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Dchall_San_Antonio
01-18-2005, 10:47 PM
We recently underwent a minor purge of one particularly combative member on this list. I know from a couple discussions with some of the regulars here that they had abandoned this forum simply because this one member was not only not offering constructive help, he was badgering the other members. The moderators here can't "delete" a member by themselves, it takes a committee. I brought the issue to Sean's attention and the issue was quickly resolved. The problem member was banned from participation in this forum. So I hope those of you who have looked here for organic suggestions will come back a little more regularly now.

On another thread someone mentioned that this forum has not had the participation from real organic professionals. I agree. There are issues from state to state revolving around the proper use of approved materials. I'm afraid the few organic turf care professionals I've personally met simply skirt the issue and hope to not get caught. Flying under the radar is NOT what I hope to promote here. I am looking for valid ways for true professionals to apply the organic materials and (hopefully) use the INEXPENSIVE materials so you can make some money and build your client base. That's the challenge for this forum.

Guthrie&Co
01-18-2005, 11:14 PM
do tell who got the knife?

GroundKprs
01-19-2005, 12:29 AM
A forum where Green Industry business owners discuss organic garden management; fertilizing schedules; pricing; organic materials and techniques; weed, disease, and pest control; find advice and more.
There are issues from state to state revolving around the proper use of approved materials. I'm afraid the few organic turf care professionals I've personally met simply skirt the issue and hope to not get caught.

So, Dave, commercial organics is all run illegally? Hard to call it professional when you know it's illegal. I have never even gotten an answer about basic cornmeal for fertilizer. In my state, any fertilizer seller must certify the percentages of N, P, K, and/or any other nutrients claimed in the fertilizer product. Who sells cornmeal with such a gauranteed analysis printed on the bag? If there is no answer for this question, then those preaching about cornmeal are just blowing hot air from a commercial applicator's perspective.

And the few products with approval as organic herbicides are generally much more hazardous than chemical herbicides.

So, really, to be a commercial "organic" lawn business today means you are running illegally, or you are not truly organic and are conning the client.

muddstopper
01-19-2005, 02:25 AM
NPK of natural products

Dchall_San_Antonio
01-19-2005, 02:49 AM
Having the NPK and having a bag with the NPK printed on the side are two different things. Typically the guaranteed analysis of a bag of corn meal states that the bag contains 100% corn meal and the protein value of the corn. It is feed after all.

Some states allow organic materials to be used with certain labeling. Anyone know if any states allow you to use materials without an NPK on the side?

So, Dave, commercial organics is all run illegally? All? Who said all? I'm sure there are commercial chemical guys running illegally, but I would never say all.

GroundKprs
01-19-2005, 06:54 AM
NPK of natural products

Sorry, Mudd, that has always been the attempted answer. Organics supporters always get vague and generalistic when they are asked for specifics. I asked, "Who sells cornmeal with such a gauranteed analysis printed on the bag".

Another most necessary piece of information: How does one apply cornmeal to lawns? Hand strewing from a bucket will work fine for a homeowner, but how am I going to do acres a day? And what is the percentage increase in labor time for the storage, loading, and spreading of 2-5 times more weight of fertilizer (cornmeal vs. synthetics)?

"I am looking for valid ways for true professionals to apply the organic materials and (hopefully) use the INEXPENSIVE materials so you can make some money and build your client base. That's the challenge for this forum.
I am attracted to Dchall's enthusiasm, but where is the meat? If no one can supply a direct answer to either question, I will just go away and let the organics enthusiasts stroke each other. That is all this forum has produced in over a year so far, from the perspective of someone wanting to learn how to do it right commercially (culturally correct, financially feasable, and legal).

dishboy
01-19-2005, 09:35 AM
In Idaho the Department of Agriculture oversees Pesticide Applicators. I made a trip down to their headquarters this month. and in response to my questioning regarding the legality of applying "Feed" materials as a Organic fertilizer I was told "The Department of Agriculture does not regulate fertilizers" so I asked "so can I can apply feed materials as fertilizer legally" and again he answered "the Department of Agriculture does not regulate fertilizer!"

Hamons
01-19-2005, 10:01 AM
I think you are soundly unfounded if you think "purging" one memebers comments from this board will make any positive difference in the particiipation. If it the memeber I am thinking of -- his comments were founded in expereince and research. More than I see most of the other homeowner posts in this board.

I include more organics in my program than most people on this board -- yet I am a realist and appreciate hearing both sides of the argument.

There has not been much activity on this par of the board because there is no meat to disuss. Radical viewpoints don't have a place to discuss -- they jsut keep repeating their mantra over and over.

Plus it is winter time -- organics don't work in the winter :)

woodycrest
01-19-2005, 10:22 AM
In Canada corn meal would classify as a 'soil' amendment , and is therefore exmept from regulation.

Corn meal can be applied with any spreader,just as easily as synthetic fertilizer. Granted, the amounts are higher than synthetic , so you adjust pricing accordingly.

Seems we are back to square one again...the point of an organic program is to feed the soil.

dishboy
01-19-2005, 12:35 PM
In Canada corn meal would classify as a 'soil' amendment , and is therefore exmept from regulation.

Corn meal can be applied with any spreader,just as easily as synthetic fertilizer. Granted, the amounts are higher than synthetic , so you adjust pricing accordingly.

Seems we are back to square one again...the point of an organic program is to feed the soil.



Woodycrest;
So when you submit your invoice for payment do you bill as "soil amendment" application or fertilizer application?

It would seem that for states that regulate fertilizers and require a NPK guarantee, that if advertising or billing for a Organic Lawn Program, if the language describing a "Feed" application said soil amendment, not fertilizer application you would not be in violation of state law.

After all we are not fertilizing the plant directly like with synthetics, we are building healthy soil

My new slogan "XYZ Organic Lawn Care..... we Build Better Soil. "


Also if you would indulge me, what spreader are you passing straight Cornmeal through?

woodycrest
01-19-2005, 02:15 PM
''organics don't work in the winter''

Nope...the microbes hibernate in the winter...as do the golfers...

timturf
01-19-2005, 03:45 PM
In Canada corn meal would classify as a 'soil' amendment , and is therefore exmept from regulation.

Corn meal can be applied with any spreader,just as easily as synthetic fertilizer. Granted, the amounts are higher than synthetic , so you adjust pricing accordingly.

Seems we are back to square one again...the point of an organic program is to feed the soil.

Dishboy,

Please explain your post that I quoted in red?
thanks,
tim

GroundKprs
01-19-2005, 03:55 PM
Dishboy, if the Idaho Dept of Ag does not regulate fertilizers in the state, then why does Idaho Statutes, Title 22, Section 6: Commercial fertilizers (http://www3.state.id.us/idstat/TOC/22006KTOC.html) exist? The second paragraph assigns enforcement to the Dept of Ag. You were apparently misinformed, but your state may not have specific requirements on the seller like mine does. (I did not read the whole statute noted above.)

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Also note how woody answers the specific question of what spreader will work - again you are blown off by generalities. Woody, haven't you stated here before that you spread yours by hand?

woodycrest
01-19-2005, 04:26 PM
I wasnt answering the question about spreaders, i was clarifying that organics dont work in winter.

What do synthetics in winter?

Yes i have spread it by hand. But , i have used a walk behind and a tow behind spreader. All three methods work.

I have stated numerous times that i have been EXPERIMENTING with cornmeal, and compost and soybean meal. My results have been good. I have not launched or advertised any kind of 'program'. So billing is not an issue at the current time, I have no intention of launching a 'program' until i know all the the ins and outs. IT would not make smart business sense to launch and advertise a 'program' hoping that it works.

Timturf,

Feed the soil instead of the plant. Good soil =good grass. As the soil improves less fertilizer input is required. Over time the soil improves with feed application and the health of the grass improves along with it.

dishboy
01-19-2005, 04:29 PM
[/COLOR]

Dishboy,

Please explain your post that I quoted in red?
thanks,
tim

Timturf, you quoted Woddycrest.

timturf
01-19-2005, 06:04 PM
Timturf,

Feed the soil instead of the plant. Good soil =good grass. As the soil improves less fertilizer input is required. Over time the soil improves with feed application and the health of the grass improves along with it.

I'll agree, soil first! You need to have the soil chemistry correct!

feed the soil instead of the plant So what are we feeding? What is their diet? How much is required? How often? Are we feeding the physical aspects of the soil?

good soil = good grass[/COLOR] I don't agree. You can have great soil, but still nopt have good turf!

You still need to feed the plants!

dishboy
01-19-2005, 06:19 PM
Dishboy, if the Idaho Dept of Ag does not regulate fertilizers in the state, then why does Idaho Statutes, Title 22, Section 6: Commercial fertilizers (http://www3.state.id.us/idstat/TOC/22006KTOC.html) exist? The second paragraph assigns enforcement to the Dept of Ag. You were apparently misinformed, but your state may not have specific requirements on the seller like mine does. (I did not read the whole statute noted above.)

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Also note how woody answers the specific question of what spreader will work - again you are blown off by generalities. Woody, haven't you stated here before that you spread yours by hand?

GroundKprs,
I just got off the phone with the DOA and you are right about their regulating fertilizers, they do, I was given incorrect information on my visit to their office.
Now concerning the application of feeds, and if it is required to have them registered they seemed to not really think it necessary as I not selling selling retail or making any claim as to the NPK content of the feed. My argument with them at this point is that that is all well and good until somebody sees me making a profit and complains as to why I am applying non-registered "fertilizers". The person I spoke with today did say I could register the feed of choice as a soil amendment as long as I am not making NPK claims and incorporate them in my service this way. This cost $100.00 plus a .15cent per ton fee and is required of each ingredient of said "soil amendment"
They could not give me any written "this is our policy" answer as to her verbal position that she did not see a problem with not registering feed as fertilizer because I was not selling retail or making NPK claims. Believe it or not the person who I spoke with said she had never been approached with my questions before. She is bringing it before the"group" for general consensus and will be getting back to me.

woodycrest
01-20-2005, 12:12 AM
As i have suggested in other posts somewhere in this forum, there is a grey area as far as policies and regulations concerning the use of feeds as fertilizer (or soil amnendments ,whatever term fits) This is demonstrated by the fact that the woman had never been appraoched with your questions before.

As far as what we are feeding when we feed the soil ...we are feeding the microbes. which in turn feed the soil, which in turn feed the plants...The FAQ's at the top of the forum explain all that. Also we feed the worms which aerate the soil, and as we all know aeration is very beneficail for the turf.
When do we feed them? When it is required, the power of observation will tell you when feeding is required. Keeping in mind of course that each property is different and a blanket 'feeding program' may not be effective in all cases.

How much do we feed? It depends on the 'feed' and its protien content, 10 lbs of corn meal(at 5%? protein) and 10 lbs of soybean meal (at 48 % protien) will give quite different results. Corn meal will provided a consistent green color for a period of time over the turf.... while soybean meal gives a very deep green color that lasts longer.

So we are feeding the soil which feeds that plants(turf). And we feed the earthworms who then aerate which allows improved water absorption, and oxygen deep into the soil for microbes ,and the roots of the turf and all the other critters.

trying 2b organic
01-20-2005, 02:37 PM
Last yr I owned and operated a 100 % organic lawn care company. This yr I own and operate an IPM lawn care company. I would have paid a lot of money to know then what I know now.

This forum is mostly about the science of organics which I am mildy interested in. What I am very interested in is making money. This is where the disconnect is in the forum. What works, how much does it cost, can i sell it?

However, as pesticides continue to be restricted, and here in Canada, banned, the forum will evolve.

Also, we have to be honest about what works in the real world. CGM passed the university testing. Great, but if it hasnt worked in real life trials by pros then I need to know, and I dont consider it combative if someone is comming here and saying, "that doesnt work, thats a lie", if its True.

The good thing about this forum is it hasnt been overly political. If the group is professors and students it will be in the clouds and not be of much use to me. If the group is working pro's seeing if the can take what works and help the environment while earning a profit then its great.

E-9 Lawncare
01-20-2005, 04:43 PM
Well said trying2b...I read this forum for the same reasons, and as Canada has banned pesticides, I think the US will do the same within 10 years. I hope people become more environmentally conscious and realize the fert and pesticides they apply to their lawns can be harmful. That being said, the same people also drive SUV's that keep them at the pumps :)

timturf
01-20-2005, 05:32 PM
Well said trying2b...I read this forum for the same reasons, and as Canada has banned pesticides, I think the US will do the same within 10 years. I hope people become more environmentally conscious and realize the fert and pesticides they apply to their lawns can be harmful. That being said, the same people also drive SUV's that keep them at the pumps :)

The key words were: can be

The real problem lays in improper application, or applying an pesticide when it really isn't necessary! I believe in most case their is more damage from this, than from the actual pesticide being properly applied when pest is over the acceptable threashold!

many people apply too much fertilizer, or use too much soluble fert, which is wasted into the atmosphere, or leached away.

E-9 Lawncare
01-20-2005, 06:04 PM
Timturf....Some questions:
Do you think chemical fert is equally good for the turf and soil?

Do you think chemical pesticides work better and cause no/less harm to the environment when applied correctly? I ask because some weed control products are coming off the market this year because of the grass clippings are killing tomatoes two weeks later. I also ask because of children and pets..

GroundKprs
01-20-2005, 10:56 PM
E-9, you are just another case of someone with preconceived ideas coming to this forum to stroke others of the same mind and argue with those not of your thinking. Exactly what does it matter what one thinks about pesticide applications? You are just asking why he doesn't think like you do. Wouldn't it be better to look at what has been proven about them?

Yes, clopyralid did affect tomatoes and other vegetables from compost applied to them. This compost was produced from grass clippings that had clopyralid applied to them. A real question in this matter would be, "What idiot picked up clippings after an herbicide application?" But to save us from the idiots of life, it was decided to stop distribution of a common clopyralid formulation. What is any different about this compared to other human learning experiences?

Now, if you would go back and read the first post in this thread, do you have any constructive advice on how to operate legally as an organic lawn care business. Or has Dchall wasted over a year trying to get some professional ideas on organic lawn care?

E-9 Lawncare
01-21-2005, 01:16 AM
I didn't want to start an argument, I was just asking him a question on a differring viewpoint. I'll PM him next time, and I wasn't trying to hijack the thread. I'm here to learn, but from now on, I will not say when someone makes a point I think was relevant. No offense, but you really don't know me, my ideas, or whether they were preconceived or not.

Also, it seems like you're the one who's set in his ways and can't look at anyone's else's way of thinking. Frankly, I think your argument is weak.

I'm sure my two posts has ruined all dchall has done over the last year in this forum. I apologize :)

dishboy
01-21-2005, 11:29 AM
[QUOTE=GroundKprs]"A real question in this matter would be, "What idiot picked up clippings after an herbicide application?" But to save us from the idiots of life, it was decided to stop distribution of a common clopyralid formulation. What is any different about this compared to other human learning experiences?"





Interesting way of looking at things. I have been cutting lawns commercially for twenty four years and have yet to be notified that a lawn on my weekly schedule had been sprayed with clopyralid, or any other pesticide for that matter. You and I both know applicators prefer to spray a lawn with at least three days growth after a cutting so to achieve a better "KILL". And we all know the guy mowing wants a lawn that has not been irrigated for a minimum of 24 hours. So what is the result? The mowing guy arrives to a sign on the lawn that says stay off lawn until dry. So what resolution do you propose to issues like this. Organics are coming IMO for just these reasons. With the Internet I believe those who cut grass for a living are going to begin calling FOUL publicly at the commercial application industry and legistation will follow. If the maintenance industry ever wises up anyway.

E-9 Lawncare
01-21-2005, 11:46 AM
From my experience, I ask the homeowner if they mow themselves or if they have someone else come do it. Usually the mowers try to come the same day weekly, and we schedule around fert and weed control apps around that. On a few customers, we put date and time on the sign for homeowner and mowers sake. We just have to work together.

timturf
01-21-2005, 11:50 AM
Timturf....Some questions:
Do you think chemical fert is equally good for the turf and soil?
Do you think chemical pesticides work better and cause no/less harm to the environment when applied correctly?
I ask because some weed control products are coming off the market this year because of the grass clippings are killing tomatoes two weeks later. I also ask because of children and pets..

Alot would depend on the sythetic fert ( chemical) you are applying!!! Their are a number of sythetic fert that could or are part of the ingredients in an omri certified fertilizer. Please note, that their are many fert which would proably qualify for this certification, but manufacture chose not to get it certified due to cost versus potina (sp)l profit Take note, that no sythetic fert will deliver organic matter!

As a rule, on large area's, yes, they work better! Do Sythetic chemicals cause no/less harm to environment, proably not.

you must,
1. idetify problem
2. has it exceed the threashold for damage?
3. Apply a pesticide if necessary, following all label instructions (note ;, a pesticide can be organic or sythetic)
4. You should pratice ipm!

My belief,
1. Ipm a must
2. use the best of both worlds! ( just because it's a sythetic doesn't mean it's bad, and just because it's an organic, doesn't mean it is good!
3. establish realistic damage threash holds!
4. Have relealistic goals for your plants
5. educate the client on above points

quiet
01-22-2005, 05:53 PM
"I think you are soundly unfounded if you think "purging" one memebers comments from this board will make any positive difference in the particiipation. If it the memeber I am thinking of -- his comments were founded in expereince and research. More than I see most of the other homeowner posts in this board."

"This forum is mostly about the science of organics which I am mildy interested in. What I am very interested in is making money. This is where the disconnect is in the forum. What works, how much does it cost, can i sell it?"

These quotes express my feelings exactly. I would like to see THIS forum that's located on THIS website be greared towards more professional solutions rather than some of the "home remedy, weekend gardener" solutions suggested. But for this we need much more documented, scientific studies and analysis that can be referenced. Yet, the science of organics is in it's infancy; far too little hard documented data done in control situations.

Professionals need to be able to charge for their services. In order to charge, we need to provide solutions that have proven results. Customers are willing to pay for our expertise, but they also expect results.

trying 2b organic came to the the same conclusion I did a year earlier: "Last yr I owned and operated a 100 % organic lawn care company. This yr I own and operate an IPM lawn care company. I would have paid a lot of money to know then what I know now.

This forum is mostly about the science of organics which I am mildy interested in. What I am very interested in is making money. This is where the disconnect is in the forum. What works, how much does it cost, can i sell it?"

And now my approach is similar to Timturf's, a combination of organic based, and "synthetic organic" fertilizers with low salt indices.

. . . just rambling. FWIW.

muddstopper
01-22-2005, 10:45 PM
Fetilizer or compost, chemicals or cornmeal. A few undisputable facts here. One. The rainforest have been thriving for centuries without any chemicals or syn.fertilizer being added. The grasses on the great plains when thick and lush long before a plow was ever used on them. What consitutues an organic material. Simple. all the living organisims contained in the soil or air or sea. They have for centuries lived off of each other feeding on the dead and dying organisms that surrounds them. Plants use chemical,not organic materials, for cell building and growth. Which is why such a rapid response is observed when the application of chemical fertilizers are applied. The organic materials will also contribute these chemical materials. They are stored in the cells walls of the materials and are slowly released as the plant is decayed. The decaying process is accomplished by the microorganisims that feed on the cell structure thus releasing the chemical elements the cells contain.. Chemical fertilizer bypass the decaying process, they also contribute to the decline in microorganisims in the soil. Why, because the organic material they need to feed on is not present in the soil. Returning the plant to the soil reduces the need for fertilizer, thats been proven at a hundred different Agricultural Universities. The amount of fertilizer or nutrients needed each year is in direct relation to the amount of organic material that is removed each year. It has also been proven at the same universities that planting different crops helps replace lost nutrients such as nitrogen back to the soil simply because of their ability to afix nitrogen from the air. The problem with Organics is the public, not the product. People have gotten used to seeing dark green turf and fast growth and come to percieve this as a healthy lawn. Sure you are feeding the plant with all the chemicals but you are also posioning the soil at the same time. A steady diet of the right organic products will produce the same quality turf without killing the soil in the process. Adding bactieria to the soil will help diminsh the effect of the fertilizer salts and green up the turf. Protien will feed the bacteria and speed up their population which in turn will also speed up the decaying process of the oranic matter that is applied to the soil. This in turns speeds up the release of the chemical nutrients that are contained in the organic materials. Cure a lawn overnite with organics or turn a brown lawn green almost overnite isnt going to happen but once the soil is restored to a healthy state, the application of chemical fertilizers can be diminshed by a huge amount.
Just my rant

Green in Idaho
01-22-2005, 11:44 PM
Wouldn't it be better to look at what has been proven about them? Yes, clopyralid did affect tomatoes and other vegetables from compost applied to them. ... What is any different about this compared to other human learning experiences?

Exactly. What has been proven? It has been proven that some chemicals last longer in our environment than we (EPA, etc.) originally thought. And it has been proven that extended exposure to some chemicals is more detrimental that originally thought- even when applied as directed.

It is a learning experience. Our society is learning that we were wrong about things like nicotine, asbestos, silicone implants, etc. Along with that we were also wrong about many pesticides. So the clopyralid is NOT any different. And therefore we discover we SHOULD be doing things differently and SOME accept it to do things differently. Some do not.

Consider the FACT that we know smoking CAN cause cancer. Yet millions still smoke.

Hamons
01-23-2005, 12:28 PM
Here we go again -- in the thread that said lets not argue about which was better has just turned into that.

THe fault lies equally on both sides of the fence.

I think the major prolem is that there is only one or two guys who have tried using organics comercially and ther are seeral thousand people who have nevver used them. And then there are a dozen or so homeowners that post on organics. THe commercial organic guys voices are watered down by the homeowner comments and both are blown away by the non-organic crowd.

Bottom line is -- when there is something worth discussing -- and good threads are started-- there are enough knowledgeable organic guys here to discuss it. There just are not that many useful questions being asked or thoughts being shared.

When I decided to use a 100% organic fert as my primary fertilizer -- I used this boards and comments to help me make that decesion as well as conversation with its members. WhenI had specific questions to ask -- I got specific answers.

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 02:47 PM
Hammons, you are exactly right. Those that do use organics are not shareing the information they might have and those that dont use organics are crying snakeoil. Then you have the homeowner that tries organics but doesnt have anything to compare results to. Their tomatoes where bigger this year than last so organics must be better. they dont take into consideration other factors that could have contributed to their success.

Also as you suggested, the right questions need to be asked before the right answers can be given. I dont think I have ever seen an instance where someone didnt try to help answer a question. But then the debate startes and the original question is thrown out the window and the argument starts. Chemical verses organic. I dont totally dismiss chemicals because I cant. People have came to expect rapid results and organics doent do that. I do try to use organics when I can. Some people want the organic approach because they are tired of reading in the newspapers about pollution in our drinking water, cancers in their families, and a host of other things that are directly or indirectly, and sometimes dont have anything at all to do with, chemical fertilizers. Such is as this thread started. It was an invite to re visit this forum. It turned into an argument by a chemical applicator that chose to show that they know it all and chemicals are the only legal approach to pest control. I ask you and him, just what information did they bring to this series of post. They managed to hijack a thread and convert it into an argument about NPK in organic fertilizers. A us against them approach. It would have been a much more usefull approach if they had posted information compareing chemical ferts to organic ferts instead of dismissing the organics as illegal. And to clarifie his question about NPK listing on organic fertilizers, yes they do list the NPK content on the bag, if it is sold as a fertilizer. Is NPK listed on a bag of cattle feed, nope, but then again it is intended to be used as feed and not fertilizer. That doesnt mean the NPK isnt present. As with any applicator, it is and should be, the responsiblility of the applicator as to the contents of the materials they use. A preacher at my church once said, If those that do know, would tell those that dont know, we could all go home. Even if someone doesent agree with the organic approach, they should at least give those that do believe an opportunity to express their points of view, without hijacking every thread and starting a debate.

Well I guess I can sit back now and wait on the flame.

Hamons
01-23-2005, 03:12 PM
Well, I do not beleive that Groundkprs or Timturf have purposely tried to hijack this thread. He is making a valid point -- There are LAWS that we have to follow. One is that it would ve absolutely illegal for you or I to go spread a bag of cornmeal on the ground and claim we are putting down fertilizer. Unless the bag we took that cornmeal from has a garuanteed analysis -- we CANNOT do it.

The fert I am primarily using is a mixture of a few different "meals" -- it has a garuanteed analysis of 10-2-8 and I pay a lot of money for that analysis -- more than for the product probably.

The best thing said in this thread was siad by Tim -- 2. use the best of both worlds! ( just because it's a sythetic doesn't mean it's bad, and just because it's an organic, doesn't mean it is good!)

This is how organics can be used in a commercial setting - in my opinion.

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 04:26 PM
I agree with the NPK as a fertilizer and the guaranteed analysis of the organics as a fertilizer. As you said, the product that you use has this analysis listed on the bag. albeit at a premium price. The assumion as I seen it from groundskpr is that organics isnt viable because the NPK isnt listed. True it isnt listed on feed sacks because it is intended as a feed and not as a fertilizer. If used as a top dressing it isnt anymore regulated than topdressing with sand or topsoil. An organic applicator should realize this and they should also be aware of the possible NPK content of the topdressing they are applying. These numbers are available as a extimated amount not a guaranteed analysis. Now as I see Groundskprs post he is making a reference that using organics isnt legal and wants to present his argument in the form that puts a dim view of the organic operator. He's not even trying to meet anywhere on middle ground. Its either his way or its wrong. It might suprise him to learn that there are also over 30 organic materials that are approved for pesticide application. These materials are not restricted and dont require a license to apply. That should say something as to the saftey of these materials. Maybe i am looking at his accusations wrong but thats the way I see it. Vaild points, I dont see where he made any. He wants prove that organics work maybe he should do a little reseach about the soil food web. This isnt research that just started last week. Dr. Michail Mendenze has been doing this research for over 25 years. He holds PHD's on the subject. He is not alone. there are several other PHd types that have been doing the same research for as many years. All I want is for those that dont believe in organics to at least let those that do, tell about their experiences, instead of picking an argument everytime someone posts. Nothing wrong with asking question but if you are going to claim something dont work, be prepared to back those statement up with documentation and links to other sites to back up these claims. Back it up or shut up is my point of view.

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 04:53 PM
excuse me for misspelling Dr. Melendrez name.
here is an attachment explaing some of his work

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 05:03 PM
a comparison with organics and chemical fertilizer on costal bermuda grasses http://www.agrisciences.com/pdf/DATA/R14.pdf

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 05:10 PM
another good link http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/soil_quality/soil_biology/soil_food_web.html

muddstopper
01-23-2005, 05:15 PM
Over-use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have effects on soil organisms that are similar to over-using antibiotics. When we consider human use of antibiotics, these chemicals seemed a panacea at first, because they could control disease. But with continued use, resistant organisms developed, and other organisms that compete with the disease-causing organisms were lost. We found that antibiotics couldn't be used willy-nilly, that they must be used only when necessary, and that some effort must be made to replace the normal human-digestive system bacteria killed by the antibiotics.
Soils are similar, in that plants grown in soil where competing organisms have been knocked back with chemicals are more susceptible to disease-causing organisms. If the numbers of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes and arthropods are lower than they should be for a particular soil type, the soil's "digestive system" doesn't work properly. Decomposition will be low, nutrients will not be retained in the soil, and will not be cycled properly. Ultimately, nutrients will be lost through the groundwater or through erosion because organisms aren't present to hold the soil together.
The best way manage for a healthy microbial ecosystem in a home garden is to routinely apply organic material, such as compost. To keep garden soil healthy, the amount of organic matter added must be equal to what the bacteria and fungi use each year.
Indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides should be avoided. If the soil is healthy for the type of vegetation desired, there should be no reason to use pesticides, or fertilizers. If a decision is made to change from grass to garden, or forest to lawn, a massive change in the soil foodweb structure is required and chemical use, along with judicious addition of the right kind of compost with the right kinds of organisms, may be necessary for a few years. But once the correct soil foodweb structure is in place, there should be no reason to apply chemicals.
If both bacteria and fungi are lost, then the soil degrades, than any other organism. If bacteria are killed through pesticide or chemical applications, and especially if certain extremely important bacteria like nitrogen-fixing bacteria or nitrifying bacteria are killed, fungi can take over and crop production can be harmed. For example, current research indicates that the reason moss takes over in lawn ecosystems is because the soil is converted from a bacterial dominated system to one dominated by fungi. nutrients are lost, erosion increases and plant yield is reduced. If inorganic fertilizers are used to replace the lost nitrogen, the immediate effect may be to improve plant growth. However, as time goes on, it is clear that inorganic fertilizers can't replace the other kinds of food that bacteria and fungi need. After awhile, fertilizer additions are a waste of money, because there aren't enough soil organisms to hold on to the nutrients added. Surface and groundwater will become contaminated with the lost nutrients, causing problems.
A good quote from here http://www.rain.org/~sals/ingham.html

GroundKprs
01-23-2005, 09:25 PM
Now as I see Groundskprs post he is making a reference that using organics isnt legal
Mudd, if you had read the first post in this thread completely, you would have seen that Dave said, "On another thread someone mentioned that this forum has not had the participation from real organic professionals. I agree. There are issues from state to state revolving around the proper use of approved materials. I'm afraid the few organic turf care professionals I've personally met simply skirt the issue and hope to not get caught. Flying under the radar is NOT what I hope to promote here. I am looking for valid ways for true professionals to apply the organic materials and (hopefully) use the INEXPENSIVE materials so you can make some money and build your client base. That's the challenge for this forum."

That is where the issue of illegality began in this thread!


It might suprise him to learn that there are also over 30 organic materials that are approved for pesticide application. These materials are not restricted and dont require a license to apply.
OK, Mudd, now we are starting to get somewhere. Please list the 30+ organic pesticides that do not require a license to apply. I'm assuming you are licensed and know the meaning of the word "pesticide." In case you forgot, this page has the legal definition of "pest" and "pesticide": TITLE 7 > CHAPTER 6 > SUBCHAPTER II (http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/7/136.html). This is the definition page for FIFRA, the law that pretty much guides the licensing process for pesticides.


Hey, Dave, I did really learn something concrete - first good lead in over a year. Next time I run out to Denver to visit Mom, I'll take a little detour into Kansas and ransack Jeff's storage shed to learn what to use in organics as a legitimate commercial applicator.

Hamons
01-23-2005, 09:51 PM
Love to have you Jim. Let me knwo your coming and I'll even have a cold beer waiting for you :)

trying 2b organic
01-24-2005, 06:47 PM
First off, to mention that all the talk about feed as fert is pointless is valid from my point of view. Its a great example of why vast parts of this forum are not relevant to me. Of course whatever I use at a customers property has to come from a bag and have the analysis on it. This is just the practical reality of my commercial business. I dont want to be a fringe operator I want help taking the benifits of organics to the mainstream.

Therefore it has to be legit, practical, and profitable. I sort of agree with threads being hijacked by organics nay-sayers but I value thier opinions to the point that I would rather hear them and ignore them then not hear them at all. The reason for this is that it is so important for me to know if something really works in the real world before I invest time or money on it. I learned the hard way that u cant just take what the organics crowd tells you and apply it. There is to much b.s. mixed in with the good stuff.

So again, to jump in and mention that, "well you know guys, thats all well and good but of course you cant actually offer that as a service or make money at it" is valid. If at that point you are more interested in the science of it then ignore and proceed. I wouldnt go to home owner organic forums and make this point. I only do it here because it is a place for commercial operators whose mind is always somewhat on feeding thier families.

dishboy
01-24-2005, 07:58 PM
First off, to mention that all the talk about feed as fert is pointless is valid from my point of view. Its a great example of why vast parts of this forum are not relevant to me. Of course whatever I use at a customers property has to come from a bag and have the analysis on it. This is just the practical reality of my commercial business. I dont want to be a fringe operator I want help taking the benifits of organics to the mainstream.

Therefore it has to be legit, practical, and profitable. I sort of agree with threads being hijacked by organics nay-sayers but I value thier opinions to the point that I would rather hear them and ignore them then not hear them at all. The reason for this is that it is so important for me to know if something really works in the real world before I invest time or money on it. I learned the hard way that u cant just take what the organics crowd tells you and apply it. There is to much b.s. mixed in with the good stuff.

So again, to jump in and mention that, "well you know guys, thats all well and good but of course you cant actually offer that as a service or make money at it" is valid. If at that point you are more interested in the science of it then ignore and proceed. I wouldnt go to home owner organic forums and make this point. I only do it here because it is a place for commercial operators whose mind is always somewhat on feeding thier families.


For me feeds seem to be the best answer, but my situation is unique. One I fertilize because because it gives me control of my yards so I can mulch mow, and feeds have produced great results. Being a large scale ORGANIC APPLICATOR may or may not be in my future, but for now I only want to service my own yards that I maintain. The department of Agriculture just informed me that their position on requiring me to register feed is, as long as I receive no complaints than they see no reason to require registration as a fertilizer. If I get a complaint they will give me thirty days to register. It only cost $ 25.00 to register anyway plus a small tonage fee, so what is exactly the big deal. Feeds make the most sense to me, since the amount of O.M is great and cost are low. For me to sell my existing clientele on Organics it has to be affordable. I figured my typical application would cost around 2.60 per K, what are your costs applying bagged tagged fertilizers per K.

Hamons
01-24-2005, 08:12 PM
My 10-2-8 runs me about $4 for every pound of nitrogen
-- but that can't be compared to straight cornmeal
since I also get the Sulphate of potash -- not found
in your cornmeal.

6-2-0 runs me about $3/#N.

15-1-10 which is 50%bio solids/50% urea and MOP gets
me under $2 a pound of nitrogen.

21-3-7 which is only 50% composted meals and 50%
Uflexx runs me about $2 per pound of nitrogen.

dishboy
01-24-2005, 08:37 PM
My 10-2-8 runs me about $4 for every pound of nitrogen
-- but that can't be compared to straight cornmeal
since I also get the Sulphate of potash -- not found
in your cornmeal.

6-2-0 runs me about $3/#N.

15-1-10 which is 50%bio solids/50% urea and MOP gets
me under $2 a pound of nitrogen.

21-3-7 which is only 50% composted meals and 50%
Uflexx runs me about $2 per pound of nitrogen.

Jeff, my costs I was quoting on were for Alfalfa pellets, which is reported at
at 2.45-.05-2.10 so Potash seems to be ample. It sounds like the products you have found are quite reasonable.

muddstopper
01-24-2005, 11:23 PM
Groundskpr said OK, Mudd, now we are starting to get somewhere. Please list the 30+ organic pesticides that do not require a license to apply. I'm assuming you are licensed and know the meaning of the word "pesticide." In case you forgot, this page has the legal definition of "pest" and "pesticide": TITLE 7 > CHAPTER 6 > SUBCHAPTER II. This is the definition page for FIFRA, the law that pretty much guides the licensing process for pesticides.

I am not trying to advoid answering this question but my computer that the info is stored on is about 240 miles from where I am. The info was taken from the pesticide website, if I can find it again. I have been searching for it but like everthing else, some searches take longer than others. I will definatley post the link when I get back to my home computer this weekend. Eairlier if I find it again.

As for me being licensed, yep, in the state of georgia. If you need the number, I can send it private e-mail. Do I do pest control, nope, just got the license so I can spray a little roundup every now and then.

muddstopper
01-24-2005, 11:38 PM
http://www.epa.gov/oppbppd1/biopesticides/regtools/25b_list.htm

muddstopper
01-24-2005, 11:44 PM
It is important to note that even if a pesticide product meets the conditions for exemption from
regulation under FIFRA, it is still subject to any applicable requirements of the Federal Food, Drug,
and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) if its use results in pesticide chemical residues on or in food commodities
or animal feed. In addition, producers of pesticides must meet any applicable state registration or other
regulatory requirements. Each state has its own statutes and regulations concerning pesticide
registration and regulation, and the states are not required to permit the sale of an exempted product
simply because it meets the 40 CFR 152.25(g) conditions for minimum risk exemption. An address
and telephone list of the state agencies which regulate pesticides may be found at:
http://aapco.ceris.purdue.edu and at
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/otherdocs/statelist.htm. You may also call (703) 305-7973
to obtain a paper copy.

timturf
01-25-2005, 10:48 AM
For me feeds seem to be the best answer, but my situation is unique. One I fertilize because because it gives me control of my yards so I can mulch mow, and feeds have produced great results. Being a large scale ORGANIC APPLICATOR may or may not be in my future, but for now I only want to service my own yards that I maintain. The department of Agriculture just informed me that their position on requiring me to register feed is, as long as I receive no complaints than they see no reason to require registration as a fertilizer. If I get a complaint they will give me thirty days to register. It only cost $ 25.00 to register anyway plus a small tonage fee, so what is exactly the big deal. Feeds make the most sense to me, since the amount of O.M is great and cost are low. For me to sell my existing clientele on Organics it has to be affordable. I figured my typical application would cost around 2.60 per K, what are your costs applying bagged tagged fertilizers per K.

I'm under the impression that the feeds are mostly nitrogen!

timturf
01-25-2005, 10:52 AM
My 10-2-8 runs me about $4 for every pound of nitrogen
-- but that can't be compared to straight cornmeal
since I also get the Sulphate of potash -- not found
in your cornmeal.

6-2-0 runs me about $3/#N.

15-1-10 which is 50%bio solids/50% urea and MOP gets
me under $2 a pound of nitrogen.

21-3-7 which is only 50% composted meals and 50%
Uflexx runs me about $2 per pound of nitrogen.


Why use something with mop? I avoid mop when using an all sythetic program, let alone using a fortified organic program!

timturf
01-25-2005, 10:55 AM
Jeff, my costs I was quoting on were for Alfalfa pellets, which is reported at
at 2.45-.05-2.10 so Potash seems to be ample. It sounds like the products you have found are quite reasonable.

That would make sense too me! Is that sold as feed?, So, no npk on bag? Cost per 50lb bag? What % organic matter?

dishboy
01-25-2005, 11:11 AM
That would make sense too me! Is that sold as feed?, So, no npk on bag? Cost per 50lb bag? What % organic matter?

Sold as feed, no NPK on bag, and as far as organic matter, or organic material, I probably a not qualified to give a answer as to a percentage of either. My thinking on this may all be wrong , but at 20lbs a K a lot of material is going down that along with mulching I thought would help as far as water retention. My testing last year seemed to be support my theory.

The bags do gave a protein guarantee, that converts to N by a simple math equation.

dishboy
01-25-2005, 11:38 AM
That would make sense too me! Is that sold as feed?, So, no npk on bag? Cost per 50lb bag? What % organic matter?

Sorry, the cost is 5.73 per 50lb bag if bought in 20 bag lots.

timturf
01-25-2005, 12:19 PM
Need 40.8lbs/m for 1 lbs/m of nitrogen! Thats a lot of work!!

Thats a cost of 4.68 / lb of n / m

Why not use a quality fortified organic fert?

dishboy
01-25-2005, 01:10 PM
Need 40.8lbs/m for 1 lbs/m of nitrogen! Thats a lot of work!!

Thats a cost of 4.68 / lb of n / m

Why not use a quality fortified organic fert?

I would hesitate to apply more than half that rate, and applying .5n lb works great at typical frequency intervals which my clients are accustomed to seeing.
I have not located a local source for a fortified organic fert. that is cost effective for me. I will not argue about the work. If I pursue this further and can not find a different organic fert that I am pleased with a motor driven spreader will be necessary. I am still in development stage, but am very pleased with the growth response, blade thickness and color from the Alfalfa.

woodycrest
01-25-2005, 01:14 PM
Need 40.8lbs/m for 1 lbs/m of nitrogen! Thats a lot of work!!

Thats a cost of 4.68 / lb of n / m

Why not use a quality fortified organic fert?


The application rate for the alfalfa is 20lbs/1000. So that is where the cost is calculated from.
THe application rate is not based on lbs of N/1000, it is based on pounds of feed/1000.

ed2hess
01-25-2005, 10:11 PM
You seen to be in a big discussion about the amount of NPK to apply to the yard. My understanding is we are putting protein down for the microbs and they generate some, if not most, of the nitrogen. So the idea is put down the compost tea, compost, and protein and watch it grow? And supplement this with LadyBug organic fertilize twice a year and maybe some Medina. Where am I going wrong? These programs are not cheap but in our area you there are MANY people VERY familiar with the concept. They have been convinced that their children, pets, and ground water are at risk with chemicals. We are in the lawn maintenance business and we are trying to ramp up as quick as posssible. Oh, by the way I doubt if these people are concerned about the need for some government agency watching out for them, since they think the environment is being killed by liscensed chemical applicators.

muddstopper
01-26-2005, 12:00 AM
Tim, The feeds do cantain a lot of nitrogen but as with anything that grows out of the soil they also contain P,K,S,C Mn and everything else. One point that is missed here I think is everybody is assuming nitrogen from the organic materials added. The organic materials also attract bacteria and fungi and a whole host of other micro-organisms. Some of these organsisms have the ability to pull nitrogen from the air. They also have the ability to glue the nitrogen to the soil so that it doesnt leachout as fast as the chemical versions would. The nitrogen that is glued to the soil is released as other microorganisms eat the dead and decaying micros. Some of the micros feed on the fungus and other pathogens that have a detrimental effect on turf. Pesticides kill the bacteria and micros inthe soil as does chemical fertilizers. That is one reason it takes so long to go from a chemical lawn to an organic lawn. Unless the missing micro's are added to boost their populations back up, the nitrogen that is contained in the organics isnt released as fast as it could be back to the soil or the plants. When going from chemicals to organic, it should be a good practice to also apply the micros. What good is throwing down food if there isnt anything there to eat it.

That would make sense too me! Is that sold as feed?, So, no npk on bag? Cost per 50lb bag? What % organic matter?

It takes approx. 10 lbs of organic material to make 1 lb of organic matter. A 50lb bag of feed would breakdown to 5 lbs of organic matter

muddstopper
01-26-2005, 12:04 AM
organic approach

timturf
01-26-2005, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE=muddstopper]Tim, The feeds do cantain a lot of nitrogen but as with anything that grows out of the soil they also contain P,K,S,C Mn and everything else. One point that is missed here I think is everybody is assuming nitrogen from the organic materials added. The organic materials also attract bacteria and fungi and a whole host of other micro-organisms. Some of these organsisms have the ability to pull nitrogen from the air. They also have the ability to glue the nitrogen to the soil so that it doesnt leachout as fast as the chemical versions would. The nitrogen that is glued to the soil is released as other microorganisms eat the dead and decaying micros. Some of the micros feed on the fungus and other pathogens that have a detrimental effect on turf. Pesticides kill the bacteria and micros inthe soil as does chemical fertilizers. That is one reason it takes so long to go from a chemical lawn to an organic lawn. Unless the missing micro's are added to boost their populations back up, the nitrogen that is contained in the organics isnt released as fast as it could be back to the soil or the plants. When going from chemicals to organic, it should be a good practice to also apply the micros. What good is throwing down food if there isnt anything there to eat it.

Mudd

Don't know about gluing the nitrogen to the soil, BUT don't you think that maybe the reason the nitrogen doesn't leach out of the soil is because usually the organic material has a very high WIN, compared to most sythetic fertilizer. Organic fert has Much less loss from leaching and volatilization. For urea, the total loss can be 53% over 15 days, scu is 26%, uf is 5%, and I know organic is very low, due to high % win. ( sorry, didn't have any data handyon organic)



It takes approx. 10 lbs of organic material to make 1 lb of organic matter. A 50lb bag of feed would breakdown to 5 lbs of organic matter[/QUOTE

Mudd,

The alfalfa pellets was stated as being 2.45 -.05-2.01, npk, so in this case 10lbs of organic wouldn't = 1 lbs of nitrogen. Their are alot of other examples!

timturf
01-26-2005, 11:50 AM
Jeff, my costs I was quoting on were for Alfalfa pellets, which is reported at
at 2.45-.05-2.10 so Potash seems to be ample. It sounds like the products you have found are quite reasonable.


My organic book states alfalfa meal at 5-1-2, other states 3-1-2, and one states alfalfa hay at 2.5-.5-2, which is proably the closest to your alfalfa pellets

just for your info
tim

dishboy
01-26-2005, 12:28 PM
My organic book states alfalfa meal at 5-1-2, other states 3-1-2, and one states alfalfa hay at 2.5-.5-2, which is proably the closest to your alfalfa pellets

just for your info
tim

I bought a bag that was sold to me as meal to see if would spread, it looks like ground up pellets and lists protein at 15%, which would put the N at 2.4%. I am guessing there are different processing methods,resulting in different N content.

It was very dusty, I prefer the pellets from that standpoint. Also it would not spread well unless cracked corn or another product was added, this would raise the price. Good benefit is you don't see pellets , although seeing a lot of product may or may not be a plus, meaning the customer perceives value.

dishboy
01-26-2005, 01:34 PM
My organic book states alfalfa meal at 5-1-2, other states 3-1-2, and one states alfalfa hay at 2.5-.5-2, which is proably the closest to your alfalfa pellets

just for your info
tim


Tim, what does your Organic books list NPK for soy meal?

Thanks, DB

timturf
01-26-2005, 01:39 PM
Tim, what does your Organic books list NPK for soy meal?

Thanks, DB

soybean meal = 7-.05-2.3

muddstopper
01-26-2005, 06:42 PM
It takes approx. 10 lbs of organic material to make 1 lb of organic matter. A 50lb bag of feed would breakdown to 5 lbs of organic matter[/QUOTE

Mudd,

The alfalfa pellets was stated as being 2.45 -.05-2.01, npk, so in this case 10lbs of organic wouldn't = 1 lbs of nitrogen. Their are alot of other examples!


Tim, you didnt ask how much nitrogen, you asked how much organic matter. The organic matter is going to contain other properties besides nitrogen as well. I have a 4 hr drive ahead of me, I'll get back to you about the glue and the WIN

upidstay
01-27-2005, 09:30 AM
Here in CT organics is largely unregulated. It technically is, but our dept of enviro. prot. is woefully understaffed. We have what is called a pesticide supervisory license, which means you can run a pesticide app. business. There are numerous sub-categories, amongst them is organics. I am not familiar with its criteria, as new baby and home have kinda hampered my educational time.
I worked for an organic lawn care company, and they were largely crooks and hypocrites. Simultaneously spouting the evils of pesticides while sending crews out to put down unnecessarily high amounts of imidichloprid (spelling?) There are several predatory companies sending out fliers claiming to "reduce pesticide levels in your lawn by 1400%" Yes, that was their marketing claim. Not sure exactly how they achieve such a mathematically impossible reduction while using "100% organic BASE fertilizer". I still have thier flier around somewhere. Will have to scan and post so everybody can have a chuckle. Unfiortunately, people (conmsumers) tend to be totally ignorant about their lawns, and certain scumbags will prey on the nervous moms out there.
by the way:
I believe strongly in organics, but still use pesticides when I have to. Mostly selective broadleaf and grub control.

muddstopper
01-29-2005, 01:21 PM
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/sep02/soil0902.htm
http://invam.caf.wvu.edu/methods/mycorrhizae/glomalin_brochure.pdf

muddstopper
01-30-2005, 12:31 AM
What does organic matter do?

Dchall_San_Antonio
01-30-2005, 10:51 PM
BEGIN: RamblingMode

Y'all have given me a couple ideas for new threads to start. Very good discussions. I don't consider this thread hijacked at all. I was trying to re-stimulate interest.

I have no problem at all with healthy discussions (arguments) about chemical versus organic fertilizers. What I have a problem with is verbal abuse of your opponents when the logical discussions seem to have run their course.

Some of y'all are really on track with understanding the organic approach and how it works. About NPK: you really MUST forget all you've learned about it if you are going to talk intelligently to other organic applicators. It's meaningless. When you are feeding living organisms in the soil you must talk about protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Fats might even be in there but so far I haven't seen anything about that. The reason NPK is meaningless is exactly as someone else stated: healthy microbes will convert atmospheric nitrogen for you. You can't measure the value of this conversion, so don't try. You cannot hope to measure a hypothetical conversion of atmospheric nitrogen based on feeding alfalfa. All you can do is feed them and turn them loose.

With organic fertilizers you are literally feeding protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to the soil microbes. Someone else said that but I wanted to confirm. If you still have that question, then it's time you reread the FAQs at the top of the forum.

I'm not going to make a big deal out of this next point but I will do some more research and see what I can bring to the forum. Some of you really don't want to hear this but when you fertilize or use any chemicals, you are going to damage some living thing in the soil. Can't tell you which ones nor can I tell you the importance of them, but something will die. Again, I'll get more info on this so you don't have to feel like you must pick a fight with me. When I can't support something I retract. I've waffled the statement plenty already - waffle means my statement full of holes like a waffle.

Here's how organic nitrogen gets "glued" to the soil, and thanks for the glomulin articles. I had not heard of a name given to the material, but I've heard of it. First of all, organic nitrogen is in the form of protein and amino acids. Protein is muscle, organic fluids, and cell walls of living organisms. These things live in the soil and do not wash out. Inasmuch as they don't wash out, I suppose you could consider them glued in there. When one microbe dies, it gets eaten by another microbe. The secondary microbe digests the first and excretes amino acids that it does not need. These are often in the form of humic acids or humus. This stuff also stays in the soil. I'm simplifying a lot but that's the gist of it.

Someone asked for less science here but at the same time asked for more scientific backing for the results of the use of organic materials. Well, which is it? Somewhere any rudimentary knowledge of nutrition and common sense have to kick in. We eat protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. So does every other living creature. We breath oxygen and exhale CO2. Living creatures do that too (plant kingdom does the reverse). Armed with this information, it should be clear how Mother Nature fed her garden for the 4 billion years before we arrived. She did it with dead stuff and waste products. She had the ultimate recycling operation going on with the ONLY external input being sunlight.

Some microbes work at temps that would cook other microbes and others work all through the winter. Some others might work lower down in the soil or they are doing different things from what you think. I don't have high expectations that my January grass will suddenly turn green, but my organic neighbor does have green grass all year long while the rest of us are dormant. Her yard guy comes twice a week and mows once a week, 52 times a year. I've never seen anything like that lawn. Her fertilizer is Texas Tee, by the way. Ingredients are feather meal (a very slow release), assorted grains (medium release which is considered slow by chemical users), and blood meal (a very fast releasing organic material). I'm more and more convinced the feather and blood are good to have as I watch the neighbor's lawn remain green and growing for the past 200 weeks straight.

END: RamblingMode

dishboy
02-04-2005, 03:45 PM
BEGIN: RamblingMode

Y'all have given me a couple ideas for new threads to start. Very good discussions. I don't consider this thread hijacked at all. I was trying to re-stimulate interest.

I have no problem at all with healthy discussions (arguments) about chemical versus organic fertilizers. What I have a problem with is verbal abuse of your opponents when the logical discussions seem to have run their course.

Some of y'all are really on track with understanding the organic approach and how it works. About NPK: you really MUST forget all you've learned about it if you are going to talk intelligently to other organic applicators. It's meaningless. When you are feeding living organisms in the soil you must talk about protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Fats might even be in there but so far I haven't seen anything about that. The reason NPK is meaningless is exactly as someone else stated: healthy microbes will convert atmospheric nitrogen for you. You can't measure the value of this conversion, so don't try. You cannot hope to measure a hypothetical conversion of atmospheric nitrogen based on feeding alfalfa. All you can do is feed them and turn them loose.

With organic fertilizers you are literally feeding protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to the soil microbes. Someone else said that but I wanted to confirm. If you still have that question, then it's time you reread the FAQs at the top of the forum.

I'm not going to make a big deal out of this next point but I will do some more research and see what I can bring to the forum. Some of you really don't want to hear this but when you fertilize or use any chemicals, you are going to damage some living thing in the soil. Can't tell you which ones nor can I tell you the importance of them, but something will die. Again, I'll get more info on this so you don't have to feel like you must pick a fight with me. When I can't support something I retract. I've waffled the statement plenty already - waffle means my statement full of holes like a waffle.

Here's how organic nitrogen gets "glued" to the soil, and thanks for the glomulin articles. I had not heard of a name given to the material, but I've heard of it. First of all, organic nitrogen is in the form of protein and amino acids. Protein is muscle, organic fluids, and cell walls of living organisms. These things live in the soil and do not wash out. Inasmuch as they don't wash out, I suppose you could consider them glued in there. When one microbe dies, it gets eaten by another microbe. The secondary microbe digests the first and excretes amino acids that it does not need. These are often in the form of humic acids or humus. This stuff also stays in the soil. I'm simplifying a lot but that's the gist of it.

Someone asked for less science here but at the same time asked for more scientific backing for the results of the use of organic materials. Well, which is it? Somewhere any rudimentary knowledge of nutrition and common sense have to kick in. We eat protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. So does every other living creature. We breath oxygen and exhale CO2. Living creatures do that too (plant kingdom does the reverse). Armed with this information, it should be clear how Mother Nature fed her garden for the 4 billion years before we arrived. She did it with dead stuff and waste products. She had the ultimate recycling operation going on with the ONLY external input being sunlight.

Some microbes work at temps that would cook other microbes and others work all through the winter. Some others might work lower down in the soil or they are doing different things from what you think. I don't have high expectations that my January grass will suddenly turn green, but my organic neighbor does have green grass all year long while the rest of us are dormant. Her yard guy comes twice a week and mows once a week, 52 times a year. I've never seen anything like that lawn. Her fertilizer is Texas Tee, by the way. Ingredients are feather meal (a very slow release), assorted grains (medium release which is considered slow by chemical users), and blood meal (a very fast releasing organic material). I'm more and more convinced the feather and blood are good to have as I watch the neighbor's lawn remain green and growing for the past 200 weeks straight.

END: RamblingMode



Talking about NPK may be meaningless in a Organic program, but I have yet to see any conversations or links that outline the nutritional needs of turf based on protein, carbs etc. on a annual basis or for any time frame for that matter. I understand that a simple formula to convert Protein to N is percentage of protein divided by 6.25. So does it really matter if we talk about the component in a feed that most influences growth and color as protein or N? If I am applying a organic or any other fertilizer product, I have to have a way to gauge what turf response will be , thus the reference N.
In my testing 10 lbs per 1000 sq ft of 15% protein medium release feed did not give a satisfactory response, but 20 lbs did. This equates to .5 lb of N per 1000 by the above equation using Alfalfa. I would see a response in a couple of weeks and the duration was for about seven weeks of what I considered adequate color and growth. This is for summer temps.

So .5 lb medium release organic N or three pounds of protein per 1000 gives me the desired response for a duration that fits into a billing cycle my customers would accept. My cost is $2.36 per 1000sq ft.

I can put the same amount of protein/N down using soy for $1.75per 1000. Can I expect my response to be the same?

If I want to compare these products by referring to Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and fat where can I access this information? Is there any way to even compare these products in a manner that would give indication of what turf response I could expect without doing a field test on every product or combination of products. Anybody's constructive opinion will be appreciated.