Sumagreen revisited

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by Pilgrims' Pride, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. replenish&subdue

    replenish&subdue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Would this be the same for applying compost tea when temperatures warm. I had the most disease ever in zoysia turf in 2012 but I contributed it to one of the worst droughts we ever experienced,relentless night and day temperatures and improper watering. Now I must consider if my organic treatments are the cause? I did not use synthetic fertilizers. I thought that would be a greater factor of being too much nitrogen. I have something to learn here. Can someone address this more fully?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There is a basic principle that is continually lacking as far a how microbes exist in the environment... that principle is the same as for any other living thing...

    Even people will thrive, struggle or die according to the environment... if you have too much undigested OM at any given location, it is like a bum living out of garbage can behind the restaurants... is this an environment in which people thrive???

    Does compost tea create too much undigestted OM??? Does Sumagreen produce too much undigested OM??? Do the microbes in either one fit the environment of the turf in question???

    You have anectdotal results for your Zoysia and someone else will have anecdotal results for their KBG, or their clay, sand, irrigated, nonirrigated and everyone's anectdotal results will be used and acted upon as though it was meaningful across the board...

    One size fits all... if compost tea/sumagreen etc. works like a charm in Joe Blow's Tennessee Lawn, well that's good enough for me... I don't have to understand how living things work, I only have to believe in Joe Blow's results, becuz these products work consistantly across the board... Correct???

    I'm not trying to be offensive and start an arguement,,, I'm trying to get some thought into the discussion...

    What is your Zoysia turf like and what diseases occured??? Does your turf have a nice layer of dead lawn debris for the microbes to feed on??? Does your soil have structures built by these microbes with aggegrates conducive to drainage AND water holding capacity???

    These are the questions, to start with, because there is no other way to answer, whether or not your organics was the cause... :)
  3. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

  4. replenish&subdue

    replenish&subdue LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    I'll take a deeper look at the article when I have time. One good sentence is,"Good organic matter content along with good moisture and aeration are all that most beneficial microbes will need."

    I think reality is that even with good products it will take time to restore a turf that has been on chemicals and synthetics. And even then,to run a business with 300 or more different "plots" is going to mean trouble. Some will keep their yard like a swamp,the yardmen will take the clippings and leaves to the dump instead of mulching some back in to the soil,throw in a little extreme weather now and then.

    Which brings me back to,,"Good organic matter content along with good moisture and aeration are all that most beneficial microbes will need."
    Organic matter through compost or simply mulching back in leaves & grass,proper watering and oxygen. Easier said then done when doing hundreds of "plots"
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Trying to micro-manage c/n ratios is definately more irritation than value for 300 lawns... good moisture and aeration has everything to do with soil structure,,, not the plugger, running over a lawn, once or twice a year, that is watered every other day...
    Niether is a soil test on 300 lawns very practical or even useful... It would be useful to be able to pull a plug , from the root zone and check out texture, structure and moisture content, even color and being able to understand what you're looking at in the field...

    We only have 4-5 months of growing grass around here, and to just add Organic Fertilizer and expect it to do the job is NOT going to work... becuz of the soils...
    does the OM enhance every soil??? almost alsways, YES...
    does the OM fertilizer have enough mass to feed every soil, throughout the growing season??? almost always, NO...
    A good soil enables the roots of any plant to assimilate a larger amount of the nutrients within...
    The article is attempting to describe the living soil, but the soil is most ignored in fertilizer applications... including Organic Fert application... and if somebody comes in again and says there is nothing to be learned by looking at a plug from the rootzone, this forum will be right back to synthetic ferts used to excess so that the plants are able to assimilate some of it...
  6. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    Sorry got a bit off topic.

    I really would like to give the sumagreen another go in the future.

    Asked this question earlier and hope to get an answer from one of the people from Sumagreen soon.

    When the microbes are fixing N and producing an N source in warmer temps, How can we suppress their activity until cooler weather?
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,758

    Problems may be looked at from the wrong angle.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Why do we believe that Sumagreen has done the impossible in providing too much N all during the warm days of Summer, through the N fixing microbrials??? even N fixing bacteria in legumes are not adequate to grow a nice crop of beans, in the garden, when compared to the ones that recieved fertilizer...
    I don't know what kind of sales pitches are going on behind the scenes, but...
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Here is a quick and easy to understand statement about How Microbrial Mineralization Works...
    In addition to their role in cementing soil aggregates mentioned above, soil microbes are of paramount importance in cycling nutrients such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sulfur (S). Not only do they control the forms of these elements [e.g. specialized soil bacteria convert ammonium N (NH4+) to nitrate N (NO3-)], they can regulate the quantities of N available to plants. This is especially critical in systems relying on organic fertilizers. It is only through the actions of soil microbes that the nutrients in organic fertilizers are liberated for plants and use by other microbes. Soil microbiologists call this process mineralization [the conversion of organic complexes of the elements to their inorganic forms, e.g., conversion of proteins to carbon dioxide (CO2) ammonium (NH4+) and sulfate (SO4=)]. It is perhaps the single-most important function of soil microbes as it recycles nutrients tied up in organic materials back into forms useable by plants and other microbes. In fact, the so-called Principle of Microbial Infallibility (popularized by Dr. Martin Alexander of Cornell University) states that for every naturally occurring organic compound there is a microbe or enzyme system that can degrade it. Note that this applies to naturally occurring compounds. ... It is through the process of mineralization that crop residues, grass clippings, leaves, organic wastes, etc., are decomposed and converted to forms useable for plant growth as well as converted to stable soil organic matter called humus. Herein lies another important role for the larger soil animals like earthworms. The large organisms function as grinders in that they reduce the particle size of organic residues making them more accessible and decomposable by the soil microbes. The soil microbial population also further decomposes the waste products of the larger animals. Thus, the activities of different groups of soil organisms are linked in complex "food webs".

    So is Sumagreen microbes, gobbling up so much thatch the N is making the grass grow beyond normal bounds
    Is there some other ingredient that is causing the excessive top growth???

    Something isn't right about this discussion and no one is able to acknowledge the 'elephant in the room'... :)
  10. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,358

    More questions than answers. More to see.........

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