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Organic Fertilize For Winter Rye

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ed2hess, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,442

    :help: I have started to use compost tea on some of my commerical rye grass. I don't want to kill the microbs by using chemical fertilize. I usually use 21-0-0 Ammonium sulfate. Any suggestions? We have had a lot of problem with fungus killing the rye. I need quick green-up like the sulfate gave me..
  2. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Quick green up, huh. You're looking for the chemical forum.

    If you are going to do organics commercially, you have to realize that you need to apply fertilizer EARLY. That's how you get the green when you want it. You can't wait until the week of the big game to fertilize the field. You have to fertilize 3 weeks prior. If you get into a regular application program you will have green grass all season.

    There is a way to get faster greening than 3 weeks. You can use blood meal. Unfortunately my experience with blood meal is limited to killing my plants due to over application. With ground grains I am very comfortable suggesting an application rate of 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. With animal products the rates vary so much I just don't know what they are. If anyone has a good rate for blood and feather meals, I'm all ears.

    If you want to keep fungus from attacking, use corn meal at 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Two alternatives are milk and garlic sprays. Both are excellent at building your soil so that fungus cannot strike.
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,442


    What do you think about using soybean meal for the rye grass...could I depend on it working in three weeks? The cost of organic fertilize(LadyBug) is $20 per bag. The cost of the corn meal was $8.95/50# at a feed store. I assume soybean meal would be in same ballpark?

    Folllowing from another thread Any comment on this info?

    How much do we feed? It depends on the 'feed' and its protien content, 10 lbs of corn meal(at 5%? protein) and 10 lbs of soybean meal (at 48 % protien) will give quite different results. Corn meal will provided a consistent green color for a period of time over the turf.... while soybean meal gives a very deep green color that lasts longer.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I think alot is going to depend on the amount of area we are talking about treating. One suggestion to get quicker green from your protien would be to also add the urease bacteria enzyme at the same time. the enzyme will release the nitrogen that is fixed in your organic material at an excellerated rate. The urease enzyme can be applied in a liquid form, either thru irrigation or as a folar spray. The enzyme will consume the organic material as a food source and release the excess nitrogen to the plant in the form of ammonium N. It should be noted that the urease enzyme probably already exsists in your soil unless it has been destroyed by applications of chemical fertilizers. Adding extra is like giving a booster shot.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    When you say winter rye and commercial ryegrass i am assuming grain rye. Are you just removeing the grain from the field or are you also removing the straw. If you are removing the straw as well as the grain you might find you have a hard time staying strickly organic. The straw or stems of the plant will contain most of the potassium, phosphate, magnesium, calcium ect ect that is used to grow the plant. To replace these nutrients you will either have to apply large amounts of compost or resort to chemical applications of fertilizers. Manures can also be used to replenish some of the lost nutrients. I think I have a pdf file here somewhere on using manures. I will try to attach it to this post.

    Attached Files:

  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,442

    This is the overseeding done in the southwest at commericial properties to keep the lawn green. We strip the bermuda/St augustine down in Oct and plant this rye. Then we let the hot weather burn it off in May. The grass is cut weekly all winter long and doesn't get more than a couple inches tall.

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