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Chicken Manure based products for rotary spreaders?....Compost Topdressing Lite?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Exact Rototilling, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    End of last season I told all my customers, that have me apply fertilizer, that I'm ONLY going to offer products that contain organic matter to breakdown thatch and are beneficial to soil microbe activity. This is the product I started using: http://www.therichlawncompany.com/products/fertilizers/pro-rich-turf-food/

    One of my mowing clients said one of the chicken manure products she used in the past encouraged mushrooms in her lawn. Any validity to this claim?

    At this point I'm not interested or set up for compost tea since my customer will think WT...? I need to ease them into healthier lawn care gradually.

    Any suggestions on other products to use that can be cranked out in a rotary spreader reliably?
  2. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,061

    Growing up in Alabama most farmers would spread chicken **** in the fall after harvest, or in pastures in the summer. (be prepared for the smell). It was done with a 10 ton truck that had a live floor feeding a broadcast spreader in the back. The material is very dry and dusty at that point. Another thing to remember is that depending on the area of the country the material is coming from may vary as to what bedding is mixed with it. Where I'm from they used peanut hulls, but any plentiful organic material in the area its from will most likely be used. I guess that if I were going to try using it in a rotary spreader I would try it out in a salt speader as it may be a little thick to go through a fert spreader. I hope this helps, and get a face mask.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    How many pallets do you use per round?
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    also look around your area for different agriculture practices that produce waste, ethanol production often will produce a by product called distillers grain which is the left overs of the process and is full of great nutrients as well as N, it is typically 6% N

    often you can find it bagged in feed stores, in bulk it runs about $250 a ton and comes out of a spreader pretty well

    corn gluten meal is often a byproduct from ethanol too, it is a great fertilizer
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Yes, it's possible that chicken manure product may have spawned mushrooms, especially if it had been applied too heavily or unevenly in spots. Other factors involved include soil type(s) & soil porosity & precipitation.
    Potentially any organic-based product will result in mushroom outbreaks a few weeks later. Purists generally will smile at it & just rake them over, or leave them alone. (They're harmless.) Folks that're generally buying organic lawn or landscape care just to be trendy & " green" would probably be the ones likely to call & complain about mushroom outbreaks! :rolleyes:
    If these folks are not already getting it, sell them core aeration & make sure it's done thoroughly ONLY when the soil's moist enough for tine penetration.

    If you're having issues with material flowing through your spreader consider biting the bullet & investing in a Prizelawn Bigfoot HVO (high volume output) spreader. They're made in the U.S.A! :usflag: http://www.psbcompany.com/spreaders.php

    I've seen Bigfoots & other spreaders outfitted with hopper vibrators & weather-proof batteries for use with ice melts. I'm sure that would work for tough-to-disperse materials like corn gluten meal (CGM), which is not only a fertilizer but also a pre-emergent.

    Some other products that can be run through rotory spreaders like the Bigfoot :
    (plant-based, approx analyses)

    1) distiller's grains 4-2-2
    2) soybean meal 6-1-2
    3) cottonseed meal 6-2-2
    4) alfalfa meal 3-1-3
    5) corn meal 2-0-0
    6) canola meal 6-2-1
    7) CGM 9-0-0

    (non plant-based)
    1) blood meal 13-2-1 be VERY VERY careful in warm weather!!! :cry:

    What are my personal favorites? Distiller's grains made a big spash in 2009 and 2010 in terms of cost-effectiveness. A diversified program for the soil is what our program promotes, so we generally use DG, soybean meal, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal &/or finished compost in a rotation 2X to 3X / yr to maximize benefits.
    The proper selling, timing & implentation of core aeration cannot be under-emphasized.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    I have been applying compost for nearly 2 decades and have never seen this occur.
  7. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Oh geez.... SORRY!, I forgot this forum had...(ahem) "Kiril"... scanning it for any potential error
    And of course Kiril resides in beautiful California, the land of milk & honey. The land the fictional Joad family thought was "paradise".
    No! Mushrooms wouldn't DARE spawn after an organic-based app in California. And Exact, if you were to go to California, I'm sure Kiril would try to assure you your &#!+ wouldn't stink there, either! :laugh:

    Here.... I'll correct myself, just for you "Kiril":
    Potentially (the mis-application or over-application of) any organic-based product may result in mushroom outbreaks a few weeks later.

    Happy now?!? :hammerhead:
  8. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Why would an "organic based app" lead to mushrooms vs an organic app? If you have the right conditions for mushrooms, the source shouldn't matter.
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    I only put down maybe 8 bags of fert last season. Reason is the big companies can put it down cheap synthetic fert for less than I can buy it for and then broadcast it all over the walks and half of the driveways then pull their chess board arrangement of safety cone in front and in back of the vehicle then split to the next house just down the street. Same type of Co. with the picture of the Dalmatian on the truck to dupe customers to think that all their products are safe for fido and small children. :nono:

    Lots of demand here for power racking & dethatching in my area......I do those as well but my minimum is going up to $120 for even a tiny property...... I'm trying to promote Spring and fall aeration combos as the best value vs. destructive power raking along with organic matter fert but only for those who are willing to pay for it. payup

    Most of my customers apply fertilizer themselves and are using Scott's products or some 28+ N synthetic fert and then they are over watering and wonder why they think they need power raking and dethatching every year and they regularly mow their cool season grass shorter than 2" all season long because they don't like shaggy looking grass.

    I've tried to be the healthy turf evangelist. Just going to have several handouts to drastically cut down on the chit chat during aeration estimates and post aeration lawn care tips.

    It is frankly hard enough to sell customer on aeration's as being effective even though my premium aeration's are at almost double the plugs in a single pass per square foot vs. the rental machines and those performed by the other Companies. An aeration is an aeration right? No a double pass really is better than a single pass....better yet my Plugr 850's will come really close if not match a double pass from most other aerators.

    I'll be looking over the Bigfoot spreaders [I use an Earthway now] and the other products mentioned.

    Thanks for all the input. :waving:
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Platinum Member
    from zone 6
    Posts: 4,233

    Your mix is still a synthetic bridge so I would not bang on TGCL to hard as they actually do offer a straight organic fert. I see mushrooms with some Organic Ferts more than others when conditions are right as rain and the right temps regardless of what Kiril thinks , comparing Idaho to California really holds no water.

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