Register free!


Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #21  
Old 10-13-2007, 01:04 PM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
You can spray/add as much "biology" as you want to a soil, but without a food source it will not do a lick of good. To build a healthy sustainable soil you need a continuous OM (eg. carbon) input.

Strive to create a balanced sustainable system, and the rest will take care of itself.

Here's a good place to start.

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/PDF/soilmgmt.pdf
I think that is what I said. You need to feed the soil biology and you do that with protein meals. Protein meals in conjunction with AACT and then you'll be on your way.

Protein meals ARE a source of carbon. It's a source of organic material. You don't need to add topdressing to you soil IF you use AACT with protein meals.

Here is a post from David Hall:

"The stuff that goes in to compost is typically very low in protein because, typically, the humans or animals have already eaten the protein out of the carcass you discarded into the pile. Protein is important to the soil because it feeds the microbes. Protein carries the nitrogen molecules around in the soil. Just like us terrestrials, all the little microbes have muscles, hair, fingernails, and skin, made from protein. When they die, the protein is eaten by other microbes which carry it elsewhere. Eventually some of the microbes excrete Nature's own brand of plant food. Bringing the nitrogen-carrying protein to the soil is what provides the [delayed] fertilization effect. So the ground up grains and other ingredients that go into animal protein feeds are also what go into organic fertilizers. What we are doing by sending y'all to the feed store is cutting out the expensive bag and showing you where to get the same organic fertilizer ingredients for 1/6 the price."

The secret that certainly nobody knew about, or at least we gardeners didn't know about, was that the microbes need to eat protein to become healthy enough to protect themselves, the plants, and other beneficial creatures (including insects). Now we know what to do. Having an organic soil is not nearly enough. You have to feed protein to the microbes in the soil. I use various protein meals for fertilizer during the course of the year, such as corn gluten meal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, fish meal and fish/seaweed liquid fertilizers. Adding organic matter alone is not enough.

Of course, we are talking about lawns here and not farming. But it also works under those condtions as well.

Gerry Miller

Last edited by Gerry Miller; 10-13-2007 at 01:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-13-2007, 07:56 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
I think that is what I said.
Well, not really. I see a sustainable system as one that requires little or no supplemental inputs. If your applying any supplement (AACT, protein meals, fertilizer, etc...) on a regular basis, then the system is not really self sustainable.

I would also point out that landscapes (turf, etc...) is nothing more than small scale farming.

Nature seemed to get along fine without our interference (soil manipulating) for a very long time, perhaps we should take notice.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-13-2007, 08:45 PM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
Well, not really. I see a sustainable system as one that requires little or no supplemental inputs. If your applying any supplement (AACT, protein meals, fertilizer, etc...) on a regular basis, then the system is not really self sustainable.

I would also point out that landscapes (turf, etc...) is nothing more than small scale farming.

Nature seemed to get along fine without our interference (soil manipulating) for a very long time, perhaps we should take notice.
Actually, turf is nothing like small scale farming. There is no tilling, no removal of crops, and no rotation of crops. As a lawn is a monoculture and is nothing like prairie grass.

While it's true that nature sustained the soil before man, we also had herds of animals crossing the prairies, leaving behind their manure, urine and dead bodies to feed the soil to make it self sustaining. Since we don't have herds crossing our lawns anymore, and having dead animals sit and decompose on our lawns and gardens is frowned on today, we have to work with nature.

If you are lucky enough to have mature trees on your property, you can mulch these leaves into your soil to add organic matter to your soil. This along with proper watering and mulch mowing is all that is needed for a lawn to be sustainable. But having your lawn be sustainable or having it thrive are two different things. If you don't have trees, then you are going need to add protein to your soil to keep the biology well fed and happy. There is nothing wrong with adding protein meals to your lawn or AACT...it's working with nature, not against it. I don't think I would say that doing these practices are 'manipulating' the soil, but working in harmony with nature. I have taken notice, that's why I practice organic methods on my soil, lawn and garden.

The problem start when people use synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. These things work AGAINST nature. Those are the things people need to take notice of..!

Gerry Miller
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-14-2007, 08:30 AM
NattyLawn NattyLawn is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,648
We started using and producing raw Leonardite last year as a carbon source. It works well, especially on low OM soil tested properties, and when combined with AACT and a low analysis fert the lawns exploded when we finally got some rain this fall.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-14-2007, 11:27 AM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by NattyLawn View Post
We started using and producing raw Leonardite last year as a carbon source. It works well, especially on low OM soil tested properties, and when combined with AACT and a low analysis fert the lawns exploded when we finally got some rain this fall.
Yes, a good source of organic matter and carbon.

Humic acids (HAs) are termed polydisperse because of their variable chemical features. From a three dimensional aspect these complex carbon containing compounds are considered to be flexible linear polymers that exist as random coils with cross linked bonds. On average 35% of the humic acid (HA) molecules are aromatic (carbon rings), while the remaining components are in the form of aliphatic (carbon chains) molecules. The molecular size of humic acids (HAs) range from approximately 10,000 to 100,000. Humic acid (HA) polymers readily bind clay minerals to form stable organic clay complexes. Peripheral pores in the polymer are capable of accommodating (binding) natural and synthetic organic chemicals in a lattice (clathrate) type arrangements.

I use humic acid to complex the chlorine in my water supply that I use to apply my AACT. It also will complex with chloramines in the water as well. This complexing will make these chemicals harmless to the organisms in your AACT.

Humic acids (HAs) readily form salts with inorganic trace mineral elements. An analysis of extracts of naturally occurring humic acids (HAs) will reveal the presence of over 60 different mineral elements present. These trace elements are bound to humic add molecules in a form that can be readily utilized by various living organisms. As a result humic acids (HAs) function as important ion exchange and metal complexing (chelating) systems.

http://www.humate.info/

"The ability of the humates to poise or regulate water-holding capacity or content is probably their most significant property so far as agriculture is concerned, since from a quantitative point water is the most important plant material derived from the soil. In conjunction with this water regulating effect, the humates possess extremely high ion exchange capacities, and it is this property that makes possible better retention and utilization of fertilizers by preventing excessive leaching away from the root zones and ultimately releasing them to the growing plants as needed. The humates reduce soil erosion by increasing the cohesive forces of the very fine soil particles. The desirable friable character of fertile soils is maintained through the formation of colloidal mineral complexes, which assist in aeration and the prevention of large clods and stratification. Very low concentrations of purified humates have been shown to stimulate seed germination and viability, root growth, especially lengthwise. Significantly increased yields have been reported for many crops, such as cotton, potatoes, wheat, tomatoes, mustard, and nursery stock. They have also been shown to stimulate growth and proliferation of desirable soil microorganisms as well as algae and yeasts. A number of workers have been reported that the humic acids can solubilize and make available to plants certain materials that are otherwise unavailable, such as rock phosphates. The humates seem to play an important roles in plant utilization and metabolism of the phosphates. The humic acids apparently can liberate carbon dioxide from soil calcium carbonates and thus make it available to the plant through the roots for photosynthesis. The humates are know to stimulate plant enzymes. The humates....are nature's soil conditioners par excellence." (Humate materials are also known as Leonardite.)"

Everett M. Burdick in Economic Botany
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 10-14-2007, 12:25 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,318
I'm not sure how we got stuck on turf only, the original thread was about trees and there is more to landscapes than turf.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
Actually, turf is nothing like small scale farming. There is no tilling, no removal of crops, and no rotation of crops. As a lawn is a monoculture and is nothing like prairie grass.
Let me explain. Landscapes and turf can be directly correlated to farming in several different ways.

1) Products used in landscaping are either directly used in agriculture, have been packaged for retail/commercial use from an agricultural product, or is directly a result of research done for agriculture.

2) In a typical landscape, more is going out than in. Typical landscape management practices remove clippings, be it grass, branches, leaves, etc.. This is no different than harvesting a crop because the end result is the same, you are removing OM from the site/system.

3) Coring a lawn can be loosely correlated to tilling. While coring is not as destructive, it is turning the soil over on a smaller scale.

4) Some lawns are maintained with one type of grass in the summer, and another in the winter. This can be loosely correlated to crop rotation, even though the primary reasons for crop rotation have little to do with improving soil fertility.

5) In some cases turf grass might be a monoculture. More likely it is made up off several different species and varieties within a species. For example, a very common turf used in my region is comprised of several different species of fescue mixed with bluegrass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
While it's true that nature sustained the soil before man, we also had herds of animals crossing the prairies, leaving behind their manure, urine and dead bodies to feed the soil to make it self sustaining. Since we don't have herds crossing our lawns anymore, and having dead animals sit and decompose on our lawns and gardens is frowned on today, we have to work with nature.
I don't see how this is relevant? The planet is not made up of 100% prairies, now or in the past. Furthermore, even if it was, the "inputs" you referred to were not spread equally across the entire region/planet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
If you are lucky enough to have mature trees on your property, you can mulch these leaves into your soil to add organic matter to your soil. This along with proper watering and mulch mowing is all that is needed for a lawn to be sustainable.
Agreed (proper watering and mulch mowing), assuming minimal or no other supplemental inputs are required. However I should point out here that water is also an input if it is not being provided by rain. I don't know why the trees need to be mature, other than how it relates to volume of leaf litter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
But having your lawn be sustainable or having it thrive are two different things. If you don't have trees, then you are going need to add protein to your soil to keep the biology well fed and happy.
Define "thrive". If you mean maintaining unnatural growth rates given local environmental conditions, then that is most certainly not a sustainable system. IMHO, turf is far from being environmentally friendly, be it organically managed or not, and should be strictly regulated or prohibited on residential and commercial sites.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
There is nothing wrong with adding protein meals to your lawn or AACT...it's working with nature, not against it.
There is nothing wrong with it, I never said there was, however beware of the "miracle products" that do little more than waste your money. AACT and protein meal alone will not fix a soil that is lacking sufficient organic matter of variable C:N.

Sound management practices dictate you try to match your outputs with comparable inputs, otherwise your doing nothing more than mining your soil. It is unlikely you will achieve this goal with AACT and protein meals alone in a typically managed landscape. IMHO, if all someone has done is replace conventional product A with organic product A, then they missed the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Miller View Post
I don't think I would say that doing these practices are 'manipulating' the soil, but working in harmony with nature.
I would argue that it absolutely is manipulation of the soil. Any "artificial" input that is intended to change the properties of the soil is manipulation. What I mean by artificial is anything made or done by humans, be it "organic" or not, that changes the properties of the soil in a manner that would not have otherwise naturally occurred.

I would also point out that introduction of microbes into an area where populations of that microbe would not have naturally occurred is anything but natural. Organic purists would frown on such a practice.

Working in harmony with nature would require landscapes that are suitable for the region (i.e. creating natural habitats using native plants). As soon as you add irrigation or any other supplemental input into the equation, you are no longer working in harmony with nature, but instead trying to manipulate to suit your needs.

Last edited by Kiril; 10-14-2007 at 12:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 10-14-2007, 01:17 PM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
While I agree, using native plants in the landscape require no input or help from man. Using native plants in your yard adds to a natural scene. But most properties where people live, this isn't the case. Most people prefer the look of a well manicured lawn, bushes and trees. In fact it can increase up to 15% the value of the property.

But you are correct that it does require inputs that you are not going to need in the wild or natural setting.

But lawns do offer a functional benefits as well. Lawns will regulate soil temperature around you home. It will keep soil from eroding. Removes CO2 from the air and produces oxygen. The same for native plants, but you need to give credit to lawns as they do as well.

And you will need to remove broken branches, and trees and dead animals from your lawn as this takes away from the beauty of lawn, where in a natural setting, all these things add organic matter to the soil. So you will have to put back these things. I use protein meals, mulched leaves from the sheer volume of mature trees, fish hydrolysate (not from the farm, but from the ocean or fresh water fish). While these are indeed inputs, they are from an organic source which allows them to work with nature and not against it, like synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides.

Did you know that one of the largest contributor of organic matter within a lawn is it's dead root systems? Each year, mostly during the summer months, lots of root material from your grass is added back to the soil's organic matter. This is sustainable, I'm sure you would agree.

And by adding AACT to one's soil will supercharge the soil biology, it does need to be fed. This is accomplished with the use of protein meals, which do originate from the farm, unless is fish meal or fish hydrolysate. This is all you need to have your lawn thrive. The addition of soil fungi helps decrease the amount of moisture from watering and helps to make it more sustaining. But if drought conditions occur, it will need some water to keep it green or it will go dormant. I don't believe you'll find this with native plants, so this is an advantage for them.

By adding soil biology, you reduce and can even remove the amount of inputs required. I don't know anyone in an organic practice that removes their lawn clippings as this adds to the organic matter as well.

Also the use of small branches are used to add organic matter to the soil. Ramial Wood Chips are part of an organic system as well. But we do mulch them so they break down faster than they do in the wild or natural state.

But like I stated before, you do not have to add topdressing to you soil every year for your lawn to thrive. The use of AACT and protein meals is ALL you need. This is a proven fact, not a theory. If you are lucky enough to have mature trees on your property and you mulch them back into the soil, you can reduce the amount of input from other means. Malcolm Beck who is like the 'Godfather' of compost in Texas has stated that on his own property, he's only topdressed his lawn twice. Once when he first moved there and it needed it. He did again 20 years later, not because it needed it, but because he had it available for free!

Adding compost to farm soil I believe is needed and is different than required in organic lawn care.

So while sustainable native plants has it's advantages, not everyone likes that look, and prefer the look of KBG instead.

Last edited by Gerry Miller; 10-14-2007 at 01:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 10-14-2007, 03:14 PM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
I'm not sure how we got stuck on turf only, the original thread was about trees and there is more to landscapes than turf.



Let me explain. Landscapes and turf can be directly correlated to farming in several different ways.

1) Products used in landscaping are either directly used in agriculture, have been packaged for retail/commercial use from an agricultural product, or is directly a result of research done for agriculture.

2) In a typical landscape, more is going out than in. Typical landscape management practices remove clippings, be it grass, branches, leaves, etc.. This is no different than harvesting a crop because the end result is the same, you are removing OM from the site/system.

3) Coring a lawn can be loosely correlated to tilling. While coring is not as destructive, it is turning the soil over on a smaller scale.

4) Some lawns are maintained with one type of grass in the summer, and another in the winter. This can be loosely correlated to crop rotation, even though the primary reasons for crop rotation have little to do with improving soil fertility.

5) In some cases turf grass might be a monoculture. More likely it is made up off several different species and varieties within a species. For example, a very common turf used in my region is comprised of several different species of fescue mixed with bluegrass.



I don't see how this is relevant? The planet is not made up of 100% prairies, now or in the past. Furthermore, even if it was, the "inputs" you referred to were not spread equally across the entire region/planet.



Agreed (proper watering and mulch mowing), assuming minimal or no other supplemental inputs are required. However I should point out here that water is also an input if it is not being provided by rain. I don't know why the trees need to be mature, other than how it relates to volume of leaf litter.



Define "thrive". If you mean maintaining unnatural growth rates given local environmental conditions, then that is most certainly not a sustainable system. IMHO, turf is far from being environmentally friendly, be it organically managed or not, and should be strictly regulated or prohibited on residential and commercial sites.



There is nothing wrong with it, I never said there was, however beware of the "miracle products" that do little more than waste your money. AACT and protein meal alone will not fix a soil that is lacking sufficient organic matter of variable C:N.

Sound management practices dictate you try to match your outputs with comparable inputs, otherwise your doing nothing more than mining your soil. It is unlikely you will achieve this goal with AACT and protein meals alone in a typically managed landscape. IMHO, if all someone has done is replace conventional product A with organic product A, then they missed the boat.



I would argue that it absolutely is manipulation of the soil. Any "artificial" input that is intended to change the properties of the soil is manipulation. What I mean by artificial is anything made or done by humans, be it "organic" or not, that changes the properties of the soil in a manner that would not have otherwise naturally occurred.

I would also point out that introduction of microbes into an area where populations of that microbe would not have naturally occurred is anything but natural. Organic purists would frown on such a practice.

Working in harmony with nature would require landscapes that are suitable for the region (i.e. creating natural habitats using native plants). As soon as you add irrigation or any other supplemental input into the equation, you are no longer working in harmony with nature, but instead trying to manipulate to suit your needs.
Organics

In nature, plants are provided with most of the nutrients they need from the soil food web, the complex ecosystem of microorganisms that makes up living soil. The healthier the soil, the healthier the plants. An organic approach to plant health uses products such as compost teas and organic fertilizers to promote and feed the living organisms in the soil. By optimizing soil health we optimize plant health.

Organics is also a preventative approach that promotes sustainability. As we are learning today with our own health, prevention is the best medicine. Organic methods focus on promoting the insusceptibility of plants to diseases and pests rather than just on killing pests. A healthy plant produces compounds called allelochemicals that actually ****** insect feeding and inhibit disease development. The leaf surface of a healthy plant has its own microbial ecosystem that provides a coating that protects the plants.

Chemical fertilizing, however, takes a different approach. It is based on determining the major nutrients required for each type of plant to grow and then produce a fertilizer that supplies those nutrients. What sounds like a simple solution actually creates a dynamic of problems.

Although the plants initially look fine after chemical fertilizing, what is going on within the soil is not. The salt content of chemical fertilizers is toxic to microbial life. Regular chemical use continues to deplete the soil of vital microorganisms and begins a cycle of problems. Soil compaction, less vigorous growth and fewer flowers, susceptibility to insects and diseases are some of the more obvious symptoms. Some are more hidden and go unnoticed by the untrained eye.

Chemical use begins a vicious cycle of dependency. The chemicals strip the soil of life and leave the plants dependent on their fertilizer "fix" for any nutrients. When the chemical fertilizers wear off or leach out of the soil, they leave nothing behind to create or supply nutrients to the plants. The plants then start to show signs of stress or die and more chemical fertilizers are added to give the plants another chemical "fix".

Chemical pesticides are often introduced to combat diseases or pests taking advantage of the plant's weakness. These sprays strip the plant's natural microbial protective coating leaving it susceptible to more disease. These problems create extreme stress on the plants that the fertilizers & pesticides cannot cure. In the end the result is poor quality plant materials, high plant mortality, poor soil conditions and poor water quality.

In order to truly look at the chemical approach it is important that we also look at the incredible evidence of harm created downstream from the use of these products. Toxic compounds not only harm our ground water, streams, oceans, and wildlife, they harm our children, our pets, and our own health. A World Resources Institute study has determined that the fresh water systems around the world are so environmentally degraded that they are losing their ability to support human, animal and plant life. 93% of fresh water is used by agriculture that produces runoff that degrades water quality with silt and chemicals.

http://www.soildynamics.com/organics.htm
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 10-14-2007, 06:09 PM
Gerry Miller Gerry Miller is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Midlothian, IL zone 5
Posts: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
I'm not sure how we got stuck on turf only, the original thread was about trees and there is more to landscapes than turf.



Let me explain. Landscapes and turf can be directly correlated to farming in several different ways.

1) Products used in landscaping are either directly used in agriculture, have been packaged for retail/commercial use from an agricultural product, or is directly a result of research done for agriculture.

2) In a typical landscape, more is going out than in. Typical landscape management practices remove clippings, be it grass, branches, leaves, etc.. This is no different than harvesting a crop because the end result is the same, you are removing OM from the site/system.

3) Coring a lawn can be loosely correlated to tilling. While coring is not as destructive, it is turning the soil over on a smaller scale.

4) Some lawns are maintained with one type of grass in the summer, and another in the winter. This can be loosely correlated to crop rotation, even though the primary reasons for crop rotation have little to do with improving soil fertility.

5) In some cases turf grass might be a monoculture. More likely it is made up off several different species and varieties within a species. For example, a very common turf used in my region is comprised of several different species of fescue mixed with bluegrass.



I don't see how this is relevant? The planet is not made up of 100% prairies, now or in the past. Furthermore, even if it was, the "inputs" you referred to were not spread equally across the entire region/planet.



Agreed (proper watering and mulch mowing), assuming minimal or no other supplemental inputs are required. However I should point out here that water is also an input if it is not being provided by rain. I don't know why the trees need to be mature, other than how it relates to volume of leaf litter.



Define "thrive". If you mean maintaining unnatural growth rates given local environmental conditions, then that is most certainly not a sustainable system. IMHO, turf is far from being environmentally friendly, be it organically managed or not, and should be strictly regulated or prohibited on residential and commercial sites.



There is nothing wrong with it, I never said there was, however beware of the "miracle products" that do little more than waste your money. AACT and protein meal alone will not fix a soil that is lacking sufficient organic matter of variable C:N.

Sound management practices dictate you try to match your outputs with comparable inputs, otherwise your doing nothing more than mining your soil. It is unlikely you will achieve this goal with AACT and protein meals alone in a typically managed landscape. IMHO, if all someone has done is replace conventional product A with organic product A, then they missed the boat.



I would argue that it absolutely is manipulation of the soil. Any "artificial" input that is intended to change the properties of the soil is manipulation. What I mean by artificial is anything made or done by humans, be it "organic" or not, that changes the properties of the soil in a manner that would not have otherwise naturally occurred.

I would also point out that introduction of microbes into an area where populations of that microbe would not have naturally occurred is anything but natural. Organic purists would frown on such a practice.

Working in harmony with nature would require landscapes that are suitable for the region (i.e. creating natural habitats using native plants). As soon as you add irrigation or any other supplemental input into the equation, you are no longer working in harmony with nature, but instead trying to manipulate to suit your needs.
You know when I read your comments again, I couldn't believe just how many absurd statements you made! There are so many of them, the first time through, I just ignored them all. But on second thought, I have to comment on at least some of the most glaring absurdities:


2) In a typical landscape, more is going out than in. Typical landscape management practices remove clippings, be it grass, branches, leaves, etc.. This is no different than harvesting a crop because the end result is the same, you are removing OM from the site/system.

Not everyone removes grass clippings. In fact in an organic lawn care practice, mulched grass clippings are returned to the soil. The same is true with leaves in the fall and with small branches. They are all mulched up and returned to the soil. It is nothing like growing a crop that is removed from the soil, if due to no other fact, the amount of biomass and roots of crops. So this statement is incorrect making an inaccurate assumptions.

3) Coring a lawn can be loosely correlated to tilling. While coring is not as destructive, it is turning the soil over on a smaller scale.

This is absurd. Core aeration is nothing like tilling. It does not destroy soil fungi or earthworms as tilling does. Period.

4) Some lawns are maintained with one type of grass in the summer, and another in the winter. This can be loosely correlated to crop rotation, even though the primary reasons for crop rotation have little to do with improving soil fertility.

This one is a bit of stretch in regards to sowing two different types of grass. While this practice does exists, it's hardly a common practice, and certainly can't be considered crop rotation. That's absurd. It also seems you not familiar with the term 'crop rotation' as it does involved improving the soil and it's fertility. Crop rotation or Crop sequencing is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same space in sequential seasons for various benefits such as to avoid the build up of pathogens and pests that often occurs when one species is continuously cropped. Crop rotation also seeks to balance the fertility demands of various crops to avoid excessive depletion of soil nutrients. A traditional component of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals and other crops. It is one component of polyculture. Crop rotation can also improve soil structure and fertility by alternating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted plants.

Originally Posted by Gerry Miller
While it's true that nature sustained the soil before man, we also had herds of animals crossing the prairies, leaving behind their manure, urine and dead bodies to feed the soil to make it self sustaining. Since we don't have herds crossing our lawns anymore, and having dead animals sit and decompose on our lawns and gardens is frowned on today, we have to work with nature.

I don't see how this is relevant? The planet is not made up of 100% prairies, now or in the past. Furthermore, even if it was, the "inputs" you referred to were not spread equally across the entire region/planet.


You don't see how this is relevant? You're kidding right?? What I described is exactly how nature becomes self sustaining...by the waste products of herds of animals that cross the prairies, forest, woods, whatever, it doesn't matter. Animals that die on part of it's migratory activities, leave behind organic matter to feed the soil organisms. That's part of sustainability! Good Grief! Now where I live, the buffalo doesn't roam anymore as I haven't seen any on my lawn or that of my neighbors, so it's safe to assume that aspect of sustainability is missing from urban landscapes. And since it is missing, it needs to be replaced. By using protein meals, fish, mulched leaves, and grass clippings are all adding back to soil, organic material. AACT adds the soil biology that may be missing due to acts of God by flooding or what have you. Of course, replacing soil organisms can be accomplished by using compost or other organic material, it is by far much harder, more expensive and much more labor intensive than using AACT. And AACT will have 1000 times more biology than compost. Now this practice, while may not be in strict adherence to rules of sustainability, is certainly an accepted organic practice and not frowned upon by people who practice organic lawn care management. I find the use of protein meals and other practices described here much more to my liking than urinating all over my lawn and plants!

Define "thrive". If you mean maintaining unnatural growth rates given local environmental conditions, then that is most certainly not a sustainable system. IMHO, turf is far from being environmentally friendly, be it organically managed or not, and should be strictly regulated or prohibited on residential and commercial sites.

Man, you have so many things wrong with this statement, it's amazing that you actually posted it! Using organic methods on turf does not produce unnatural growth rates of plants. Where do you come up with this stuff? Do you make it up as you go along??? For my lawn to thrive, I add organic items to produce not only a dark green colored lawn, but one that never has a problem with grubs, or fungal diseases, is healthy and in balance with nature. Soil microbes need to eat protein to become healthy enough to protect themselves, the plants, and other beneficial creatures (including insects). Now we know what to do. Having an organic soil is not nearly enough. You have to feed protein to the microbes in the soil. I use various protein meals for fertilizer during the course of the year, such as corn gluten meal, alfalfa meal, soybean meal, fish meal and fish/seaweed liquid fertilizers. Adding organic matter alone is not enough.

To say that turf isn't environmentally friendly, well that's inaccurate as well. It depends on how you manage your turf. If you only use organic practices, turf certainly is environmentally friendly. It reduces soil temps around you home so it will cut drop the usage of your homes air conditioning, helps stop soil erosion, filter's the rains, takes CO2 from the air and replaces oxygen. Sounds mighty environmentally friendly to me! If you want to regulate anything, regulate the sale and use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. That's where the problem lies. Not with the organic practitioner. Good Grief.


There's more, but this is enough for now.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with using sustainable practices, there is certainly nothing wrong with using organic practices either. It's absurd to suggest that their is a problem and needs to be regulated. Unbelievable!

Last edited by Gerry Miller; 10-14-2007 at 06:15 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 10-14-2007, 08:54 PM
mkroher mkroher is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 539
Gerry, what are you feeding your lawn with? compost tea? topdressing? organic fertilizers?

growingsolutions.com has a nice brewer, but holy crap is it expensive. I wonder if I can make my own.

How are you preventing grubs, preventing crabgrass, and killing dandelions in your lawn?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.comô - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:01 PM.

Page generated in 0.20220 seconds with 7 queries