Liquid Organic Fertilizer?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by lbmd1, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    Anyone know where I can get liquid organic fert for spray applications. I have converted a 15 gallon tow behind spray unit to fit my Z rider and would like to apply organics via this method instead. Anyone familar with them and any idea on prices as well? Thanks!

  2. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Texas Tea

    With that 15 gallon Sprayer you should be able get your first acre finished by Halloween if you start tonight.

    Nothing wrong with Texas Tea you just have the wrong set up for it. 15 gallon sprayers were made for chemicals.

    Organics are great when use along with Chemicals. Chemical are what freed the world of many diseases and allowed the few to feed the many. American Agriculture is one of the last Industry that products anything for export. Without Chemicals, American Agriculture would go the way of the wind like the rest of the economy.

    Chemical don't harm the environment. The people who over use them harm the environment. Use IPM and BMP along with Organics. But come into the 21st century and realize Chemical have there place. No don't over use them.
  3. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    Ric, first of all, is it possible for you to respond with a little more courtesy? He obviously felt the question was a legitimate one.

    While I agree that some chemicals have their place in agriculture (I.e.: synthesized naturally-occuring compounds), your blanket statement, "chemicals don't harm the environment", is just incorrect. This is the difference between fact and opinion.
  4. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    Furthermore, there are volumes of books available regarding the fate of "American Agriculture".
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    I found these with a quick Internet search:

    To continue your seach go to your browser search and punch
    "New England" AND "Liquid fertilizer"

    Exactly like that even with the "'s with caps on 'AND'.

    A 15 gal is great for special mixes, or concentrations, or light doses. I think you may find out that to do full lawns for multiple properties you will want a larger tank otherwise you will be spending a lot of time searching for water refills.

    As for some:
    Sometimes integrated PEST management just means ignoring certain things. hint hint...;)
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Sorry you are thin skinned. Yes his Question is Legitimate as was my reply.

    You have only Quoted haft of my statement. People are the ones who harm the environment not chemicals. Chemicals do not get into the environment by themselves. Man must put them there in large amounts to do harm.

    Education is the Key here. Unfortunately The Green Industry is labor intensive and does not attract many people who are willing or able to be Educated. The Agriculture Industry is now starting a "Certified Crop Applicator" and it will become a requirement in years to come. I believe that Organics have a place along with chemicals. That is the only reason I lurk here.

    Yes I Apply Chemicals and Organics for a living. But I would like to think I have social conscience. In my 60's I got a degree in Horticulture. And I still I take two classes a week of which I must drive 100 miles to class.

    We must solve this problem with Reason and not Emotion.
  7. Popsicle

    Popsicle LawnSite Member
    Messages: 189

    Thin skinned, I am not, Ric. I don't believe your intent was to discourage future inquiries though your response was less than supportive.

    As for agriculture, sustainability is where we, as a nation, should be working toward. Our reliance on fertilizers is only growing as we continue to destroy the soil. Food production is no different than turf management. Feed the soil and the rest will come.
  8. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    So anyway, back to the question...

    I hope nobody wastes much time at the site. What's up with that? All advertising all the time! And pop-up windows, too!!

    If you take your 15 gallon sprayer, put in 5 gallons of liquid molasses, 5 gallons of liquid seaweed, and fill the rest with water or a good compost tea, that will cover 5 acres of grass, trees, ornamentals, or edibles as a foliar spray. Add a lot more water if you want to drench the soil. This can be sprayed every 2 weeks to improve the general health of the plants. If you use compost tea instead of water, add the compost tea last and use it all up in a day if you can. The microbes in the tea will use up all the oxygen in the sprayer and it will stink - which is something you don't want.

    Many liquid organic fertilizers rely on some sort of liquified fish remains. That can smell pretty bad. Some products claim to be free of that smell. Try them at home before you embarass yourself and your client with a smelly yard.

    Liquid molasses is best bought by the pound at farm co-ops. Usually you have to bring in your own container or you can buy one from them. It weighs 10.5 pounds per gallon, and at $0.09/pound, a 55-gallon drum should cost about $52.00.

    Liquid seaweed can be found, but if you are going to use it in bulk, get dried seaweed and add the water yourself. Here's a link...

    I'm writing to them to get pricing and application rate info for the dry stuff. I don't think you could afford to buy the liquid and use it at the rates I've suggested above. I'm guessing the rate will be one pound of seaweed per acre, which is very affordable at $1.00 per pound (retail). But it could be as much as 10 pounds per acre, which is $10/acre, so we'll see what I get back. For something you are going to spray every 2 weeks, I would want to see your cost be in the neighborhood of $2/acre.

    Both molasses and seaweed are food for soil microbes.
  9. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I'll add one word of caution using molasses: If you are in an area with a healthy deer population, avoid using it. Deer LOVE molasses and will graze your lawn down to the soil.
  10. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    That dirtworks link should have been
    net NOT com


    I reread your post and see this time that the rig is for towing behind a ztr.... okay that make more sense size wise. It's not like you want to use a ztr to pull a 50 gal tank or something larger.... And the mobility of it is more practical to 'pull up' to a hose bib, rather than draggin hose.... cool!

    15 gallons for 5 acres= 3 gallons per acre

    Yup, my reference says liquid kelp is best applied at 1/2-1 oz per 1,000 sq ft. That' about 43 oz per acre That recipe chops it kelp to 1/3. Going backwards it would 43 x 3 =129 oz of mix per acre (gallon is 128 oz). So even a lighter application could be done.

    I like the mixed molasses idea too. But how about spraying that through the nozzles? A good filter needs to be in place to prevent clogs eh?

    While it is true that less is better for foliar applications, it needs to be noted that light foliar applications are not going to do much for 'fertilizing' per se. The kelp is great for trace minerals and conditioning plants/soil. But you are not laying down much nitrogen.

    Yes, it will help stimulate the microbes root development and all, but a homeowner needs to understand it would have to be done in conjunction with other beefier fertilizers too.

    "I'm going to ferilize your lawn only with kelp" is probably not going to give the result a homeowner wants.

    From the commercial stand point though let's remember that EVERY function has a cost.

    IF I'm going to pull a sprayer on a trailer every day-- and I'm going to be maintaining the sprayer, making compost tea, mixing the juice, unloading, occasionally running out in the middle of a job, slower mow times if I spray and mow at same time, etc..... THAT is going to increase my costs and time. Instead of 14 properties I may only service 12 properties in a day.

    IF I dedicate days to spray only, doing it every month instead of 3 applications will drive costs up obviously.

    In any event the costs need to be considered and accounted for before bidding.

    So from a homeowner's standpoint of someone doing their organic lawn care as "oh this is nice and I enjoy playing in my yard experimenting" time is of little importance. Same can be said of a facility manger (golf course, school grounds) who is on salary.

    My point is the cost of the material corn $/lb or $/Nlb or 4/gallon is only part of the equation.

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