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Leaf Compost

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Pistol, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Pistol

    Pistol LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    We do have high PH clay soil in this area. We just put down a lot of lime every year!
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    If you are concerned about using the leaf compost, then test it, as you would typically apply, on your yard and monitor soil pH in your effective root zone to see if it results in a major shift in pH. You would really need to monitor this for a least a full year if not 2-3, to really get a good picture of how your soils will respond to a leaf compost top dressing program.

    Personally, dealing with soils high in clay content and pH in my region, I would not hesitate to use a leaf compost as a top dressing.
  3. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I don't want anyone to think I am picking on THIS post, but it is the 4th or 5th reference I have noticed to using lime to LOWER PH???? Sulfur to lower, Lime to raise. Why do I keep seeing this quoted backwards?
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Whoa, totally missed that ... and correctly pointed out. Might be the reason for the high pH as well ...?
  5. Pistol

    Pistol LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    I stated the PH incorrectly. We have acidic soil, so we do want to raise the PH with lime. Sorry for the mis-statement.
  6. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    I could have clarified myself better.

    When I look at a product I start by tearing it apart and finding as many shortcomings, and possible missuses as I can. If you want a product to produce good results you must understand its limitations and risks first. Many good products have suffered because they can't live up to the hype that surrounds them. People are way to eager to hear about the good and reluctant to learn the bad. When things go wrong they abandon the product without understanding what happened.

    My comments followed statements of outright support, which I thought was misleading, so I felt inclined to bring up the other aspects.

    Would I use leaf compost for a topdressing here? Not ours, our material is too high in pH and our soils are even higher. If a customer is going to pay for a topdressing I will recommend something to help buffer pH and provide more nutrients so the results justify the expense.

    If our soil was low in pH and somewhat fertile I would be all for it since the product costs are low and the results would show improvement.
  7. Pistol

    Pistol LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    My brain is getting twisted around:dizzy:

    Our soil is acidic (low PH) - so the use of a high PH leaf compost should work great.

    I'm sorry if I contributed to some of the confusion (I think I have it straight now).

    Thanks, Pistol
  8. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    Just an if...maybe...then, statement
  9. Pistol

    Pistol LawnSite Member
    Posts: 190

    Well I topdressed part of a yard today - 2 cu yds - just me, my shovel, wheel barrel and broom (it took me 3 hours - am I slow or is that about right?). Very poor quality compost - sticks - rocks - cans - should have driven another 30 min. and spent an extra $6 for some cert. screened real compost.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That's like 2 pickup loads of c-post in 3 hrs. One person. Not bad. I would bill out 2 hours for 2 people On 2 loads. - or - 4 manhours, but, 2.5 manhours for one load so you are working faster than me. :)

    Poor c-post is ok in the fall but you want the good stuff in the spring and summer. JMO.

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