Just put down my first app. How did I do?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by BostonBull, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    First let me say hi! I have been lurking for a while here.

    I made the decision to switch to Organic. I have a new lawn last fall, and have used synthetics until this fall. I have a 90% weed free lawn. I have some small Crabgrass pop ups 5-10 in the whole lawn, and some minor clover. I dont mind the clover they are cute little Nitrogen machines that are easy to get rid of.

    I have about 3000/sq. ft of lawn.

    I sent my soil out in the early spring and got the following recommendations:

    Early spring or Late fall: 50lb/1000 sq. ft..... Dolomitic Limestone .

    Late April and late June: 3lbs/1000sq. ft 30-3-3 fert

    Very Late August: 5lbs/1000sq. ft 20-3-12 fert AND 5lbs/1000sq. ft 0-20-0 SuperPhosPhosphate.

    ALL my spring app. were Synthetic.

    I just applied an 8-2-4 Agway Organic fert @40lbs for my 3000 sq.ft. I figured this is perfect for the N andK and a little heavy on the P but not a bad thing because my P is so low anyways.
    I also applied a 5lb bag of Espoma Triple Phosphate (0-46-0) for my entire 3000 sq. ft of lawn. I also applied 80lbs of Gypsum pellets. I have a natural sandy/clay soil which the contractor only put around 1/2" of Loam on for top soil.

    I am going to have the lawn Core Aerated in about 3 weeks and then I will overseed. In mid-late October I was figuring on applying my Lime and I will also apply my 30-3-3 fert around this time, maybe a week or two later.

    My soil pH is 6.3
    Buffer ph is 6.8
    Organic matter is 2.0%
    Nitrogen is 0ppm
    Cation exchnage capacity is 5.1meq/100g
    Extractable Aluminum is 70ppm
    % base saturation is K=6.8 Mg=8.9 Ca=55.4
    Nutrient levels are P=4ppm K=168ppm Ca=701ppm Mg=69ppm


    So whats next? Corn Gluten for a pre emergent, but WHEN?.....and how much?

    Anything else I am missing?
     
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Who did the soil test?

    IMO you don't need the lime, and should concentrate on building organic matter. I've seen too many university and ag extension tests that recommend too much lime for the pH. 6.3 to 6.7 is optimal. The gypsum will bring up your calcium and sulfur levels without affecting pH. It's a new lawn with low organic matter so be patient and give it some time.

    Corn gluten next spring at 20-25lbs per thousand.
     
  3. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    UMASS Stockbridge did the test.

    So JUST corn Gluten next spring as a pre-emergent? Do you agree with everything else I laid out to do this fall? I want to NOT fert in the spring if I can avoid. My thinking is as long as I can keep it green, less N in the sprin means less mowing. I was mowing 2-3 times a week this year with all the fert they had me do. As per their recommendation I dont think I can avoid the Late June fert, right?
     
  4. Newt*

    Newt* LawnSite Member
    Posts: 182

  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    If you want to use a pre-em, you need to get it down before the weeds germinate. While CGM is 9% N, it needs to be broken down by soil microbes. Will you have to mow? Yes. 2-3 times a week? Probably not.

    Early Spring: (Mar-April) CGM (20-25lbs), Late spring: Low N, 4-3-1 or 6-2-4 at 10-20 lbs. per k.

    Seriously though, you don't need 150lbs of lime this fall.
     
  6. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    I already did the lime for this year. So maybe next year.

    I will apply the CGM in the months recommended above, thanks!

    As for the fert, should I NOT follow the recomendations of one of the TOP Hort/Arb/Forest/Turf Schools in the world? Why would they try and make me use things I dont need? I am not trying to be confrontational just trying to understand all this.

    I am new to this fert/soil world. I will be taking the MA certified Arborist exam next month and I am trying to learn as much as possible. I guess my lawn is my research study.....;)
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Not trying to be confrontational either :) My College Horticulture and Botany experience covered algae to angiosperm and was quite excellelent information IMO. However the professor would not discuss lawn/grass openly but would answer any question 'one on one' as requested. Unfortunately I didn't know, what I didn't know, so I didn't have an appropriate question to discuss with the professor.
    Organic lawns pretty much equals low maintenance lawns. In my rural community there are weed free lawns that have never been tended to more than mowing and spring raking. (Just too simple?)
    Have we over thought and over analysed the whole thing? Does the conventional wisdom of the university prove grandpa wrong about plant husbandry as it does grandma wrong about child rearing?
    (As a future Arborist) : Grass seems to want N before winter, however trees, for example, do not want N for winter. N would interfere with the hardening off process in trees.
    What would you recommend to boost the survival chances of a newly transplanted tree?
    I Just moved a 20 foot maple by hand from a shady location in which it would not survive to the open area in front of the house. It seems normal "dry back" of leaves but is there a quick K to revitalize it in any way?
     
  8. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 520

    As for your tree. Organically or synthetics? I am unsure what may have caused the die back in leaves....too small of a rootball, too deeply planted, too shallow, not enough water, too much water??? Different soil? Too many variables. I would throw some low N with low P but a high K as in you said if all variables are the same.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    My two cents, if it dropped all the leaves, don't do anything with the tree at this stage other than keeping the root ball moist. If it comes back in the spring, good deal.

    I would also agree with the pH assessment. That pH is right on the borderline of needing adjustment. For your case, I would only look to adjust if it dips into the 5 range unless you have a need to add Ca.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    The leaves have been drying, but haven't quite dropped yet. I have been spraying them to help out and I did soak in some ashes with the initial planting last Sunday.
    I will find some high K fertilizer. Don't know how quickly ashes are usable by the tree.
    If the leaves are as good as gone perhaps just let it go to sleep, as Kiril suggests. The K won't do any good once the leaves stop circulating nutrients, correct?
    Thanks.
     

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