please help me analyse this

v1rtu0s1ty(5a)September 10, 2007

I have applied CGM, CM and SBM this year. My lawn is KBG and tall fescue mixture as mentioned by the builder. What I'm going to mention here is based from my experience. My post is really about the growth rate.

Early April, I applied CGM. The results were amazing. All dead blades were replaced by dark green blades. The growth rate was normal too. I mow once every 2 weeks and my mower was still fine. The growth wasn't really fast. I applied CM late April and same thing as previously mentioned.

Then June 16, I applied SBM. On the 3rd to 4th week, I noticed the change in blade's texture. It wasn't as shiny as before. The growth rate was insane too. It was so friggin fast! It would grow like 2.5"-3" per week. I wasn't able to cope with mowing due to office work that even weekends, we had so many prod implementations/change controls. The growth rate slowed down just last week. The blades were able to regain the shiny texture too.

So, I'm not really familiar with KBG's or Fescue's growth during those months. I don't know if it was because of SBM that it boosted the growth rate. I remember someone asked me this , "Are you really prepared to mow every week"? I couldn't remember who asked that question so I'm thinking that it's really SBM.

Anyways, looks like I won't apply SBM anymore next year. I will keep CGM and CM because I'm very happy with the results. What about alfalfa, what is their effect? What about Milorgranite, what is their effect?

Thanks guys!

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texasredhead(z8Texas)

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I have kept my St. Augustine lawn, trees, flowers and roses organically for over 35 years. I use corn gluten meal twice a year, late Sept. and early March, as a preemergent and fertilizer. CGM, being 60% protien, contains 9% nitrogen. I apply CGM at a rate of 20lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn. Around Father's Day, I make an application of Milorganite.
That'it! I never heard of using soy bean meal before I started reading Gardenweb. It seems to me there is a tendency of many posters to need to be puting something on their yards all the time. In my opinion, the pratice is overkill and expensive. I often refer to my methods as benign neglect.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:32AM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"I mow once every 2 weeks"

I live near you and I mow about every 4 to 5 days during the spring. Even the people that don't fertilize in the spring mow weekly here. Perhaps new sod doesn't grow as quickly as an established lawn.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:51AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

deerslayer, the growth rate only went fast from early July to late August. The only thing I did prior July was application of SBM. I won't apply SBM anymore.

texasredhead, I also use the same lbs/area amount you posted.

It's September now. Which should I apply, CGM or Milorgranite? To get CGM, it takes me 25miles to get to ElBurn while Milorgranite, only takes me few miles to get to Lowes.

Thanks guys!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 2:03PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"the growth rate only went fast from early July to late August."

My point was that your earlier growth rate was abnormally low. The growth rate that you experienced in July and August was normal for this year. We had near record rainfall and warm weather. Add some fertilizer and you have rapid plant growth.

I don't agree with your conclusions about CGM and SBM growth rates. If you would have substituted the same amount of CGM for the SBM, I bet your growth rate would have been higher.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 2:51PM
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fescue_planter

Yeah I have the tendancy to want to put stuff on my lawn all the time as well but I hold off and stay within the 80-100lbs organics per year. Maybe I could get away with doing less but some of us fresh starters need to build up the amounts of organic material in the soil and not just applicate to feed the grass. In 5 years I would have only half the amount of organic material built up in the soil if I only applied twice a year.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:20AM
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morpheuspa

I tend to overdo it myself, pushing the lawn to the 100 lb/K ft range in mixed organics (not including mulched grass blades).

I was mowing in spring every 2 to 3 days without fail. However, that was the old lawn, which was not a dwarf. That dropped to 1 1/2 to twice a week in June and July, but never went lower than that.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:18AM
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fescue_planter

I think if you just -have- to put something on and don't mind spending the cash you can't go wrong with a nice dose of alfalfa.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:29AM
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billhill(z5 MI - KBG)

I like to put down compost. Fine sifted finished compost sprinkled on the weeker areas of my lawn. In time, the weekest areas become the strongest. It really works. Bill Hill

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 10:58AM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Contacted my local nursery and they sell mushroom compost. Read that if it's a mushroom compost, don't buy it. What do you think folks?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 11:46AM
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bpgreen(5UT)

Some people like it and some don't.

I think some of the potential problems with it are that it can have a high pH and a fair amount of salt. If you get enough rain, these may not be problems for you.

I think another potential problem with it is that the mushrooms that were grown in it used up much of the nutrients already.

If your goal is to add OM and the pH and salts are not a problem, it might be something to consider using.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 11:55AM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"I think if you just -have- to put something on and don't mind spending the cash you can't go wrong with a nice dose of alfalfa."

I agree for the following reasons:

1. Alfalfa contains relatively low N...it doesn't make your grass grow too fast.
2. Alfalfa adds organic material to your soil.
3. Alfalfa contains desirable micronutrients.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:06PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Is alfalfa also 20lbs/1000 sqft?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:56PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Also folks, I had a feed store written on one of my business cards. The feed store is in Lemont, IL. However, I couldn't find that card anymore. They are the only store that sells alfalfa.

Does anyone recall anything about a store in Lemont, IL?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:08PM
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v1rtu0s1ty(5a)

Disregard folks, I found it in switchboard.com

Ludwigs Farm Store Corp
(630) 257-3097 : 13205 131st Lemont, IL 60439

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:10PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"Is alfalfa also 20lbs/1000 sqft?"

I like to first determine how much N I want to apply, then I calculate the amount of material I'll need. I calculate the N% by dividing the percentage of protein by 6.5. For CGM the calculation is 60 / 6.5 = 9.2% N. You can also look up N% in tables.

A cool season grass such as KBG, needs about 4 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sqft per growing season for vigorous growth. Since SBM contains 7% N, applying 15lbs/1000 sqft is equivalent to applying 1.05 lb of N/1000 sqft. (.07 x 15 = 1.05)

Alfalfa contains about 3% N, so applying 15lbs/1000 sqft of alfalfa is equivalent to applying about .45lbs of N/1000 sqft.

I realize the above is more complicated than simply putting down 10-20 lbs/1000 sqft. However, I think it is more economical since I don't over-apply materials when I do the math.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:05PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

In addition to cost, another problem with applying too much N is that your grass will grow more quickly than normal.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:15PM
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