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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, May 14, 2009.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I don't care to play games ATM...
  2. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    i dont think adding any post will throw off the "balance"??? but unless it's a manure based post, i would not correct a immediate N requirement with yard post
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Compost is decomposed plant material. The plant material contains the elements that it needed to grow. It may contain 'x' amount of P and 'y' amount of K, but will always be losing some N to the air and leaching.

    Compost should be as close to a consistant balance as any material we call dirt.

    If some scientist said that the balance of ratios are, "...all off, in compost, and needed to be rectified according to what we believe is best"... - then I would have to tell this genius that he is obviously educated beyond his intelligence.

    I have grown perfect plants to maturity in pots of 100% compost that are better than what other people grow in their micro-managed gardens. In pots, with restricted root zones...
    So b4 one claims that the balance of post is - off, one should try to analyse living plants outside the lab...
  4. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I have read a ton of university publications that note a concern for Phosphate, heavy metal, & other accumulation by repeated compost (and manure) applications.

    I personally believe the cognition and do not think they are "educated beyond their intelligence".

    A starting place to determine if I am off would be to determine the ratios at which plants (turf grass) require and utilize various nutrients. Soluble N, P, and K being a good start.

    I may be wrong... who knows. I do know a lot of experts are cautious of it and I do agree with their reasoning. I am willing to change my mind, but please explain your reasoning. Any actual data you have would help as well.

    Last edited: May 16, 2009
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    Do you think that the heavy metal issues and such may be dependent upon the sources the compost was made from? As in there are things you should be wary of making your compost with such as biosolids?
  6. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    What I have learned in the "organic industry" which I believe to be the correct path to follow, plants need 3 things to be healthy.
    1.Organic matter with a wide spectrum of material
    2.Biology, whether you support the existing or in addition to the existing ie C/T
    3.Plants still need nitrogen, whether you unlock it from the OG with the biology or add to it with external sources

    I am not a scientist but I believe these three things can be applied almost any time in atleast the minimal amounts with the exception of course of external sources of N.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Compare the compost to any raw soil - as is, and/or artificially fertilized for years.

    Put the soil in a pot and grow anything you want.

    Do the same with some finished compost.

    Get your own actual data... :)

    Don't believe me or anyone else. Believe your eyes and trust your ability to understand what you see.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Pony up JD, because your general statement has left you on very thin ice. A "ton" of studies would be, say, 20-30 publications in refereed journals.
  9. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I should have made a more general statement then... "Adding compost based on N requirements is not a good idea" (without the balance part)

    Funny... none of you have provided any value of reasoning and or data to support your objections. As far as I am concerned, all of us are on thin ice until we provide arguments and data for either side.

    I "pony'd up"... now it is your turn.


    You guys read too far into my statement. I did NOT say that compost was bad.

    I said adding it based on N requirements is not a good idea. Which I can't believe you guys give me crap for. Aren't you trying to get people out of the "N" mindset????? And yet here you are inherently defending it? A much better idea would be to add compost based on SOM and then add fertilizer based on turf performance... "Get off the N train?"...

    Please don't accuse me of saying more than I did. Things like that make this board rather distasteful.

    I leave this wasteful game of argument at this... add compost based on SOM... and fertilizer based on turf performance (both before and after ideal SOM levels are reached).

    Heavy metals do come from parent material. I would leave it to you and your customers preference to decide if more risky materials are right for your program or not...
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You did?

    Am I missing something ... where are the references & links?

    If your source of N is compost ..... what then?

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