Went to a nursery to buy compost

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by cbtexas, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. cbtexas

    cbtexas LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 17

    Went to a nursery today to see if they sold bulk compost. I have a yard about 1 acre in size that is semi compacted. Owner had it aerated last year and it is still pretty solid but it hasn't had much water this year yet. I was going to do a light layer of compost over the whole yard but was having trouble finding it locally by bulk. Too expensive to buy a jillion 2 cubic foot bags. Anyways, the lady at the nursery said she had never heard of anyone spreading a 1/4" layer of compost on the yard and wanted to know where I got my idea. I told her I had been doing reading on some internet boards and she wanted to know if they were local boards. I told her no, people from all over can chime in. She said that is the problem, that our area is differnent from others in zone 7 and the ground is just going to be hard as dry as it is here. I told her the lot is on a complete sprinkler system and water was not a problem. By that time I was agitated and just wanted to get out of there. Heck compost wouldn't have hurt anything and if some clown comes in wanting to buy it, she did her damned best trying to talk him out of it. Won't go there again.
  2. ALLPro Landscaping

    ALLPro Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    I am guessing you are putting in a new lawn?????
  3. cbtexas

    cbtexas LawnSite Member
    from texas
    Messages: 17

    No the yard was put in last year. Customer just says that it is hard as a rock. He had it aerated last year. I was doing some reading on this and was told to apply the compost about 1/4" thick all over and you can aerate again if you want. The water like the dickens. The compost will get worked down in the soil eventually buy worm, foot and mower traffic, grass growing, ect. I mean the compost won't hurt the yard and the customer doesn't want the lawn tilled up so this is the next best thing to get some organic matter into the soil.
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    2 things
    Do a soil test and look very carefully at the Calcium to Magnesium ratio, it should be 6 to 1 or 7 to 1. You will probably find that it is way off, If you can get that fixed you will be amazed how the ground opens up. soil tests are cheap, $15 to 20 max. also look at soil organic matter percentage in the test it should be a minimum of 2% we like to see 5 to 7% if possible

    Please come back and share the results, it is a fun thing to beat up

    go to Howard Garretts site, www.dirtdoctor.com, they are based out of Dallas, there is an extensive list of folks in texas as well as the US. You should be able to find someone through them
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I could care less about what Tim and Howard do. His site has a huge list of composters and people who supply compost around the Texas area. His site is an excellent resource

    i was just trying to point him in the direction of others that may have good to great sources of local compost
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Check and raise your SOM first before anything else. Make nutrient adjustments at the same time, but don't go overboard trying to achieve the "ideal" ratio.

    FYI, that lady at the nursery is an ignorant fool, or is just trying to push their bagged product down your throat.

    @Bill .... knowing the Ca:Mg ratio will be useless if dealing with a sodic soil. Furthermore, there is no "ideal" Ca:Mg ratio and if the ratio is way off you need to ask the very important question why. If the reason is due to natural conditions, then chasing a ratio is no different than chasing pH .... a never ending pursuit. In this case SOM is your best bet to alleviate compaction.

    Finally, is the compaction due to chemical or physical causes?

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    Dont let the clueless ruin your day find some compost and have at it

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