Originally Posted by greendoctor
I am sure you are not trying to dictate. Lawns come to me in horrible shape. Both my client and I want improvement yesterday. The actual solution for many of them is to subgrade 12-18" and replace the removed material with a sand and compost growing media. I do not apply Pre-M to any lawns that I maintain. My preemergent control is to grow the grass thick and fast to choke out weeds. I do practice IPM, however understand the difference between that and a no chemical policy. In recent years, IPM has become synonymous with no chemicals. As for fertilizers, I am on an all liquid program. It is very similar to what is done on golf greens. It is low rates applied monthly. Warm season grasses do not have many weed problems if they are mowed at their correct height and fertilized for dense growth. For bermuda here, if it is not mowed at less than 1" with a reel mower, it is soon taken over by coarse grasses. I like compost topdressings, but their purpose is to change soil structure and increase moisture retention. It is not to take away fertilizers. My lawn care programs mean I have control over irrigation, mowing height and anything applied to the lawn. If I do not have control over that, either I do not do business or if it is an existing client doing contrary to my advice, client is fired.
I agree with most everything you said except for the compost replacing fert part. If the compost is a good compost then it will have the nutrients needed to feed the plants. You are probably just missing the little guys who change that compost into the food. Compost, with the good guys, will feed the lawn with an as needed basis. The lawn takes what it needs and the rest waits until it is needed again. It also has great water retention too. Once you get the good guys established they too will help with disease resistance, keep the bad guys out. I love how you are using compost in your programs, get some CT or ICT from Bill down and see what happens. You might be surprised.
Also, I agree that chems have their place. I just don't feel that all the fert is needed, I just feed the plants a different way, as said above.