I Need help getting lawns looking really nice

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by recycledsole, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,568

    And you're asking someone from Wisconsin who has no experience with anything regarding turf in Texas???
     
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,568

    For homeowners, go to http://www.gardensalive.com/-font-size-2-iron-x-selective-weed-killer-for-lawns-font-size-5-/p/3721/
    This is an all natural selective weed killer. Is it as effective as chemical herbicides? No, but it can be useful as part of an overall natural turf program.
    Proper turf seed choice, moving, irrigation and adding organic matter are all important factors in a successful program.
     
  3. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    I was asking because he seems to know his stuff. :weightlifter:
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It might be helpful to think of Organics as a "Whole Organism" while thinking of fertilizer as Vitamin C...

    So much of Botany occurs at the microscopic level and Microbes have been absolutely necessary to all life on the planet and every living thing relies upon it... there are microbes to utilize the Vitamin C but what if our microbes were not able to digest protein???

    I have to leave now, but it is interesting to think about HOW organics work,,, and WHY synferts also work...
    Only in slightly different ways... so stop thinking of organic products being mere replacements for synthetic products... it goes way beyond the NPK in 5-7 apps... :)
     
  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,568

    That's a good post Smallaxe.
     
  6. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    Exactly why I directed my post towards him. While I'm far from knowing half as much as some of the people here, I learn more from deliberating and debating subjects and getting a better understanding of those who've been doing this for a living, apposed to depending solely on research.That's why I love this forum! :usflag:
     
  7. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    Here's the schedule I came up with for my Zoysia. I have yet to use a Fungicide treatment with the exception of Corn Meal, so I plan to keep CM in my routine. Also note, my lawn will be irrigated with exactly 1" through the growing season and 1/2" a week during the cooler months, and 1" a month during the winter months (which aren't extremely cold here.) I will also be mowing every week, once a week to fight off weeds. Zoysia is a very dense turf and naturally fights weeds when taken care of, note I am planning to keep herbicides and fungicides out of my schedule. I've done not hours, but hours, hours, hours, long nights, and long days into the research. I see an advantage to organic products and improving the soil with application after application, but I did not substitute "Organics" for "Synthetics", while I also tried to avoid the use of herbicides, fungicides, and too many chemicals. Note, on the Zoysia, I plan to compost first in early spring, while not applying a chemical fertilizer until after the second mowing.

    I've heard and read many stories that will turn anyone to both sides of the road, so I decided, why not test it for myself? We have a duplex property with about 1,5000 sq. feet front and back on both sides of the property divided by a large concrete drive way. So better yet, instead of reading this, trying this, trying that, I decided to see what works best for me.

    Here's the schedule I will be following for our newly laid Zoysia side. I kept chemical ferts to around 3 lbs. total of nitrogen for a year and will be using the "organics" to hopefully build the soil overtime. On the other side of the property I plan to use straight 15-5-10 throughout the year.

    On the Zoysia side I will be following the schedule below:



    March 1:
    - Turkey Compost 1 y / 1,000
    - Alfa Pellets 15 lbs. / 1,000
    - Corn Meal 20 lbs. / 1,000
    - Nematodes

    March 20:
    - Lesco 5-10-15 5p / 1,000


    May 1:
    - Turkey Compost 1 yd / 1,000
    - Alfa Pellets 15 lbs. / 1,000
    - Corn Meal 20 lbs. / 1,000


    May 20:
    - Lesco 15-5-10 5p / 1,000

    July 1-
    - Turkey Compost 1 y / 1,000
    - Alfa Pellets 15 lbs. / 1,000
    - Corn Meal 20 lbs. / 1,000

    July 20-
    - Lesco 15-5-10 2p / 1,000

    September 10 -
    - Lesco 15-5-10 5p / 1,000

    October 1 -
    - Corn Meal 10 lbs. / 1,000
    - Alfa Meal 10 lbs. / 1,000

    November 1-
    - Biostimulate

    December 1-
    - Biostimulate



    As I mentioned above, it is a very controversial subject. Some researchers say one thing benefits, while others say another benefits. Some have better results with one thing, while others might have better results with something else. Could it be that it depends on the "needs" of the soil? Well I came to conclusion there's no better way to find out than trying both methods and seeing which one works best. We have to lawns divided by about 400 sq. feet of drive way, so it will make an easy "side by side" comparison. Hopefully, by the end of next year and the following year, I will know what works best for "our" soil and lawn.
     
  8. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,264

    Do you really need 1" of water a week? Do your soil's drain that fast?
     
  9. BlazersandWildcats2009

    BlazersandWildcats2009 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 197

    Agrostics, that goes back to what we were discussing earlier. Which is where the rain gauge comes in real handy. However, my grass calls for 1" to 1 1/4" a week. I will obviously using the gauge to determine how much water for each week, but under drought times and summer months I will be giving it an inch a week. When the whether cools like now, I will be dropping that, when the spring rain arrives, that will be dropped according to the rain gauge. Honestly, I think from what I've seen so far, Zoysia will survive with less than an inch. But, why deprive the grass of one of the most essential need, especially when our summer temps. are very rarely below 100. As of right now, daily temperatures are dropping into the lower 90's and high 80's, so obviously less water is needed, but when temperatures are soaring above 100 I plan to go ahead and utilize that whole inch a week.

    You've been following my lawn a long ways, I think the timing worked out in my favor. You know I kept it constantly watered last month, but now temperatures started dropping just about the time I made the cutback.

    I done caught the USPS man and a Police Officer parked outside my front door taking a peek at the lawn, twice in one week. :walking:

    Edit* I didn't add thatching, nor aeration to my list above, but it will defiantly be on there before it's printed.
     
  10. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,264

    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 -

    http://texaset.tamu.edu/date.php?stn=48&spread=7

    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.
     

Share This Page