synthetic fert. & beneficial nems

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Phazeekus, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Phazeekus

    Phazeekus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    If I were to apply beneficial nematodes for white grub in the spring, then fertilize with a synthetic/non-organic fertilizer throughout the season, would this negatively effect the nematodes?
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Why not use the typical spring and fall applications and supplement with compost teas in the summer? Cheaper and you can begin to tell your customers that you have a hybrid or organic based program.

    The NPK (weed and feed) that you are used to using in the fall and spring, meanwhile in the summer you are building soil organic matter and getting diversity in the soil with beneficial microorganisms.

    I think it's the best bridge that you can do
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Look at the life cycle of your grubs. Here the most common is the "June Bug". They are fixing to emerge now and as I till the garden they are already in the mature stage. [So no longer eating grass roots]

    The most damage is done, to the grass, during the growth of the larvae. The time for nematodes is during the growth of the larvae. [From what I understand]

    Our 'June Bugs" emerge, and breed, then die. Their larvae should be controlled after this point in time.

    Nematodes are strange creatures - in my understanding!?! One thing I have learned about them is that - they are so small that if you had a handfull of them they would fit in your pocket!

    Ultimately I cannot speak for, or against, nematodes but 'life cycles', are the constant you need to work around.

    From what I understand the nematodes are good for 2 months or so.
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    The easiest way of growing large numbers of nematodes of a certain species is by (1) making sure you have only one species, (2) starting up a monoxenic, synchronized population and (3) throwing lots of food at them. This usually works quite well with secernenteans, but sensitive species may not survive any of the above steps, and can only be grown in large numbers by applying patience and/or hoping for adaptation to occur.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    What would nematodes in WI eat?
    And - Do they survive the long winters?

    They are sold annually from what I understand.
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    we grow ours all year, in plain agar. some are harder than others, some times we do ok some times we get slop/no growth. we cinda sorta got it figured out.
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    The life cycle of a nematode is about 3 months, when they die off in the soil they release the nutrients that they have eaten, better known as the circle of life.

    You want to encourage all types of nematodes, there are basically four types
    Plant feeders, the bad guys, they like to eat roots and will reduce plant growth.
    Bacterial feeders, these guys in their life cycle release N, P, S that is now plant available
    Fungal feeders, they also release lots of great nutrients in their life cycle
    Predatory nematodes, they keep the numbers in check of all of the other types of nematodes, they eat their tiny brothers and sisters.

    Mr. Axe, these guys have survived ice ages and are still going strong, you can wipe them out in an area with strong chemical additions (herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides) like weeds the root feeders seem to come back first in large numbers because there are no checks or balances in the soil, they are opportunists
  8. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    bill hit the nail on the head, most of the time the chem guys have made a vacuum and the root feeders are the ones that seem to fill it, popular war advantage.

    enter me your humble tree gal with all new critters that will keep each other in check, that's one the chem guys still scratch there head on, "what do you use to kill them with" and when i reply "more of them" they want to faint...
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I always love the look I get when I say we use fungi to kill fungi
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    its priceless, we wish we had a photo some times.

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