Step Program for the beginner...

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by pryker, May 19, 2004.

  1. pryker

    pryker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    OK, I have read through this forum extensively. I have read all of the other posts from the "newbies" asking how to get started. I have read through the FAQ sections. I am overwhelmed with all of the information and do not know where to turn... My question:

    Is there a fertilizer program for organics that is similar to the lesco/scotts program that a simple dumb old homeowner like me can follow?

    I know I have to dethatch and aerate, mow properly, etc... I am speaking specifically about fertilization.

    Also, Can I still use herbacides with this program or will it have a negative impact on the program.


  2. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    Why do you want to go organic? Neal
  3. pryker

    pryker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I want to go organic for these reasons:

    1. Have two kids who like to play outside
    2. Have a well and septic and do not want to poison my family
    3. I care about the environment
    4. I am fascinated by this stuff

    So, is there any company out there that sells a product that can be used in a step system similar to Lesco?

  4. leogod

    leogod LawnSite Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 28

    I like Jerry Baker for organic suggestions. He has many books out that may help you. In short yes, you can fertalize going the organic route. I recomend treating your entire yard, trees, shrubs, flowers etc... with the following:
    Fill a hose end sprayer with half soap and half amonia. Attach to hose and spray everything, including the lawn. The soap will clean the oils and dirt off of the plants and the amonia is a good source of nitrogen that will not burn the plants. I do this once a week and have had great results over the past five years. Let me know how you do. I have not had any luck controlling weeds organically. Maybe you will.
  5. monty0

    monty0 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    I've started using a fish and kelp fertilizer this year for the same reasons that you have stated. I have only applied two applications on the yard and one application on my leyland's and all other plants and schrubs. It is still in the middle of the spring here in Maryland and everything is still growing pretty good I'm waiting to see how it will perform during the heat of the summer. The web site is I apply the product with a 25 gallon tow behind sprayer. Which is enough to cover my acre lot. Two gallons of seamix to 25 gallons of water and some dishdetergent as a surfactant. It has a pretty good fishy smell that lasts for a day or so. Like I stated i am still in my trial stages and am applying it once a month beggining in april thru november. After this years applications I will then judge the results. Hope that it works as claimed. As their is no worry of burning the grass my son can play on the lawn right after application and my dogs lick the stuff on the plants with no adverse affects. No worries associated with chemicals.
  6. pryker

    pryker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 56

    I am looking for something in the way of spreadable pelletized fertilizer. I have approx 3.5 acres of lawn to apply the fert to so a spray solution may not work as well. Would take me all day.

    As for the plants and bushes I will try your recommendations.

    Has anyone used this product before:

    Sounds good! It is called Nutrients Plus 16-2-3. Any comments on how effective this is? Is it trully safe?

  7. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    Nutrients plus is a good product. It is safe. Not too eat though :)

    It is not a totally natural product it does use urea, but I would feel very safe putting it down. They do have totally natural products such as 4-3-1. I would think if you are concerned about well water then you might be more interested in keeping the amount phos to a minimum. Phos. is is very mobile and can get into underground water supplies.

    Herbicides when used responsibly ould be a healthy part of the program.

    Get a soil test done then design a program from that giving the soil the needed nutrients using as much natural organic matter as possible. Use the correct herbicide for your needed weeds and use only the amount that is needed. This will give you healthy grass, fertile soil and few weeds and a safe yard for your family to enjoy.
  8. neal-wolbertsinc

    neal-wolbertsinc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    pryker-Except for item #4, your facination with organics, you shouldn't consider items 1-3 as important as far as fertilizer and health issues are concerned. There is more reason to question toxins in fertilizer from manure sources than non-organic or synthetic forms, for example. Synthetic forms of nitrogen have no question as to origin, unlike manures. Urea, for example is an organic/synthetic nitrogen made from natural gas and processed with CO/2 and water to create the solid prill form available. We know what it is because we know where it came from. We can't always say that about all organic forms of fertilizer, even though there may be benefits using organics. Nitrate leaching can be a concern with any form of nitrogen including organics. All forms are broken down into nitrates by urease, an enzyme. Nitrate is the form that can leach. If nitrate nitrogen is not held in the topsoil in can leach in rain events etc. There are products that can minimize volitization (evaporation) or leaching (movement in the soil) of nitrogen available on the market. If nitrates in your water table is your concern, find out how deep is your well is and what type of soil you have? The answer to that question should help you rate your concern level. The safety of fertilizer is not dependent on whether it is organic or synthetic but on it's source and characteristics in the soil. The other fertilizer components should be taken into consideration as well and it is a facinating, to borrow your word, study. Neal

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