Milorginite or Alfalfa pellets?

cwrebelJuly 10, 2013

I've been reading about both of these for feeding lawns. I have access to both at reasonable prices, should I lean one way or the other? Can I use both?

I should add that I have a "mostly" organic lawn by default. I have approximately 800 sq ft of a hybrid buffalo grass that requires very little care. Doesn't need to be mowed (but I do because it looks nice), only requires 1/4" of water per week (mine gets a little more than that because it seems to appreciate it) and I've only fertilized with a small amount 21-0-0 ammonium sulfate (a red solo cup full, dispensed through a hand spreader) once in the summer for the last three years. The lawn hasn't seen round up or anything of the sort in three years, and I've never used a pre-emergent. This is the time of year when I like to feed it something, and I would like to use some organic matter that will feed the lawn and soil. I should also add that the lawn looks pretty good, I'd love to keep it happy and healthy for years to come. Thanks for any advice!

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Lawn does look good. I looked at milorganite's Wikipedia boasts it high iron value.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 6:01AM
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What to use depends on what the soil needs. if the soil needs more organic matter then the Alfalfa pellets would be my choice since the Milorganite would not supply all that much OM at the recommended application rates. Applying more then recommended will create pollution problems, someplace.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 7:37AM
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Thanks west9491!

kimmsr, I definitely want to start adding organic material. In many spots the groung below is relatively hard, despite the overall healthy appearance of the lawn. We have hard clay out here in So Cal, so a little plant matter is what I'm after. I don't mulch mow because the clippings are unsightly, so I bag and compost them for the vegetable garden. I think I'll start with some alfalfa. For a quicker boost of nitrogen for the grass, is there something you would reccomend?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:29AM
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Properly done mulch mowing does not leave unsightly residue behind. If clumps of cut grass are left on the lawns surface then the mower is cutting the grass too short or too fast. Grass should be cut as often as needed at a height that is best for that grass, but no more then about 1/3 of the grass blade should be removed at any one time.
Speed should be no faster then what will allow the mower to process the clippings and get the small enough to fall below the surface to the ground. Clippings on top of the grass do not get process by the Soil Food Web and can smother the grass they cover.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 6:56AM
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That could be part of the problem. Like I said, the grass doesn't require much mowing, so when I do cut I might be taking off larger clippings than necessary. I never even thought about the speed of mowing either. I'll try trimming a little less at a time more frequently and pacing myself a little better. I'll let you know how it works out, thanks kimmsr!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 11:25AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Which hybrid buff do you have? They don't really need much fertilizer.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:48PM
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UC Verde. I know they don't need much. I think that I'm really after some organic material to retain moisture and feed the soil. I just figure it couldn't hurt. One thing I've learned about the grass, is it doesn't NEED much anything, but, with a little extra water, a little extra mowing, a little fertilizer, it's pretty good looking turf. I like to experiment with it too, cutting at different lengths and what not. I already offered up a shampoo treatment (I'm a believer). Definitely loosened up some tough dirt, I couldn't belive it. When comes right down to it, I'm a lawn guy, and a plant guy. I care about everything I grow! Just want to give the best, you know?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 3:13PM
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catkin(UDSA Zone 8)

Nice lawn!

Are those Cypress or yews or something else? They are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:51AM
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