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Question about organic fertilizer and thatch

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by kausverm, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. kausverm

    kausverm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    We are trying an organic fertilizer on a 3 year old sodded KBG lawn. It has 70% organic matter derived from poultry manure. The idea is to feed the soil so that beneficial microbes come back. But, we have 1/2 - 3/4" thatch and the fertilizer is granular.

    My question is: will the organic fertilizer break down and feed the soil or will it just stay on top of thatch layer and not reach the soil/microbes?

    Please let me know. Thanks in advance.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There are microbes everywhere... even on nonporous surfaces in the anti-septic hospitals and lunchcounters...

    What organic material does is rot into its constituent elements until its gone... having a variety of OM along with AIR and moisture generally creates and environment for all kinds of microbrial activity and the steady breakdown and release of elements to the soil and to the plant roots...

    The manure doesn't have to get into the soil, but the NPK does... that is where SOIL STRUCTURE is so important, and that soil structure begins at the surface...

    With improper irrigation there is a possibility that your manure will be just as likely to grow thatch at the surface as your synthetic NKP does...
    With a proper air/moisture ratio, you should begin to see your thatch digesting enough to allow your water to infiltrate, then perculate into the rootzone carrying the nutrients with it, thus feeding a microherd below the surface that also has the CORRECT air/moisture ratio...

    Most lawns problems and wasted NPK results from improper irrigation... :)
  3. Green Resistor

    Green Resistor LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 27

    Chemicals are chemicals. Don't expect better result from an organic source. Your soil is the buffer zone. When it comes to N-P-K, you got to get the proper amount, then the reaction occurs in the soil.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Actually synferts are more likely to be soluable at the surface feeding the thatch,,, than it ever will feed microbes and certainly does NOTHING for soil structure...

    If you water correctly, your poultry manure can definately help reduce the thatch and bring your soil alive when water starts carrying OM into it...
  5. Green Resistor

    Green Resistor LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 27

    Is this the pro section? We don't have thatch. Besides, if ya inherit a job that has thatch it is becoming more carbon based than nitrogen. Nothing eats it like nitrogen except mechanical pulverization.
  6. Green Resistor

    Green Resistor LawnSite Member
    from USA
    Messages: 27

    And don't forget nitrogen's (which started out a gas )high mobility, and that the other two, phosphorous and soluble potash, are minerals which don't mobilize. If you put nitrogen, you gonna have to put H2O. If you use the other two, you are gonna have to put them where you want them to stay. (In the Rhizosphere.)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I think your concept of carbon is a little goofy... you do know that carbon is plant food ,,, correct???

    You also know that as things rot, it provides N all by itself ,,, correct???

    I'm not sure what GreenR., is trying to say,,, but it doesn't make sense to add more N to get rid of thatch when too much N and too much water is the general cause of thatch...

    Don't get sensitive and lash out,,, just present your points ,,, clearly... :)
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Well .... you are both more or less ........... WRONG!
  9. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,099

    Are you hoping this will help break down the thatch layer? If so I'd dethatch the lawn. Your soil may not be in perfect health, but it should have the ability to break down the thatch. It is usually caused by too much nitrogen in an effort to get the grass dark green. Try less nitrogen and add some magnesium to your fertilizer program. I read a lot into your post that isn't stated, but hope this helps.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    More synferts are not the answer... a soil's ability to "Break Down Thatch" is in the moisture/air ratio and the microbes that can do it... that is why increasing the microherd is your biggest priority and chicken poo will definately help that situation,,, while providing fresh N at the same time...

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