Revamping my organic fertilizer progam?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Crammin'Mows, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 155

    So I am in Oregon, on the Eastern dry side (pine forest at higher elevations, sage and juniper at lower) and have been using an organic-based fert schedule for 6 years now. It took some time to get the hang of it, and the costs to the clients increased greatly, but my yards consistently look good throughout the season from a fertility standpoint.
    Here's my program:
    Starting the 1st week of April and every six weeks (5x per season)thereafter during the growing season I apply turfgro organic based 8-0-4 with mycchorhizae, made with feathermeal at twice the recommended rate . Works great!
    I want to consider including compost apps in the fall to replace the last round of fert, and am also curious about foliar feedings. After some reading I am playing with the idea of 3 of the turfgro apps instead of 5, compost app in fall, and foliar feedings throughtout the season.
    My concern is the equipment and time needed to do the foliar and compost apps. Is it economically doable?
    How does the total cost compare to just doing 5x per year of the turfgro product?
    How do the results compare?
    Any input is highly valued.
     
  2. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 524

    We do only organic lawn care. Our program is a little different . Idk about your soil type but there is a sutch thing as too much compost top dressing. I think yearly is overkill. We do large lawns with wheelbarows and rake, we do this first year . Compost tea is used after that similar benefit with out all the bulk and cost.
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  3. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 155

    Our soil is volcanic pumice sand mainly. Almost no organic matter. Yeah, I am interested in getting a truck mounted spray tank so I can apply compost tea to large areas. What does the rest of your fertiliTy program look like?
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  4. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 524

    Our program is liquid fert& corn gluten meal in April, corn gluten meal in May/ June, compost tea and nematodes in July/ august, 6-0-5 with dextrose in September . Lime when ever I have time .
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  5. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 155

    Where are you at?
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  6. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 524

    Long Island NY organic approach is growing here. Why'd you go organic ?
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  7. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 155

    Working with vast amounts of chems was freaking me out. I'm a tree hugger at heart, who works like a redneck :)
    Organics differentiate me from competition, provide better results, and cost more (which means I make a better margin too).
    The organic approach seemed inevitable.
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  8. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    Please keep us updated on your Organic Successes. Great Info.
     
  9. Crammin'Mows

    Crammin'Mows LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Posts: 155

    Also, I recently started mulching lawns when they are dry and clean of debris. I'm thinking the more organic matter I put back in the soil, the better off I'll be. The mow crew doesn't miss the clipping either, believe me.
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,788

    My only suggestion is better grass. I mean--improved turfgrass seed--perhaps applied every fall--or every other year in the fall. You should get darker green, disease resistance, and thicker-tighter grass.
    Spring is fine, too if irrigation or weather is adequate.

    Power rake or aeration, before seed is a good idea. Add starter fertilizer or organic starter product.

    Not sure if it would work...BUT...
    you could try adding clover seed to the lawn. Clover provides nitrogen fertilizer continuously; its a legume. Naturally there are a few white flowers for a couple weeks in May.

    also think about black medic--a clover-like legume. Its an annual and the flowers are yellow and tiny--less noticeable than clover.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2014

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