what to do?!?!

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by turbo5560, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    so this whole organic stuff is throwing me through a loop! I have a 27,000 sq ft. property that needs organic fert. on it because it's on a lake. It also has to have no phorphorus in it because of a ban in the county. I talked to one guy and he said that I needed to have a 5 step program and it would cost about $1,500 my cost to have it applied. But I have also talked to others that said only two applications would be fine.
    What to do?
    If you had this property what would you recommend? Where can I find it, and about how much would it cost for the year... roughly?
  2. Organic a go go

    Organic a go go LawnSite Member
    Messages: 211

    Beware anyone peddling a 5-step program
  3. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    It depends on the quality of turf you would like, if "OK" is acceptable then a pound of organic N now(spring) and two pounds in the fall, with recycling of the clippings, will suffice.
  4. turbo5560

    turbo5560 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    it needs to be more then that. he says he needs something, but doesn't want nitrogen because he thinks the lake gives him enough of that.
  5. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    skip the fert, 7 apps compost tea, 3 apps top dress,corn meal spring or fall dep. if you seed. the top dress needs to be topshelf with loads of soil food.if you are coming up short in the summer add more molasses, fish oils. an example = organocide(epa ex.)48% protein=21% N.
    skip fert though buy "soil foods"=organic materials
    try some Biochar.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Turbo, I know it doesn't seem like much N but look below at the new guidelines for fertilization in Florida, these are PER YEAR. You guys don't use this turf in the North, but these growing seasons are MUCH longer than yours.

    Proteins/carbs like alfalfa feed the microbes which unlock valuble nutrients in the soil. Clay soils have enough nutrients for 1000 years they just are not plant available. The beneficial microorganisms make them plant available

    Feed the soil, the soil feeds the turf

    Fertilization Guidelines for Established Turfgrass Lawns in Three Regions of Florida* Nitrogen Recommendations (lbs N / 1000 sq. ft. / year)
    North Central South
    Bahia 2-3 2-4 2-4
    Bermuda 3-5 4-6 5-7
    Centipede 1-2 2-3 2-3
    St Augustine 2-4 2-5 4-6
  7. stimpy

    stimpy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    ICT Bill Do nutrients bind to sand. I think holland mi is on a sand dune.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Many materials have P in them. Corn, soybean meal, compost etc., but it is negligible. Compost tea theoretically supplies AM fungus and it will help established grasses make P available from the soil.
    Mostly P will maintain if the clippings are recycled. There is no net loss of P in any given area since it, neither leaches nor evaporates, that we know of. N does both.

    Does Michigan exempt organics from their law? We are dealing with a law like that in Wisco now and the Milo people appear to have the 'organic exemption' well in hand. Last I heard anyway.
  9. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    To the best of my knowledge compost tea does not grow micorrhyzal (AM) species of fungi. There could be spores added. Micorrhyzal fungi requires the presence of roots to grow and function. I believe AM is an endomicorrhizal and the fungul hyphae enter the root cells of the host plant in a symbiotic relationship. You can buy the correct spores from a variety of sources but you can also get mushroom starter kits at www.fungi.com . If you don't mind mushrooms growing in your yard, like delicious Shaggy Mane then seeding mushrooms is the best thing you could do for your lawn and the lake. The mushrooms will deliver nutrients to your grass and detoxify your soil. Just top dress with compost once or twice a year if you can afford it and leave leaf litter or mulch it up. It may take a year for the mushrooms to establish so using compost tea as recommended by treegal is a good idea.

    Bill is right. With organics you are not feeding the plants. You are feeding the life within the soil which feeds the plants.

  10. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

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