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inexpensive fertilizer

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by mr.Natural, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. mr.Natural

    mr.Natural LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hello to all,
    I work for a company here in new jersey that specializes in the production of worm castings as both a granular and liquid fertilizer. Specifically, with intent to produce an organic fertilizer specifically tailored to produce greener, lusher, and healthier grass as well as to produce larger healthier plants. My question to the forum is thus: if such a fertilizer was produced and could be bought at the same cost as what you are paying now for regular fertilizer, would you buy it over your present fertilizer? And would the argument that Worm Castings were substantially more effective than typical chemical fertilizers be a strong selling point?
  2. rkk95

    rkk95 LawnSite Member
    from west PA
    Messages: 165

    it would depend on the resultsof the pruduct if you could sell it or not.
  3. EvandSeby

    EvandSeby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 151

    Ease of application, from a commercial standpoint would be the biggest selling point. Are the granules small enough to use in conventional drop/broadcast spreaders? Of course it would have to work too.
  4. mr.Natural

    mr.Natural LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for your feedback; But I was wondering if you could give me some info. Asuming the product does work well, what would be the easiest way for you to use the product? Would liquid be easier to use than solids? and what would a competitive price be?
  5. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    I think you need to give us some info.

    What is the NPK?
    What is the available N?
    Can the granular product be used in broadcast spreaders?
    Is the product dusty?
    How is it packaged?

    I pay roughly $12 per 50 lb bag of quality 50% slow release fert. More if it has iron.
  6. tremor

    tremor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Conventional Pro lawn care fertilzers deliver 1 lb of elemental Nitrogen typically applied at rates of 3-5 lbs per 1000 sq ft.
    Each bag might cost from $8.00 (all chemical mid analysis) to
    $16.00 (all slow release higher analysis) & all points in between.

    The desired rate of greenup is expected in 7-10 days & will last from 6-12 weeks.

    The cost per acre then will range from about $29.00 - $70.00 depending on amount of slow release nitrogen, P & K levels, salt index, & micronutrient inclusion.

    There are several serious issues with earthworm castings & spent bedding as commercially viable fertilizers for LCO's.
    -The analysis is very low & the current expectation is 3-4 fifty pound bags per acre.
    -The bulk density is low. So the spread width will be narrow.
    -Very little soluble nitrogen. So the greenup will take too long.
    -Particle consistancy. Sizing may be cost prohibitive.
    -Dust. See above.
    -Odors. A lot of guys use vans.

  7. mr.Natural

    mr.Natural LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hello again, As for the NPK and nitrogen levels I am afraid I simply don't know those numbers just yet. But once I find out I will post them. As for particle consistency that is something we can control so it would not be an issue if you wanted to have a granular substance you could put through an applicator. As for being dusty the product emits little if any dust what so ever. And our solid and liquid products have no odors at all.
    Now I have a few more questions, what exactly does "green up" mean? also could you please define "LCO"? also what exactly is "slow release nitrogen"? Is that the nitrogen that is released through micro-biological production or through actual chemical nitrogen already present in the fertilizer? and finally what exactly is "soluble nitrogen"?
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The term "green-up" is the actual color result in a designated or certain amount of time. i.e. quick green-up, or slow.
    The term LCO stands for lawn care operation.
    Slow release N is N that is usually sulphur coated, many times a 50-50 mix with quick release. This way, the green lasts longer. (up to 4-6 weeks is the average target).
    Soluble N is the N that is actually soluble and usable to the soil, as opposed to that that is more susceptable to leaching.
  9. Mscotrid

    Mscotrid LawnSite Bronze Member
    from USA
    Messages: 1,456

    Mr Natural,

    What food source our you providing to your worms? I'm familiar with using manure as a source.

    ps. make sure you keep the lights on...
  10. mr.Natural

    mr.Natural LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    We use a combination of half manure and half paper sludge.

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