I was wondering if anyone have any before and after photos of their lawn after starting organic lawn care.
I do, I do! The shot is pretty close (the flowers in the first shot are the same as the ones in the top-middle of the shot the following year [well, different flowers, of course...]).
Before, taken in August of 2006:
After, in July of 2007 (just before I killed it for the new lawn):
morpheuspa thanks for the pics. What's your regimine like?
Psychotic. With the new lawn, once a month with whatever I can get my hands on. That's usually alternating soybean meal and Milorganite, at amounts calculated to give around 1 lb of actual nitrogen every thousand square feet. New lawns will use anything they can get.
That will only last for this year, then I'll flex back to around four times a growing season.
For more pics & commentary, click on my page...
That's what my grass grows on... Nothing but crushed rocks.
Wow, Lou, that's amazing.
okcdan thanks for that lesson. Now if only I could find SBM in my area. I don't have Bermuda Grass (Fescue/KBG combo) but sure wish I did.
bermuda has a reputation of being very invasive when fertilized a lot (they need more nitrogen than most if not all grass). It needs a lot of sun so it doesn't typically do very well under shade. I don't think it gets very hot during the summer at your location so finding improved fescue or KBG would be better choice. Bermuda will take over your veggie garden in a blink. Extremely difficult to remove completely because they spread underground and it takes tiny bit of underground runner to start spreading again. Down here in Texas, gardeners hate bermuda with passion....
Like Lou says, bermuda isn't suited to your climate, but happens to be suited fairly well for mine. It's also true that it's invasive... I work hard keeping it out of my veggie garden, but having said that, there's few grasses that can survive the heat/sun with as little water as I give my bermuda. There's times I sure wish I had fescue or KBG so I wouldn't have to deal with the grass all the time in my veggie garden, but hey, there's allways a tradeoff for everything, right?
Ok but it still looks good with the thick blades. Well I found one store in my area with only three bags of SBM 50lbs $15. Hope that is a good price. I will try to post pic of my yard. okcdan we hired one of those lawn services last season. He even lived in my neighborhood and has an awesome lawn. He vowed to make my lawn look like his. Well it didn't. I had to keep on them to mow it long but they didn't. I think they set the mower on a certain height and mow everyone's lawn at that. This year I will be the only one taking care of it.
bermuda isn't thick bladed. it's more of fine blade type and it requires a lot of mowing (2-3x a week at half inch height or so) compared to my st augustine classified as coarse bladed grass and i only have to mow it once a week at 4 inches height but I can go as long as 2 weeks and it still looks good. it isn't the case with bermuda. I'm thinking perennial rye grass would come close to looking like bermuda? You would have to look up NTEP to find out the best variety of grass species for your area. http://www.ntep.org/pr.htm
Ok now that I have some SBM can I apply it now? Right now in my area we have day temps avg low-mid 50's and night temps upper 30's. Doesn't look like the grass is growing yet.
It would be good to start a new post so more people could find/respond to your particular questions.
You can do that. it just won't break down fast but will be available when it gets warm enough right away. I put down soybean meal in late feburary so there would be enough time to break down to usable nutrients for trees when they start to leaf out to maximize growth. I care more about trees than I do about grass.
I did the same as Lou. Mine went down March first for the tree and shrub growth, although the grass will benefit beautifully as well.
I'm trying to maximize leaf production and growth rates on my trees because they're young, small, and weak (four bloom, two don't, and it helps the blooming too). The shrubs bloom better (three lilac, three butterfly, two hydrangea, and a crape myrtle) and grow faster if you feed them.
okcdan: Thanks for posting your pictures. If you hadn't I was going to link to your page. You have a great profile page by the way...you inspired me to dust off my HTML skills set to improve my own page, but you have actual results on yours. The yard photo posted on my page is not mine (I wish it was). Y'all would be LOL if I posted my yard. For all the study I have done on organic soils, there is only so much you can expect when you have limestone rubble base (see below), children, 80+% shade, and dogs. Plus I have an invasion of very healthy dwarf mondo grass left over from the previous owner's landscape. Mondo grass dominates over St Aug. At least it is green, doesn't spread fast, and doesn't go dormant. Anyway my patchwork of a lawn is far from making the cover of Home and Gardens.
and LOU!! You ARE the man!! Thank you thank you thank you for posting your pictures. Your before picture is a perfect example of the crushed limestone rubble many of us Texans have to put up with. When we ask for topsoil, that is what we get. When I read about someone wanting to adjust the pH of their soil...HA! This soil is pure lime. As you can see it is unadulterated with clay or organic materials. There are areas of clay, but apparently Lou and I share this common base.