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Old 06-06-2009, 10:05 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
I've run across plenty of pictures of lawns by people that only use organic fertilizers that look great. I've seen people talk about only using compost but never post what their lawns look like.
Here you go.



Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
How about providing some insight and answering the question of how much compost per 1,000 sq ft it takes for a typical cool season clay lawn to maintain it at a level where it doesn't look out of place next to other homes where the lawns are regularly fertilized?
The above lawn gets ~ 1/4 per year as a top dressing in the fall when over seeded. This pic was taken last year (in August I believe), compost was applied the previous fall, the only other thing it received the entire year was some some left over alfalfa pellets (May or April) a friend unloaded on me (about 18 lbs or so over 2000 sqft). This is the only property I actually still maintain due to my relationship with them. This lawn has gotten yearly compost at the above rate for about 10-13 years with almost no fertilizer inputs. When ferts have been used in the past, they were applied at the time of over seeding in the fall or in the spring to get rid of partial bags of ferts they had laying around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
Not familiar with that climate? What about some area you are familiar with? What would it take to raise the OM content up 5% over how much time?
Given I don't know what I have to start with, and don't know what type of soil I am dealing with, or to what depth you want to raise the SOM in, or what type of compost we are talking about, or how you want it applied (top dressed vs. incorporated), how could I possibly answer that question?

If you want an answer then get the necessary data (i.e. a soil test and compost test).

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
How much would it take to maintain that level once it gets there? Some sort of rough guidelines?
Once again, not enough information. Organic matter decomposition rates vary widely depending on climate, soil type, and water availability, plants, etc.... If you MUST have a rough estimate, in my area I recommend 1/8"-1/4" once a year for turf, applied as a seed topdressing in the fall. More applications may be needed if you are attempting to rebuild the soil or have limited SOM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
Don't worry, I'm not expecting an answer.
Provide the necessary data (i.e. a soil test) and you might get your answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
You can be off topic all you want but if you don't want to come across like a pompous blowhard, or a ranting fool, then you might want to try and contribute something to the conversation.
Need I remind you who came after me? You must be talking about Marcos because I didn't start squat here. I stand by my statement. If you want to rebuild a soil in a relatively quick fashion, then you should be using compost .... end of story. You can make all the arguments you want, but it will always come down to that plain and simple fact. Forget about sustainability, lets talk economics. Go ahead and price out what it would cost you to spread 1/4" of any bagged organic material or bulk feed grain over 1000 sqft and then come back here and let us know which is cheaper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
So you don't sell compost. Sounds more like you're an acedemic. Maybe a professor.
Once again, you go and make incorrect assumptions about me ... you fit right in with some of the regs here. I've been in the field for 16 years now and have done a little bit of everything from maint. to management. Much of my work over the years has focused on irrigation, and how to effectively manage both my water and soil resources in order to get the maximum naturally supplied benefits while minimizing inputs into the system (i.e. building sustainable systems). Consulting is a relatively new direction for me, which I have been transitioning to over the past 4 years or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
So you come here and take your frustrations out on a bunch of people that primarily make their living by providing lawn care services and belittle them with comments like "fert and squirt guys" because they're trying to learn how to adapt to organic lawn care and get their clients to convert.
There you go talking about Marcos again. FYI, fert and squirt is an accurate term, and one "they" use to describe themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
They can't transition clients to a service that will make their lawns look worse than they did before. Most people won't stick around for that. The clients would cancel their contracts and these guys would lose revenue which is kinda important to people that don't get stipends or grant money. So they try and learn from others and share what they have learned and avoid the snake oil salesmen that jumped into this area. Even a lot of the research doesn't agree.
Research on what? Maximizing crop yield utilizing a particular management protocol, or perhaps managing sports turf? None of these directly apply to residential/commercial landscapes. Yes, studies done in these areas are extremely valuable, but one must understand the different goals of each. Both of the aforementioned systems are highly managed, far beyond ANY residential/commercial landscapes needs, and have drastically different end goals. You need to distinguish what can be usefully applied to landscapes and what needs to stay with Ag and sports turf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeOrganic View Post
You come across as an idealogue. In practice, you can't go from one extreme to the other and expect to maintain profitability and results. If you know a way to do it, I'm sure people here would love to hear it. You're not in the business so you don't seem to have a balanced view and it looks like some people are getting tired of it.
Once again ....... WRONG. I will recommend bridge programs where appropriate and will also recommend herbicides when there are no other reasonable options. Is everything I recommend sustainable ......... NO! That however does not stop me from trying to build the most naturally sustainable system I can. I don't look for the easy way out nor do I use band aid approaches. I look for and build long term sustainable solutions to very real problems. I find it funny how you pretend to know so much about me, and yet be SO far off base. I think I have to agree with Natty here on where this is coming from.
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