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GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-11-2004, 12:17 AM
The following is an outline for a program we are considering for this year. We have conducted some research but it is all theory at this point. We would like some feed back on whether this is a viable base to work from. Some of our concerns are of the price of Corn Gluten Meal and its method of application. Also we would like to know of any options we should be aware of that we haven't considered. This program is to be totally synthetic free. We expect this program to be expensive and time consuming and we will charge accordingly.
We are in Maryland and expect the Early Spring to start either the last week of March or up to the third week of April.
This post is not intended to invite debate of the merits or lack there of a totally organic program versus other lawncare programs.
If you have any idea's of what you would charge for the program based on a 5,000 sq. ft. lawn with mowing @ $25 per cut I would be interested. Our normal lawncare program including aeration + seed with mowing for a year is about $1280.
Thank you in advance for any helpful posts.

First Year Organic Program

Established Lawn

Early Spring
Week One
Mow @ 2"
Apply 7# Corn Gluten Meal per 1000 sq. ft.
Week Two
Mow @ 2.5"
Apply 7# Corn Gluten Meal per 1000 sq. ft.
Week Three
Mow @ 3"
Apply 7# Corn Gluten Meal per 1000 sq. ft.
Week Four
Mow @ 3.5"
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Spot Seed with Compost/Topsoil Mix
Spray Compost Tea (if needed) - Additional Charge

Late Spring
Mow @ 4"
Aeration (if needed) - Additional Charge
Spray Nematodes (if grubs) - Additional Charge
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Spot Seed with Compost/Topsoil Mix

Summer
Mow As Needed @ 4"
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Apply Sustane's 5-2-4 with out Iron
Spot Seed with Compost/Topsoil Mix
Spot apply Corn Meal on any disease

Early Fall
Mow Weekly @ 4"
Aeration and Over seeding
Apply 7# Corn Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil

Late Fall
Mow as Needed @ 3.5"
Week One
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Two
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Three
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil

Lawn In Need of Help

Early Spring
Week One
Mow @ 2"
Apply 7# Alfalfa Pellets
Apply Lime (if needed) - Additional Charge
Week Two
Mow @ 2.5"
Apply 7# Alfalfa Pellets
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Three
Mow @ 3"
Apply 7# Alfalfa Pellets
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Four
Mow @ 3.5"
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Spray Compost Tea - Additional Charge

Late Spring
Mow @ 4"
Aeration and Seed
Spray Nematodes (if grubs) - Additional Charge
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil

Summer
Mow As Needed @ 4"
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Apply Sustane's 5-2-4 with out Iron
Spot Seed with Compost/Topsoil Mix
Spot apply Corn Meal on any disease

Early Fall
Mow Weekly @ 4"
Aeration and Over seeding
Apply 7# Corn Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil

Late Fall
Mow as Needed @ 3.5"
Week One
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Two
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil
Week Three
Apply 7# of Corn Gluten Meal
Weed - Flame, Pull, or Horticulture Vinegar/Orange Oil

DUSTYCEDAR
02-11-2004, 12:24 AM
looks like u have a good plan but will it be affordable to most or only high end clients

timturf
02-11-2004, 06:26 PM
What is the anylsis of corn gulten meal?

How much N will you apply per season?

If corn gulten meal prevents crab and goose grass from germinating, what is it going to do to overseed grass seed?

Where is the potash?

Program to totaly omit sythetic fertilizer, so you are using only organic fertilizer, something that once was living!

5-2-4 sustane contains sulfate of potash, not a organic, something that once was living!

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-11-2004, 08:16 PM
TimTurf, Potash is a naturally occurring mineral essential for both plant and animal life. It binds to other substances such as sulfur hence sulfate of potash. Organic does not exclude naturally occurring substances nor do minerals equate with synthetic. The addition of Sustain may not even be necessary in the Summer if soil tests indicate that the proper nutrients are available to the lawn. It is a vehicle to provide small doses of P and K should the lawn require it. Corn Gluten Meal has been tauted as being the following 10-0-0 all slow release.
However it should not be viewed in the same manner as a synthetic 10-0-0 as it is only made available to the turf by the active microorganisms in the turf. And the Organisms will not make it available to the turf unless the turf provides sugars to the micro organisms in exchange for the nitrogen. In essence the nitrogen potential of the corn gluten meal is locked away in the corn gluten until it is paid for in sugar currency by the plants which will only pay for what they need and use.
It is true that the corn gluten meal will interfere with new plant germination and our efforts to spot seed may well be in vain. It is our theory that we may be able to add a mixture of compost, topdressing, alfalfa and seed to the areas to be spot seeded in hopes to at least balance out the total effect of the corn gluten meal. We are not sure this will work but we intend to try.
****I would like to reiterate that this post was not an attempt to promote an organic approach to lawn care nor to invite debate as to its merits or lack there of.****
Positive feedback and solutions to potential problems are welcome.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-11-2004, 08:26 PM
DustyCedar, I believe this program will be available to only those who are adamant about an organic synthetic free program. They will have to pay for it. We do offer a pesticide free program and some organic products in our regular lawncare service but we do use synthetics as needed. I lean more toward a bridge between organics and synthetics using a true IPM approach in their applications. I really like milorganite we alternated applications with chicken manure on our golf course greens and approaches.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-12-2004, 09:38 AM
i hope it all works out
i have tried alfalfa pellets and they seem to break down rather fast and seem to work rather well as cover for new seed
let me know how the program works out for ya

timturf
02-12-2004, 06:37 PM
G lawnboy,

2.1lbs of n per 1000 is too much spring nitrogen
another 2.8 lbs of N per 1000 in fall

How much n, p, k from 5-2-4 sustane is unknow since application rate not given

Appears your program doesn't provide enough p and k!!!!!! Maybe none if you omit the sustane summer application!!!

A lot of people consider something an organic only if it comes from something once living!!!!

Yes, something that is mined and not altered by man is considered a natural product!

AND YES, the OMRI, organic material review institute, does give 5-2-4 from sustane the stamp of approval, even though it contains sulfate of potash, ( not an organic), feather meal, and turkey litter!

This forum as never definned organic fertilizer, or a natural fertilizer!!!

A lot of fertilizer products mined are altered by man, usually to make them more readily available!!!!

In closing, I usually would accept sulphate of potash in a natural organic fertilizer program.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-12-2004, 07:41 PM
TimTurf,
We found a local distributer for an number of products including sulfur of potash 0-0-50. We know it seems our nitrogen application seems high for spring but we are using a product called weed ban which consists of 100% Organically grown corn gluten meal that when applied at 20 lbs per thousand acts as a pre-emergent. The grasses will have to handle the excess availability of nitrogen and we are prepared to cut as part of the program. Also the release of the nitrogen occurs over a three week time period and we are prepared to not feed in late spring or summer. If we have to cut down in the spring we will to a total of 18 pounds. but not until the second year if we can not handle the growth or the lawn seems to be adversely affected.

It is my understanding that the 10-0-0 notation to denote the amount of n-p-k of corn gluten meal is only a potential representation. It has been suggested that it can reach as high as 15-0-0 if there is a demand by the plants for that large an amount - or as low as 5 if there is little or no demand.

I am not sure about the following but it may be that some of the microbes or bacteria will use the excess nitrogen to continue in the composting of the organic matter or in some way it will bind to molecules to escape into the air???

As for those who consider organics as something that only comes from something that was once living it is safe to say that all organics contain trace elements that are not alive and that are returned to the earth when the organism dies so that another organism can use said non organic element in its continued health. Iron supplements are a must for menstruating females as they lose too much and can have failing health with out it.
I am sure you can think of other non organics that are essential to continued health that reside in your body.

timturf
02-12-2004, 08:07 PM
G lawnboy,

Please list your revised program that includes sulfate of potash!

Going to apply corn gulten meal when the nitrogen can vary from 5% to 15%? Don't really know what you are feeding in terms of actual n per 1000? Do you?

The grass will handle the excessive spring nitrogen, and it will weaken the plant going into the summer months!!!!!!!!

NO, THE MICROBES OR THE BACTERIA will not use the excessive nitrogen, the grass will or it will leach. Three week release isn't very long!

Some of the sythetic nitrogens release by microbes, just like your corn gluten meal!

Why don't you check out EARTH WORKS, located in Pa.
Have a great product, but most are fortified, some even have molasase to help feed the microbes.

Corn gluten meal doesn't give great results on crab and goose control, and make take many years to achieve!!!!!!! Three or more years!

Are you ging to add some p, and what would the product be?

Still believe you are over feeding the turfgrass! 3 to 3.5 lbs per 1000 of nitrogen would be more than enough for average turf density IF clipping are returned

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-13-2004, 01:01 AM
TimTurf, you are correct about the grass becoming weak going into the summer months as well as right that this is way too much nitrogen in the spring. In our regular program we apply .5 lbs of N in early spring and .75 lbs of N in the late spring :o .
You can know a thing until it is lifted from the norm then even though it is still the same you fail to recognize it. Trying so hard to come up with a viable solution in a month is taxing our attention.
We only read the rates that the Weed Ban needed to be applied to obtain the results of a pre emergent and tried to come up with a schedule of application that wouldn't be dumped on the lawn all at one time. It seems we are going to have to do with out a pre emergent application in spring and settle for our fall application to control as many broad leaf weeds germinating then.
We are detemined to offer a synthetic free organic program and are going to have to trust that it can be done. It seems that this program will not be making us much money if we end up spending a lot of time manually killing weeds and handling calls concerning crabgrass.
We are still revising this program and we are looking into Pelletized Bone Meal(1-13-0) with 30% calcium.

Dchall_San_Antonio
02-13-2004, 11:52 AM
Look here

http://www.primalseeds.org/npk.htm

to get the NPK of most organic materials. Unfortunately CGM is not included, but you can find sources of potash if you feel a need to include it. Grass is a nitrogen hog, not a potash hog, so I'm not worried at all about the apparent lack of potash.

One of the cool things about organic program is that nutrients do not leech out of the soil. Instead they bind with organic "sponge" elements called humates. When the plants need nutrients, the nature of the sugars exuded by the roots will change. These sugars activate different microbes to provide a sugar/nutrient exchange as GlorifiedLawnBoy has explained.

I would change a few things. I don't see any need to mow at 2 inches ever, unless you are seeding. And if you are seeding, then CGM is incompatible. So if you need seed, you'll need to reconcile the use of any corn products as fertilizers. I would change the nematodes, too. I applied mine two weeks ago to take care of fleas, ticks, grubs, and thrips - all of which are living in the soil over the winter. So I would move them to early spring with another app late in the summer.

One thing that is important is to get control of the client's automatic watering devices. If they think they can sustain a healthy lawn while watering for 5 minutes twice a day, every day, they need to be retrained.

Just because something comes from a living plant, that doesn't make it valuable in organic gardening. Some examples include ricin, anthrax, mycotoxins, rattlesnake venom, nicotine, and alcohol.

So how should you price the program? As a starting point I would use the hourly rate that plumbers get in your neighborhood and use that for my wage rate. Then for materials, assuming you're buying wholesale you charge retail at the going rate in your neighborhood. Out of the wages and markup, you should be able to pull a normal profit that allows you to pay yourself, provide maintained equipment and fuel, and save for retirement. If you know you can cut 5,000 square feet at a plumber's rate for $25, then that's a good place to start the bidding. I don't see any reason this plan would cost significantly more than a complete synthetic program. The CGM is the only thing that costs a lot more than the synthetic product it replaces.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-13-2004, 12:36 PM
David,
TimTurf points out that at the rate we will be applying GCM the nitrogen content will be at 2# in the first month of spring. I infer he expects the grass will grow like crazy and that this growth will be blade growth at the expense of root growth leaving the plant weak in the summer.
Will the grass demand excessive amounts of nitrogen and/ or will soil microbe’s breakdown the organic matter providing excessive nitrogen to the plants?
The nematodes for grubs, sod webworms and chinch bug larvae are only viable between 65 -78 degrees or there about - that will not happen here in Maryland until late spring. Also they require damp conditions to move around in and our soil is still frozen. Texas springs start earlier.:D
As for mowing @ 2" to remove most of the blade in spring as grasses begin to come out of winter dormancy may promote healthy new blades (Grasses are Tall Fescues with some mix of Bluegrass and or Rye). Also this may also help by removing any diseased or damaged blades.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-13-2004, 12:53 PM
As for cost of program.
We have found based on the costs of materials and application this program will run $200 dollars more for a 5000 sq. ft. lawn then our full service program that also includes mowing. We are still struggling to find product and prices to lower the costs. (Note: the cost of materials and labor do not total $200 that is how much more we need to charge to match profit margins of the regular program - this is a business after all.:D )

timturf
02-13-2004, 07:21 PM
I believe turfgrass needs between 65 and 75% of total nitrogen!!!!!!!!!

I wouldn't exceed the cutting height of 3 inches for cool season turf! I USUALLY mow between 2.25 and 2.75 INCHES, but their are some exceptions!

Why don't you use a product low in n, p, but high in k ( sulfate of potash ), with a pre emerge! Example 5-5-20, or 8-4-34 Almost all of this product would fall under YOUR definition of organic!

Use an organic program on a high sand soil, and you will have leaching. Soils with a low CEC can't hold the nutrients!!!


I think a totally natural and organic program will not give the necessary results, BUT a program that use a very high % of natural and organic fertilizers can give desires results at an high but acceptable cost!!!!!!!!!
Please list a web site that I can learn about the following.

When the plants need nutrients, the nature of the sugars exuded by the roots will change. These sugars activate different microbes to provide a sugar/nutrient exchange as GlorifiedLawnBoy

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-13-2004, 09:07 PM
http://www.soilfoodweb.com

Tall Fescues are the happiest @ 4" last year we never cut below 3.5" and we had one lawn that we maintained at 3.75" that was in the best condition we ever seen a lawn of Tall Fescue. Of course we had a ton of rain here as well.

timturf
02-14-2004, 03:50 AM
Tall Fescues are the happiest @ 4"

ARE YOU talking about tall fescue or turf type tall fescue?
A lot of the newer tt tall fescue are being breed to be dwarf!

Tall fescue growin as a forage grass, then 4" maybe allright, but for tt tall fescue, that is too high

timturf
02-14-2004, 04:34 AM
G lawnboy,

Took a quick look at http://www.soilfoodweb.com, looked under SFI approach, under 12 steps to improve soil, under step 4

"Often soil tests will indicate that some nutrient is in low supply, but merely by adding the appropriate bacterial or fungal species, these organisms will convert plant unavailable nutrients into plant available forms."

A SOIL TEST TELLS YOU WHAT IS IN THE SOIL, NOT WHAT THE PLANT IS TAKING UP. A plant tissue test will better inform you what the plant is taking up! Now if soil test says nutrient level are in proper balance ( base saturation is correct), that eliminates nutrients and ph, so maybe the soil will need to have additional fungi or bacteria add to the soil. Again, I wouldn't think this would be a problem unless om of soil is very low or soil was imprperly fertilized. ( grossly mis applied, or irrigated with sodium water)

The creatures of the soil need food, water, air to survive. soil creatures thrive on om with a balance of carbon to nitrogen, 30-1, and carbon in the form of carboyhdrates is the main food source for soil organisms. The complex carbon comes from existing om in the soil, fertilizer containing carbon or from the continueing process of the turfgrass roots dying off.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-14-2004, 12:37 PM
TimTurf,
Please note the following excerpt from The 12 steps

"The FUNCTIONS of a healthy foodweb are:

Retention of nutrients so they do not leach or volatilize from the soil. Reduction or complete deletion of inorganic fertilizer applications is possible.
Cycling nutrients into the right forms at the right rates for the plant desired. The right ratio of fungi to bacteria is needed for this to happen, as well as the right numbers and activity of the predators."

The organisms in the soil retain the nutrients so that they do not leach or volatilize. You should be able to dump as much organic matter into the soil and have no problems of excess nitrogen being released. Else where in this site I read perhaps in the publication section there is information an how the organisms keep nitrogen to themselves until the plants ask for it. Also there was mention of how the plants will only ask for nitrogen up to the point that it stores enough for seed production at which point demand stops and microorganism populations begin to reduce from lack of sugars from plants. In effect there also will be less consumption of organics and the consequent production of nitrogen.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-14-2004, 12:53 PM
TimTurf,
Inoculating the FoodWeb is accomplished by the use of composts or better by Compost Tea. Once established the FoodWeb needs to be "fed" by the application of organic matter.

It is interesting to note that nutrients and elements may not be readable by normal soil tests as they are locked away in the bodies of the microorganisms. As a industry we have been adding elements that may already exist in the soil if it contains a healthy population of microorganisms. Normal soil tests may need to be upgraded to include the testing for organics as well.
One indication of a healthy FoodWeb is large populations of earthworms. If you find your turf has large amounts of earthworms it may be that all you need to maintain it is organic matter.
This is all interesting but It will take experimentation on my part and further study until I can say with confidence and authority that maintaining a balanced foodweb only requires organics.

timturf
02-14-2004, 04:11 PM
G lawnboy,
Quote"s from G lawn boy
"Normal soil tests may need to be upgraded to include the testing for organics as well." ALL MY SOIL TEST STATE % of organic matter!!!!!

The point I was trying to make was that a soil test tells you what is in the soil, but for numerous reason, it may not be available to the plant?
WHY? Improper base saturation, ph not correct for turfgrass planted, rock powder to slow in releasing, soil can't hold nutrients due to low CEC

" begin to reduce from lack of sugars from plants " WHERE DOES THE SUGAR FROM PLANTS COME FROM?

Aren't we adding organic matter from decomposing roots and leaf tissue, especially if you don't remove clipping. We are always applying organic matter from mowing if clipping returned.

"should be able to dump as much organic matter into the soil and have no problems of excess nitrogen being released. " THAT STATEMENT IS FALSE

I don't think using organics is bad, in fact My program usually contains @ 50 % organic for the season!

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-14-2004, 10:41 PM
TimTurf,
The sugars are created by the plant through photosynthesis thats why we would cut down the sugar cane as kids and have natural candy treats. Thats where all sugars come from. Corn is sweet, Maples give us syrup, apples are sweet.:D
The correct microbes hold the nutrients for the plants and also maintain the proper PH. Lawns as they are are not a natural occurrence the total biological ecology is absent..The absent biology would provide the proper organic matter in the normal death and rebirth cycle of nature. A forest is a complete ecology with leaves falling, animals, living, eating, defecating and dying. We do not need to provide organic matter to a forest but we do to the limited ecology of a suburban lawn.
Excess organics ultimately break down returning to the humus - of course it may be that I am incorrect about this. It has been awhile since college ecology and I am just know studying about this new Soil FoodWeb idea.

timturf
02-15-2004, 12:37 AM
Glawnboy,

Bet it has been longer since I seen the inside of a college classroom!

"The sugars are created by the plant through photosynthesis" I'LL AGREE, but how do the sugars get into the soil for microbes?

"The correct microbes hold the nutrients for the plants and also maintain the proper PH" So why do we lime if microbes maintain the proper ph? No, the microbes don't hold the nutrients for the plant, but microbes enable the anions nutrients, ( n, c, p, s ) to be an available or usefull form!

"We do not need to provide organic matter to a forest but we do to the limited ecology of a suburban lawn" Depends in how the lawn was established, and how long it has existed? Arn't we getting om from recyle leaf tissue and the decomposind of dead roots?

trying 2b organic
02-15-2004, 12:49 AM
excellent wonderful thread, i have learned a lot and ty to you both. glorified, after talking to tim turf i made changes to my organic program and i think it is better now. 2 of my programs are as follows
- spring app cgm
- spring app Milorganite
- early fall app, Natures Valley 8-3-3 (feather, bone, s. of pot)
- fall app of 8-3-3


my non- weed control organic prm (cheaper cause not cgm)
- early spring app Milorganite
- spring 8-3-3
- summer Milorganite
- early fall 8-3-3
- fall MIlorganite

A few more points - Milorganite is my cheapers organic fert. therefore i want to use as much as i can while making sure my prgm gets k. Milorganite is 6-2-0

I looked into doing an app of sulfate of potash. 0-0-50 and my supplier says it will burn. If not I need to know. We cant get the perfect ratios with organics so we do the best we can. 4 apps of Milorganite would be more profitably but would not be responsible and I can get closer to the ideal ratio with the above.

I was very excited about your methods of weed control since I have been testing and researching them for some time. REMEMBER good turf management is the best weed control and a thick healthy turf will crowd out most weeds.

Weed control methods in chem free turf
- hand pulling (price into prgm 15 mins per fert app) and/or
- c.g.m. pretty expensive but proven effective on many broad
- horticultural vinegar or fatty acid spray
- flame weeder

The flame weeder doesnt work in wet conditions and is dangerous in dry conditions i.e. it doesnt work. I tested it and since it is almost always wet here it was ineffective for me.

Vinegar and fatty acid sprays - To legally use for weed control I have to use the ones registered as pesticides. Eco Clear or Top Gun. I am using a weed stick to apply to the leaves of broadleaf in turf. Pretty good so far but havnt tested enough to know if I will sell it as part of my programs. The weed turned a terrible colour but didnt really dissapear , however the grass isnt growing here yet so maybe it will work better aesthetically during growing season. Right now fatty acid spray is on exempted list and they are adding hort vin to exempted so i can use both without a licence.

It is our job to obsess about weeds and we must but if the customer doesnt want to pay for hand weeding they accept a few weeds rather than use pesticides. there is a tolerance there that does not exist for those who could care less about possible negatives of trad chem pesticides. So, I would, with tremendous respect, suggest that you only need apply cgm in the spring and get some P and K by using a dif organic fert for the fall app. Also, since cgm is the most, by far, (partly cause of app rate) expensive, offer an alternative prgm without cgm and go with the overseed and notion that a good thick turf will go a long way to crowding out weeds. Also, suggested app rates for organics are for the birds generally. I talked to the good people at Milorganite about thier suggest app rate and they made it clear the rate is based on 3 apps per season and no mulch mowing. Well i do 4 or 5 apps and i mulch mow. So I apply at a rate somewhat less then it says on the bag. Which makes my price per app a little more reasonable also.

ty again for input i learn a lot from you guys esp glorified for your interp of soilfoodweb which mostly went over my head. plz critisize my prgm so i can continue to improve it (and pracitce defending it, the competition is calling with fake questions now that my ad is in the paper)

timturf
02-15-2004, 10:36 AM
2borganic,

What are the rates of material applied per 1000 for each application?
"- spring app cgm
- spring app Milorganite
- early fall app, Natures Valley 8-3-3 (feather, bone, s. of pot)
- fall app of 8-3-3


my non- weed control organic prm (cheaper cause not cgm)
- early spring app Milorganite
- spring 8-3-3
- summer Milorganite
- early fall 8-3-3
- fall MIlorganite"


"I looked into doing an app of sulfate of potash. 0-0-50 and my
supplier says it will burn. If not I need to know"

"- early fall app, Natures Valley 8-3-3 (feather, bone, s. of pot)"

All material applied improperly while burn, and sulphate of potash isn't considered a hot material! Ask your dealer to explain how it will burn, because I would like to know! Look up the salt index of milorganite (.7) , and sop is (.9). Ask him whate the salt index is on 8-3-3?

I would replace 8-3-3 with 6-2-0, since you proably don't need that much p, and apply sop late spring , or early summer or maybe both to increase k before stressfull summer. Fe also helps with stress, but milorganoite will deliver plenty!

Again, what are your rates, and try2borganic, what is the total n,p,k do you feel your turf needs per season!

DUSTYCEDAR
02-15-2004, 11:09 AM
i have applied 0-0-50 with no burn in all weather conditions

timturf
02-15-2004, 11:11 AM
G lawnboy and try 2b organic, check your pm

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-15-2004, 11:26 AM
Tim,
The latest research does indicate that the microbes do hold the nutrients for the plants and it is the microbes that exchange the nutrients directly to the plants roots. Well not all the nutrients but it is retained in a chain of different organisms or still locked away in organic matter until it is broken down by the microbes.
It may be that totally sterile soil (with out any microbial life) that contains the perfect balance of plant nutrients can not support any plant. I am saying that a plant that itself has had every living organism removed from all its surfaces placed into a sterile plot that only contains sterile water soil and the correct amounts of N-P-K Ca Mg...ect. would waste away not from starvation but because we cannot keep said location completely sterile.
Other microbial life will enter and most pathogenic life forms reproduce at an accelerated rate. The beneficial microbes take much longer to reproduced as they never compete with their environment and do not rely on mass numbers to survive as a species. The pathogenic life is constantly at war with its environment so they reproduce exponentially to assure species survival.
What this means is that the microbes that provide safety to the plants from disease and organisms that will consume plant tissue can not fill this sterile environment before the pathogenic lifeforms populate and destroy the plants.
It appears that the plants have evolved into a symbiotic relationship with the other microbial life for their continued existence. The plants secrete sugars through their roots when they need nutrients with the "Hope?" or Understanding that the microbes in the soil will take it. The microbes pass along converted nutrients to the plants while populating space that pathogenic life would otherwise occupy.
We try to grow grass in a bare spot before weeds that grow faster can take hold. Weeds populate by rapid reproduction and thousands of seeds versus the grasses mere hundred.
So by keeping those microbes happy and healthy letting them do their job of converting organics into the nutrients required by the grasses the grasses themselves benefit. Providing the nutrients ourselves to the plants at the expense of the beneficial microbes our using fungicides or pesticides we harm that supporting role of the microbes leading to poor growth because of disease or over feeding of plant tissues by unwanted organisms.
It also appears that the microbial life, through different processes, do maintain their environment at the correct PH level for there existence. Yes we can add to that environment also to cause ions to bind in ways to elevate or decrease PH levels but why should we if the microbes in a perfectly healthy ecology can do so for itself.( I may be wrong here in that the microbes need specific elements to do this and we should provide it to them as we provide the organics if they are lacking. Perhaps that is what we are doing when we add Limestone.)
It seems that we need to consider that the grasses themselves can not provide the total amounts of organics themselves or other nutrients. A forest does not rely on the leaves from the trees as its only source of organics. There are the tons of insects and animals that live and die there as well providing a majority of the organics. Our lawns are very limited in their ecology and we do keep out much that would normally populate a grass meadow. So I don't believe that grass clippings no matter how established a lawn is can support said lawn alone.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-15-2004, 11:44 AM
Trying 2B,
I too am trying to.
We use milorganite in our regular program with synthetics.
Our weed control methods for this NEW program we are creating we expect to be as follows.
Cut grass every week. Do not let weeds go to seed. Three people spend 15 minutes, no more, mechanically removing weeds or spraying with hort vinegar. At the same time we will spot seed areas with a mixture of compost, topdressing and seed which will be carried in large fanny packs.
When I say Flame I do not refer to an open flame thrower. We are interested in using a superheated element that contains a 1" spike on the end. This superheated element when placed in contact with the weed super-heats the cell walls of the proteins in the weed causing them to rupture catastrophically. The plant is then no longer able to convert nutrients or pass them along to the parent plant. The plant starves to death. Also we believe that any water in the weed will also rapidly boil rupturing cell walls in an expanding vapor of steam.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-15-2004, 12:14 PM
got any info on the super heater element

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-15-2004, 12:39 PM
http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=526

Here you go it is called the Infra-Weeder. We have never used one but intend to buy one to see if it works as advertized.

trying 2b organic
02-15-2004, 01:07 PM
The infra-red weeder is the tool I tested but if it works the way you say it works my friend did not give me an adequate demonstration.
We poked it into a weed and heard the hissing sound. Seconds later the weed looked the same. I asked my friend if it has already done everything its going to do and he said yes. If in fact the weed dies by starvation he would have been incorrect and i would have to have checked the weed the following days. Also, the tip of the tool is so hot that you see a red flame glow out of it at times. I asked if it could be a fire hazard and he said yes. I dismissed the usefulness of the tool at that point. In addition he said that he had tested it in the field with lackluster results but again, he may not have understood how it works.
btw I have ordered a lot from Rittenhouse and they are very good. Got my Lesco spreader and Kelway tester and other stuff i cant get in my small city from them. Plz keep us posted as to the results you get from this innovative tool.

trying 2b organic
02-15-2004, 01:08 PM
what do benificial micro-organisms eat? Organic matter or sugars from grass roots? I think we know that they consume organic matter and convert it into food for plants. Do we know the realationship is symbiotic in this way?

DUSTYCEDAR
02-15-2004, 01:40 PM
GLB thanks for the link

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-15-2004, 02:13 PM
There are a multitude of different microorganisms each doing its part in the foodweb. The sugars are a signal as well as a food source. Not all of the organisms consume the sugars and not all of the organisms consume the organic matter. Each is a link in a chain. With out one the chain is broken. But it appears the ones that like the sugars will work for it in a sense by converting the organics by consuming them or other microorganism which contain converted organics. Thus earning say nitrogen to pay for the sugar. I know this currency analogy is awkward.
You must remember that I am not expert in understanding this as well and am only just beginning my research and have done no practical tests and would not begin to proclaim any authority in this matter.

GlorifiedLawnBoy
02-15-2004, 02:19 PM
Try 2b,
It can take days for the weed to die and you should have inspected that one weed later to see if it was dead. Also you can super heat the element, turnoff the flame, and then place it on the weed thus reducing fire hazard. But this again is conjecture as we have never used one. If it does work then I will post my results in May.

timturf
02-15-2004, 09:17 PM
GLAWNBOY states "The latest research does indicate that the microbes do hold the nutrients for the plants and it is the microbes that exchange the nutrients directly to the plants roots"

I DISAGREE THAT MICROBES HOLD THE NUTRIENTS FOR THE PLANT, BUT THE MICROBES DO PLAY A PART IN THE ROOT TO NUTRIENT EXCHANGE!


GLAWNBOY states "The plants secrete sugars through their roots when they need nutrients with the "Hope?" or Understanding that the microbes in the soil will take it. The microbes pass along converted nutrients to the plants while populating space that pathogenic life would otherwise occupy.

MY RESEARCH states " THE OUTER COATING OF THE GROWING ROOT TIP, CALLED THE MUCIGEL, IS A GELATINOUS SUBSTANCE SECRETED BY THE ROOT AND A RICH MASS OF MICROBES AND CHEMICAL NUTRIENTS THAT CONNECTS THE PLANT TO THE LIFE OF THE SOIL."

TRY2B ORGANIC ASK "what do benificial micro-organisms eat?

MY RESEARCH STATES "GROWING ROOTS ARE ALSO CONTINUALLY SLOUGHING OFF DEAD TISSUE, AN EXCELLENT FOOD FOR MICROBES.
tHE MICROBES OF THE SOIL COMMUNITY NEED FOOD, WATER, AND AIR TO CARRY OUT THEIR ACTIVITIES. A BASIC DIET OF PLENTY OF ORGANIC MATTER (OM) ENOUGH MOISTURE, AND WELL AERATED SOIL WILL KEEP THEIR POPULATION THRIVING.
THE MICROBES THRIVE ON OM WITH A BALANCE RATIO OF @25-30 PARTS CARBON TO 1 PART NITROGEN.
cARBON, IN THE FORM OF CARBOHYDRATES, IS THE MAIN COURSE OF FOOD FOR MICROBES"
IN THE LONG TERM, CARBON IS THE ULTIMATE FUEL FOR ALL SOIL BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY, AND THERE FORE OF HUMAS FORMATION AND PRODUCTIVITY.

Now glawnboy, their have been several question I have ask, but I haven't all questions answered?

BULLGRAZER
02-16-2004, 03:12 AM
David [Dchall_San_Antonio],

Just a note to say THANK YOU for the message clarification. This is why I spend at minimum 30 minutes each night here at LawnSite.com - to get GOOD INFORMATION!

Again, many thanks!

-=KC=-

trying 2b organic
02-16-2004, 02:35 PM
Does organic fertilizer or compost fertilizer like Seasoil (fish and forest fines) come closer to making up what you describe as what benificial microbes like to eat?

Also, are u saying that benificial micro organisms feed the grass and ask for nothing in return, or do they then, in the mucicel, get sugar from the roots?

timturf
02-18-2004, 07:33 PM
trying 2b organic,

I'm sure you have seen rbuckwalter post on 2/16/04 in ORGANICS, IS IT THE BEST.

yOU FEED the soil, carbon is the food for microbes, seldom would you need to add microbes! Microbes need carbon, water, and air to exist
The sugar, carbohydrates, contain carbon!
A chemist definition of organic is anything having a carbon.
The microbes convert the nitrogen into a usable form for the plant
The microbes don't get sugar from the ROOTS.

trying 2b organic
02-19-2004, 01:51 AM
the moderator has said the microorganisms hold food for the plants. This way the plant has access to food when it needs it and in the correct amount. This avoids the rush then starvation period of synthetics. You are the best one for explaining things in a way i can understand, plz explain in laymans terms how the microorganism supplies a steady and ideal diet.
Ok, microorganisms eat carbon and poop N. And this is natures own feeding program, inherently superior to anything we can immitate. yes? are micro organisms left out of the loop with synthetics, i gather they are, that in fact thier numbers become less and less every yr that the soil gets synth fert and chem pesticides until the soil is "dead" and the grass plants weak and dependent.

Dchall_San_Antonio
02-20-2004, 04:47 AM
I'm not sure how many of the questions are left unanswered. I can think of a couple and even those are more than I can handle here at 2:15 AM. But I'll toss in a few comments that came up near the bottom of this thread.

Microbes need more than just sugar. That is the problem with synthetics (no protein). Microbes are living creatures that create amino acids to build protein for their little bodies. The amino acids require nitrogen. They get that nitrogen from eating other amino acids (protein) supplied from the surface as things up here die and fall to the ground. Synthetics provide no protein. Organic fertilizers are all protein sources. Some provide sugars but I'm not impressed with those.

The idea that microbes "hold the nutrients" for the plants was certainly introduced by me. I'm picturing a microbe with his pockets stuffed with nutrients. :D Rather than that, the microbes themselves are one reserve of nutrients. Their bodies will be eaten alive or die and then be eaten by other microbes depending on food supply, disease, etc. Another organic storage medium is humus, which acts like a sponge for organic nutrients. As the readily available nutrients in the soil are used, the microbes can turn to the humus to retrieve more as needed by the plants.

I'm not sure that microbes provide a steady diet. They are affected by moisture and temperature in addition to the availability of their own foodstuffs. Inasmuch as these factors change, the diet to the plants might suffer or be completely cut off at times.

I am pretty sure that the microbes provide the ideal diet; however. I don't know of any research to prove that. My statement is based on confidence that Mother Nature has figured it out in the past 200 million or so years.

Sugars are stored in the roots, leaves, and stems of plants. Some store more in one location or another. Sugars provide energy to all living creatures. An oversupply of protein is not good and an oversupply of sugar is not good. Again, Mother Nature has figured out where each plant needs to put its chemicals for the best health and ability to procreate.

Soil microbes DO get their sugar from the plant roots. There is normally no other source since they do not photosynthesize down there. The microbes exchange nutrients for nutrients through direct contact with the cell walls both inside and outside the roots. This is a well known phenomenon in all creatures. The simplest analogy I can think of is the idea that we inhale oxygen and just as fast as we can absorb the oxygen, we exhale carbon dioxide as a waste byproduct of our metabolism. That exchange happens instantaneously and continuously right through the cell walls of the red blood cells flowing through our lungs. A similar thing happens in our guts with the exchange of food for wastes at the cell walls. Same thing in our kidneys and livers. Exchanges of required elements and ions directly through cell walls is THE mode of transfer in all life forms. And there is always an exchange of "waste" for "nutrients." I put those words in quotes to emphasize the idea that one organism's waste is another organism's nutrient. Picture a revolving door with specific handles on the door. Only nutrients can grab the handles leading in and only wastes can grab the handles going out. On a molecular level, this is exactly what is happening.

I believe timturf asked for a website to back up what I'm saying about the sugar exchange. I can't do that tonight but I can look in the next few days. Maybe GLawnboy has a site handy. He's done some serious research in a very short time. I'm very impressed!

timturf
02-20-2004, 08:24 PM
Timturf is stating the ROOTS DON'T secrete sugar!!!!!!!!!!!!! See other post in this thread by me!

QUOTE FROM OUR MODERATOR " The idea that microbes "hold the nutrients" for the plants was certainly introduced by me. " THIS STATEMENT IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The microbes convert the nitrogen into a useable form to the plant, BUT they DON,T HOLD OR STORE THE NUTRIENTS.

Quoted from Start with the Soil, by grace Gershuny: "The reserves of anion nutrients ( N, C, P, and S ) are HELD IN THE ORGANIC portion of the soil and are releseased to the plants through the decay of organic mater, or through air and water

The CEC is a measurement of the amount of cation nutrients (Ca, Mg, and K) a soil is able to store on its clay and humus particles. These tiny particles, known as colliads, have a large number of negatively charged sites all over their surface. Positively charge cations (Ca, Mg, and K ) are held on these sites, largely protected from leaching away in water but still available to plant roots. Plants give off hydrogen ( H ) ions, a waste product that is positively charged, in exchange for needed nutrients like Ca, Mg, and K."