PDA

View Full Version : Organic? Really?


ChuckNC
04-06-2011, 09:13 PM
Howdy folks,
I'm not trying to a wiseguy or
P/O anybody, nor start a fight.

But I see, LC companies bragging they are organic
and they use 5% chicken manure and 95% chemical fert.
Granular. I see people writing about microbial activity
and not once have I seen anybody writing about Mycorrhiza.
I started study Mycorrhiza about 25 years ago, and to be
honest it didn't hake any difference if you use organic or chemical
fert., but if your Mycorrhiza levels are low your grass will never take
in the N-P-K values or micro nutrients. So I dug into the root
zone to check for mycorrhiza. Have You?

If you want to go back to basic chemistry anything that is Carbon
based is organic. Such as Nitroform.

But to answer any questions, I have run a Lawn care and tree care business. Growing fescue in the transition zone (big pain in the butt
in the Charlotte area) Very hot, humid, but very dry all at the same time.
Most fescue will die w/o irrigation, any warm season grass will thrive
and becomes a weed.

When the smoke clears, I don't see any benefit from organic
lawn care. I do think there is a clear market for people who will pay extra
for an organic program to create their personal green peace while they drive their prius to starbucks.

Anybody have other thoughts?

Smallaxe
04-07-2011, 07:41 AM
Mycorriza is said to spread naturally, as it had b4, which gave us something to 'study' in the first place... So my question has been for a long time, If a population is low, what cultural practices should be engaged in to help them to increase their numbers...

In fact most beneficials must have a particular environment in which they would do better than the pathogens... Is that true??? :)

ICT Bill
04-07-2011, 09:34 PM
Mycorriza is said to spread naturally, as it had b4, which gave us something to 'study' in the first place... So my question has been for a long time, If a population is low, what cultural practices should be engaged in to help them to increase their numbers...

In fact most beneficials must have a particular environment in which they would do better than the pathogens... Is that true??? :)

when a meteor slammed into the earth, i forget how many millions of years ago, and the earth had decades of darkness, the plants that had a fungal association lived and the ones that did not...........well did not

The fungal association or symbiotic relationship is something that should be always be nudges in the right direction

organic matter, no Phos, raw foods are always a good idea

ChuckNC
04-07-2011, 09:50 PM
You are 100% correct, it is naturally occurring.
I know companies try to sell it in a bag or liquid,
but for turf I always mulched the clippings back into
the turf. Even if we had to cut it twice, (cross cut)
back then we had the Greatdane's 72" decks
and priced the xtra time for the jobs (super great striping look). Think about this every week tall fescue cut at 4" grew to 8" in week.
We controlled the irrigation, fertilizer and everything else.
I only pounded the N in 2 apps in the winter, the other
apps were 1/4 pound N. P & K sources were 1 pound.
So as I saw it all those grass clippings were a fertilizer
application. So I see it as the clippings for turf,
leaves and wood chips for trees, palm fronds & husk
for palms. The results are great.

(Please forgive any spelling, not feeling too well
stomach bug)

Thanks everybody.
Chuck

Leo the Landscaper
04-07-2011, 09:50 PM
Mycorrhiza associations will naturally develop if we just manage the environment the right way. Think about the saying "if you build it, they will come." So focus on developing a healthy soil.

americanlawn
04-07-2011, 09:56 PM
Before Scotts started selling 'natural organic' fert, their website contained pro's & con's regarding the 3 main types of fertilizer.

natural organic (fair)
inorganic (good)
synthetic organic (latest technology) (best)

Scotts has since removed this page from their site, but here's what they had to say about "natural" organic fertilizer:

1) Can contain unsafe pathogens (mammals)
2) Requires more product to do the job
3) Offensive odor
4) High cost per acre

Keep in mind this is BEFORE Scotts started selling "natural" organic fert. It was a good business decision on Scotts' part to remove their previous observations, cuz they saw a nitch, and they are taking advantage of it.

my 2 cents

Kiril
04-07-2011, 10:12 PM
Don't forget Larry .... if it ain't in a bag .... you can't make a profit.

ChuckNC
04-07-2011, 10:16 PM
I attended a semiar by the NC Extension service
and a Phd in pollution gave a talk about how NC
has the most polluted well water then any
other state in the US.

So I had to talk to him after his slide show
I told him I live in NC and worried about the
drinking water. He said, don't worry about
those test results. In N.C., farmers use a lot of
raw chicken fertilizer and the run off ends up in
streams, ground water run off, then to wells.
The salt level was off the chart. The test was taken
right after the application was completed.
If things are that hot, mycorrhizae and other symbiotic
relationships are lost.

Thanks to everybody replying.
Chuck

americanlawn
04-07-2011, 10:31 PM
Thanks Kiril and ChuckNC -- I just emailed Scotts asking if they could forward their original "fert-type comparisons" (pro's & con's). I'm not holding my breath, but if I receive the info from Scotts, I'll post it on lawnsite.com. I figure lots of guys would like to see it too.

Smallaxe
04-08-2011, 09:38 AM
It is still ad unanswered question:

What cultural practices would encourage the spread of AM fungi throughout a root system??

phasthound
04-08-2011, 11:03 AM
It is still ad unanswered question:

What cultural practices would encourage the spread of AM fungi throughout a root system??

Anerobic soil conditions limit the populations of most beneficial microbes including mycorrhizae. Reduce soil compaction. For turf; core aeration, apply compost and innoculate with mychorrhizae. For trees; vertical mulch with compost and mychorrhizae.

phasthound
04-08-2011, 11:04 AM
Don't forget Larry .... if it ain't in a bag .... you can't make a profit.

Yes, it's evil to make a profit.

Kiril
04-08-2011, 11:25 AM
Yes, it's evil to make a profit.

Well Barry .... in some cases it is. If you want to maximize your profits, just apply synthetics. If profit comes first before all other considerations, we all lose.

Greenery
04-08-2011, 02:11 PM
Well Barry .... in some cases it is. If you want to maximize your profits, just apply synthetics. If profit comes first before all other considerations, we all lose.

I din't see that as being entirely true. Our organic apps are marked up the same percentage as a synthetic, sometimes more. Additionally I have found that a person wanting to go the organic route are much more likely to use additional services to compliment the organic program areation topdressing etc. So in my opinion if you want to maximize profits organic is the way. Also whats the big deal about organics, N is N P is P and K is K no matter what its derived from. Yes the synthetic has some chelating salts to make available but who really cares, im not eating the grass and im sure my customers arent either.
I am by no means an organis expert but that's the way I see it.
Posted via Mobile Device

Kiril
04-08-2011, 03:15 PM
I din't see that as being entirely true. Our organic apps are marked up the same percentage as a synthetic, sometimes more. Additionally I have found that a person wanting to go the organic route are much more likely to use additional services to compliment the organic program areation topdressing etc. So in my opinion if you want to maximize profits organic is the way.

Well, here's the way I see it.

You maximize your profits using synthetics by creating an unstable system that requires frequent inputs of ferts and pesticides to keep the system aesthetically "acceptable". The more unstable the system becomes, the more inputs that are required, the more profit you make. If profit is the only motivation in the landscape service business, then it would be in the best interest, speaking from a maximizing profits point of view, to create the most unstable, heavy input system possible.

Considering this forum is supposed to be about maximizing profits (per recent posts), and not about good land stewardship, or best management practices, or creating a sustainable system, or protecting our environment ..... then why even bother with organics at all? If profit is all you care about, then just use the damn synthetics.

The "additional" service of aerating should be a part of any turf management program. Top dressing ... well that depends on the what and why you are top dressing.

Also whats the big deal about organics, N is N P is P and K is K no matter what its derived from. Yes the synthetic has some chelating salts to make available but who really cares, im not eating the grass and im sure my customers arent either.

Managing soil fertility and plant nutrition is a bit more complex than breaking nutrients down on an elemental basis .... and I don't even know what you are talking about with chelating salts. :dizzy:

Tim Wilson
04-08-2011, 04:21 PM
I din't see that as being entirely true. Our organic apps are marked up the same percentage as a synthetic, sometimes more. Additionally I have found that a person wanting to go the organic route are much more likely to use additional services to compliment the organic program areation topdressing etc. So in my opinion if you want to maximize profits organic is the way. Also whats the big deal about organics, N is N P is P and K is K no matter what its derived from. Yes the synthetic has some chelating salts to make available but who really cares, im not eating the grass and im sure my customers arent either.
I am by no means an organis expert but that's the way I see it.
Posted via Mobile Device

The difference is in the mineralization. Synthetic fertilizers are in ionic (soluble) form when applied. Organics (matter) become ionic through mineralization, either by microorganisms or to a lesser degree by 'citric-like' acids exuded by roots. This means that the nutrients sequestered in organic matter are made available to the growing system on demand and over an extended period.

phasthound
04-08-2011, 05:11 PM
In addition to how nutrients are absorbed, an organic program will improve soil conditions for the microbes that help strengthen plants' defense system, improve soil structure and reduce water usage. Oh yea, there is the concern of water contamination and health hazards with a synthetic program.

It's not just about switching one product for another.

Greenery
04-08-2011, 05:34 PM
What are the health hazards? Also it seems your suggesting that their is no chance of water contamination with organics? Only synthetics pose this problem? One other question I have is whether a synthetic product is detrimental to the population of microbeasties present in the soil? If so is it because of a particular ingredient, or is it just not supplying the neccesary ingredients for them to thrive and to do what they do naturally.
Posted via Mobile Device

Greenery
04-08-2011, 05:51 PM
The "additional" service of aerating should be a part of any turf management program. Top dressing ... well that depends on the what and why you are top dressing.



Managing soil fertility and plant nutrition is a bit more complex than breaking nutrients down on an elemental basis .... and I don't even know what you are talking about with chelating salts.
:dizzy:.I agree aeration should be whether organic or synthetic, I guess what I was saying is an organic customer has been more likely to use those services in turn making those customers more profitable overall. You'll have to forgive me as some of my limited organic knowledge comes from containerized gardening using liquid nutrients. So ya turf products are a little different
Posted via Mobile Device

phasthound
04-08-2011, 06:50 PM
What are the health hazards? Also it seems your suggesting that their is no chance of water contamination with organics? Only synthetics pose this problem? One other question I have is whether a synthetic product is detrimental to the population of microbeasties present in the soil? If so is it because of a particular ingredient, or is it just not supplying the neccesary ingredients for them to thrive and to do what they do naturally.
Posted via Mobile Device

These are all great questions.
Health hazards due to exposure to pesticides are well documented. However few studies have been done on the cumulative effect of combinations of common pesticides. It is hard to draw direct conclusions, but if you can maintain healthy turf without them, why use pesticides?
Water quality issues are becoming more important every year and more restrictive legislation is becoming the norm. While some current and proposed legislation are knee jerk reactions, we do need to protect our water. I am not suggesting organic matter will not contaminate water, in fact animal manures and waste-water treatment plants are some of the main sources for concern.
Overuse of salt based fertilizers do inhibit beneficial microbes and weaken the plant enough that it requires more drugs, I mean pesticides. Many pesticides, especially fungicides will wipe out beneficials along with pathogens. The pathogens recover faster.
But, what convinced me to change my prospective was seeing the results.

OrganicsMaine
04-08-2011, 07:07 PM
Care to expand on the results you saw, and a macro look at how you achieved them?

americanlawn
04-08-2011, 09:01 PM
We received a customer renewal form this week. We previously treated his lawn 5 times per year (for the past 2 years) with XCU ferts . But this year, he only wants 3 apps (late spring, early fall, and late fall). His note at the bottom of the form: "Lawn has become too thick to mow. Need to cut back on applications" >> I thought that was funny/unusual. :laugh:

Regarding Scotts: When it was "O.M. Scotts & Sons", they tried to steer customers away from natural organic fertilizer. But after they "reorganized", they openly recommend natural organic fertilizer. Kinda makes me wonder about Scotts (trust issue). I'm guessing they bought some of Barry's products and copied them. :confused:

my personal experience/2 cents worth

These are all great questions.
Health hazards due to exposure to pesticides are well documented. However few studies have been done on the cumulative effect of combinations of common pesticides. It is hard to draw direct conclusions, but if you can maintain healthy turf without them, why use pesticides?
Water quality issues are becoming more important every year and more restrictive legislation is becoming the norm. While some current and proposed legislation are knee jerk reactions, we do need to protect our water. I am not suggesting organic matter will not contaminate water, in fact animal manures and waste-water treatment plants are some of the main sources for concern.
Overuse of salt based fertilizers do inhibit beneficial microbes and weaken the plant enough that it requires more drugs, I mean pesticides. Many pesticides, especially fungicides will wipe out beneficials along with pathogens. The pathogens recover faster.
But, what convinced me to change my prospective was seeing the results.

JDUtah
04-08-2011, 11:07 PM
It is still ad unanswered question:

What cultural practices would encourage the spread of AM fungi throughout a root system??

Proper moisture levels (for your lead in)

But perhaps more importantly... do not use compost as a fertilizer if you want to encourage AM infection...

Kiril
04-09-2011, 12:04 AM
But perhaps more importantly... do not use compost as a fertilizer if you want to encourage AM infection...

You of course have some credible publication to substantiate this statement?


http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/21020/1/IND44092427.pdf

http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/38726/1/IND44309395.pdf

http://www.springerlink.com/content/935293073lj76512/

Smallaxe
04-09-2011, 08:17 AM
So there seems to be a consensus that, just not having too much water will benefit beneficial microbials, in general...
AM fungi in particular, do not appreciate P applications or tilling, as I recall. So does aeration cause a setback for the AMF that is already in the root system?
What is it about compost that would deter AMF but be helpful to most other benes?

JDUtah
04-09-2011, 07:45 PM
What is it about compost that would deter AMF but be helpful to most other benes?

You answered your own question

in general... AM fungi in particular, do not appreciate P applications or tilling

Kiril
04-09-2011, 10:02 PM
You answered your own question

WOW JD .... then your comment was a whole new level of uninformed. :hammerhead:

JDUtah
04-09-2011, 11:53 PM
WOW JD .... then your comment was a whole new level of uninformed. :hammerhead:

Kiril,

I actually found your links interesting and enlightening. I am sure others on this forum think the same as they do suggest a change in the mindset about P and AMF.

However...
If you really do want people to hear your voice and change, perhaps you should practice some tact and consideration in the way you "inform" people. I don't know, but to me it seems if you wouldn't be so condescending and dogmatic you may eventually be liked more than resisted/resented here on this forum.

Hey, you may even lay down for the night smiling for once. :drinkup:

Kiril
04-10-2011, 10:24 AM
JD,

Perhaps if you had corrected yourself after reading the links .... but then, everyone who knows you on this forum is well aware of the reason for that post.

FYI, I don't really care if I am liked and you can keep your patronizing attitude to yourself.

Smallaxe
04-10-2011, 10:27 AM
You answered your own question

P is everywhere and in just about everything organic... Grass clippings left on the lawn would hve about the same P as compost... If 1-2% P in anything is going to diminish the AMF, then again...

"What can be done to increase the population, health and vigor of AM Fungi?"

Leo the Landscaper
04-10-2011, 12:41 PM
P is everywhere and in just about everything organic... Grass clippings left on the lawn would hve about the same P as compost... If 1-2% P in anything is going to diminish the AMF, then again...

"What can be done to increase the population, health and vigor of AM Fungi?"

P might be everywhere but it is not everywhere in the same amount and in the same form of availability.

The issue with P is mobility and availability. P provided via organic fert to a perennial crop like a lawn is very difficult. P has low solubility so it does not move readily through the soil profile. That is why P pollution of surface water is such an issue. P really needs to be incorporated to the soil. So I would say synthetic P is safer for a perennial crop than organic P, but even P in synthetic fert is not that solubility

Mycorrhizae benefits plants by extending the surface area of the soil that the root can mine nutrients this is beneficial for the uptake of immobile nutrients like P. Plants must give up space and Carbon in this relationship in turn for the benefits provided by the Mycorrhizae. If one fertilizes to the point of providing enough P to the plant, the plant does not need this association and therefore there is no benefit in expending Carbon to develop the mycorrhizae relationship. Thus the plant will lose out on the other benefits of the relationship like increase in available water, inhibition of heavy metal uptake, etc.

So P does not directly damage the fungus it prohibits the forming of the relationship by providing the needs to the plant without them.

P is one of the main issue with organic fert. Plants take up 5-25% as much P as N. Manures contain about 25-50% as much P as N. So to fert with manure based fertilizers based on a soil test N. You will be over applying P, which has negative environmental impact. Remember P does not move through the soil so it is lost via surface water. Surface water makes its way in my part of the country either to The Great Lakes or the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike soil, whose most limiting nutrient is N waters most limiting nutrient is P. So when you add P you see a dramatic impact. It causes eutrophication, which is accelerated growth of algae. This mass algae bloom then dies and decomposes causing hypoxia, as the O2 is consumed by the decomposers. So to say that organic manures are safe alternative because they are natural is incorrect. They need to be carefully applied and managed as synthetic fert. I would argue that in a perennial crop like turf synthetic fert might be more environmentally friendly when used by those than don't fully understand these concepts.

One more thing to remember about organic fertilizers like manure. Their source of N is from an animal, whose source of N was agricultural crop whose source of N was a synthetic fert.

I am not anti organic, but we cant demonize synthetic fert because it is still a necessary tool.

Sorry for ranting.:usflag:

Smallaxe
04-11-2011, 10:44 AM
P might be everywhere but it is not everywhere in the same amount and in the same form of availability.

The issue with P is mobility and availability. P provided via organic fert to a perennial crop like a lawn is very difficult. P has low solubility so it does not move readily through the soil profile. That is why P pollution of surface water is such an issue. P really needs to be incorporated to the soil. So I would say synthetic P is safer for a perennial crop than organic P, but even P in synthetic fert is not that solubility

Mycorrhizae benefits plants by extending the surface area of the soil that the root can mine nutrients this is beneficial for the uptake of immobile nutrients like P. Plants must give up space and Carbon in this relationship in turn for the benefits provided by the Mycorrhizae. If one fertilizes to the point of providing enough P to the plant, the plant does not need this association and therefore there is no benefit in expending Carbon to develop the mycorrhizae relationship. Thus the plant will lose out on the other benefits of the relationship like increase in available water, inhibition of heavy metal uptake, etc.

So P does not directly damage the fungus it prohibits the forming of the relationship by providing the needs to the plant without them.

P is one of the main issue with organic fert. Plants take up 5-25% as much P as N. Manures contain about 25-50% as much P as N. So to fert with manure based fertilizers based on a soil test N. You will be over applying P, which has negative environmental impact. Remember P does not move through the soil so it is lost via surface water. Surface water makes its way in my part of the country either to The Great Lakes or the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike soil, whose most limiting nutrient is N waters most limiting nutrient is P. So when you add P you see a dramatic impact. It causes eutrophication, which is accelerated growth of algae. This mass algae bloom then dies and decomposes causing hypoxia, as the O2 is consumed by the decomposers. So to say that organic manures are safe alternative because they are natural is incorrect. They need to be carefully applied and managed as synthetic fert. I would argue that in a perennial crop like turf synthetic fert might be more environmentally friendly when used by those than don't fully understand these concepts.

One more thing to remember about organic fertilizers like manure. Their source of N is from an animal, whose source of N was agricultural crop whose source of N was a synthetic fert.

I am not anti organic, but we cant demonize synthetic fert because it is still a necessary tool.

Sorry for ranting.:usflag:

So you are answering the question about increasing the population, health and vigor of AM Fungi as, "Be sure no P is added to the soil..."
Is that correct, and there is nothing more to do as far as you know?

Your second subject about waterways recieving P runoff from manure is strictly manure... If the manure itself ends up in the water, then yes, it is as bad as leaves, decaying in the water...
But to say that P goes into the water short of an erosion event, is untrue... N is water soluable and will dissolve and follow a "Stream" to the lowest point of a lawn, But P, once bound to a site. stays on that site... :)

Smallaxe
04-11-2011, 10:53 AM
Howdy folks,
I'm not trying to a wiseguy or
P/O anybody, nor start a fight.

But I see, LC companies bragging they are organic
and they use 5% chicken manure and 95% chemical fert.
Granular. I see people writing about microbial activity
and not once have I seen anybody writing about Mycorrhiza.
I started study Mycorrhiza about 25 years ago, and to be
honest it didn't hake any difference if you use organic or chemical
fert., but if your Mycorrhiza levels are low your grass will never take
in the N-P-K values or micro nutrients. So I dug into the root
zone to check for mycorrhiza. Have You?...

I was waiting all along for you to say something in an answer to the question and some real discussion but you seem to have leaked out as well... So you ARE a wiseguy, aren't you... :)

starry night
04-11-2011, 11:50 AM
................

One more thing to remember about organic fertilizers like manure. Their source of N is from an animal, whose source of N was agricultural crop whose source of N was a synthetic fert.

So you are implying that soil biology then processes this manure in the same way that it processes synthetic fertilizers? Or, otherwise, what is your point?

OrganicsMaine
04-11-2011, 12:25 PM
From what I gleaned from Leo's post is that he is still looking at the organic approach as he does a synthetic approach. If we were applying manure or even various composts in place of a synthetic fert, then he is correct in many ways.

However, if we are using a manure/compost to boost the organic matter of a given soil profile, and then using some form of CT or ACT or AACT or Extract...or whatever, this is where the organic approach is more environmentally friendly. By building the microbes/fungi etc., and providing them with enough food, we are dramatically reducing the need for the fertilizer "programs" that we are all so addicted to. Paradigm shift, but doable in my opinion!

Tim Wilson
04-11-2011, 04:49 PM
From what I gleaned from Leo's post is that he is still looking at the organic approach as he does a synthetic approach. If we were applying manure or even various composts in place of a synthetic fert, then he is correct in many ways.

However, if we are using a manure/compost to boost the organic matter of a given soil profile, and then using some form of CT or ACT or AACT or Extract...or whatever, this is where the organic approach is more environmentally friendly. By building the microbes/fungi etc., and providing them with enough food, we are dramatically reducing the need for the fertilizer "programs" that we are all so addicted to. Paradigm shift, but doable in my opinion!

To quote Barry 'Bingo!!!' Leo: Manure is NOT compost.

JDUtah
04-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Ironically Manure has much better (more concentrated) green grass nutrients (nitrogen) than compost. If applying based on N needs, manure is MUCH more favorable to AMF than compost.

Smallaxe
04-12-2011, 08:38 AM
Ironically Manure has much better (more concentrated) green grass nutrients (nitrogen) than compost. If applying based on N needs, manure is MUCH more favorable to AMF than compost.

The gardeners out here in rural America still use green manure tea, for fertilizer... Works great for gardens but not aesthetically acceptible for lawns... besides, you would have to print warnings about not eating the grass or rolling around in the lawn for 2 months... :)

Leo the Landscaper
04-12-2011, 09:25 AM
So you are answering the question about increasing the population, health and vigor of AM Fungi as, "Be sure no P is added to the soil..."
Is that correct, and there is nothing more to do as far as you know?

You should add P based on a soil test. I am simply explaining the concept behind why P is "bad" for mycorrhizae.

Your second subject about waterways recieving P runoff from manure is strictly manure... If the manure itself ends up in the water, then yes, it is as bad as leaves, decaying in the water...
But to say that P goes into the water short of an erosion event, is untrue... N is water soluable and will dissolve and follow a "Stream" to the lowest point of a lawn, But P, once bound to a site. stays on that site... :)


What I am saying is P moves with surface water because it is not soluable. N moves down into ground water due to its solubility. Due to P's poor solubility surface applications have a tendency to move offsite with surface water. If P is incoprorated than yes once it binds with Ca or Fe it tends not to move. N typically pollutes ground water P typically polutes surface water.

Leo the Landscaper
04-12-2011, 09:33 AM
So you are answering the question about increasing the population, health and vigor of AM Fungi as, "Be sure no P is added to the soil..."
Is that correct, and there is nothing more to do as far as you know?

Your second subject about waterways recieving P runoff from manure is strictly manure... If the manure itself ends up in the water, then yes, it is as bad as leaves, decaying in the water...
But to say that P goes into the water short of an erosion event, is untrue... N is water soluable and will dissolve and follow a "Stream" to the lowest point of a lawn, But P, once bound to a site. stays on that site... :)

To quote Barry 'Bingo!!!' Leo: Manure is NOT compost.

I dont think I said manure was compost

Leo the Landscaper
04-12-2011, 09:44 AM
So you are implying that soil biology then processes this manure in the same way that it processes synthetic fertilizers? Or, otherwise, what is your point?

No that is not my point. The required soil biology and envrionmental factors are varied based on source and type of fert used.

My point is the use of manures as a substitue for synthetic fert is not "green" as one might think. The source of N and P for that matter come from synthetic fert at some point.

Now that is not to say that the luxury of a nice lawn is best acquired via a reused source of N and P via manures from a more important practice of food production. I just think people should have the whole picture.

Kiril
04-12-2011, 09:44 AM
What I am saying is P moves with surface water because it is not soluable. N moves down into ground water due to its solubility. Due to P's poor solubility surface applications have a tendency to move offsite with surface water. If P is incoprorated than yes once it binds with Ca or Fe it tends not to move. N typically pollutes ground water P typically polutes surface water.

Nitrogen (nitrate specifically) is more mobile in soils due to its charge. Solubility is not the deciding factor in ion mobility. Any ion in solution is at risk of leaching regardless of the charge .... and any ion be it in solution, bound or precipitated is at risk of erosion/runoff. If erosion occurs then you have the potential for any/all ions to be lost.

Kiril
04-12-2011, 09:52 AM
No that is not my point. The required soil biology and envrionmental factors are varied based on source and type of fert used.

My point is the use of manures as a substitue for synthetic fert is not "green" as one might think. The source of N and P for that matter come from synthetic fert at some point.

Now that is not to say that the luxury of a nice lawn is best acquired via a reused source of N and P via manures from a more important practice of food production. I just think people should have the whole picture.

I'm not following the purpose of "the whole picture" here. Manure is a waste product ... it will be generated regardless of it being used or not .... something that is not true for a synthetic fertilizer.

Should I:

1) Produce more synthetic ferts
2) Use viable waste products

Seems to me the "green" choice is obvious.

Leo the Landscaper
04-12-2011, 10:12 AM
Kiril,

I agree with everything you said in both posts. I think we have said the same thing differently.

I agree once a nutrient is in the soil the solubility of that nutrient, i.e. the likelihood of it being in solution, is largely dependent on its charge, also dependent on environmental and biological factors as well.

I also agree with your perspective of manure being a waste product and therefore its use being green.

It just concerns me to hear people discuss the use of manure based fert and manure based compost in a perennial crop like turf and not not have a full grasp of the effects it can have on the environment.

I am raising points to challenge people to think. I hope I have done this without coming of as an a**

Kiril
04-12-2011, 10:20 AM
It just concerns me to hear people discuss the use of manure based fert and manure based compost in a perennial crop like turf and not not have a full grasp of the effects it can have on the environment.

I do agree anything topically applied runs a higher risk of erosion, be it synthetic or organic .... but consider this. A properly managed soil (read properly managed SOM) will have better nutrient/ion retention and potentially higher steady state infiltration rates. These two factors will lead to a net reduction in both leaching and runoff losses.

Tim Wilson
04-12-2011, 11:29 AM
I dont think I said manure was compost

You were describing the use of manure, at least it seemed so. Manure based compost is very different from manure. It is very stable and chances of leaching (being soluble) are extremely minimal. I have had both homemade manure based and vegetation based compost properly finished and supposed experts could not tell the difference.

Smallaxe
04-13-2011, 08:55 AM
... I have had both homemade manure based and vegetation based compost properly finished and supposed experts could not tell the difference.

Manure IS digested vegetable matter, so their should be no difference in the finished product... :)

What do they call anaerobic decomposition? Like the stuff you find in a lake from rotted leaves etc... Manure is anerobic decomp, an the stuff in the lakes and rivers smells about the same.

When it is digested completely under water it no longer smell that way, just like compost doesn't have the rotting smell... So it iessentially compostted, but is it called compost?

starry night
04-13-2011, 10:57 AM
Manure IS digested vegetable matter, so their should be no difference in the finished product... :

Axe: I know you love thinking through these things so ......the finished product might be different depending on who is doing the digesting, enzymes and microbes in the soil or enzymes and microbes in an animals digestive tract.

Smallaxe
04-13-2011, 11:35 AM
Axe: I know you love thinking through these things so ......the finished product might be different depending on who is doing the digesting, enzymes and microbes in the soil or enzymes and microbes in an animals digestive tract.

Good point...

Eventually though, it all becomes humates or basic chunks of Carbon... Is that true?

JDUtah
04-13-2011, 07:05 PM
Manure IS digested vegetable matter, so their should be no difference in the finished product... :)

What do they call anaerobic decomposition? Like the stuff you find in a lake from rotted leaves etc... Manure is anerobic decomp, an the stuff in the lakes and rivers smells about the same.

When it is digested completely under water it no longer smell that way, just like compost doesn't have the rotting smell... So it iessentially compostted, but is it called compost?

Many times it is called compost. Not 8 miles away form me are some drudged ponds that have a huge pile of "compost" that they are selling in bulk. Pretty good stuff.

Smallaxe
04-13-2011, 09:49 PM
Many times it is called compost. Not 8 miles away form me are some drudged ponds that have a huge pile of "compost" that they are selling in bulk. Pretty good stuff.

That reminds me of the "Black Gold" Thread, that we had a couple years ago... It is great stuff IMO...

There is a lot of negativity due to the fact it did not meet the criteria of AACT, so that is why I am curious as to whether non aerated compost had another name... :)

phasthound
04-13-2011, 11:39 PM
That reminds me of the "Black Gold" Thread, that we had a couple years ago... It is great stuff IMO...

There is a lot of negativity due to the fact it did not meet the criteria of AACT, so that is why I am curious as to whether non aerated compost had another name... :)

Effective Microorganisms or Bokashi.

Smallaxe
04-14-2011, 09:53 AM
Effective Microorganisms or Bokashi.

Thanks... That proved to be an interestting read... Wiki had it as another form of compost, so I guess one would call it bokashi compost...

The black gold would just call anerobic compost, becuz the bokashi bacteria are probably different from what is in the lakes around here...