Researching organic ICT - Any advice?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by David W, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. David W

    David W LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    First off, I'm new to the whole organic thing and clueless. I just started researching Organic lawn care and would like to know if ICT would be beneficial if applied at the same time of core aeration?

    I'm expanding into doing more core aeration, topdressing and over-seeding this fall and would like to hear what benefits anyone has seen in applying ICT when aerating and seeding in the fall? A majority of the soil tests I take are always low on organic matter, so I usually top-dress compost mixed with sifted topsoil to amend the soil as well as adjust the pH at the same time.

    Is compost and ICT overkill applying at the same time?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  2. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    Any increase in micro biology is a great step!!! so the short answer is TEA ON, LAY IT DOWN WITH LOTS OF WATER.

    fyi bills is the most cost effective that is out there, there are others, but the cost starts at 250$ and up so, get some and TEA ON!
  3. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    compost and CT(ICT), same thing basically, work hand in hand. I would say there is no such thing as overkill but...

    ICT is a great product that I use a lot of, especially when I do topdressing.
  4. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Messages: 82

    Bill, here's your opportunity. Jump right in!

    ICT and NPP are both great products...
  5. David W

    David W LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    Thanks for the replies.

    Is there any drawbacks from doing an application say at the present time of year when grass/turf is under naturally stress and not doing great? How often can you apply? Just spring or fall or is a summer application ok?

    I have several lawns that were renovated last fall and this spring that looked to have a decent pH and NPK levels but are really struggling this summer. Mostly due to lack of water like any summer but after reading about ICT I was assuming the increase in organic material in the soil would really help it get through the summer months a little easier.

  6. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    ICT is basically straight microbes with a LITTLE food. I may be wrong, I have been before, but as far as too much ICT/CT? I don't think that will ever be an issue. Just make sure you put it down same day and clean your tank each day.

    If you already have OM in the soil then you should notice a higher reaction to the ICT, if your low on OM, I am not sure you will notice an effect as quickly although you should see a difference.
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You will find long term that these practices will encourage root growth that should penetrate deep into the soil where it is cooler and wetter, there are obviously exceptions like compaction. encouraging microorganism in the soil will free up nutrients that are not plant available.

    When spreading the typical fertilizer, it will melt or disperse 1 or 2 inches into the soil. The plant does not have work at all to get to the nutrients, it just hangs out in the first few inches and waits to be fed.

    What if the food doesn't come, what if drought conditions begin. those root are right at the top of the soil profile and are unable to hide from the stress conditions.

    By backing off on these practices and encouraging fertile soil the turf plant has a much better chance of surviving stress conditions. Compost teas are not a panacea and cannot be compared one to one with fertilizer.

    It is actually a different mindset of trying to improve the soil conditions that the turf lives in, these things take some time. It will not green turf overnight like a fertilizer does, so if you are looking for immediate results you may or may not have them.

    Go dig in the soil go see whats happening, it may be sod laid on top of compacted clay, it may have sat under water all spring and has gone anaerobic. Work to fix the top 5 things on the list
    Use good seed, begin to overcome compaction issues, increase SOM, get a soil test, do a bio-assay if you can, learn what good aerobic compost teas are about, who are the good guys in the soil and how do you promote them
  8. David W

    David W LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 285

    Thanks for the replies. Going organic really seems to be the way to go in the long run although I can see the need for traditional ferts and squirts here in there. Thanks again to all that replied. Looking forward to the next couple of days. Some ICT and NPP arrives tomorrow!!!

    I'm sure there will be more questions to follow.

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