Newbie With Questions

slow73(WA z8b)September 4, 2007

i am new to organic lawn care and gardening after years of making the scott's co. rich. This forum doesn't have a faq section so i have to post the questions? what are the major difference between cmg, sbm and alfalfa meal? which is better? what about ucg? i just started spreading bags of it on my lawn and have begun watering twice a day for 1 hour. so far can't see much results but still early?

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skoot_cat

i just started spreading bags of it on my lawn and have begun watering twice a day for 1 hour.

Thats way too much water. Established lawns should only receive 3/4 to 1" of water per week in summer.

It takes about 3-4 weeks to break down and notice a difference.

Link Below

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Lawn Care FAQ

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:35AM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

hey skoot cat gracias on the advice. after work i will go home and adjust the timer on my sprinkler. hey is it possible to lay compost with one of those 'chemical fertilizer spreaders'? or will i have to do it by shovel? same with the corn meals and the like?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:48AM
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skoot_cat

hey is it possible to lay compost with one of those 'chemical fertilizer spreaders'?

I dont think so. I spread compost by shovel/hand.

As for all the other grains, I use a scotts broadcast spreader with no problems. When I use CM in the spreader I have to bounce it as I walk along to keep it flowing.

Frequent (daily), light waterings promote shallow root systems that do not result in healthy turf. To develop a deep root system, water your lawn when the first signs of wilt occur. When the lawn needs water, you'll see spots in the lawn that turn bluish-gray, footprints that remain in the grass long after being made, and many leaf blades folded in half lengthwise. Apply only enough water to wet the soil in the rootzone. For sandy soils, 3/4" inch of water is generally sufficient. Do not water the lawn again until signs of wilt occur again. This technique works regardless of turfgrass species, soil type, season, or other environmental conditions. It may take up to 6 weeks to condition your turf to survive several days or more without wilting between irrigations or rainfall. During this time the root system is developing and growing deeper into the soil. In time, your lawn will establish a more uniform appearance with less thatch and a deeper root system.

Read the link below about Calibrating you sprinkler. This really works well.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Calibrate Your Sprinkler System

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:30AM
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slow73(WA z8b)

slow73 and earthworm73 are one in the same. my apologize.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:52AM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

ok guys and girls help me out. i went to my local feed store and could only locate corn gluten and kelp meal among other things. no sbm so i will probally have to order online. anyway, tis the season in my neck of the woods where summer is over (been over for close to a month now) and fall is here. temps won't go above upper 60's and the rain has started with avengence. sounds like perfect conditions for growing grass. should i purchase the corn meal and or kelp meal and apply? what about compost? the soil under my lawn is so frickin compact i don't dare to penetrate it with a shovel. i know it needs compost but i am not sure when to apply it. please lead the blind in the right direction.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:35PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I got lost in the codes. What is ucg again?

cmg is really cgm, corn gluten meal. CGM is used to prevent weed seedlings from taking hold in the soil. If you use 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year (three applications), it seems to work for some people (not me). Don't use corn gluten meal or any other corn products if you are planning to reseed your lawn. Use anything else.

sbm is soy bean meal. Soy is a great source of protein. I believe it provides the highest protein per pound of any of the popular grains.

Alfalfa is up there in protein content, too.

ucg I'm not familiar with.

Kelp meal is probably the best "grain" type organic fertilizer that I am aware of. Usually the cost makes it prohibitive to use on a lawn. Cattle yes, lawns no.

Lawns should be watered once a week or less often. If your lawn seems to need more water before a week is up, then water it immediately but water for twice as long this time. If you get runoff, stop watering immediately and give it 30 minutes to soak in. Then continue watering until you get your time in. I have only watered my lawn twice this year with all the rain we received. When I do water, I water for 1-3 hours all at once in each zone.

Don't go to the trouble to mail order fertilizer. Use whatever you can get locally. Any animal feed, including dog and dry cat food, make great organic fertilizer. Alfalfa pellets are used to feed everything from guinea pigs to horses. You should be able to get alfalfa anywhere (Wal-Mart).

I have not used compost on my lawn for years. I don't plan to use it ever again, but with advances in compost tea I might have to use something to adjust my soil. That technology is just getting out of its infancy, so maybe my children will have more explicit recipes for stuff like that. For now my relatively healthy soil seems to have an abundance of necessary microbes. All I have to do is provide real food for them. If you just start using organic fertilizer, water correctly, and mow at the right height your red clay will soften and darken. You should mow your grass at the highest setting to feed the deep roots you will develop with your deep infrequent watering.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:03AM
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skoot_cat

Corn Gluten meal and Corn meal are very different, be careful.

Give us some more info here.

i just started spreading bags of it on my lawn
What and how much?

Are you re-seeding, over-seeding, or want to maintain your lawn organically?

What grains do you have available?

What type of grass do you have?

What height do you mow at?

Etc, etc etc.

This will help all of us answer your question(s)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:50AM
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earthworm73(WA z8)

ucg are used coffe grounds. i have kbg, fescue grass. my wife insisted we use a lawn service to mow. i have asked them to mow high and they insist they mow it at the highest level on their mower. they will soon be fired. i just began spreading the ucg on my lawn. I purchased some alfalfa meal hopefully that will do the trick.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 8:17PM
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skoot_cat

Used coffee grounds are perfectly fine to use. While itÂs very difficult to apply too much, donÂt layer it on so thick that grass is covered or water will be repelled.

UCG are only source of food for your microbes. Use them between regular feedings. Its important to mix the grains you feed your lawn during the growing season. Ex. Alfala is bacterial food. SBM and CM are fugal foods.

what are the major difference between cmg, sbm and alfalfa meal?

Check out this link below its a great reference tool. Download the Organic Fertilizers #234.pdf from link below.
this site has a ton of info about organics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Ferts

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 9:04AM
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