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Organic? Really?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ChuckNC, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    No that is not my point. The required soil biology and envrionmental factors are varied based on source and type of fert used.

    My point is the use of manures as a substitue for synthetic fert is not "green" as one might think. The source of N and P for that matter come from synthetic fert at some point.

    Now that is not to say that the luxury of a nice lawn is best acquired via a reused source of N and P via manures from a more important practice of food production. I just think people should have the whole picture.
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Nitrogen (nitrate specifically) is more mobile in soils due to its charge. Solubility is not the deciding factor in ion mobility. Any ion in solution is at risk of leaching regardless of the charge .... and any ion be it in solution, bound or precipitated is at risk of erosion/runoff. If erosion occurs then you have the potential for any/all ions to be lost.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I'm not following the purpose of "the whole picture" here. Manure is a waste product ... it will be generated regardless of it being used or not .... something that is not true for a synthetic fertilizer.

    Should I:

    1) Produce more synthetic ferts
    2) Use viable waste products

    Seems to me the "green" choice is obvious.
  4. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116


    I agree with everything you said in both posts. I think we have said the same thing differently.

    I agree once a nutrient is in the soil the solubility of that nutrient, i.e. the likelihood of it being in solution, is largely dependent on its charge, also dependent on environmental and biological factors as well.

    I also agree with your perspective of manure being a waste product and therefore its use being green.

    It just concerns me to hear people discuss the use of manure based fert and manure based compost in a perennial crop like turf and not not have a full grasp of the effects it can have on the environment.

    I am raising points to challenge people to think. I hope I have done this without coming of as an a**
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    I do agree anything topically applied runs a higher risk of erosion, be it synthetic or organic .... but consider this. A properly managed soil (read properly managed SOM) will have better nutrient/ion retention and potentially higher steady state infiltration rates. These two factors will lead to a net reduction in both leaching and runoff losses.
  6. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    You were describing the use of manure, at least it seemed so. Manure based compost is very different from manure. It is very stable and chances of leaching (being soluble) are extremely minimal. I have had both homemade manure based and vegetation based compost properly finished and supposed experts could not tell the difference.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Manure IS digested vegetable matter, so their should be no difference in the finished product... :)

    What do they call anaerobic decomposition? Like the stuff you find in a lake from rotted leaves etc... Manure is anerobic decomp, an the stuff in the lakes and rivers smells about the same.

    When it is digested completely under water it no longer smell that way, just like compost doesn't have the rotting smell... So it iessentially compostted, but is it called compost?
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,196

    Axe: I know you love thinking through these things so ......the finished product might be different depending on who is doing the digesting, enzymes and microbes in the soil or enzymes and microbes in an animals digestive tract.
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Good point...

    Eventually though, it all becomes humates or basic chunks of Carbon... Is that true?
  10. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Many times it is called compost. Not 8 miles away form me are some drudged ponds that have a huge pile of "compost" that they are selling in bulk. Pretty good stuff.

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