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  #11  
Old 11-16-2007, 09:14 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: District 9 CA
Posts: 18,325
I agree with the small steps if you have no experience. Selling native plantings and organic programs is not hard when you show the client the potential money savings. My primary goal is always little or no inputs. While this is usually impossible with turf, you can achieve this to some degree in non-turf areas. Your best teacher when going with natives is nature itself. Look at the natural areas around your region to see what works, and get information from other reliable sources in the area.

Here are some links to help you get started.

Sustainable Landscapes & Habitats


Environmental Protection Agency:

GreenScapes Program

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service):

Improving Urban Landscapes

University of Minnesota:

Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series (SULIS)

Oregon State University Extension Service:

Plant Selection for Sustainable Landscapes

Seattle Public Utilities:

Ecologically Sound Lawn Care for the Pacific Northwest

Building Green:

Natural Landscaping: Native Plants and Planting Strategies for Green Development

National Wildlife Federation:

Create a Certified Wildlife Habitat

University of Maine:

Principles for Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat

State of Illinois:

Creating Habitats and Homes For Illinois Wildlife


Misc Related Information


NC State University:

Sustainable Practices for Vegetable Production in the South

University of California:

Soil Fertility Management for Organic Crops

Soil Management and Soil Quality for Organic Crops

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Environmental Protection Agency:

EPA: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles

University of Vermont SERA-17:

Referenced Publications From SERA-17

Colorado State University:

Xeriscaping: Creative Landscaping

Organic Materials as Nitrogen Fertilizers

Texas A&M University:

Landscape Water Conservation...Xeriscape

Duke University:

Long-Term Soil-Ecosystem Studies (LTSEs)

State of California:

Coyote Creek Watershed Management Plan. Green Infrastructure Site Design Guidelines

ATTRA:

Sources of Organic Fertilizers and Amendments

USDA-NAL:

Soil And Water Management

Organic Gardening: A Guide to Resources

USDA-SARE:

Building Soils for Better Crops, 2nd Edition


Holistic Agriculture Library:

Factors Of Soil Formation. A System of Quantitative Pedology
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2007, 02:47 PM
ICT Bill ICT Bill is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Howard County MD
Posts: 4,120
Packey,
Going organic is really very simple, it is about getting organic matter back in the soil and supporting and increasing the beneficial microrganisms.
The best way to increase organic matter is to use LOCAL compost, you want to find a source of good FINISHED compost. By finished I mean nice and old and aerobically composted.
You can increase the biological activity by spraying compost teas. In MA and CT this is the only way that you can take care of K-12 school grounds, it works great.
I was thinking about how much property you have to cover, thats a lot of compost. We used a very successful method of screening the compost to 1/8 inch minus and adding a yard of the screened compost to a 300 gallon hydro-seeder, adding compost tea and spraying as a slurry onto the areas. It goes fast and works well.
Here is the starter program I suggest to almost everyone who asks
1. core aerate
2. seed
3. spray compost tea
4. cover with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of finished compost
5. repeat steps 1 - 4 every fall for 3 years
6. spray compost teas as the soil warms in the spring until first frost, to begin spray once every 2 weeks for 2 months and then once per month after that.
7. soil tests and soil bioassay's are mandatory in the spring or when issues come up that are not easy to diagnose.

A lot of the guys that I work with carry microscopes in their vehicles to look at the soil when on site. This is the level of expertise that they have with soil and the creatures that live in the soil. As you become more of a soil scientist you can almost tell just by looking whats going on in the soil. Some guys always say to me, don't you see? read the weeds! They can tell whats going on the soil by the weeds that are present
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2007, 02:51 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,822
Another approach to a gradual changeover is to just go ahead and quit some of the unnecessary pesticide applications.
When I took over one lawn that wanted thicker grass in a forestted area I made it clear that the pre-m needs to stop as well as the 2,4d in the fall. The new seed did grow but after 1 1/2 years of no pre-m.
Milorganite will build the soil fertility and has iron for good color as well. Eventually the synthetic fertilizers will become unnecessary but can always be an added boost if the color fades.
Healthy soils with adequate fertility is what you want to achieve and current appearance doesn't need to suffer at all.
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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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  #14  
Old 11-16-2007, 03:04 PM
ICT Bill ICT Bill is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Howard County MD
Posts: 4,120
I agree with you smallaxe, appearances do not suffer
It is also about setting the customers expectations and understanding exactly how green the customer wants to go.
There is a place for fertilizers and herbicides just in dramatically lower inputs then we are currently doing.
The only issue I have with milorganite is that often it is not local. It is shipped in from somewhere else. I believe local compost is superior because it comes from the local climate and has the local beneficial microrganisms in it. Plus I am not crazy about composted people poop manures, OK 2 issues.
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  #15  
Old 11-16-2007, 06:45 PM
packey packey is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Longview, Texas
Posts: 556
eshkis thank you. You have give me a good bit to look at and go over. I like the idea of breaking down into zones once I get everything going strong. I have been reading as much as I can find on organics (library, internet, state of Colorado, CU. But I will also admit their is a world of things I do not know. I will let you know if I need any more help thanks
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  #16  
Old 11-16-2007, 08:45 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
Posts: 9,822
Quote:
Originally Posted by ICT Bill View Post
I agree with you smallaxe, appearances do not suffer
It is also about setting the customers expectations and understanding exactly how green the customer wants to go.
There is a place for fertilizers and herbicides just in dramatically lower inputs then we are currently doing.
The only issue I have with milorganite is that often it is not local. It is shipped in from somewhere else. I believe local compost is superior because it comes from the local climate and has the local beneficial microrganisms in it. Plus I am not crazy about composted people poop manures, OK 2 issues.
I'm with you on all of that and would not use the stuff in my garden. I like the iron content for grass, but I am sure there are better applications in the organic fertilizer realm.

Good luck Packey, and would enjoy some pictures of the place. Sounds like a great project.
__________________
*
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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  #17  
Old 11-27-2007, 05:59 PM
dtally's Avatar
dtally dtally is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 82
biosol

You may want to check this product, as well all of their other products.
http://www.nutrientsplus.com/nature-pure.html

Also check out Urban Soil Conditionerô
www.organicplanthealthcare.com

You may need to call or e-mail them as their web pages are quite simple

Dave
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