Want to go organic but I can't yet claim "Jedi Master" organic

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Exact Rototilling, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Yup, I know that is what you were trying to say, I just put it into different words. :)

    Ahhh, now that is the proper terminology, however I might inject a "holding" in between those two words.

    The point here is your not really "saving" water (i.e. plants use less), your just using it more efficiently, which sometimes can mean lower water bills if water inputs are managed correctly. Please don't forget the importance of a well designed and managed irrigation system in those areas that use them.

    Personally I would like to see irrigation systems in the majority of residential and commercial lots become a thing of the past. Perhaps one day when fresh water because as scarce as gold.

    What do you think about swapping the order of a couple of those and adding a few more?

    1) Soil Test and/or Bio-Assay

    ---wait for results---

    1) Core Aerate. If cores are too wet to breakup easily, go to next job.
    2) Dethatch/verti-mow/power rake if required (power raking helps break up the cores)
    3) Address deficiencies noted in soil tests
    4) Top dress and rake with a good finished compost
    5) Spray compost teas (optional if applying a compost with good biology present)
    6) Check irrigation for damage and/or adjustment issues from coring/verti-mowing (if applicable)
    7) Irrigate (if applicable)

    ---if irrigated, call it a day or proceed to next job---

    1) Over seed
    2) Top dress with a good finished compost
    3) Verify irrigation schedule is set properly for establishing seed and irrigate (if applicable)


    The first top dress is put down with the primary intent of filling in the coring holes, the second application as a seed covering. Of course on large properties or time is pressing, two applications is not really feasible, so adjust as the situation calls for it. The main thing you want to ensure is you get as much compost into the core holes as possible.

    On a new site that does have irrigation, everything above should be preceded by an irrigation audit. If deficiencies are found they should be corrected before continuing. This is probably the most important step in any type of landscape management program on irrigated properties, and is all too often overlooked. Remember, everything revolves around water.
     
  2. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,495

    What kind of weed flamer do you use, do you charge by the hour or sq ft?
     
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Humble, I can't answer the hourly question but there are some small orifice flamers at http://www.gardeners.com/Flame+weeder/32-798,default,pd.html I have never used this one in particular but you get the idea

    Kiril, I am starting (finally) to get the thrust of your threads. In my area, with an average of 43 inches of rain per year, we don't see alot of irrigation on residential properties, commercial and remote beds in subdivisions yes.

    I like your expanded list of items to do in a transition.

    We rarely get a chance to actually spray compost teas INTO the soil, it is my belief that before the holes are covered up from core aeration compost teas should be sprayed. Ours has a ton (relatively speaking) of mycorrhizae in it so if you can get down where the roots are all the better. The biology that is sprayed on the surface, cores and such, then gets mixed around and into the soil very well.

    A lot of golf course managers use to put down sand after core aeration and have found that it leads to compaction issues long term a finished compost gives much better results.

    Our golf trials this fall had some stunning results back by spraying compost teas (with mycorrhizae) after core aeration. We look forward to the long term results

    OK OK Water HOLDING Capacity
     
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Agreed. My rationalization for swapping the two was to provide a happy home (compost) for the biology if spraying teas in order to increase viability. In areas where your not irrigating, and are going to combine compost + tea application, perhaps spray before raking. In areas that you are irrigating, the irrigation should move the biology and any nutrient sprays into the soil and core holes.

    1) Soil Test and/or Bio-Assay

    ---wait for results---

    1) Core Aerate. If cores are too wet to breakup easily, go to next job.
    2) Dethatch/verti-mow/power rake if required (power raking helps break up the cores)
    3) Address deficiencies noted in soil tests
    4) Spread a good finished compost over area (~ 1/4-1/2")
    5) Spray compost teas (optional if applying a compost with good biology present)
    6) Rake out compost to get into core holes

    7) Check irrigation for damage and/or adjustment issues from coring/verti-mowing (if applicable)
    8) Irrigate (if applicable)

    ---if irrigated, call it a day or proceed to next job---

    1) Over seed
    2) Top dress with a good finished compost

    3) Verify irrigation schedule is set properly for establishing seed and irrigate (if applicable)

    Yes, top dressing with sand in golf has been a long standing practice. A good substitute is compost, or a mixture of the two.

    I'd be interested to see some studies with regard to this if anyone is doing any. :)

    :)

    I'm curious. On sites with no irrigation, how do you establish a seeded lawn? It has been my experience if left to humans to ensure the seed stays adequately moist, it usually doesn't get done, or at least not properly.
     
  5. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    I've heard people say that before, but based on what I know about mycorrhizae, it doesn't seem probable?:confused:



    If your useing compost as a mulch, or some type of seed much, that should greatly increase the margin of error for watering. Also seeding at the proper time of year will greatly increase establishment rates, irrigated or not.
     
  6. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    Why is the seeding listed separate? Why not seed for #2.
    Our #2 would be slice seed w/lesco renovator. Or on a very large property broadcast seed, compost, drag a piece of metal conveyor belt or chain link fence to bust up the cores and slide some compost into the holes.
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    To differentiate between actions for soil improvement and actions for seeding. Soil improvements should come before anything else. You can also be more diligent with your raking/screening to get the compost into the core holes when you don't have to worry about your seed.

    Yes, on large properties you will want/need to combine some of those steps as it is simply not economically feasible to do otherwise. I personally prefer that once the seed is distributed to minimize disturbance, which is one reason for separating the steps. This ensures your maintaining consistent coverage and minimizes the chance for seed to bunch up due to raking or screening. Of course the chance of bunching depends on how you do your raking/screening.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    I would agree that a simple broadcast spray probably won't do much good with respect to mycorrhizae, even after coring. IMHO, a soil drench would be the better option after coring to get your mycorrhizae where it needs to be (i.e. in close association with your target plants root system). This is one reason why I was interested in seeing some studies. I would like to see if you can successfully introduce mycorrhizae via coring + spray vs. injection or coring + soil drench.

    I think a possible solution would be to create some type of tank delivery method that can be mounted onto your core aerator. This would dribble tea into the holes as you pass over them, in a similar fashion to some Ag type "injection" systems I have seen.
     
  9. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    I was thinking of something very simular for the same purpose, my thought was of some type of spring loaded collar like valve attached to the spikes that opened when the spike bottomed out and remained open until the core is completely pulled.
     
  10. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Posts: 2,495

    I have aerated and then sprayed my mychorrhizae in to the holes, takes awhile, soil drench wont work , you need to get it to the roots to germinate
     

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