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Lawn Fertilizers

Old 04-12-2007, 11:38 AM
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Default Lawn Fertilizers


Has anyone used "natural" lawn fertilizers; either self applied or by a service? How did they work? In addition to getting a nice pretty lawn for the wife, we have crabgrass and grubs which the moles love.

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Old 04-12-2007, 12:03 PM
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I'm no expert on lawn maintenance (by any stretch of the imagination) but depending on what type and kind of natural (or organic fertilizer) you use will determine how nice your lawn will be. There's cow, chicken, horse, etc...types.

As far as the crabgrass and grubs - I'd call my local County Extension Agent and find out from them what they suggest for your area.

I just did this regarding a question on Nandina grass. Man! Were they helpful!! I sometimes forget that I have this great resource right at my fingertips~

Nuthin' says "I love you" like a perty lawn for the Misses!
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:06 PM
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Like you guys fertilize your yard?

Man, I spend half the year trying to keep the grass cut and under control, anybody show up with fertilizer to make it grow faster, I'll shoot'em.
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:17 PM
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Twentynine: Half a year cutting your lawn???

Somebody must be doing smething when you are sleeping!
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Old 04-12-2007, 01:42 PM
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reefdrifter - 4/12/2007 12:17 PM Twentynine: Half a year cutting your lawn??? Somebody must be doing smething when you are sleeping!
Actally with no joking, grass cutting season down here is from late Feb. to mid Nov. During the warm spring and summer months I could cut my yard once a week and still have tall grass. I don't, I havemy YARD cut once every two weeks, I refuse to do it more than that, and come October, I'm finished.



Did I happen to tell you guys that I hate yard work.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:05 PM
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Default RE: Lawn Fertilizers

Lesco has the best lawn products. Most fertilizer is "natural" in that it contains organic materials. However, chemicals are the most effective in treating for grubs and crabgrass. Pre-M is an effective control for crabgrass. But it is pre-emergent, meaning it must be applied before the crabgrass germinates. You should apply it pretty soon. Merit is effective for long lasting grub control, but can become ineffective in rainy summers. It is mainly for preventative maintainence. Use dylox if you see grubs. It will kill the grubs in the top couple of inches of soil, but it only works for about a week. I worked in lawn care while in college and those products were the most effective, in my opinion.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:38 PM
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farmerjane - 4/12/2007 12:03 PM

As far as the crabgrass and grubs - I'd call my local County Extension Agent and find out from them what they suggest for your area.

I just did this regarding a question on Nandina grass. Man! Were they helpful!! I sometimes forget that I have this great resource right at my fingertips~
There is a wealth of knowledge there and since it is local they know what is best for your area!
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:38 PM
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I use a Lawn Tonic - here it is...

Recipe:

One can of soda - not diet
One can of beer - not light
1/2 cup liquid dishwashing soap (don't use anti-bacterial soap!)
1/2 cup mouthwash
1/2 cup household ammonia
Mixed in a 10 gallon hose end sprayer
*Apply every 3 weeks
Mow lawn in evening then make application
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Old 04-12-2007, 10:10 PM
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organic junk is way over rated...........I've been in wholesale chemical/fertilizer sales, as well as greenhouse sales, basically it is nothing improved over traditional types, except for the hype that it is natural.....aka more expensive. As far as the safety aspect that they advertise, there is absolutely zero advantage. Get some soil samples taken, through your COUNTY EXTENSION AGENT (Every county in the US has one, look them up), and take their recommendation as to application rates. Whatever you do, do not take the "more is better" approach to applying fertilizer or various chemicals, this does nothing but to damage the environment, and waste your money.
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Old 04-13-2007, 09:46 AM
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I've been using Ringer Lawn Restore with great success. If you want a preemergent crab grass preventer use Corn Gluten Meal.

Another trick to preventing crab grass is to leave your lawn kinda high. Cut the grass leaving 3 inch blade leafs and this will shade out the crab grass (which loves sun) .

Natural is the way to go. Natrual products like Ringer Lawn Restore create a organic equilibrium in the soil...this builds a new ecosystem in the soil like giving earthworms a chance to thrive, which in tern aerates the soil.

If you keep using chemicals you're only turning your lawn into a chemicall dempendent junkie. All the law will be waiting for is its next hit of Nitrogen for green up. Most of those products create the facade of a healthy lawn and not a truly naturally healthy lawn. Plus if you have kids or dogs, do you really want them rolling around in synthetically created materials. BTW There are some "natural products" that are only imitation. Ogranite from Home Depot is one such and those you need to stay away from. Like I mentioned before, Ringer Lawn Restore is great....google it and read up on it yourself! The Corn Glutten is very effective at stopping crab grass.
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Old 04-13-2007, 10:11 AM
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I use Sevin for grubs. Diazanon probably works better but I believe that Sevin is much more pet friendly as I have even heard to use it in and around pet areas for fleas. I try to put it down just before a good rain. Those little buggers will jump out of the ground. BTW, we just mow our crabgrass.
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:17 PM
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I grow three hundred acres of bermuda grass (overseeded with perennial ryegrass in the winter) as well as 9 acres of creeping bentgrass. I'm a Golf Course Superintendent responsible for a 54 hole resort. I'll give you a professional opinion based on the concepts that I use to make a living, and feed my family.

First of all, listen to what autobaun70 says about 'organics.' Organic fertilizers are a marketing ploy dreamed up by an advertising exec. to fit into todays "feel good about the environment" society. Some of the products that are marketed as 'organic' are formulated from nice friendly stuff like soybean, kelp and seaweed extracts (read expensive), while others are formulated from sewer sludge from Milwaukee (brand name Milorganite), livestock waste, un-used animal parts from livestock processing plants, or any other number of things that were once part of some living organism. Not only do horses turn into glue and catfood, they also turn into fertilizer to be sold to happy tree huggers that live a 'totally organic and environmentally friendly' life. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. Another source of material for organic fertilizer production is menhaden (known as pogies in my neck of the woods) netted by the same fleets that are wiping out the base of the food chain along the Eastern Seaboard.

Still feeling good about organics???

For those of you who don't want your kids or pets in the yard with those 'nasty' synthetic fertilizers, how do you feel about having them out there playing in sewer sludge, chicken sphincters, horse hooves, or hog sh!t?

Next I'll briefly address the term organic. If you remember the debates that were going on a year or two ago about who regulates the consumer food industry and who determines if a products is organic or not, you will remember that the answer to that question was that no one regulated it and basically anyone who wanted to could say that their baby cut carrots were organic. Certainly no one here is foolish enough to believe that the fertilizer industry is any different. Then again.......

A far as a recommendation goes, without looking at a soil test, I can only give you a general idea. I would direct you to purchase fertilizer from the same supplier that sells to your local golf courses. Tell him that you are interested in a fairway grade fertilizer with either IBDU, methylene urea or urea formaldehyde as your nitrogen source. Any of these products will give you a good quality controlled release of nitrogen. Personally, I use urea formaldehyde at work and at home. There is absolutely no chance of leaching or volitalization with this material, and that is the real key to "environmentally friendliness." As far as the analisys goes, a 10-10-10 or 20-10-10 or something similar would work out fine. Follow the label recommendations on the bag for a rate. If you'll pm me with the specs of the fertilizer you buy, I'll tell you how to adjust your spreader equipment to apply the product at the suggested rate.


TURFGRASS....... Mother Natures best water filter.
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Old 04-13-2007, 02:34 PM
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I'm with twentynine!!
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:04 PM
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liwreckfisherman - 4/13/2007 9:46 AM

If you keep using chemicals you're only turning your lawn into a chemicall dempendent junkie. All the law will be waiting for is its next hit of Nitrogen for green up. Most of those products create the facade of a healthy lawn and not a truly naturally healthy lawn. Plus if you have kids or dogs, do you really want them rolling around in synthetically created materials. BTW There are some "natural products" that are only imitation. Ogranite from Home Depot is one such and those you need to stay away from. Like I mentioned before, Ringer Lawn Restore is great....google it and read up on it yourself! The Corn Glutten is very effective at stopping crab grass.
Did you copy this word for word off of a product label, or was it the copy & paste on the computer. you can't possibly believe this nonsense can you? This line of thinking is about the same as saying that your truck is more powerful than mine is because it is red instead of blue.........
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Old 04-13-2007, 03:16 PM
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OH yeah........ grubs and crabgrass............


For the grubs, Merit is supposed to be good although I have never had to deal with them too much so I can't really make a recommendation.

For the crabgrass, you need to make a spring pre-emergent herbicide application using a product recommended by your local Ag Dept Extension Agent. Follow his recommendatons on rates and timing.
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:01 PM
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originalism, did you read my post about making sure you pick the right organic product. I prempted you on the Milorganite (although I called it Organite) becuase I did quite a bit of research and learned that some "organics" are not really organic. Re-read my post and you will see that I wrote "BTW There are some "natural products" that are only imitation. Ogranite from Home Depot is one such and those you need to stay away from." In that case you are correct. However, you are wrong to paint all organics in the same brush, because not all are made the same way. Choose the right stuff.

I won't doubt your experience, but arguing this is like arguing the virtues of whats better, Chevy or Ford? Honestly it all boils down to personal preference, which in my case is using organic products whenever I can. I 'd rather my dog roll in grass that was fertilized with soy, or corn gluten instead of chemicals.

To further buttress this point I ask when is the last time you heard of fish guts or even "chicken sphincters" giving people cancer? Compare this answer with how often have you heard of cancer being linked to various chemicals?

BTW Meheden stocks have increased in the past few years. I've seen more bunker off the south shore of LI in the past 3-4 year then in a while. Interestingly enough, the native americans used mehaden (bunker) to fertilize thier corn fields.

Also, you may argue that chemical lawns are OK and don't pose any harm to the eviroment. You may be right, but then again you may be wrong as were the DDT people when they were pushing DDT, or how the asbestos manufacturers were saying asbestos is safe, agent orange won't harm our troops in Vietnam, etc. People working in these industries are not necessarily the best indicators of a products effectiveness or value. Obviously they are biased, but thats perfectly ok, because they're salesmen and they're doing their job.

Autobahn you said "This line of thinking is about the same as saying that your truck is more powerful than mine is because it is red instead of blue"

How is my post interpreted that way? I never said the results will be different between chemically based and organic products, in all honesty I think the chemically based products are easier to use and give quicker results then the organics. Before I switched to organics I used the Scotts 4 Season program and had a beautiful lawn. Instead what I meant is that oraganic products rebuild and enhance the ecosystem in your soil. I never said organics are better then chemical lawns in the results department.

Once again, its up to reefdrifter to make his decision. I hope you will agree with me though that dethatching (if you have that problem) core aeration, proper cutting and watering is just as if not more important to a nice lawn then merely fertilizing it.

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Old 04-13-2007, 08:14 PM
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Not to derail- But I have a little of what my builder calls hulled bermuda in my backyard. Very little of it came up last year. I have a new house-lawn ect. They sodded the front lawn and sides with centipede. I cannot afford sodded centipede. Should I airate and seed centipede in the back yard? Is it too late?
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Old 04-13-2007, 08:35 PM
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Redfish44 - 4/13/2007 8:14 PM

Not to derail- But I have a little of what my builder calls hulled bermuda in my backyard. Very little of it came up last year. I have a new house-lawn ect. They sodded the front lawn and sides with centipede. I cannot afford sodded centipede. Should I airate and seed centipede in the back yard? Is it too late?
Centipede is relatively difficult to establish from seed. I would call around to seed suppliers in your are and ask for one of the seeded hybrid bermuda varieties. Much easier to establish and easy to maintain as well.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:11 AM
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my whole point was that there are so many regulations that go into chemicals these days, that it is basically impossible to apply a chemical, AT IT'S INDICATED RATE, and it be harmful, without that risk being very well disclosed. There is plenty of stuff out there that is restricted to licensed applicators, which have a little more chance of being dangerous, but not if applied PROPERLY. Properly means calibrating your application equipment, which is easy. By far the biggest environmental problem when it comes to lawn care is the "more is better" attitude that everyone seems to have. If you could get this out of the way, the environmental aspect of the organic argument would go away.
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Old 04-14-2007, 06:52 AM
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originalsin - 4/13/2007 3:16 PM

OH yeah........ grubs and crabgrass............


For the grubs, Merit is supposed to be good although I have never had to deal with them too much so I can't really make a recommendation.

For the crabgrass, you need to make a spring pre-emergent herbicide application using a product recommended by your local Ag Dept Extension Agent. Follow his recommendatons on rates and timing.
Merit is systemic chemical mostly used for trees and shrubs. It is slow, starts after 30 days.

I do landscaping for living. Have no problem using chemicals, most of them breakdown in few feet of dirt- the trick is to read what's on the back!, most of people missuse and waist their time and money if they don't spread them right and in the wrong time, it's shame.
If you want to keep your lawn nice, here's the best secret: sharp blades( you don't shave with old blades, right?, same here, you want to slice and not beat the crap out..), cut high( will keep the sun and O2 from weeds-choke 'em), cut often(the grass will have a better roots inst. of shooting up).

As far as cutting the lawn half year?? well, I cut 3/4 of the year, but lots of them. Get yourself a better machine, or hire pro. Commercial mowers faster and blades spin faster too. The cost of machine is high, compare to the tractor or pushmower, and you will never get the same result as we can.
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