Carbon in the soil

Discussion in 'Superintendent Forums' started by LarryAylward, May 19, 2014.

  1. LarryAylward

    LarryAylward LawnSite Member
    Messages: 69

    I'm hearing about more and more golf course superintendents who are embracing the "feed the soil" philosophy, specifically with carbon-based materials to activate microbials to help turf grow healthier roots and fight off disease and other turf-related pests.

    What are your views on feeding the soil?
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,624

    I don't know about carbon, but putting fireplace ashes in your garden is great, and saves on lime.

    Golf Courses are alaways top dressing with something, usually mixed with sand.
  3. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,390

    Feeding microbes is a good start but having a good balance of microbes keeps everyone in check when it comes to microbes. Stay away from chemical fertilizers. They kill microbes. Its like steroids to grass. You get a nice pop but over time several species of microbes die off and get out of balance. This brings about disease and several other factors that harm grass and soil. There is life in soil. Most chemical guys don't know or are scared of the evidence to admit it. Going carbon based or organic is NOT an overnight fix. However after 2-3 years of a proper program the weeds seem to disappear. Why? Because you are fixing the soil and not spraying the results(weeds) of unbalanced soil.
  4. Vi-Core

    Vi-Core LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 5

    Coal is a great source of Carbon however it is hard to grow grass with. You need a form of active carbon with oxygen and hydrogen in a plants balance. If a plant is 96% C,H & O, according to the university of Wisconson, then why do we feed grass N,P& K anytime we feel the turf is hungry or the calander says?
    looking at nature is a great way to prove that Carbon works! What releases the nutrients so the plants can absorb them?

    Good luck.
  5. Vi-Core

    Vi-Core LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 5

    dKoester is right on the money. However keep in mind that fungicides are nonselective biological killers! if you are trying to promote aerobics i dont recomend a fungicide!
  6. jeffincanada

    jeffincanada LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    pesticides kill the microbs, if your spraying your greens every 3 weeks to prevent disease, good luck with the micros.

    how is your anthractnose problems, how do you deal with it other than culturally.
  7. Vi-Core

    Vi-Core LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 5

    You must understand that superintendent call it fixing the soil when in reality they are using an acid to make the nutrients available. most labs do a standard test on soils. when you look at the phosphate test there is a weak bray and a strong bray. most people understand this to be what is available (weak acid) and what could be available (strong acid). if you know what could be available why do you not use the same acid that the lab does??? ahh because it is bad for the plants. look at nature, dont be blind to what is happening around you. what happens to the grass when it rains? how come joe blow can grow a great lawn in the spring when temps are cool but as soon as the temp raise the lawn dries out. They are using irrigation water, how much salt is in water. it is simple they dont use as much irrigation water in the spring and the soil has energy.
    Bacteria drink water and eat sugar. Feed your bacteria in the spring and shut it down in the summer.
  8. Vi-Core

    Vi-Core LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 5


    Anthractnose is an anaerobic bacteria you must increase the aerobics to eliminate the anaerobics. this will control Anthractnose. I know I deal get rid of it all the time, quite easy.
  9. olajoe808

    olajoe808 LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5b
    Messages: 221

    Cultural mechanical, chemical, and logical. So far seems to work pretty good. Would like to see more of the feeding the soil demand but hard work plus property sizes limit equipment options
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  10. Vi-Core

    Vi-Core LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 5

    yep cultural mechanical chemical and logical works pretty good. what has changed over the past umpteen many years? how does nature feed the soil? how did we get so far off target?

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