Originally Posted by agrostis
I think it's cool that your getting into your turf so heavily. Most people just want to see green and it stop's there. You would make a good a horticulturist.
Your plan look's good, i see enough synthetic nitrogen that no matter what else you do you will have healthy grass, it's simple and that's a good sign. I wish i knew more about organic's so i could say whether or not the other product's were effective. The way you have two yard's side by side to experiment with is probably the best way to see what kind of result's you can get. Just remember that organic's are a long term proposition and that to get real result's is a long term (like a couple of year's) thing. Your also using zoysia, which in the summer will have hardly any weed pressure to begin with, i think that in the winter, when the grass is growing much more slowly, will give you a much better indication.
How your program handle's disease pressure is (i think) much more important. I have to question established zoysia in Austin needing 1"- 1-1/4" of water a week. I think you read something the wrong way. Using this -
i only come up with .53 of water a week, that's in Austin in full sun with no rain. .43 in. in partial shade with no rain. I think this is important because you don't want to overwater zoysia, it will weaken the turf, inviting disease and weed pressure.
Like I said I learn something new hear everyday. I guess I was basing my water calculations more off readings rather than doing the correct calculations. It's great you pointed that out. As for learning about turf and soil, it's a hobby aside from school. I'm planning to finish with Web Design school so hopefully I can make some websites for some of you guys, but would also like to learn about soil and turf so maybe I can do some side work for myself later on. You know right after you mentioned that, an add popped up for a degree in Landscaping. I think after I finish with what I'm doing, I might have to do some studies, but I just love learning about lawns/soils for some reason and have a passion for it. I ran that schedule up and down and changed many things hour after hour, but I feel I should be getting about just the right amount of nitrogen, or I'm very close in the ball park range. I don't think I'll see anything but positive benefits to the soil structure with the added organic materials, but like you said would be a very slow process. I think if I can get in the right % ball park range of OM in the soil than, the yard would be less susceptible to disease, especially with the composting rate I have the compost spaced out throughout the hottest part of the weather, in theory I think this will help fight against the fungus, along with addition to the CM. I will also be monitoring closely for any disease or sign of disease, in that case I will try to work around the summer application of nitrogen and replace with something better suited. I found the Lesco 15-5-10 to be formulated well for us; after reviewing it's ingredients and feel that it is well balanced and includes sulfur, iron, and some possible ingredients that can be beneficial to the grass here. I think the amount of organic material should keep the micro's in the soil if steady supplied and moving around under my turf through the warm months, and will also contribute to possibly lower watering needs. I plan to aerate in the spring. I think I have enough nitrogen to keep it the right color and balanced throughout the spring, summer, and fall, while I think with the amount of OM being applied, I should be able to have a fairly balanced soil within a few years. One thing when playing around with designing schedules, we all know not to trust on the weather. But researching the almanac and learning average temperatures for each month can play a big roles into nitrogen applications. Thus, why I covered the heavy spring applications, low summer application, add the organic material to help fight disease (we'll see), and then come back with a lb of nitrogen as soon as the weather starts cooling off, but not before it's too late. For the water, I hadn't actually calculated that number, I still had that factored by readings and research, but as you can see I'm still making changes by the minute. I clearly see what you see after I look more deeply into the numbers. My theory with the bio-stimulate is that yields the best results if applied right before a plant is "shocked". Our temperatures shouldn't spike until December, thus, I believe the bio stimulate will best benefit if applied 30 and 60 days before the cold moves in. I completely understand where your coming from on the water now and I'm grateful you pointed that out. I look forward to seeing some more of your useful post around whenever you got time on your end.