Starting an Organic program this year...

regaldozer(6A)February 28, 2007

I read the FAQ and I am ready to go. I am in NY so the snow is still covering the ground. I am planning on the following steps; and I would love any comments

1) When the snow melts, i am going to spread a thin layer of compost on the lawn (can I use a spreader?)

2) I will then spread Alfalfa pellets.

3) I always have beatles so I want to apply beneficial nemetoads. I am thinking late april.

4) After that I was thinking soybean or corn glueten meal every 30 days with a spreader.

5) I will also make the lawn guy cut at 3"-4" no lower.

Does this sound like the right way to start?

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plan looks good- most important part is that you're going organic. some comments:

1. compost- can be put down in spring or fall. i prefer fall, when i overseed. will be difficult with spreader. i use wheelbarrow and make several piles on lawn. then i use leaf rake to spread the stuff- a lot of work.
2. alfalfa- i spread that in the fall when i overseed as i was told that it is beneficial to the need seeds.
3. nematodes- not sure when is best time, but april may be a litte early. i'm sure others will advise.
4. soybean/corn gluten- i use the corn gluten in the spring when forsythias bloom. it is an excellent weed pre-emergent. i use the soybean meal as my 2d application (and follow up with the alfalfa in the fall).
5. cut high- definitely.

good luck and keep us posted on how you're doing.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 11:21AM
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Shuber ,
Thanks so much! It's good to get feedback. If i start with the corn gluten onto my existing lawn (which is in ok shape) should I do anything to help it out? Aerate? I am asking because if I dont spread compost, will the gluten do its work?
thanks again.

also, where do you get the compost? I started a moderate pile last year but it wont be neary enough for my lawn.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 2:28PM
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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

After I read the FAQ's you recently read, I too decided to apply compost. Luckily, it's not something that's required to do often, because it's quite a labor intensive, backbreaking proposition. When I did mine last spring, I found compost in 40lb bags at a local big box store for around $2.00 each if I remember was pricey too! I'd used approx 70 bags!

If I had it to do over, I'd absolutely brew some ACT (aerated compost tea) & apply that. The primary reason for adding the compost is to introduce the microorganisms and the application of compost tea will yield the same result at a far lesser expense and with far less labor involved. That being said, the added organic materials applied when adding compost aren't added when using ACT, but as long as you're using the grains and mulch mow, you'll have chow for your microherd!

You can put together a brewer for around $20 & you can use the excellent home-made compost you're making right at home.

I'll put a link for tea instructions. Obviously, this is just a recommendation, but you should definitely consider ACT.

Good day, Dan

Here is a link that might be useful: Deuley's Little Texas Tea Brewer

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 6:23PM
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thanks Dan. That is really cool info. Now I have a decision to make but I gotta tell you, not having to bust my butt dumping and spreading compost sounds pretty good!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 10:09PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Other than the compost I like the original plan. At my location compost costs $35 per yard plus $30 delivery of the first 3 yards. My yard is 2,500 square feet so I'd get 3 yards at a cost of $135. The compost tea maker would cost about $25 to make (one time only) and a couple scoops of great compost would be about a dollar.

Fertilizing that often might get old, but it won't hurt anything. You could go to 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet using soy or CGM at that frequency.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:02AM
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$135.00 for compost for 3 yard WOW!!!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Just a note on the nematodes - they require a specific soil temperature to be effective. For most types, that is 55F or higher. In my zone that won't occur until around mid May. And since nematodes are not cheap, it makes sense to not waste your money by applying them too early in the season. And be sure you are getting the correct type to target your specific insect problem - there's a lot of different nematodes that target different types of soil pests.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 9:30AM
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There are a couple of issues you need to consider. First, what type of grubs are you trying to control? If they are the grubs of Japanese beetles you will achieve better control with milky spore disease. Second, corn gluten meal contains 9% nitrogen so it is a strong fertilizer on its own. It also contains an element that prevents seedlings from absorbing moisture therefore killing them. For that reason it works well as a preemergent weed control if applied at the correct time. However, it has the same effect on weed seeds and grass seeds. It can't tell the difference. Bottom line, if you have any intent to sow some grass seed, do not use CGM.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 5:19PM
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