JD's Proof

ecoguy

LawnSite Member
Location
Duncan
A few days ago, JD dared the world to prove that the use of synthetic fertilizers has a negative effect on soil microbes/fertility. I think he's been feeling guilty or just likes to argue because the proof is in the pudding JD. If it's not, why do you have to continue to fertilize your customer's lawns, year after year after year? The answer of course is you haven't been feeding your grass, you've been injecting it. Big difference. It's like drinking pop when your thirsty instead of water then wondering why your function decreases. Or living off McDonalds and wondering why your flabbier and have less energy. Still, JD wants some scientific numbers and figures to show that the pudding is toxic. So, this is the place where I or anyone else can post these proofs.

I have some technicians sending me soil reports which I will post on here as soon as I recieve them. The reports are hard to come by due to privacy laws...If some of you, Tim, ICTBill, have reports, please post them. Together we can help JD feel less....conflicted.

In the meantime, here's an article to get us started. Happy reading JD.

http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Jan10_King.pdf
 

ICT Bill

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Howard County MD
A few days ago, JD dared the world to prove that the use of synthetic fertilizers has a negative effect on soil microbes/fertility. I think he's been feeling guilty or just likes to argue because the proof is in the pudding JD. If it's not, why do you have to continue to fertilize your customer's lawns, year after year after year? The answer of course is you haven't been feeding your grass, you've been injecting it. Big difference. It's like drinking pop when your thirsty instead of water then wondering why your function decreases. Or living off McDonalds and wondering why your flabbier and have less energy. Still, JD wants some scientific numbers and figures to show that the pudding is toxic. So, this is the place where I or anyone else can post these proofs.

I have some technicians sending me soil reports which I will post on here as soon as I recieve them. The reports are hard to come by due to privacy laws...If some of you, Tim, ICTBill, have reports, please post them. Together we can help JD feel less....conflicted.

In the meantime, here's an article to get us started. Happy reading JD.

http://www.acresusa.com/toolbox/reprints/Jan10_King.pdf

Frankly I don't think you will find any data to support this arguement, there are life forms that live in some of the most toxic environments (ocean floor vents) and the bacteria and others live there too. I have seen examples of gasoline eating microbes, what I said before was
We grow out certain microbes with urea, we also use potato juice, fungal hyphi, refined food sources

some microbes die when put into a dish with certain foods, others love it and multiply like mad

The point is, with an applied food source you are selecting for certain bacteria, fungi, etc. This is one of the arguements of applying the widest range of food sources possible

OR

understand what "does well" for the chosen plant and select for "in general" those

when applying what JD likes to call "synethetic NPK" you are serving a food source that selects for the microbes that like it, others will die off or go dormant because they can't eat that stuff or it is not their "cup of tea"

Fungi are degraders mostly they like cellulose based food to chew on and be prolific

bacteria like simpler sugars "in general"

By applying the food source over and over you are selecting for the dominant colony in the soil

does it kill some or make them go dormant, absolutely

the point being if you are applying good guys and giving them the food that they want you will likely promote their colonies in the area that you had hoped
 
OP
E

ecoguy

LawnSite Member
Location
Duncan
Good points Bill. So what you're saying is it's not a black and white issue. Synthetic NPK has impact on some and not on others. Is the same true with Organic foods?
 

quackgrass

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
North West
Mineral fertilizers and synthetic herbicides don't devastate microbe populations.

Many microbes actually feed on Synthetic herbicides because they are organic. That is why people don't normally blend Organic fertilizers containing microbes with herbicides.

Now if you want to tell me that natural fertilizers support higher populations of microbes, and typically enhance the soil-I'm all ears.

Some people knock synthetics to sell organics, it creates some far fetched hype that just isn't true, no matter how hard you want it to be.
 

ICT Bill

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Howard County MD
I doubt I could find data on it, just because there are SSSOOOO many types of microbes in the soil, it may be out there. But by moving to a more diverse set of foods for the soil you should get better diversity and colonization

anecdotally plants that grow in chemical fertilizer seem to be less tolerant of stress, like drought and disease

I have had this conversation for a long time with many who are much smarter than I am, it would seem to me that you could adjust applications (microbe foods) for the type of plant that you are caring for
 
OP
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ecoguy

LawnSite Member
Location
Duncan
Hey Bill. Well, you're a much smarter guy then me. I'm only 6 months into the industry which in some ways I should probably just shut up and listen. Still, I learn best through dialogue so this is all good. That being said, in my talks with experts in the field, they all agree that synthetics have a negative impact on the microbes/soil. Organics are more sustainable for the long term, which I think that's what your saying.

JD, are you just reacting to my strong speech against synthetics or do you really think they are the future?
 

Tim Wilson

LawnSite Senior Member
My point on this has been stated here previously and can be found on my webpage under Growing from a microbial perspective or....

What chemicals do is break the cycle. Of course microbes of various types can even feed on chems. This is not the point. If I'm fed by IV for a year, how long before I'm digesting solid food again and to what effect?
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
If I'm fed by IV for a year, how long before I'm digesting solid food again and to what effect?

Tim,
I use the IV analogy all the time. People understand that if someone is fed by IV, they will survive but not thrive. The immune system is weakened because nutrients alone do not provide everything we need for vitality. Same is true for plants. A nutrient only diet requires anti-biotics for humans and pesticides for plants.

I'm not an advocate for banning pesticides, they are useful when used properly and as long as we understand they are only treating symptoms not the cause of the problems.

Tim, I hope you are healing well.
 

JDUtah

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
UT
Oh the places an imagination can take you. Eco, if you knew me personally I honestly think you would not be making such a big deal about this. I said it before, I think you have me way wrong. May I give you some background? It might help you calm down and realize that I truly am on your side.

When I was ten years old my family moved to Utah. We lived with my grandparents for a couple of years while we built our house (2 years because we literally built it, and it took time with limited labor). Anyways during that time my grandpa taught me how to garden. I fell in love with it. Nature. Plants. Hard work. The whole bit. I loved everything about it.

One day I discovered literally boxes of organic gardening magazines that my grandpa had saved via years of subscriptions. At 11 years old I made a little fort out back behind the wood pile and read the magazines after school. Nature fascinated me. The idea of composting fascinated me. The idea of organic gardening fascinated me.

The fort evolved into my own secret little 'organic garden'. It was only like 5 square feet. I remember growing radishes, lettuce, and other crop plants. From that early on in my life I developed a dream to own an organic farm/nursery/reception center.

At 21 I went into business with a family member and started a small landscape maintenance company. We did everything from mow to fert and weed spray (chemically), to sprinkler repair, renovation, mulching, etc.

Well about 2 years ago my partner and I parted business paths and I walked away from the synthetic company to start my own organic maintenance company (I had been running a couple experimental organic lawns already). It took a ton of study and field testing and about a year to design an effective organic program for this area. I will admit that I am bridge, reserving the right to use synthetics when appropriate (usually for control of weed/insect outbreaks).

I plan to build this business and either sell it, or run it profitably enough, so I can eventually buy land and create my organic resort dream. I am not a synthetic lover. I find them appropriate from time to time. But deep in my heart I am an organic guy. I find organics to be fascinating. I love nature. And what a better thing than to use nature to make nature more beautiful.

Just so you know I am serious, here are a few pics of turf on my organic bridge program. The first is a lawn I have had on my organic program for a little over 2 years. It has not seen a synthetic fertilizer for over 18 months

The second and third are pictures of a 5 acre turf campground I started servicing last spring. Anyways the point is. I am an organic guy. I hope you can accept that. I did not attack you or your organics. Nor did I say anything like synthetics were the future. Heck, I didn't even say they should be central to a fert program. I believe quit the contrary.

green3.jpg


2009-08-24 17.07.402.jpg


2009-08-24 17.48.542.jpg
 

phasthound

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Mt. Laurel, NJ
JD,

Good for you dude!!
You're doing good work. I remember when you were such an antagonist, now you're a peacemaker. :clapping: Oh, but you did throw out the gauntlet. :)

Eco,

Chill out a little bit. Don't take the bait. We do too much fighting here.
 

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