Safe non-fertilizer for waterfront in NH

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by lakesregionscapes, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. lakesregionscapes

    lakesregionscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    We work in central NH, and are fairly familiar with what we CAN'T use near the water on the lakes... lime OK to the water's edge, no fertilizer within 25ft, only slow/controlled release beyond 25ft, etc. What I see is a lot of illegally fertilized lawns (plush green to the very edge), which we are not prepared to do; aside from personal objections to the concept, I'm not about to risk my new applicators license either.
    Is there a way to bring nutrients legally to a recently overseeded waterfront lawn? It was badly washboarded from erosion on the steep part, and drought fried last year on the flat section. We aerated intensively, overseeded with conservation mix (clover for nitrogen fixing and extra washout protection), and the new grass is up 2-3 inches. We'd like to get it firmly going before the summer temps and water stress kick in.
    I find frequent references to top-dressing with compost - but bagged compost has the nutrient analysis listed: doesn't that make it technically fertilizer by definition? And quite a few bulk composts around here contain thoroughly processed human or animal waste, which to me is just as bad as synthetic fert in this I'm still not sure that top-dressing is actually legal in the first place. My one attempt at asking the state inspector was a hugely cryptic "that is for the licensed applicator to know".

    Does anyone have suggestions, or experience with this sort of application?
    All help is most appreciated!
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    What about corn meal? Alfalfa pellets , fish kelp?
  3. lakesregionscapes

    lakesregionscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    Will have to research those - any personal experience with efficiency of these?

    Would not have thought of corn meal where the corn gluten is sold as a pre-emergent: something new every day...
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you ask the opinion of the state employee, you'll get a bogus answer that fits into their world view... ask for the law/reg and read it for yourself...
    Aerating a washout zone is no better than fertilizing a washout zone, becuz it all ends up in the water anyways... an established lawn that STILL washes into the water is the very reason lawmakers come up with these rules...
    Erosion control is mostly common sense, if you consider what cloudbursts CAN DO... :)
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    I think you are on the right track--clover for nitrogen. Lime is a good idea if needed. You could also add black medic seed--like clover, but it is an annual--flowers are small and less conspicuous.

    Most organic products are high in phosphorus--not good around water.

    I suggest a high-quality dark green cultivar of grass seed--overseed as needed. One of the new dark green Kentucky bluegrasses is a good bet. Use quality sod if needed.

    A dark green perennial rye is easier to get established. If you are on the lake--regular watering--pumping from the lake should reduce any problems from hot weather. Just don't overwater--as excess water will leach out whatever nutrients already present.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  6. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,281

  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    Most of the state employees I have contact with are very conscientious and helpful. There are exceptions. Blanket statements about them (or any group of people) are bogus.

    Good advice to read the law/reg yourself.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    DNR has got to be the worst when it comes to pushing a bad agenda in allowing the lakes become swamps... conscientious about a bad policy doesn't make them good people... I can make blanket statements becuz they are either on board with the bad policies being pushed or they're not working there anymore...
    "Rotted leaves and other lake debris is habitat for fish"... but not a source of P in the water... blanket statements apply to DNR becuz of their worldview to get a job there, in the first place...
    What is funny about the habitat for fish comment is that every Spring another foot or two of leaves float into sections of shoreline creating new landmass that actually shrinks the lake's surface area...
    And find me a dnr agent that doesn't tow the party lline that P in lawn fertilizers leach into the lakes... it is not outside the realm of reality that one has to be just that stupid to get a job at dnr and therefore blanket statements apply...
    their idea contradicts logic and reason that thereis no way to take it seriously... it is political all the way...
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    You might try watering the newly seeded area with water from the lake. It could be that there are residual nutrients in it that will help you.

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