Broadleaf Management w/o 2,4d

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I heard a story yesterday of a "Master Gardener" that wrote a book recently. His solution for broadleaf weeds is to mow real short then let it grow out, repeat, and rinse :)
    The broadleaf cannot survive the abuse of cutting that low (in his study or theory) however, the grass can. Eventually only the grass survives.
    My initial thoughts are: May not work with dandelions, and if heat hits after a scalping - problems could occur.
    What are your thoughts of this alternative to broadleaf chemicals?
  2. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 207

    Sounds like an experiment! Actually, that doesn't seem to make much sense if you consider that most weeds are weeds because they are so resilient. They are prolific propagators and/or they require little care. I.e. they will grow in compacted soils with little nutrients. I would doubt that most broadleaf weeds wood be killed off by such harsh treatment unless it was done for a long period of time in which case the grass would also suffer. Secondly, cutting the grass short allows dormant weed seeds on the soil surface access to light causing them to germinate making the whole discussion moot.
  3. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,584

    Sounds like a large steaming load of bovine waste.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Competition is the idea; so just as, good turf crowds out weeds, this system supposedly gives grass the edge.
    But yes, this is a call to experiment. I do have a patch of grass with weeds, because I never spray my own lawn.
    However most of the weeds that survive in established turf are of the basal meristem variety and I don't see stopping them if they have enough root to survive. Then again - I have been surprised before. :)
  5. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Actually, with most weeds, their sensitive growing part is the tip or top of the plant. Repeated mowing is like cutting their heads off and after a period of time, the plants die off.
  6. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    For broadleaf weeds, you may want to try watering in some non-sulfured molasses. When it comes to these type of weeds, molasses is great because most broadleaf weeds need high nitrate levels. When you add molasses, you get bacteria, and some fungi growing, but mostly bacteria. These organisms take up nitrate and turn it into biomass, so the weeds will be less able to compete with the desired plant.

    When you have sour grasses, like quack grass, crab grass, foxtail, nutgrass, goosegrass, johnsongrass and barnyard grass, those are a lack of a signal, a lack of the calcium signal. This is natures way of trying to regroup calcium and bring it to the topsoil. Try applying bonemeal to your soil to control these or I've found a fish hydrolysate by Schafer Organic Fish that contains 12% Ca. That's the most I've ever found with any fish product.

    Now if you have heathly turf, weeds won't be able to compete for space. But this just doesn't happen, you have to work at it. Weeds are indicators of what's missing in your soil, and actually work to draw what is missing from deep in the soil. So you need to pay attention to what weeds you have and what they are telling you.
  7. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    I myself have used this technique...but timing is very important like you need the rain.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Great! :) What was your experience?

    Your comment on the rain, makes me want to ask, "Did you have water problems for the turf? - and - how did it go"?

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