options to improve lawns without chemicals ?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by redmax fan, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,122

    im adding a core aerator and dethatcher for first time . and im aiming to improve customer lawns without a license to apply chemicals . thusly im wondering what a non licensed person can apply ? and besides aerating / dethatching / top feeding / seeding what other methods folks use to revitalize lawns ? as of now im lookingat soil tests and liming if called for as a basic first step strategy , liming because weve alot of acidic soil conditions on our route caused by mature broad leaf trees such as white oaks and ive never seen lime do anything but good on local lawns .
     
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    Lime and compost
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  3. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,122

    concerning compost : say you were going to manually compost a lawn . would you compost / top feed before or after aerating ? and as of now my top feeding method is going to be pulling a lawn cart i fill with compost out of back of truck with lawn tractor to varying areas of lawn then spread by hand , probably using like big handled scoops you see at bulk food stores for shoveling bulk items out of bins . but giant size scoops . any better thoughts on the process ? and would you think if you top fed first then dragged a dethatcher over yard it'd spread the compost out real good ? ive never used a dethatcher or aerator so've no opinion just guesses
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,938

    Its a whole lot of labor spreading all that compost. It would take about a tenth of the time to apply organic fertilizer like Milorganite. Better yet, Barry can fix you up with some Screamin' Green; see Phasthound. You could follow up with grass seed--as it is easy and quick to spread. Top-quality seed is darker green and much thicker.

    You should not apply lime without a soil test--or at least a pH meter reading. I have oak trees in my yard. Oak trees do not cause acid soil. Michigan soils in my area are only slightly acid. Lime is seldom recommended.

    We don't need more competition--but it would be a lot better to get your spray license--weeds cause a lot of customer dissatisfaction.
     
  5. redmax fan

    redmax fan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,122

    thanx for advice riggle . of note : reason i said oak trees cause acidic is because as a long term gardner ive read that said many times by very serious gardners . and i used the cheap soil test store bought kits to test my yards garden soil which has 5 150+ year old white oaks on half acre and found my soil real acidic and that adjusting with lime really helped . that said thats the only soil ive ever tested and ive no idea as to how educated these gardening writers whose opinions ive read are
     
  6. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    Compare you're results to the results from a lab.
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