot of snow at this time, it isn't guaranteed. One bonus is that it is a flat lawn, so hopefully, not too much runoff.

ICT Bill
12-09-2010, 10:06 PM
If it is not finished compost and has N over 1% or 2% it will likely support snow mold growth and will look like crap in the spring

Late fall/early winter compost applications are not a good idea, there is no microbial action going on, wait until spring or next fall

OrganicsMaine
12-09-2010, 10:39 PM
Ok, so late/early composting is not a good idea. Good thing is the compost is very finished so hopefully not too much snow mold. I'll be at this house early to rake out that snowmold ASAP!

Barefoot James
12-09-2010, 10:47 PM
Bill, What about Feb composting over seed in KY? Grass starts growing in early March here.

quackgrass
12-10-2010, 01:09 PM
Has anyone ran across some type of tackifier to spray over topdressed compost? I'm thinking something more like a cornstarch solution that could be sprayed out of typical lawn spray equipment instead of a hydro seed type sprayer.

I've had a couple topdressings wash away in heavy rain bursts and it isn't pretty.

Barefoot James
12-10-2010, 08:17 PM
Quack - Dirt glue works great - but I have to use my hydroseeder to spray it - sorry. Even simple tack would clog up my compost tea spray unit. I doubt there is anything that would actually work in a typical pump sprayer.

Regarding snow mold - my son-in-law says there are tests that show humates spread over high N lawns will keep snow mold from growing. Maybe the humates lock up the N? He does not recall where he got this info, but he is a sharpe man and he says he has read multiple reports about this. Good thing for me I got 15 pallets of high grade lignite humate in a warehouse. Only problem is I've never seen snow mold issues here in Louisville (even on other lawns that are not Barefoot lawns (cause all mine have tons of humates on em) - as the snow never sits here very long, before we get a warm up and it melts. I'm guessing when it sits for long periods of time the snow mold has more opportunity to grow under the snow??

OrganicsMaine
12-10-2010, 10:17 PM
That's right Barefoot, when we have a very long period of snow cover...sometimes late Nov. thru early April, the snow mold can be an issue. No snow cover yet, so hopefully I'll be in the clear.

Where is a good supplier of humates?

Barefoot James
12-10-2010, 11:52 PM
humates.com - Mesa Verde - Bruce & Joel Reid. From NM great product mined from fresh water sources. Lignite humates - Lenordite comes from salt water source from my research not quite as good. There are all kinds of sources but the best way to buy is, semi truck load so this narrows it down to not many (me) but I live in KY. I found that if you buy 5 or less pallets you get hosed 5 to 22 same price when it comes to trucking it. So I got 22 pallets and then another truck so you just have to believe and have the clients.

NattyLawn
12-11-2010, 12:31 AM
Quack - Dirt glue works great - but I have to use my hydroseeder to spray it - sorry. Even simple tack would clog up my compost tea spray unit. I doubt there is anything that would actually work in a typical pump sprayer.

Regarding snow mold - my son-in-law says there are tests that show humates spread over high N lawns will keep snow mold from growing. Maybe the humates lock up the N? He does not recall where he got this info, but he is a sharpe man and he says he has read multiple reports about this. Good thing for me I got 15 pallets of high grade lignite humate in a warehouse. Only problem is I've never seen snow mold issues here in Louisville (even on other lawns that are not Barefoot lawns (cause all mine have tons of humates on em) - as the snow never sits here very long, before we get a warm up and it melts. I'm guessing when it sits for long periods of time the snow mold has more opportunity to grow under the snow??

One of the many positive aspects of humates is that they sequester nutrients, not just N, but all nutrients. I don't see much snow mold here either, but I do see much less disease pressure overall than my synthetic counterparts.

Kiril
12-11-2010, 10:00 AM
Just doing my due diligence ..... using mined humates is hardly a sustainable practice.

starry night
12-11-2010, 10:59 AM
Just doing my due diligence ..... using mined humates is hardly a sustainable practice.

I know you don't like to deal in the theoretical, Kiril, but if there was a sustainable supply, do you believe there would value in using humates in a lawn care program?

Kiril
12-11-2010, 11:06 AM
I know you don't like to deal in the theoretical, Kiril, but if there was a sustainable supply, do you believe there would value in using humates in a lawn care program?

Maybe in some cases, but you already have a sustainable source of humates .... compost.

JDUtah
12-11-2010, 09:36 PM
Maybe in some cases, but you already have a sustainable source of humates .... compost.

:clapping::clapping::clapping:

ICT Bill
12-13-2010, 09:51 AM
Barefoot, your son is right about using humate for snow mold issues, many of the golf course super's that I know that typically have snow mold will apply humate before the ground freezes

snow mold loves N and humate will sequester it until the microbe activity starts up in spring when it is released by microbial action

I was surprised by some recent research that I saw someone gave at a class, it seems the best application rate for turf is somewhere around 500PPM, any less and it doesn't do much, any more and it begins to hold onto things, they also showed great results for one or two years and then a decline in color and density in turf after that, the assumption was that it was making up for nutrient deficencies early on and then begins to bind the same nutrients

Kiril
12-13-2010, 10:33 AM
I was surprised by some recent research that I saw someone gave at a class, it seems the best application rate for turf is somewhere around 500PPM, any less and it doesn't do much, any more and it begins to hold onto things, they also showed great results for one or two years and then a decline in color and density in turf after that, the assumption was that it was making up for nutrient deficencies early on and then begins to bind the same nutrients

........... Link ..........?

OrganicsMaine
12-13-2010, 10:35 AM
........... Link ..........?

He saw it at a class.

Kiril
12-13-2010, 10:49 AM
He saw it at a class.

Yes, but that doesn't mean it is not published.