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Organic fert regime

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by HighGrass, Oct 5, 2003.

  1. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Messages: 1,237

    Does anyone have a regular organic regiment that they use with their customers? If so, what is it?
  2. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Note that this is not something I use with customers because I have no customers. If I was to go into the business, this would be what I would offer.

    For starters, I would suggest using ground corn meal on turf at 10 pounds per 1,000 every 90 days starting 30 days before the first spring weeds pop.

    For roses, ornamentals, and large potted plants, 1/2 to 1 cup of corn meal per plant every month.

    Every 2 weeks foliar spray the plants with a mix of 3 ounces of molasses and 3 ounces of liquid kelp (seaweed) per gallon of water. Spray turf with the same mix with one gallon per 1,000 square feet.

    I'm still working on where to get kelp concentrate at a rate y'all can afford. I think I've found it but I'm still checking availability and where to find it nationally/internationally. The source is Canadian, so international should be as easy as national.

    The only approved organic herbicide I know of is BurnOut vinegar spray. That's all you need but I'd like to see some price competition. As a practical matter, you should discuss weeds and the use of chemical herbicide with your homeowner.

    For insect pests, it depends on the pest. Lawn pests include grubs, fleas, ticks (in the winter), chinch bugs, and some others. Most of these seem to respond to the application of multiple species of "beneficial nematodes." These creatures carry a disease to their host and kill them rapidly. Milky spore is a disease that does the same thing for grubs. One problem with insects is that the predator insects are killed along with the nonselective sprays. Dilute orange oil is a non-selective organic solvent that has the effect of killing insects that it gets on. It seems to be particularly effective on ant hills. For aphids, spider mites, and many other sucking insects on ornamentals, if you follow the fertilizing and spraying suggestions above, the pests are not attracted to the plants any longer. I don't know what is going on inside the plant to cause the effect, but it seems to work in many cases. Paper wasps and birds are effective predators against destructive caterpillars so anything you can do to attract them to the garden is helpful. Mud dauber wasps seem to prefer the deadly black widow and brown recluse spiders if they have a choice, so they should be encouraged to stay on the property.
  3. EvandSeby

    EvandSeby LawnSite Member
    Messages: 151

    Very informative! I am just starting to use organics and have a few questions. Can you apply the corn meal with conventional drop or broadcast spreaders? Is this the same stuff from making corn bread? Where would I go to purchase some of the items mentioned? Is there any burning with the foliar spray mentioned?(In AZ 90degrees and above for 5 months a year). More questions later....Thank you in advance

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    i am trying to incorporate more organic products into my lawn care program. however i need a way to get consistent results and still need to make a buck :D i am on most properties once a month so i have to do the best i can with that so any help is appricated i am in the northeast and the season is march/aprill to oct/ nov however it is now 75* and the dandy lions are blooming again in some places?
  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    The cost and performance of ordinary corn meal and alfalfa meal/pellets should be comparable to the synthetic ferts you're using now.

    You probably won't like the idea of manual pulling weeds, but the WeedHound (about $18 at Wal*Mart) works as fast as you can step on the weed.
  6. gwwilson

    gwwilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    pre-m CGM, i'm still putting it down. your right temps still up there. been using pre-m CGM, last 3 years and it really works.

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