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Pounds of N per 1K sq ft per year for turf?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by lawncuttinfoo, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    What is a good number for turf?
    I will be applying CGM at 40 lb per 1K in the spring so thats 4 LB N per 1K.

    I would like to also put some other meals down during the year but I do not want to over N the yard.
  2. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    You are better off applying 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft in the early spring, and the other 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft mid to late August. That's what I do each year.

    Don't forget, this protein meal is slow release of N, so no worry as to burn your plants. I would also use soybean meal in between these applications.

    KBG requires more N than say creeping red fescue. So it varies to what grass are you growing. If you are growing Bermuda, you'll need to put down CGM or soybean meal every 4 weeks to keep that grass happy.
  3. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    I will not be applying CGM in the fall because I include fall seeding in my program.

    This is a mix of KBG, red fescue and fine fescue. What would be the average good N for that?
  4. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    Good point about not using CGM when you are planning overseeding or reseeding. Then move it up in the year, giving it at least 8 weeks before you put down seed. You can put all 40 lbs down at one time, but you'll be cutting your grass every 3 days!

    You will want to put down soybean meal or alfalfa meal 3 weeks before you seed. Alfalfa contains a growth homone that aids in root development.

    I use 20 lbs of whatever protein meal I use, 4-5 times a year. With organics, you are not concerned with N so much as you are for feeding the soil foodweb with protein for them to thrive.
  5. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Posts: 82

    I have a question for Gerry, The Alfalfa meal that I buy is in pellet form, long pellets. I found that the lesco spreaders with the round holes don't do a very good job, but the Spyker spreaders with the elongated holes works fine. Is you Alfalfa different?
  6. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    I have used Alfalfa in the pellet form but it was somewhat difficult to flow thru my spreader. Then I switched to Alfalfa meal and no more problems.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    In a biologically active soil how much N would you expect to be recycled from mulched clippings alone? 10% of the total N the turf needs? 80% or closer to 50%?

    Even in the organic forum we are still in the pounds of N per certain square footage mentality. Unless you are producing forage I would consider how little additional N is needed.

    Afraid you're not mowing often enough or getting as many clippings as you should? Color isn't deep green enough? Just take a handful of high N fertilizer spread it over a small area and in a couple of weeks of decent weather you should have something to compare the rest of the lawn to.
  8. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Alfalfa and soybean are not an option for me, it is currently illegal in Minnesota to apply phosphorous to an established lawn without a test that shows a deficiency, yes I will be testing the lawn but I can not put it down in writing as part of my program and just HOPE that the test will show a deficiency.

    So actually is appears that corn gluten meal and feather meal are the only options available to me to feed the turf.
  9. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Posts: 82

    I have heard this before, but I can't find anything about it.

    Can you shed some light on this? Also can you put this down at the time of seedig and get the same results?

    Environmental harmony through organics
  10. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    """" ALFALFA and TRIACONTANOL as a plant stimulant (from a lecture by D. L. Hinerman, MD)

    For more than 50 years, alfalfa has been used as a plant stimulant. The responsible chemical for this action is triacontanol which is ubiquitous, occurring widely in nature as a waxy coating on many plants and as a major component of beeswax. Triacontanol has been called "the most potent growth hormone ever used on plants."

    One of the best sources of triacontanol is the extraction from alfalfa hay (medicago sativa) in one of the following ways:

    1. soak 5 tablets (500 to 600 mg of compressed alfalfa purchased from natural food stores) in one gallon of water for 24 hours. Agitate, drench plants with mixture as many as five times during the growing season.

    2 Add 2-3 cupfuls of alfalfa meal (purchased from farm food stores, being careful that the meal has not been denatured by high heat) to one yard of soil or growing media.

    3. use alfalfa meal or chopped alfalfa has as a light mulch or top dressing to soil around plants and apply water.

    4. use potent solvents. The resultant solution is much too concentrated. Only a small trace can be used (0.01 cc); not recommended for average grower.

    Beneficial results as as follows:

    1. Early breaking of dormancy

    2. Doubling of weight of plants in one year

    3. Up to three years of growth in one growing season

    4. Root system greatly increases

    5. Possible stimulation of mycorrhize and reported inhibition of pathogenic organism
    6. Doubling of number and size of flower buds, flowers and seeds

    7. Much improved quality of growth with increased number, thickness and color of leaves.

    I have used alfalfa and its active principle triacontanol on all plants that I have grown with excellent results. The above article was submitted to the Great Lakes Regional Editor for publication in the fall edition - 1993, page 9. This region is part of the AHS. Article submitted by Clarence Owens of Jackson, MI and is now being reprinted with his permission.
    * * * * * *
    We currently are using alfalfa meal (standard 17% animal food) in fifty pound bag on all our prennial plantings and have been doing so for over eight years. We feel that the use of alfalfa meal has played an important part in our plants growing to tremendous size. We also seem to be finding a tremendous number of sports. So you suppose - just maybe - this alfalfa meal may have something to do with that? """


    I apply the alfalfa meal the same time I overseed. By the time the grass seed germinates, as with KBG, it takes about 3 weeks, the same amount of time the soil organims need to break down the alfalfa meal.

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