Need advice....Again :)

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by redman2k7, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. redman2k7

    redman2k7 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 8

    I got a soil sample done in March and here's what it says:
    Btw: My lawn is hybrid bermuda and is 1 year 6 months old. The first couple months or so I used scotts products, but after this past winter I switch to all organic.

    ph: 6.4
    Lime: not needed

    Then there's a chart that says nutrients are needed/not needed depending on whether the shaded bar is above or below the line.

    So according to the chart calcium, magnesium and zinc are above the line which means I don't need to add them.

    Potassium and Phosphorus though are far below the line. This test was taken in march before I had done anything.

    So after the soil test in march here's what I did in order:
    1)March - I did core aeration(the soil is very rocky in some parts and was really hard, My soil has like 3 or 4 zones. One section is clay like, one is very sandy like in Florida,and one is pure red "Georgia" dirt)
    2)March- added composted cow manure
    3) April- added corn gluten meal (I was a little too late on this, but so far weeds have been manageable) hand picked weeds
    4)May-June - added compost tea late may(didn't fertilize either month- had to mow higher and water less because of a drought)
    5) July-compost tea
    6)July- applied cottonseed meal(2 days ago)

    (still in a drought but not extreme like it was in May and June. This past week it has rained and the forecast has it raining all this week so we will see how that goes... I do maintain 1 inch a week legally though.)

    Right now I mow my hybrid bermuda with the blade set to 1 inch high every 3-4 days. Last year I let the bermuda grow high to aboout 3-4 inches and it started to turn yellow and fall over.

    Anyways I have 2 questions:

    1) My lawn as a whole has sprinkled brown grass mixed with the green grass and also has 2 bare spots where the grass once covered but hasn't grown over yet this season. I know some parts of the lawn is doing ok because it has grown enough the past month to take over my flowerbed/scrub section. Need a new Trimmer head :laugh:
    It kind of looks like most of the lawn is actively growing, but maybe a small percentage is just now coming out from sleeping or something. According to the soil test in March I need P and K. Does compost tea and cow manure raise the P and K? What else should I be doing here???

    One person told me to use greensand which has iron along with other nutrients, and will green up the whole lawn and keep it green a longer time, but the only place here in Georgia that I found, sells it for $6 per 10 lbs. That seems rather odd because I need exactly 50lbs and from what I read, greensand cost about $3-$5 for a 50lb bag. So we're talking $3-$5 for a 50lb... or $30 for 50lbs($6 times 5). So far cotton seed meal was the most expensive organic product I have purchased at $10 for a 50lb bag. I'm not being cheap, but I think that place is overcharging

    2) I have access to blood meal, cottonseed meal, soybean meal and corn gluten meal as organic fertilizers. For a grass type like hybrid bermuda, which one should be my choice? or would it be wise to say mix 2 of them together? which 2??

    If I made this post to long :) I'm sorry. I know how it is to login to a forum and find a book of a post.
  2. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have never used green sand so I wont comment on that product. The compost teas contain trace amounts of nutrients, how much depends on the content in the compost. Cow manure does contain considerable amounts of P and K, but a lot depends on what the cows where eating, pasture cows will contain more K but grain fed cows will contain more P. Cotton seed meal will contain higher levels of K than some other products, as well as decent levels of calcium. With either of these products, the NPK analysis isnt very high and it will take pretty large amounts to change nutrient levels to any appreciable amount
  3. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    Rock phosphate and sulfate of potash will help get your deficient nutrients in adequate quantities more quickly, and less costly I believe.
  4. redman2k7

    redman2k7 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 8

    ty both for the quick reply. Now onto this rock phosphate. I just spent 2+ hours calling and looking for people who sell this stuff and so far Im at O. I found 1 place though that sell something called Plant-tone. It's about $11 for a 25lb bag.

    The Ingredients listed are Dehydrated manure, animal tankage, crab meal, cocoa meal, bone meal, dried blood, sunflower meal, kelp,greensand, rock phosphate, sulfate of potash.

    Total Nitrogen (N) 5.0%
    0.5% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
    0.5% Other Water Soluble Nitrogen
    4.0% Water Insoluble Nitrogen
    Available Phosphate (P2O5) 3.0%
    Soluble Potash (K2O) 3.0%
    Calcium (Ca) 3.0%
    Total Magnesium (Mg) 0.5%
    0.3% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg)
    Sulfur (S) 1.0%
    1.0% Combined Sulfur (S)
    Boron (B) 0.02%
    Chlorine (Cl) 0.1%
    Cobalt (Co) 0.0005%
    Total Copper (Cu) 0.05%
    Total Iron (Fe) 1.0%
    Total Manganese (Mn) 0.05%
    0.01% Water Soluble Manganese (Mn)
    Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0005%
    Sodium (Na) 0.1%
    Total Zinc (Zn) . 0.05%

    Is it ok put down something that has all that listed?(i just put down cottonseed meal) I know this isn't pure rock phosphate but is it worth getting if i cant find pure rock phosphate ?
  5. redman2k7

    redman2k7 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 8

    Ok about 40 phone calls and wasted gas later I found a place. They don't sell rock phosphate but they sell Triple Super Phosphate. IS this ok?
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Greensand will defintely add P, but it's not going to green up your lawn. I have used greensand with humate, and greensand with hyphalink mychorizzae.
  7. redman2k7

    redman2k7 LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 8

    Thanks alot for all the info. I have another question also. So far this entire season I have been cutting my lawn at 2 different settings because of dips, drop offs, raised terrains etc. Some parts I mow at 1 inch...Some parts at 3 inch(The parts I mow at 3 inch are sloped/raised terrains that have to be mowed at 3, if not all the grass there would be scalped and it would look like a dirt patch with dead roots..)

    Well anyway for the last few weeks or so I decided to try something. I mowed sections of the back at 2 inches and kept the front at 1 inch as an experiment.

    By far the back, mowed with the blade at 2 inch is greener and fuller and looks better hands down than the front at 1 inch. I have read many articles and lawn care sites saying to cut at 1 inch or lower.(I have a rotary...I found out reel is better a little too late :( )

    Should I cut the sections that I normally mow at 1inch, at 2 inch now? Is cutting at 2 inches, letting hybrid Bermuda grow too high? Last thing I want is the Bermuda turning brown because it's too high


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