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organic lawn questions

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Davidb6, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Davidb6

    Davidb6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 6

    Have a 16,000sf lawn in New England (cool season grass). Lawn is fairly flat and no area gets more than 5 hrs of sun per day. In fact most of the lawn gets less than 5 hrs per day. I am on a well so I do not water my lawn. I cut my lawn at 3 1/5 in. high every 3 to 4 days.
    Switched to organic a couple years ago and the lawn has never looked better (low weeds and very few bear spots). Also, the soil is soft when walking on it and after a heavy rain there are lots of worms on the sidewalk. This year I applied three applications of ringer and Aerify Plus from Natures Lawn and Garden (April, May and June).
    Questions –
    1, I think I should start adding diversity to my soil in the form of SBM, alfalpha and compost tea. Does this make sense?
    2, Some parts of the lawn have to be cut to 3”. Any taller and it does not stand up..it starts to fall over. I’m assuming this weakness is due to the lack of full sun. Does this make sense? Or is this a sign of something else? Is there a trick for shade areas (3+ hrs of sun) like increasing N?
    3, My lawn is a nice color green but is not a dark rich green. Any advice on greening up the lawn?
    Due to the hot summer weather I do not plan on adding anything to the lawn in July.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    A lot of the grasses that do better in shade do not have a dark green color to begin with... I believe there is a limit on how good the color can become even if one can get the KBG to survive in the shade...
    Try Milorganite with Iron and see if that makes a difference or get a soil test and see if your pH is within range for you soil to absorb iron... but if you are using organic practices you probably have good SOM building...

    The thing I've noticed about shade lawns is that the more N you put on the quicker the grass dies off and your turf will actually get thinner, over the course of 2 or 3 years... Keep it on a 'Low maintenance' schedule and it will be fine...

    The best color I've had on the shade lawns came this year on warm soils and 5" of rain over the span of about 3 days... I had just done the Springtime fertilizer app.(June) a week or 2 before that and after all that rain it actually made a difference... It doesn't takea lot of N in the shade trees, but it does take a lot of water...
  3. Davidb6

    Davidb6 LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for the response. Would you put down Milorganite in the summer? I don't water my lawn but I guess I could apply it before a rain.

    I plan on taking soil samples tomorrow to have it tested. My guess is my orgainic lawn care approch has taken care of the PH
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Milorganite is OK in summer, if needed... They claim it only releases in moist conditions so it wouldn't burn... if the iron doesn't seem to help, you may have to be sure there are some good rains b4 deciding to add more stuff...

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