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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by mikesturf, Dec 22, 2003.
Mikesturf -- no I have never used CGM and do not have direct expereince with anybody that has.
in my view, the all the 'number crunching' just confuses the issue.
i understand that these numbers are 'reccomended'.
in the spirit of an organic program in which it takes time to establish the balance required for healthy turf, then the power of observation will demonstrate what does and doesnt work. A seasonal perspective is important.
time, then is an important factor. In todays world of instant gratification, some folks cant be patient to let nature do the work.
The perfect lawn will not be achieved thru one season. It may take two. BUT, in the long term , once that 'balance' is achieved, the effort required for an effective maintenance program is reduced over a few seasons. one season builds on the next, and therefore the cost to maintain the turf is decreased every year.
Healthy soil= healthy turf. Healthy turf doesnt leave any room for weeds,
Feeding the soil organic matter attracts earthworms....they do the aerating.
they deposit worm castings on the surface...same concept as topdressing.
But again...this takes time.
The term organic should refer to establishing( or re-establishing)and maintaining BALANCE.
timely (1/3 rule)mulch mowing and the application of organic matter are all that is required.
Nature does the rest.
Hence the term the 'balance of nature'.
i have never used CGM, but the application of cracked corn this season has resulted in a consistent deep green color and uniform thickening of the turf. Not much sign of reduction in weeds yet,but i expect the weeds will be struggling to take hold in the spring due to increased turf density.
Add the pre-emergent properties of CGM the weeds would be losing the battle.
Make the enviroment good for the grass and it will thrive.
Is an 'organic' program like i have outlined practical? I think so, but time is the most important factor.
Anyhoo, thats my perspective.
Thanks to all the posters who gave their help and ideas. Lawn care seems to be a never ending education process. Also, lawn care seems like ordering a pizza. Every individual person has his or her idea of the perfect ingredients to put on top of a pizza. Like a lawn program and ordering pizza toppings, there a many good methods, depending upon the person, some better suited than others.
maintence fert ratio is
3.lbs of n, .5lbs of p, and 2.25lbs of k if clipping returned, if clipping removed add 33% to numbers
Do soil test and get soil chemistry right!
Thanks for all your help.
Your idea sounds great. and all great tips. If you want to use synthetic fert sell your lawncare as -- Pesticide Free -- If you want to sell it as organic use 100 % organic fert. Milorganite is organic and pretty cheap and works amazinly. U will need to complement it with Potash. Mix some with the Milorganite or do spring with CGM then fall with 8-3-3. A question to the science guys, and Im seriously having trouble wrapping my brain around this one.
Organic Fert has less n-p-k but we apply more of it. If I apply 8-3-3 at twice the amount you apply a synthetic 16-6-6 would we be applying the same amount of nutrients. Before u get into the number cruntching re: the correct ratio plz directly answer the question. And again im not making a point, I assumed by applying more of it people on organic prgms could get same amounts as people on synth. ty lots.
Short answer - yes, if you apply twice as much 8-3-3, you'll be applying the same amount of N as 16-6-6. And conversely, you only have to apply half the amount of 16-6-6 to get the same amount N as 8-3-3.
Your assumption is based on the notion that the recommended application rate and coverage areas are identical for 50 lb bags of each. They aren't. Note the coverage areas.
Base your application on lbs./1000 s.f.
For example - your 50 lb bag of organic 8-3-3 covers say 3500 sf. Since 8% of that fertilzer is N, you're applying 4 lbs of N over 3500 sf . . . about 1.14 lbs of N/1000 s.f
Now take a 50 lb bag of synth - say Lesco's 24-2-11. But notice the coverage for the 50 lb bag is 12,000 sf.
24% of that bag is N, so that's 12 lbs. of N in the 50 lb bag. 12 lbs of N for 12,000 sf . . . 1 lb/1000 sf
Trying to be organic,
I believe we apply more actual N per 1000ft2 from an organic source at any one application because N will be converted to an available form of nitrate to the grass plant slowly.
So if you apply 2 lbs of actual N per 1000ft2 and it is slowly available over 4 months that would be about .5lbs actual N per month.
On the other hand if you apply a synthetic source like S.C.U (sulfur coated urea) it could all be available in 8 weeks if soil temps are high and or lots of rain/irrigation. If you applied 2lbs of actual N from a S.C.U. source and it is available in 8 weeks then the plant would have 1 lb. of actual nitrogen per month available and depending on type of grass and time of year this could cause a lot of top growth as well as use up carbohydrate storage that the plant would otherwise use to protect itself against stress/disease.
Nitrogen forms like CGM, IBDU and Urea Formaldhyde (38-0-0 nitroform) are available at a very slow rate. They are applied at higher rates less frequently. Ammonical nitrogen sources as well as urea nitrogen sources release at a much faster rate. So we make more applications per year spoon feeding the plants a little at a time and at the proper rate and time. In My opionion you can screw up a lawn a lot quicker using the fast sources of N if you do not know the plants specific needs. Get to know how all of these different products really work by research. When used properly the results will be the same.
Alright, now you guys are going to confuse him. Reread his post. He only wantedf a simple answer.