6 week or 8 week schedule?

hoyess(z5 ON Can)March 23, 2009

Last year was my first year using organic lawn fertilizer and I was quite pleased with the results. The company recommended 3 applications a year. Alfalfa in spring, corn gluten based product in summer, alfalfa in fall. I found the alfalfa product did not green up the lawn as nicely, and I found the lawn definitely needed an application before the recommended next application. Plus, I'd like to use the corn gluten early in the spring for weed control. This year I am debating a 6 or 8 week schedule:

6 week = 5 applications:

Mid April -- apply corn gluten (9-0-0)

End May -- apply corn gluten plus (8-1-6)

Early July -- apply corn gluten plus (8-1-6)

Mid-August -- apply corn gluten plus (8-1-6)

End-September -- apply alfalfa (5-1-5) and overseed

8 week = 4 applications:

Mid April -- apply corn gluten (9-0-0)

Early June -- apply corn gluten plus (8-1-6)

Early August-- apply corn gluten plus (8-1-6)

End-September -- apply alfalfa (5-1-5) and overseed

Based on your experience which of these if any would be better. Are they well suited for both weed control and grass care based on how I have set them up?


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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

My preference would be for the 5 application approach only switch the September alfalfa with the July corn gluten application. That will give you more nitrogen in the Autumn when the grass is accumulating carbohydrates for Winter survival. Corn Gluten Meal has been shown effective in preventing germination of crabgrass and other weeds. My understanding is that it takes time and multiple applications to build weed preventive effects in the lawn.
Bill Hill

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:57PM
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3-4 applications of corn gluten? Thats one expensive organic lawn. At what rate are you applying corn gluten?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 6:05PM
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hoyess(z5 ON Can)

xploit -- I am currently applying at a rate of 10lbs per 1000 sf. I have a little over 1 acre of lawn (about 50,000 square feet) on a 2.5 acre property. I am currently buying 13 20kg bags for each application. Since I seemed to notice a fade between applications I thought I would cut this back to 9 bags per application but increase the number of applications I do. This would mean a slight increase in total but not in proportion. ie from 39 to 45 bags per season. Because I buy so much, I am getting wholesale prices where I buy the stuff (the same price they sell to landscapers).

Bill -- if I switch and put alfalfa down in July but corn gluten in the fall, when can I overseed or should I bother with that expense? I thought that when I overseed I should not put down any corn gluten within a 6 week time frame or the grass seed won't germinate? Right now in our seasons I find the best overseeding time is mid to late September. The grass gets a head start before either winter or in the case of spring any drought. But if overseeding is not necessary on an already well established lawn I'd be happy to cut that step out.



    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 12:01PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Corn gluten meal is sometimes found at bargain rates. It is not that unusual to read someone writing in to say they bought 100 pounds for under $10. Usually that happens in Ohio and eastern parts of Indiana. I'm not sure why. I've checked into shipping it to Texas but the shipping costs bring it up to prices I can get it for here. If I could get that deal I would never use anything else.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:47PM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

I'm not an expert on the effectiveness of CGM as a pre-emergent herbicide. You are using quite a bit of it, so germination may be a problem with any overseeding. That being said, I seriously doubt if your organically maintained lawn will ever need over-seeding again. So if the lawn is healthy, you can skip that step.
Bill Hill

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:56PM
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hoyess(z5 ON Can)

I wish I could get it that cheap but I'm happy with the product I'm using. Perhaps once I get a better feel for results etc. I may try and source something through the local feed companies. Since I'm a novice though, I'll stick with what I'm using for now. A 20kg (44 pound) bag is $24 for me. I've figured the cost to be a 30% premium over what I was paying for synthetic however I have stopped paying for rolling & am now going to stop paying for aeration as well so net cost is less. I've decided not to aerate as if I'm organic I understand the lovely worms etc. should do the job for me and I'm concerned about bringing up weed seeds.

Thanks Bill. I will consider skipping the overseeding then. I'd rather add extra organic fertilizer than spend money on seeds that may not be necessary.

Re CGM as a pre-emergent, I read today that the best time to prevent crab grass & dandelion germination would be to apply it after the forsythia is finished blooming and before the lilacs. Does this seem right? For me, that would mean starting my cycle around the end of April. My forsythia were in full bloom last year the 4th week of April. I don't want to waste my spring application by putting it down too early.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:16PM
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