Started My Organic Lawn Care 100% Today! Bermuda TIFWAT419

Redtenchu(7)July 20, 2013

TIFWAY419*

Hello Everyone, I've been reading these forums for about 3 months (signed up a week ago), and have been inspired to go 100% organic for my Lawn in Shawnee Oklahoma 74804. WHY? I have 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 Guinea Pigs that I love more than a green lawn with chemicals.

Basic Info ~ I purchased this home in Feb 2013 (built in 2006). I'm unaware of what the previous owner did in the way of lawn maintenance. I have done the "Mud Test" to verify it's a heavy clay soil, and when dried, the dirt is cement. I'm also 85% sure I have Bermuda (TIFWAY 419) in my lawn. I haven't done an actual soil test yet...

What I've been doing the past 5 months with chemicals~ I sprayed my yard with a pre-emergent in late march. I applied Scott's MAX green on April 1st and again on June 1st. Mowing the lawn at 2 inches with a mulching rotatory mower every weekend. Watered lightly every 3rd day or more when temps reached 70F or more.

What I see as problems ~ Besides the clay/watering/mowing/fertilizing/chemical bath problems I mentioned above. The yard has nut sedge and crabgrass. The yard has bumps and dips causing my mower to jump and dip some.

What I've started doing~ Hand pulled ALL the crabgrass, and pulled a lot of the nut sedge. Began mowing 1 click lower every 3-4 days. When I reached the 1 inch mark (second to the last setting) I had a Golf course looking turf!! I decided the lowest setting would look even better! Dropped it to the lowest setting and basically scalped the whole yard (picture is a few days of growth after this mowing).... The little strip of yard I have was horribly bumpy, so I purchased some cheap topsoil from Lowe's and dragged a pallet over the top to level it out (Seen in the left side of the photo) I purchased and applied a commercial compost tea, and a 50lb bag of Soy Bean Meal (livestock feed). Raised the mower back to the 1inch mark and haven't watered at all.

Future plans ~ I plan to mow 2 times a week at 1 inch with my rotary mulching mower. Apply SBM every month on the 1st. Water deeply and only when needed. Hand pull weeds as they pop up. I haven't found any Corn Gluten Meal locally, but plan to apply it next year as a pre-emergent/fertilizer.

I would love to hear any criticism, suggestions, ideas or complaints about my lawn care. I will post pictures ASAP.

This post was edited by Redtenchu on Fri, Jul 26, 13 at 19:27

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west9491(6)

You will like the corn gluten for preermergent qualities and high nitrogen value. Worth the trouble of looking for a local feed store. There are tons out there I've found

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 6:22AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

The information you get from the "mud" or "jar" test is about the amount of organic matter in the soil, the stuff that floats on top of everything else since very few that do make the effort will have the idea soil, loam.
Pouring "fertilizers" on a lawn simple creates more problems because that stimulates lush green, and sick, plant growth that then needs other poisons to control. "Conventional" lawn care is a vicious cycle of spending lots of money to have a sick lawn.
Work at getting the necessary organic matter into the soil and have a good reliable soil test done.

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU CES

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Redtenchu(7)

West9491: I found some at HD (5lb for $12) and a local garden center (30lb for $40). They are labeled and sold as a Pre-emergent, so I assume they carry extra $$ for the label. I will really start looking hard for some a month before I need it.

Kimmsr: Thanks for the Link! There is an extension just down the street, Im going to stop tomorrow and get a kit!!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 5:51PM
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west9491(6)

See if u can find any from feed stores. It's the same stuff only a way better price and in 50lb bags so you got more. Reminds me , I need some too :D

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:16AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Corn Gluten Meal sold as a pre emergent is patented by Iowa State University and the sellers must pay a royalty to them for being able to label that material as a pre emergent. However, since CGM is a byproduct of the corn processing and has been used for years as an animal food it should be much less expensive then it is.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 6:47AM
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