Another Newbie - Just Verifying and questions

downsouth1993(7A/B)April 7, 2008

Hi All,

Another Organic Newbie here. We have moved to North Florida (Gainesville) not too long ago. I lost a beloved dog to cancer when we lived in Georgia and swore never to use chemicals on our lawn/gardens again which we haven't and to feed a natural diet. Since then we moved and did have an organic service in Orlando and again have moved to G'ville and would like to do it ourselves. I have read the organic faqs and some posts on St. Augustine (we have Bitter Blue). We have approx. 2000 sq feet in total front and back (mainly in the back). We have many trees, many leaves - so we plan on composting the leaves. We had new sod laid in around October of last year. Most of it established, some areas did not - so we will probably resod those areas. In the meantime, we have done absolutely nothing to the lawn front and back except mowing maybe around 2X. Once before the cooler weather and once around 3 weeks ago - we do mow high. As mentioned we have a lot of trees in front and back, but I believe we have enough sun in sections that move across the lawn throughout the day that we can have half decent grass. We do have some weeds but I don't think they are too bad - I will probably weed by hand and in the patio area and garden beds spray vinegar (we don't have plants yet in the beds so we don't have to worry about the vinegar in the beds). My understanding is that I should use a Drop Spreader wide open and spread Corn Gluten Meal at 15 to 20lbs per 1000 sq ft. and go over 2X so that it gets the correct amt. Then should I do an unsulphured molasses spray? I couldn't quite get a handle on the molasses spray whether it is to deter weeds, deter insects or to add more nutrients to the soil, or maybe all of the above? If I am to do this, does it matter what order? Also I had purchased some supposedly organic insect control product for fleas (Best Yet by Cedarcide), and it works great on the dogs, they also have some that you can spray on the gras - will the molasses spray work on fleas if it is a insect deterent and therefore I don't need to purchase the cedarcide insect spray? Also, I know this may be a lame question, but is the molasses spray sticky after spraying - I have dogs and just wondering if it dries non-sticky? (I guess if I see them licking their feet I know they'll have a great meal of molasses and corn meal :-)

One last question I also purchased a product from Cedarcide called Lawn Safe - can someone tell me if this would be beneficial.

It has a proprietary blend of ingredients so not sure if anyone can really say if it is worth spraying. Here is the link: http://www.cedarcidestore.citymax.com/catalog/item/3580688/4662536.htm

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated and I hope to learn a lot more.

downsouth

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skoot_cat

Once you stop using chemicals the beneficial/good bugs will return and keep the bad bugs in check. I haven't needed to put any insecticide on my lawn/landscape since I started feed my lawn organically. Frogs, Lizards, Spiders, Paper wasps, Big eyed bugs and other will take care of most of the harmful bugs. For example, Before I started organics, I would remove Paper Wasp nest from under my eves and palm trees. Every year I would get sod webworm damage. Then I found out that the Paper Wasp feeds heavily on caterpillars, flies and beetle larvae. I stopped removing them and I have not had sod webworm damage again. I see them all the time hovering just above may grass. I also notice 2 praying mantis on my grass one night. For the organic approach to truly and easily work in your favor you have to take all things into consideration.

CGM is hit or miss for weed control. It will only help control weed seeds that have not yet sprouted. I would personal skip it because of the cost$$$. If you do use it apply it at 20lbs per 1000sqft. Water it in 2 times in one week then water very very infrequently for the next month or 2. A good starting point with any spreader is 1/2 open. There is no rule about the number of time you have to run the spreader over the lawn. That usually applies to synthetic fert to make sure one gets even coverage/avoid burning. Usually you would start spreading In a North/south direction and when your finished run back over in a east/west direction until the hopper is empty.

With an organic approach you are going to have some weeds in your lawn. The best thing for weed control is proper maintenance practices.
1. Mulch Mow High with a shape blade.

2. Water deep - 3/4-1" of water per zone and infrequently - no more than once a week in summer. To determine how long to run your sprinkler system to apply this much water, set out several tuna fish cans at random in each sprinkler zone and see how long it takes to fill them to the desired depth. Be sure to check your irrigation system for uniform coverage at the same time.

Hope this helps and welcome aboard.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 4:06PM
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