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Old 03-10-2011, 07:09 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by ParadiseLS View Post
i don't really think it is appropriate to refer to "phasing in" an organic program, unless you're working like an ant on your lawns.

1. if you're using chemicals, you are harming the delicate ecosystem in the rhizoshpere, which isn't just NOT an organic program, it's actually working AGAINST an organic program. so i assume when people talk about "phasing in" or "half-and-half" programs, they basically mean building up SOM. if that's what you're doing, that's not really an organics program, that's just adding compost apps to a chemical program--granted, you may be reducing inputs of chemicals, but it's still just compost.

2. if you're fixing up the soil after chemical apps with additional tea apps or whatever you might do, then i suppose this could be a true mixed approach to lawn care, blending organics and chemicals. but frankly, this seems crazy to me. you're basically doing twice the work than you ought to. you add a chemical, then you come back shortly after to regenerate the activity in the rhizoshpere. i thought that the main barrier to doing a balls-to-the-wall approach to organics was cost. it costs a lot more money, time, expertise to turn a lawn off chemicals and minimize the struggle your lawn is in to stay beautiful while SOM is low and the soil food web is inadequate. but if you're spending all this extra time to cancel out the damage your chemicals are doing, you might as well just put that cost into more organics activity.

i guess there are ways to phase in organics while still keeping chemical practices going, i just generally think people aren't truly doing that. and i'm not even arguing whether the phasing-in approach or the all-out approach is better. i just want you to consider that you are either still chemical (+ one additional service) or you might as well just go all-out organic for the time and cost that you need to put in to a serious half-and-half approach.
The use of the word "organic' is kind of a religious word now days... I think there is a consensus amongst most people that 'Natural' w/out synthetic inputs would be more accurate. The funny thing about the introduction of ferts about 60 years ago everybody was dealing with natural lawns at a very cheap price... Not more expensive with intense knowledge etc., but rather less expensive...

Once it was realized that we could eliminate all weeds with the herbicides that quickly followed the ferts, then the bar was raised much higher for a 'quality' lawn... keeping up with the Joneses was the New Goal...

For the sake of sales and constantly having grass grow even in extreme heat, when it should be resting, the market took off to create fungal habitat and thatch, real thatch, not dead grass leaves...

From that POV the idea of " mixing org/syn", just means backing off the excesses and building a mature stand of turf, naturally...

Yes, SOM is a big part of that along with other soil sciences such as structure... If you are coming at it from the idea that ferts kill the rhizosphere and it needs to be replaced by expensive long term alternatives, you have already lost the business...

None of those things are necessary, grass grows naturally... remember that much, and your client will thank you...
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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