Need OM and N

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by BostonBull, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    Soil test revealed I am still in need of N and OM in my soil. Not surprising as I have sand & clay, the builder left us with nothing!

    I top dress 2x a year with compost (4th year at doing this at this property) and will be doing CT 4x this summer in addition. pH was a bit off as well so Lime will go down as well.

    Which fertilizer and other products should I be looking into to help with the N and OM issues?

    I also have one heck of a creeping charlie problem! Dandelions keep coming back, which I can pull by hand, but would like a solution there as well if there was one? Would Adios take care of both? Torch them?
  2. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    CT 4x?

    Anyway top dressing is doing nothing. Whatever you put down just stays on the surface. You want to improve the soil by adding OM you need to get that OM and the soil to mix together.

    I would aerate first then put down the organic material. Some of the OM will fall into the core plug holes. As the soil gets aerated and OM put down every year the soil will get the OM mixed into it.
  3. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    3-4x is what NOFA recommends from what I have read........?

    With having an issue already with Dandelions and creeping charlie, should I be cautious with sprint time aeration?

    What else do you suggest to build OM and get the N I need? Wouldn't mind raising pH at the same time to cut back on lime apps!
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Mulch mow as much stuff as your can besides grass clippings... in the fall mulching in maple leaves does well...
  5. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I already do that. Twigs, leaves, prunings, flowers from the house vases, animals, small children, toys. My bag for my mower is still in the plastic it came with.

    I toss odd veggie and fruit scraps out there as well and mow them under.

    What else can I do here?

    What should I apply for a fert, i have been using Jonathan Greene, still good stuff or should I look elsewhere?
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Not true.

    This is a faster way to do it without tilling.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Results? Further N lab tests, unless the sample is handled in a specific way, don't tell you much.
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    Can you post the soil test here?
    Why do you think you need more N?
    Between the top dressing & CT, you shouldn't need much fertilizer if any.
    What % OM do you have?
    ADIOS works well on Dandelions. It is not labeled for creeping charlie, however several companies well be testing it this year.
  9. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    Here is what I have, hasn't changed very much since last year. Umass is the lab who performed the test.

    More N as per their recommendation.

    Boron .1ppm
    Manganese 3.2ppm
    Zinc 5.4ppm
    Copper .5ppm
    Iron 6.7ppm
    Sulfur 14.7ppm

    SoilpH 5.8
    Buffer pH 6.8
    Nitrogen 31ppm
    Organic Matter 2.6%

    Nutrient levels:
    Phosphorus 6ppm
    Potassium 143ppm
    Calcium 520ppm
    Magnesium 37ppm

    Cation Exchange Capacity 3.9 Meq/100g
    Percent base saturation K=6.3 M=6.1 Ca=50.7
    Micro nutrient levels all normal

    Extractable Aluminum 40ppm
    Extracted lead 16ppm
    Estimated total lead is 219ppm
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    BB .... do not use canned lab recommendations. At best they only serve to point you in the right direction .... sometimes
    Case in point ..... your snapshot nitrogen value is more than adequate, if not excessive. When did you sample, to what depth and what exactly does the N value represent?

    Your P is a little low, but that may be a reflection of testing methodology, keep an eye on turf color. SOM could stand to be higher, if for no other reason than to increase CEC. Lime is not really needed IMO, but if you do lime, use dolomite.

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