Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by dougmartin2003, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. dougmartin2003

    dougmartin2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 337

    what are some alternatives for commercial grade fertilizers, i have heard of people useing corn meal or something like that any commints will be greatly appreciated.
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,847

  3. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    For turfgrasses Milorganite granular and lime pellets work real well and are dirt cheap. Lawns need a calcium source found in lime. Nature Safe is a real expen$ive lawn fertilizer with best results for premium customers if their topsoil has been trashed from new building/remodeling or blown away from repeated leaf removals under dense tall oaktrees. We add lime & milorganite to new sod or seedbed installation: Part Shade or All Shade gets overseeded in the Fall, no fertilizer, just lime - Full Sun gets overseeded in the fall with lime & Milorganite.
  4. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Any ground up grain, nut, or bean is an organic source of protein for the soil microbes. I use corn meal because it is cheap and easily available in my area. Other sources can be found at

  5. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I'd be leary of applying lime without a Ph test. Over time soil alkalinity will increase too high. If calcium is what is needed, a better choice would be to use gypsum. Gypsum is nearly 100 times as soluble as limestone. This means quicker uptake by the plant. Because it contains both calcium and sulfur, there is no increase in either acidity or alkalinity.
  6. SOMM

    SOMM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 425

    There's 3 ingredients to a commercial MUSHROOM Farm, friend: chicken's droppings, gypsum, topped with thatch. They use a turf-friendly variety of fungus in commercial food mushroom growing operations friend, lol.

    What you are suggesting to LCO's with gypsum applications is to cultivate the most densely rooted, hideously-smelling, turf destructive freaking brown mushrooms that clump a foot high above a weekly, 3" commercial cut, showcase tall fescue lawn for 3 consecutive weeks following gypsum application. It's the "gift that keeps on giving" ! We DUG (with a shovel) three 55 gallon wastecans full (60-70 lbs of the stinking brown mushrooms per wastecan) each of these 3 weeks following the gypsum application (from hell that we will NEVER do again!). This was upon a well drained, unirrigated 3/4 acre front lawn of a prominant Day Care center! I thought they were going to call the EPA on us!!! Only Digging the Mushrooms and a subsequent Lime Application remedied the situation.

    We lost the account the next spring when the same thing occurred propelled only by the previous year's gypsum-from-hell application. This Never occurred with Lime & Milorganite applications-only, that we did on that property for 3 years previous the gypsum application, and have done since that dark era in our company's history. We'll let the Mushroom Farms deal with the gypsum, thank you.
    -somm :realmad:
  7. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Well Somm, I hate to break this bad news to you, but gypsum has little effect on mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of a fungus. They cannot manufacture their own food. They need to feed off of something with high amounts of organic material. Dig down below mushrooms and you'll find a mass of organic material, probably an old tree root or discarded lumber. Remove the O.M. and you'll eliminate mushrooms, guaranteed. In over 20 years of gypsum applications (when soil conditions call for it), I've never experienced an increase in mushroom production. If you've taken soil science courses you would know the value of gypsum, especially on heavy clay soils.
  8. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    A quick comment on NatureSafe -- it is not as expensive as most people think. I use it and have not been threatened by the price.

    10-2-8 is $17.45/bag and 21-3-7 (50% organic with uflexx added)

    Comppare this to Sustanes 5-2-4 for $14.50 for a 50% organic or a 15-3-7 from lesco (this one uses mop though :( ).

    or even when compared to a non-organic like Lesco standard 14-4-14 40% scu which goes for $16.25 a bag.
  9. t-bill

    t-bill LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I like your reference to the 5 boxes of freedom. Never heard that before . Are you the originator of that?

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