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Advice on organic lawncare needed

Posted by Idaho_guy southern idaho (My Page) on
Mon, Jul 16, 12 at 17:27

Hi all.

Newbie to the organic lawncare world but have found a ton of good info in this forum. I have decided to jump into the organic fertilizer world and have a few questions. First, some background. I've had a soil test and had feedback from several people that it was "excellent" in terms of o.m. and p.h. Clay like soil here in the "high desert". Last year(2011) I developed a fungus in my yard for the first time. It probably covers 30% of my backyard. Several different types. Looks like some powdery mildew, brown patch, and maybe some red thread. Tried to nail it with the big box store fungus control but that hasn't worked at all. I recently dumped 50lbs of cracked corn on my 2500 S.F. lawn. I realize this is more of a preventative but I'm trying to look towards next year as it appears the fungus will be back again next year if i don't do something. Also, a feed store here sells cracked corn at $11/50 lbs and about the same price for alfalfa pellets. Haven't found any local soybean meal or cornmeal except online but it would cost about about $80/50 lbs to have it shipped to me. My questions are:

Would it be OK to alternate monthly with ONLY cracked corn, alfalfa pellets, and milorganite? Maybe March thru October. Or do I really need to add some type of cornmeal or soybean meal to be really effective?

Also. I plan on overseeding in early September. Should I dump some alfalfa pellets on before,during,or after overseeding?

Thanks for any and all help here. Again, I'm a newbie so please punch softly!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Advice on organic lawncare needed

What soil and weatehr conditions were present when this fungus appeared? What did the people at your county office of the University of Idaho have the say?
While Powdery Mildew might be present in your lawn you may be too far north for Red Thread or Brown Patch.

RE: Advice on organic lawncare needed

Corn meal is one of the least effective organic fertilizers. The main reason I emphasized it so heavily in the FAQ was the cost ($3 per bag in 2003). Nowadays alfalfa has the best protein per $ ratio. Here is a list in order of goodness

Corn GLUTEN meal
soybean meal
alfalfa pellets
corn meal and used coffee grounds

Corn GLUTEN meal is way at the top of the list and corn meal is way at the bottom. If the CGM price comes down below $25 for 50 pounds, then that is the product to use. If you use plain corn, use at least 20 pounds per 1,000 and more like 30 to 40 for good effect. SBM can be used at 20 easily. Really there is no upper limit until you start to smother the grass.

RE: Advice on organic lawncare needed

I just posted a message asking for help as well but i started using scotts organic lawn food in the spring and was pleased. Not the super fast growth but i prefer that now. Neighbors chem lawn was just as brown is mine during the heat wave but now mine is slowly back. From what i found on Washington state fertilizer database scotts organic is not high in metals. Milorganite seems to have high metal counts but some swear by it. Good luck

RE: Advice on organic lawncare needed

I have been using a line of Fertilizer called Firebelly organics. So far it has done wonders in my yard. I did notice that it took almost a whole season to ween my yard off of the harsh fertilizer chemicals I had been putting on it for years. I have been ordering my product thus far from a company online called This is where I have been getting all of my organics for a while. It is most certainly worth a look. They also seem to have alot of information on diseases and pests and those sorts of things.Good luck on your en devour.

Here is a link that might be useful: WeedsInLawn - Firebelly Organic Fertilizers

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