Return to the Lawn Care Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Posted by junc none (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 18:35

I'm getting tired of using the same old granular chemicals and sprays. I'm thinking about applying 15 pounds of soybean meal per 1000. Does that sound like a good amount ? Also when would be a good time to apply it ?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Here's an interesting article -- a good or bad thing depending on your point of view.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soybean Meal Fertilizer A Natural Fertilizer with Phytotoxic Activity


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

  • Posted by junc none (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 21:27

Thanks. Looks like I shouldn't use it on seeds. I still might try it on my other mature lawn.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

I wonder where soluble salts come from in a grain? And what amounts were they talking about there?

877 pounds per acre is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Their high amount is 100 pounds per 1,000. That is enough to coat the ground completely. Nobody in their right mind would use that much in the garden.

15 pounds per 1,000 is a good place to start. 10 pounds might be a better place. If your soil is not biologically ready for the soybean meal, it will get pretty smelly before it does any good. Start with a smaller amount and get the microbes fed first. Then come in with higher amounts. 20 pounds would be good, but use a smaller amount for your first app.

You can apply it any time you want to; however, going into winter you will find it doesn't decompose quickly and can get that aroma again. I would wait until the end of April to late May next spring after the initial flush of new growth is over. That is when the soil is most biologically active and can handle the soy. After that you can use it as often as weekly all through the summer. Or you can use it once in the spring and two times in the fall. The more you use the better your lawn will like you, but you don't have to get freaky about it. I'm just saying you don't have to worry about using it too often.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Thanks. I'll try ten pounds first. My lawn has turned a little brown because of a little cold streak we had. It is Bermuda and I'm pretty sure it is hardening off. Would adding soybean meal cause it to come out of hibernation ?

This post was edited by junc on Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 19:43


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Very important question: where do you live?

I've seen bermuda maintained a nice green and growing all winter long, but it depends where you live. It requires deep, weekly watering and continual fertilizer as per the Bermuda Bible (look for it online). It also requires that the temps don't fall into the 20s for several days in a row, so location is important. In most of Florida, Texas south of San Antonio, and the Pacific coast south of Santa Barbara and inland about 5 miles, the winter temps are mild enough that you should be able to keep bermuda green and growing most winters.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

  • Posted by junc 10 (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 22:17

I live in San Diego, Ca. I last fertilized with granules mid September. I read that I shouldn't fertilize during winter and that I should let it harden off in the fall. I have started watering once monthly now. I have a terrible mixture of tif 419 and transcontinental Bermuda. The vegetative has really kept its green.
The seeded grass has really gotten brown and looks dry at the tips, but still has some green. I have pretty much worked at letting it harden off.
I'm planning on seeding the lawns with La prima xd next spring or summer. I want to go organic because I'm tired of burning my lawn.
That would be great if I could continue to grow it like I do in the summer. I'm just not sure. I'm pretty new at this indepth lawn care stuff.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Repeat post deleted.

This post was edited by junc on Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 1:27


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

  • Posted by junc none (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 22:22

I'll lookup the bible. It gets cold here, but not that cold. I'm sure we have mild winters compared to other places.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Repeat post deleted.

This post was edited by junc on Tue, Nov 26, 13 at 1:22


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Okay, you'll have to be more specific about where you live. If you lived in downtown San Diego, you wouldn't say it gets cold. I'm guessing you live back up in the foothills...maybe past Grossmont Center toward El Cajon. If so then I think you have a good shot at having it green all year. If you live up in the hills of El Cajon, it might not work every year, but most years it should. Down along the highway valley, I'd say you have a good shot. Past El Cajon the altitude will chill you out and keep it from staying green.

If you live up toward Miramar, there are pockets of protected areas where it stays warmer than other places. It depends on whether there is a hill between you and the ocean. Every time the moist air goes up a hill and comes down the backside, it dries out and warms up. The altitude is going up also, so you have some extra factors that San Diego proper doesn't have. But if you live between San Diego (old town) and the border, you should easily have green bermuda all year.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Wow you know San Diego well. I live in the Southbay. I'm in the South Bay Chula Vista. Pretty flat and the ocean breezes blow right over us to the southern foothills in the east. I found a place that sells alfalfa meal and soybean meal down by the border.
I've have been conditioning my soil by spraying a mixture of baby shampoo and molasses and have put down some alfalfa meal. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for your reply and help.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Chula Vista! Was not expecting that at all. You should be able to have green bermuda all year as long as you are able to water.

Having said that, I just looked at the Google Earth view of the country club and it is not green. That could be from neglect or from the soil situation. You might want to send a sample to Logan Labs in Ohio for their $20 analysis. You can post the results here or at another site and get some excellent advice for what to do to perfect the soil. Organics will help, but cannot make up for mineral or micronutrient deficiencies.

Looking around a little closer, I would suggest going to the CV City Hall and Civic Center and walking around on their big square of grass in the center of that complex. If that is bermuda, you need to talk to their greens keeper. And visit Friendship Park across the street. They are doing it right, too. One thing to keep in mind is that soil. The current maintenance people may be completely unaware of any Herculean efforts that went into getting the soil chemistry perfected. When they tell you all they do is water and mow, I'll guarantee you there is more behind the scene that they may be unaware of. I'd be interested in their watering regimen to keep it looking that nice. Be sure to verify with them that the grass is bermuda. There are some zoysias that look like bermuda.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

I haven't been by the city hall or friendship park in a while. I'll
have a look and see what's going on. I have been to the J street marina on the boat ramp side and the park looked really great. I'll try to ask their greenskeeper what type of grass it is.
Last time I saw the country club it didn't look so good. I'm sure my soil isn't good and a test would help. I was under the impression that zoysia was grown in shady areas under trees. I'm planning on seeding my lawn with princess 77 or Yukon Bermuda, but if I could I might consider zoysia. I really like Bermuda though.
I'm just waiting to see how the alfalfa meal affects the lawn. Home depot carries milorganite, so I'm thinking about trying that or sbm next.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

I haven't been by the city hall or friendship park in a while. I'll
have a look and see what's going on. I have been to the J street marina on the boat ramp side and the park looked really great. I'll try to ask their greenskeeper what type of grass it is.
Last time I saw the country club it didn't look so good. I'm sure my soil isn't good and a test would help. I was under the impression that zoysia was grown in shady areas under trees. I'm planning on seeding my lawn with princess 77 or Yukon Bermuda, but if I could I might consider zoysia. I really like Bermuda though.
I'm just waiting to see how the alfalfa meal affects the lawn. Home depot carries milorganite, so I'm thinking about trying that or sbm next.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

I'd be interested to know what the grass(es) are that are doing well down there in the winter.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Yeah I'm going to try and find out. Some of them look really nice, but not mine. I've planted perrenial rye in my vacantside yard and it looks really good though. I'll post back here if I find out.


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Well so far I have tried a home soil test called rapid test. My pH is high about. 7.8-8. According to the nutrient test I have very low phosphorus and low potash. Anyone know of a good way to fix these?


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

Well so far I have tried a home soil test called rapid test. My pH is high about. 7.8-8. According to the nutrient test I have very low phosphorus and low potash. Anyone know of a good way to fix these?


 o
RE: Thinking about using organic fertilizer

If you're trying to get answers without spending a lot of money, you're headed in the wrong direction - you just spent $10 on a soil test that tells you nothing.

WHY are the Phosphorus (P) and Potash (K) low? Are they missing from your soil, or is it that the soil can't hold many nutrients for a period of time (low TEC)? Is the high pH from Calcium, Magnesium or Sodium?

As David recommended, get a REAL soil test and have someone that knows how to interpret it tell you what's going on, and help you build a plan to get out of the hole you're in. The Logan Labs test is one of the best, and real plans can be built from the info in it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Lawn Care Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here