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Want to go organic but I can't yet claim "Jedi Master" organic

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Exact Rototilling, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,519

    Where can you buy polysacharides? I thought they were a byproduct from the mychorazae.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    polysaccharides come in many forms but are typically a polymer (man made) that when dry looks like white dust or very small granuals, they hold water very well and can expand to 300 or 400 times there size. It is being used in horticulture a lot in potting mixes to keep the soil moist for long periods of time. The down side is that some long term testing has shown that they may turn into a carcinogenic after broken down in the soil

    There is a natural polysaccharide that is made from the shells of crustaceans and is called CHITIN. This is a very useful tool in the organic tool box. It is multifuntional in that it can be used to feed microbes, in fact it had been proven to be the most effecient protein to feed bacteria.

    It can also be used to increase water hold capacity in the soil. It also increases the call wall thickness in plants, the plants take up chitin, which has been turned into chitsan in the soil and produce chitinase which is a naturally occuring chemical in the production of cells in plants. The increased cell thickness is the first line of defense for a plant.

    This small little polymer is a wonderful (and expensive) tool to have. But it needs to be used quickly after mixing as it will gel up in the sprayer. a 1% mixture is typically used, a 2% mixture will be too thick to spray, a 5% mixture will turn the water into jello, not good for spray rigs
  3. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    the gulf course you saw injecting polysaccharides, was it water retaining polymers or chitin type product? polysaccharides are a class of carbohydrates like some sugars i think too

    I found a company grain processing.com last summer that sales water retaining starch polymers and they sent me three free samples weighing probably a pound or more combined but I later found out how harmful they can become in the soil and if you breath their particle's.

    they can break down in like 2 or 3 years in soil and give off particles of acrylamide and acrylonitrile and probably change into more things i don't even know about so I stopped using them for my potted plantings.

    they worked well though at retaining water. I did use them for my fresh cut Christmas tree cause i had such a small holder and I only had to add water once to the gel. my Douglas fir kept well for a month.

    I couldn't believe how well they worked for that, those crystals are amazing it's ashame that they are so harmful.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    where did u hear they r bad? i have used them in my plant boxs and they do work great.
  5. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    just look them up online , google dangers of water retaining poymers, something like that. I read about it months ago and the fact sheets that came with it warned about california thought it could cause cancer, that it contained chems they though were dangerous
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    it is a cross-linked linear polymer called M216 and is man made by a company called ASTI in California. I don't think they are having a lot of luck with their marketing, too many environmental issues. It sounds great but in practice not cost effective on a large landscape like a golf course

    Chitin is an excellent natural polymer, we use it with some naturally occuring nitrogen and other nutrients to give them a slow release effect. The Chitin is extremely absorbant so you can mix it with these nutrients, it sucks them up and when applied breaks down over time. We can get 4 to 6 week release times but not much more than that.
  7. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 766

    once I get my biz set up and I have the funds I want to experiment with vermicomposting, that being said have you ever heard of a company called organics alive?
    they have a pretty cool sounding product. "in theory" their tea uses vermicomposted shrimp shells and it's very high in chitosan. and has all kinds of cellulose and chitin degraders in it. wonder if the chitin degraders affect the problem bugs in the soil? by weaken their skin?

    there's another product by general hydroponic's called chi foliar spray it also has chitosan and it works by making the plant think it's being attacked by insects and the resulting response's by the plant is increased thickening of cell walls and increased vigor and disease resistance while increasing structural integrity in the plant.

    I never used these things but they sound pretty cool and could have a place in our tool box.
    using the shrimp shells seems like a great idea to me , wonder if it could really help disease resistance in plants and mainly turf?

    no doubt I will have my hand full of experiment's when I get started and set up shop!
  8. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    anyone know if there is one of those injector things about the size of a normal aerator? It wouldn't seem like it would be that much harder and then you could use it on smaller lawns. Or is there something else you could use to insure that teas and other liquids get into the lawn?
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Chitin is the product made from the shells of crustaceans, chitinase is the name for the enzyme in plants that help with the building of cell wall structure.

    There is a lot of bulls**t out there in regards to the claims on chitin. some are true though like cell wall thickening. chitin creates induced response from plants that gets there immune systems really cranking. How it is done I am unsure but I have seen plenty of data on that.

    It is cool stuff
  10. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    how do you pronounce that? like its with a K or sh?

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