What am I doing wrong? Sythentic Neighbor looks better!

dantisJune 14, 2007

Hi All,

Switched to organic last summer and up until now I have been very happy. I have a KBG/Rye mix. My neighbor, and friend, has the same mix. My lawn started deep green and has now faded to a light green and seems just "ok". i mulch mow, water deep infrequent, Put down CGM in the early spring. I lost the depp green color. My "synthetic" neighbor waters daily, bags clippings, puts down Scotts 4 point plan and he has a deep green lush lawn!! I know I shouldn't compare, but temptaion is abound to go back, HELP!!!!

Thanks

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habiem(5)

When I want my lawn to darken up, I generally just put down some more soybean meal. If you only put down CGM in early spring, it just may be time for a bit more food for the soil.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 11:30AM
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bpgreen(5UT)

I agree with habiem. A KBG lawn needs 3-4 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft, whether it comes from synthetic or organic sources. Mulching can provide about 1 lb, but the rest needs to come from someplace else. The CGM provided some, the amount depending on how much you applied.

It's normal for a lawn to slow down in the summer, and fertilizing when it's hot isn't really a good idea, although it's ok with organics.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 12:23PM
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greenguerrilla

Don't get discouraged. Your neighbors lawn might look great on top, but whats going on under the ground? And how is that going to affect his lawn come pest time, and fungus time, and drought. Your neighbors lawn looks good because the Nitrates in the Scotts is depleting the carbon reserves in the soil. He is spending all his organic Matter in his soil and their will be none for later, not to mention he has disabled his lawns immune system, so he will have out the whatevercides soon. His lawn is on steroids and eventually will need more and more.
Have you had a soil test? How is your CEC? Are you dealing with a sandy soil? Adding CGM is not enough. Even if it supplied enough N, it would not supply enough carbon to support a soil with a low CEC.
Remember, in organics the goal is not to feed the plant nitrogen, the goal is to feed the soil carbon, nitrogen, and trace elements. In turn, a well functioning bio-activity in the soil will provide your lawn with most the nitrogen and carbon that it needs, from nitrogen fixing bacteria, and photosynthesis, as well as provide a healthy immune system for your lawn.
Try this. Give your soil a feeding with a quality liquid compost. But don't give it a big feeding. If you have a low CEC, that represents your soils ability to retain and ration out nutrients. If you give your lawn a modest size meal every few weeks, the CEC will start to improve and you wont have to feed as often. As the bio-function of the soil improves,so will the soils ability to provide nitrogen to the plants, so will the looks of your lawn, then we'll show that neighbor whats up come drought time when you have a 6 inch root base and his steroid lawn is rooted in thatch!

Feed the soil, and the soil feeds the grass.

If you would like to send me more info, soil test results, soil type, location, I could help you more,

Mathew Ingles
Graduate of the Nature Lyceum
Organically solved problems, never treated symptoms.
huckfinn49@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 12:55PM
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rollerzeke(z5)

Hello all.

Hi dantis. Stick with the organic program. Feed the soil.

Good day

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 3:53AM
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morpheuspa

Could you be a bit short on iron, do you think? I don't know MA soil, but adding a bit probably would help.

I use Milorganite for the iron, but others will advise using a direct iron application. Either works just great.

Another light feeding with organics (soybean does contain some iron, although not a vast amount) would also help. Maybe you've exhausted the CGM's nitrogen and need more.

Do both and you should cover the bases--both nitrogen and iron are the source of green in the lawn.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 7:13AM
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skoot_cat

I agree, you really need to FEED the soil again. The CGM you put down only supplied N and no other nutrients. Your grass and soil need NPK and micronutrients, which you will get from soybean meal, alfalfa, etc. Dont be afraid to alternate grains during the growing season.

I just started (as a part of my organic program) spraying Soluable Seaweed Powder to my lawn, which returned excellent results. It works quick, turned the lawn really green, plus it contains various hormones (for root growth), vitamins, amino acids, mineral nutrients and other components without causing excessive growth.

'Someone help me with this'
What about monthly or every other month applications of Grains, Meals, etc for now. (if within budget) Since this is his first year of organics.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:49AM
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dantis

Thanks to all for the follow-up. I ordered some SBM today, takes a week to get here. Where do I find the "spray on" liquid compost? What name am I looking for?

Thanks
again!!

Dantis

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 9:57AM
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greenguerrilla

Feedback Liquid Compost from Mother Earth Organics.
Contact me via email if you cant find it, I'll have them ship you a bottle. "friends of mine."

Mathew Ingles
huckfinn49@yahoo.com

    Bookmark   June 15, 2007 at 11:21PM
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v1rt

You guys really rock! I'm always impressed when an organic person responds to tough questions like dantis' question.

Today, I also bought an 150 lbs of SBM today. I'm planning to apply it early morning tomorrow. Then Sunday, I will apply AACT.

Dantis, like what the other guys mentioned, stay with organic, it's natural, it will give you again how it WOWed you before!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2007 at 12:54AM
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morpheuspa

Soluable Seaweed Powder to my lawn

Yeah, I sprayed with kelp (seaweed) extract myself. The results were extraordinary.

I did think the application rate was very high, and that the price extremely high for lawn coverage. Maybe I bought expensive stuff. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:40AM
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skoot_cat

I did think the application rate was very high, and that the price extremely high for lawn coverage. Maybe I bought expensive stuff.

I purchased Maxicrop Soluble Seaweed Powder, 10.7oz, 1-0-4 - OMRI listed for $15.00. Application rate Lawns: Spray solution of 2 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water (to cover 1,000 square feet) per month (minimum 5 applications per season.)

I have a 4000sqft lawn, so one tub will go along way for my lawn.

I've seen a few other seaweed products for a comparable price.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 9:45AM
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morpheuspa

I purchased Maxicrop Soluble Seaweed Powder, 10.7oz,

That being about a tenth the price, all things considered, of what I paid. Thanks for the tip!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 12:28PM
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garett

where do you guys find this souluble seaweed powder??

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 11:53PM
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morpheuspa

At the link I hope I attached. That was the one I saw, but you might be able to get it locally or at another online store.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maxicrop Soluble Seaweed Powder

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 7:09AM
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greenjeans_il(zone5 IL)

Soluble seaweed extract (SSE) is available from simplici-tea.com for $11.99/16oz. They may not have it up on their website yet (it's a new product from them), but if you call and talk to Tad he'll set you up.

Also, another note on SSE: It's MUCH more effective at preventing stress and improving plant health when used in conjunction with humic acid. The two amendments compliment each other well and studies have shown the positive impact on the plant to be multiplied when both are used.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2007 at 1:13PM
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habiem(5)

Dantis,

I saw your post and wanted to add an observation I've had. I don't know how old your lawn is, or your neighbor's lawn, but my KBG lawn is in it's 3rd summer right now. The first summer I used lots of Synthetics - Looked fabulous. Second summer, used lots of Synthetics - looked good. When it started looking less than great, I'd to buy a bag of Scott's weed & feed and throw that down. It would perk up, but only temporarily.

This spring, it looked like hell. It was one of the last ones to green up and the thatch was unbelievably thick!!!

The same thing happened to me in my first house - I was only there 3 years, but it was the same thing. Year 1 - Excellent lawn, Year 2 - Good Lawn, Year 3 - lots of fighting to keep it green.

It seems that with a Synthetic lawn, unless you aerate and/or dethatch it AT LEAST once per year, the thatch builds up (at least in KBG), and really creates a problem. I just wasn't excited about spending $100 to have my lawn aerated once or twice a year.

I found this forum because I was being a cheapskate and figured there had to be some sort of 'natural dethatching' method :) Don't get me wrong, I don't mind spending $100 on my lawn to make it look great - I'm just not excited about spending $100 for a temporary solution that my fertilizing practices would ruin. Reading up on the ecosystem of the lawn and how it works really made a lot of sense to me, so I figured I'd give it a try. I have a long way to go to improve my soil (clay), but my lawn has made great strides. The thatch is under control, and, even though I'm watering more than I'd like, I'm still watering a LOT less than the neighbors, and my lawn looks MUCH better! I'd rather spend $100 on soybean meal, corn gluten meal, etc., than an aeration any day.

So, I guess my point is, your neighbor's synthetics will catch up with him/her eventually...Again, just my observations and opinions...

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:35PM
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morpheuspa

So, I guess my point is, your neighbor's synthetics will catch up with him/her eventually.

And in some cases, quite quickly.

My across the street neighbor keeps a nice lawn. At this point, his is a little greener than mine is--he uses synthetic, I use organic. I don't know if they're the same cultivars of grass, but I suspect not.

On the other hand, mine doesn't turn purple-gray in a single day of hot weather, nor do I get large brown patches in two or three days. Plus I water a lot less than he does.

My slightly lighter green lawn is also like walking on a carpet. His is like walking on a tile floor. You can see some ground through his, mine you just see green.

His may be a bit greener, but mine has a good base to work with and is much healthier. The same is true of yours.

And with the seaweed application, even the lighter green bit may no longer be true. I just placed an order...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 7:39AM
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doopstr

Can the seaweed powder be used with hose attached sprayer? I have a two gallon sprayer but it would take forever to do my lawn with that.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 8:02PM
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skoot_cat

I use a hose-end sprayer. Mix the seaweed with some molasses, to help it stick to the grass blades.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 9:43PM
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dantis

YOU GUYS ARE GREAT!!! I put down SBM and a week later used the MAXI crop seaweed concentrate. My lawn is greener now in the little heat wave we're having than it was in the Spring!!! Still mowing high, water 2 times per week, early moring. I have a little more clover than I'd like, but spot treating is doing the job. thanks to All!!

Dan

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:55PM
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skoot_cat

Good to hear, thanks for the update.

I have a little more clover than I'd like, but spot treating is doing the job.

If it doesn't bother you too much, you should leave it. Clover manufactures fertilizer for your grass by fixing nitrogen.

Read the link below, it ran a few months ago.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anyone Overlooked the Benefits of Clover?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:34PM
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