City Waste Compost

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by PicturePerfectLawns, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    How many of you use the City Waste and Sewage's compost for your lawn? I know in San Antonio they have what is called "Alamo Dirt" for the city waste plant. In Austin, there's the "Dillo Dirt", which supposedly caused so many problems because they put it down at the festival. Anyways, I spread .30 of an inch across my 2,000 square foot lawn. After five days, my lawn has new shoots coming up all across the lawn, really green healthy looking shoots at that. Notice the shoots in the picture, however this is just an up close picture of one small area. These new shoots are coming up everywhere. Even in the areas of the lawn that were weak, there are new nice green shoots coming up from the weak areas of the lawn! Note this whole lawn was dormant brown just last week.

  2. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,286

    Seems to have had a good effect. Does your compost source have an analysis for you to take a look at? May give you the reason you are seeing what you are seeing.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    Biosolids are a good nutrient source for the microbes in your soil. The microbes break it down into plant available nutrients over time, weeks and months. I doubt the shoot growth 5 days after application is related to the biosolids.
  4. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    Don't have the analysis. However, the source provider did tell me this compost had more nitrogen then the other available compost they sold. I spent a while looking around the lawn and pulling what few weeds there are today. The grass is now actively growing and the shoots have the most breath taking color. Some areas seem to have one of the darkest green colors I've ever seen.

    Now I have a quick question, I know composting a few times a year can have a dramatic effect on the soil and lawn from he say that we read on the internet. Our soil conditions are poor from the get go. Let's say you are not doing bad financially, and your a lawn fanatic, and wanted to go the extended mile on your lawn. What kind of effect would it have on your lawn in the short term and long term to do a mild to medium application of compost once a month. I know it takes about 4-7 days tops before you can no longer visually see the compost on our lawn, so smothering the lawn wouldn't be likely. Anyone think I would see a big change in the lawn and soil conditions by doing this? I was thinking a 1/4 or .25 of an inch every month during the active growing season or possibly every other month?
  5. I was going to ask the same question about the availability of an analysis as well. Chances are that there's a good load of N and it may be in a form that microbes do not need to mineralize it.

    The problem with chemistry reports is that they tend to show only what nutrients are immediately available.

    I have no direct experience in using bio solids and we do not sell anything that contains them, but my opinion is that it has to go somewhere. Nature tends to hate anything in great concentration.

    You have the right idea about putting it down gradually. It sounds like there quite a nutrient load there! Try to post some pics in another 10 to 14 days!
  6. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    I will try to get the analysis from them this week. I'm sure they should have considering they are selling multiple types of compost. Today, I noticed on the parts next to our lawn. We have a seeded area around the cove-a-sack. Nobody maintains and it was looking rough last year, so we just threw seed and compost out there. Needless to say the seeded area filled in. So when composting the lawn I backed up on the culb-a-sack to unload the compost. Today, I noticed the areas where the compost was spilled on the culb-a-dack have a rich dark, dark green area, where the seeded area around where the compost hasn't touched is a pale green. I will post pictures later tonight when I get back, it's hard to see the difference from the photo's I snapped on my phone, but it's defiantly a whole different color grass where the compost was.
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    Seed? What kind of seed? You are in Bermuda country, right?
    A compost analysis would be helpful. The stuff may contain heavy metals, salt, or something else you don't want. Has it been cooked to kill bacteria?
    It is a good way to recycle nutrients instead of dumping the residue somewhere.
  8. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,720

    Our City has, for many years, made several products using solids from the water reclamation plant,(sewage plant). One product is called Dyno Dirt. It is loaded with nitrogen and will burn up plants if used straight, without soil mixed in. It is a great topdressing material.It is biosolids and wood mulch mixed together. They also have Dyno soil. This is the biosolids mixed with wood mulch and sandy loam. You can put it in thick layers, like for filling up a raised garden or bed area. It has lots of nitrogen, but will not burn up the plants.
    These are highly processed materials. After leaving the sewage plant, the biosolids are mixed with the various components. The material is placed in long windrows to compost. Every now and then, a huge machine straddles the windrow and remixes and turns the material. Temps get quite high and it is common to see spot fires start burning in the composting windrows. They keep a tank truck of water on hand to put out the fires.
    Foks around here love these products and I have hauled many a dump truck load over the last 20 years.
    I don't think they publish an analysis, as each batch can vary depending on how the materials get mixed. The mixing of the components is not an exact science.
  9. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    I just used some Pennington seed, looks like Fescue haha. That's definitely not what our lawn is however. I just put the seed around our curve on the culda-sack. The city owns the curb area and never takes care of it. I'm now mowing everyone within the next five houses of us, so I couldn't have everything on this part of the street looking good and skip the curb area. They also had two tree's, which also blocked sunlight of our lawn. They were hanging down over our fence line and lawn and over the cities area. I went ahead and trimmed them up good with the chain saw, now we're getting some good sunshine! I been meaning to post pictures, I just been so busy and haven't got around too it.

    About three weeks after the first compost and the yard was looking much, much better. I composted again today and put down a 1/4" mix in the middle area to level up the lawn. It's by far not level, but I'm going to apply a mix every 2-4 weeks depending on growth at a .25 application each time and hopefully get it level around summer time. I decided I'm going to go light on the fertilizer this year. I'm going to still feed it, just on a light dosage each month. I plan to compost every single month, I want to see how nice I can get this Zoysia looking. It may be an over kill, but I'm going to give it a go around. If not every 30 days, it will be composted every 45 days. Today I used Turkey Compost, still don't have an analysis, but it looked much darker and smelled much better. Here's a shot three weeks after the first composting. You can see the new Turkey compost spread on the lawn as I just did a few hours ago!

  10. PicturePerfectLawns

    PicturePerfectLawns Banned
    Messages: 3,845

    I'm hoping to get it completely level by summer time and then I will begin reel mowing at less than an 1". I'm at 1.5" right now. I sharpen the blade before every single cut. Mulch mow every other cut, and bag every other cut. I had an issue with Dallasgrass, I don't know if it was from the City Waste Compost, but it came up pretty heavy after using it. I decided to go with more expensive compost this time, which appeared MUCH nicer. I planned to follow the advice from greendoc, with the paint brush and round up. But I steered away from the use of Chemicals. I dug up the Dallas Grass by the bottom of the roots and underneath that several inches and then cut plugs from the back lawn and placed them where I dug up the weeds after spreading the compost. Our PH is a little bit on the high side, on my fertilization plan for the year, I'm planing on spoon feeding with a light dosage of ammonia sulfate and a slow release balanced sulfur biased fertilizer. However, I think the compost will help neutralize the PH and will certainly do some wonders for our poor soil structures around our area.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014

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