Need help for CGM/fertilization program

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by mikesturf, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    I currently aerate lawns in the Chicago area. Lawns are mostly Kentucky Bluegrass along with some Ryegrass and Fescues. Many of my customers use ChemLawn/Truegreen and they are not totally pleased with their service/prices. I do not want to become a licensed/insured pesticide applicator. So I need help in designing an application program. I like the idea of corn gluten meal for crabgrass and broadleaf weed protection applied in the spring (early April) 20lb/1000ft2. End of May, a commercial grade lawn food with a biostimulant (21-3-5) fertilizer which contains micronutrients. Beginning of fall, corn gluten meal 20lb/1000ft2. Fall, aerate and topdress with a compost/top soil mix-1/2 inch per year. Has anyone used CGM on lawns after typical chemical pesticides regiments? Was there a noticable increase/decrease in weed population, turf color, turf density, etc? I would like some feedback before I select a program.
  2. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    I'm not sure about Illinois, but I'm pretty sure that in Pennsylvania, the program you are proposing requires you to be certified. With the exception of fertilizer, soil or composts, anytime you apply products to a property other than your own, you must have certification.
  3. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    The CGM is exempt from Illinois regs.
  4. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Well, its hard to give very many comments on your program with just the info you gave, but here are a few thoughts off of the top of my head.

    * The biggest issue I see is that you are not applying enough potash. Corn Gluten is generally considered 10-0-0. So..... at 20#/1000 you are applying 2# of slow release nitrogen per thousand. (Most research I have done on CGM says you need 30#/m to have any effectiveness against crabgrass -- but I'm not an expert on this so I may be worng.) But there is no potash.

    The summer app of 21-3-5, guessing .5 pound of N (?) would only give you .12# of potash per thousand.

    I generally work to try and get atleast 1.5# of potash, assuming clippings are retuerned.
    Do you need CGM in the fall again for weed control? Applying another dose of 2# of nitrogen, but no phos. or potash.

    So your annual program is providing the lawn with

    4.5# N
    .07# P
    .12# K

    Assuming clippings are returned I try to get 3# N - .08#P - 1.5#K.
    So your program would seem to be a little high on the nitrogen and extremely lacking in potash for me to use.

    You might consider using another commercial, organic based fertilizer with sulphate of Potash to boopst your annual potash.

    Hope this helps.
  5. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Do you use CGM?
  6. AND I think jeff's program needs another .75 lbs of sulfate of potash, assuming soil chemistry is ok?

    Was your program jeff, a maintanence program?

  7. way to grow

    way to grow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    What is the 21-3-5 fertilizer you plan on using? Most of the organic fertilizers I've seen like that are way to expensive for me to make a decent profit.
  8. mikesturf

    mikesturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    By organic, I mean, no pesticides.
  9. mikesturf,

    think thats a poor definition of organic "by organic, i mean, no pesticides"

  10. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Agreed Tim. Going as high as 2# of potash per thousand is a good idea. Kansas State University reccommends 2# of K as a maintenace program. It also says that clippings returned to the lawn can be equivilant to a pound or more of potash. This is what I based my statement on.

    What ratio do you reccommend with and without clippings returned?

    This is of course a mintenance program and should be adjusted according to individual lawns soil test.

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