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What fertilizer do yall use

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by superintendent, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. superintendent

    superintendent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    This yr was my first yr in the lawn care business and is going pretty good and hoping for a better yr next yr. I use 20.0.10 MU nitroform last yr and loved it but there prices are going up to $28 dollars a bag and I'm not paying that much. I like to know from yall that have been in the business awhile and have tried just about everything tell me what you use and think is the best. I have been looking at simplot,Dickson,sigma organic, Hearld and someother company. So let me know what yall like. What made your yard stand out from the others. With the nitroform my yards stood out from the others and I want that again but with another product. Thanks
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    You live in somewhat of a rural area of KY? :confused:
    You may want to seek out your local farmer's CO-OP/ grain elevator operation to make contact with their sales reps & to get a general idea where grain protein meal pricing MIGHT be in spring 2010, for your specific region.
    You can effectively use animal feed meals like corn meal, soybean meal, alfalfa meal & cotton seed meal as organic lawn fertilizer, and even more importantly for sales & marketing purposes to your prospective clientele...as SOIL builders! :waving:

    More info on rates & such regarding meal applications can be found in the 'stickys' at the top of the 'Organic' forum in this site.
  3. superintendent

    superintendent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    No hard feelings but not big on organic. To much organic causes fungus. Yes the soil needs some but to much is a problem.
  4. tracyalan

    tracyalan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Contact your local farmers co-op. They can blend what ever ratio that you would like and also they can sell it to you in bag or bulk. I always bought from "Farmers Union" co-op and they would also blend my insect spray for me as well.
  5. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    With all due respect, super, organics applied correctly doesn't "cause fungus".
    Organics applied correctly encourages the growth of beneficial soil microbes that eat protein & carbohydrates (meal, or other organic matter), and break it down into a fertile soil that in turn, naturally & slowly feeds the turf.

    We've been applying meals like this for 9 years running during the growing season at a rate between 15 to 20 pounds per 1000 sq ft per round, usually 2-3 rounds / year.
    Nine years, and so far, not one of our clients have accused us of "causing fungus".

    So next time one of your customers, or prospective customers, calls you & inquires about organic lawn care, I suggest that in order to save face that you find yourself a better excuse than organics.... "causes fungus". :laugh::waving:
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,520

    850 pounds of product for an acre? Is that right? What kind of truck do you leave your shop with in the morning? lol
  7. superintendent

    superintendent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I will tell you with bent if there is to much organic it will cause fairy rings and other fungus. I agree that all soil needs organic in the ground but not to much
  8. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    The average is actually about 750 #/ acre.
    But this is done only 2 to 3 times a year...not 5, 6 or 7 like what's pushed these days by Trugreen et al with 'traditional' NPK & micros.

    And when working with meals we run around with a F450 diesel extended bed superduty, sometimes w/ 20' enclosed trailer, sometimes not, depending upon the daily workload & weather forecast.
    After we've completed a job & blown off the walks and driveway, some customers can tell that we've been there even hours later by the lingering pleasant smell, especially during the periods when we're applying alfalfa or corn meal. :)
  9. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 2,520

    If you start out with a thin lawn in bad shape, how long does it take with the corn meal, alfalfa, etc. regiment before you start to see any difference?

    How does your cost using your method vs synthetics compare? It's obviously more work hauling/spreading that amount of material.

    Do you still initially use pesticides for weed control?

    Thanks for the info.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Well, duh! :hammerhead:
    I should have KNOWN you were from a golf course background, super!
    ! :waving: :laugh:

    If you're coming from GC background and trying to break into your own lawn care service on the side or whatever, you're no doubt going to be working with common turf such as turf type tall fescue, KY 31 fescue, isolated bluegrass here & there, and maybe some bermudagrass & zoysia.

    Let me be the 1st person to reassure you that you'll not have problem 1 with fungus occurring in these tougher species because of organic matter overload like what you've said you've witnessed in bent at the GC.
    For the most part, they are ENTIRELY different animals altogether compared to bent!

    What you've been managing there is at a much higher bar of expectations than almost all residential & commercial turf.
    With your type of background you should do just fine.
    Just remember to try to keep the bigger picture squarely in focus. :waving:

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