Wonderful results from cornmeal & alfalfa !

gardeningannie(06)October 9, 2010

After nearly losing my front lawn in August to severe heat and drought, I read everything I could on this forum in an attempt to save what grass I had left. Dave Hall from San Antonio ~ how do I say thanks for all your encouragement and excellent advice on how and why to use corn meal and alfalfa and the importants of 'going organic'.

Now into the second week of October and only one of many with oppressive heat and a continued dought, I can dare say I have the only lawn in a many mile radius of Lyndon and Anchorage (Louisville area) that looks 'springtime fresh'!

The keys, I've found, are water,alfalfa pellets, corn meal, compost and some reseeding. I also use an electric mulching mower and always mow high ~ I think this is key in reducing weeds and keeping grass roots shaded. I've also found it important to mow late in the day and never when the grass is the slightest bit damp.

The time and money spent in reviving my lawn have been nothing compared to the joy of not only enjoying the view when every yard around me is scorched and dead, but knowing that with every application, I'm feeding the 'micro-herd' living below, or what's left of it after years of Scott's Winterizer Fertilizer.

I've found organic fertilizers easy to use and relatively close at hand even though I've had to rely on Martha White Plain Cornmeal (yellow or white) in 5 pound bags from Walmart for $2.36 because I haven't found a agricultural source. (I read somewhere on this forum that this type of cornmeal was not the best kind, but I have had excellent results to date.)

I was lucky with the alfalfa pellets as the local Feeder Supply stores carry they in 50 pound bags for around $13 and they have recently ordered a 40 of 50 pound bag of soybean meal for me.

In addition, I have applied handsful of alfalfa pellets to each perennial, shrub and tree along with some blood meal and compost.

In closing, all I can say is without this forum and the great help and encouragement found here, I'd probably still be looking at a worn out lawn, a struggling 'micro-herd' and buying chemical fertilizer in hopes of correcting what isn't actually the problem ! Thanks to you all ! gardening annie

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

HA! I suckered another one in!!

Honestly I know the FAQ has been downloaded well over 100,000 times (wish I had a dollar for each one!). Lots of people have at least considered switching to organics but have been scared away for one reason or another. The objective of the FAQ was to dispel the rumors that it was expensive, smelly, and subject to poor performance.

I like to call it "no hassle" lawn care. Water correctly, mulch mow tall, and fertilize. 1,2,3. The first two are more important than the third, but I like the results of organic fertilizing.

If you feed the microbes with organic fertilizer, they will take care of the disease, insects, and keeping it green. DARK green. I can tell you that nobody was more surprised than I was the first time I tried corn meal on my lawn.

I stressed corn meal in the Organic Lawn Care FAQ. A lot of people have followed the FAQ but moved on to soy bean meal for the fertilizer. You might have a rare opportunity in Kentucky. You are on the border of corn availability, but check this out. You might be able to find corn GLUTEN meal for much less than plain corn meal. If you can, then make the switch. Corn gluten meal is an excellent fertilizer. Over the years I've seen Kentuckians and Ohioans report finding corn gluten meal for around $10 per 100 pounds. In my area it is $30 for 30 pounds. If I could find it for $10/100, I would not use anything else. Check around. Any ground up bean, nut, or seed will work. It is the protein content that matters.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 1:26PM
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Hi Gardeningannie,

I too can say the same thing about my lawn and I live in Hikes Point in Louisville, Ky. I too have applied Cornmeal, and Alfalfa and Soybean Meal and my lawn is looking greener each day, while all the other lawns within a mile radius are so brown from the drought this summer. I too owe it all to Dave and his advice. It is so amazing; the neighbors are now walking by, asking why my lawn is so very green right now. I may post a picture and also include a picture of my next door neighbor's lawn as proof. Dave is to be commended for sure.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 5:14AM
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We can't get corn meal here in Orlando. They sometimes have CGM but it's about 48 dollars for 40 lbs. I did buy some Alfalfa pellets today and put some down before resodding some bad areas. Also, trying my luck with alfalfa tea. I was wondering if that smell lingers very long after I spray it? In my area, the homes are very close to each other and I don't want to offend my neighbors. Tks

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 4:48PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I'm glad I have been able to help. There is another forum that I frequent and moderate for. That forum has what they call a "Lawncare Showcase." Click the link for the Google search. It is one of the top hits. Anyway the lawns in that showcase are almost all organic. Being organic was definitely not a criterion for getting into the showcase, it's just the way it turned out. My FAQ was the spark for all of them, so I feel pretty good about that. Those guys and gals have taken it a lot further. My FAQ was just the starting point.

RE "alfalfa tea": It is not brewed like compost tea. With alfalfa you mix it in water and apply IMMEDIATELY. If you are not applying immediately you can have a smelly mess on your hands.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 2:43PM
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Yes, I won't let that alfalfa tea brew anymore. I poured it out yesterday on some plants..wow...did it stink...tks much!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 7:17AM
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