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RE: Thank You for all the advice on Bermuda (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 05.29.2012 at 12:26 am in Lawn Care Forum

Nature's Green
Hydrolyzed feathers are better than simple chopped feathers. The hydrolysis process for feathers (protein) is like digestion. Otherwise feathers take forever to get any nitrogen out of. Then you have blood meal. If blood meal was easier to work with it would be a lot more popular. It is very high in protein (nitrogen) but it acts so fast it can burn roots. In this case it is mixed with the feathers, so that is a good combination.

Ringers
This one has the hydrolyzed feathers. Then you have sodium nitrate (a chemical) and potassium sulfate (a chemical). Finally you have soybean meal. The last ingredient should be the first and the chemicals should be highlighted so the buyer knows what he is getting is not purely organic.

If you want to try organics on your lawn, stick with soybean meal. For your small area you can afford it. Texas-weed will tell you it is hard to keep up with the nitrogen needs with organics. He should know. Still I would encourage you give it a try. Others have written in to say they were happy with organics on bermuda.

If you start with soybean meal, know this: it has a very strong sour odor if you use too much. I would suggest easing into it. Start with 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. You might even start with 5. Let that seed the soil microbes with a promise of what is to come. Until your soil has all the right microbes in place at the right population level, the soy will not decompose cleanly. Start small and work your way up to 20 pounds per 1,000. Give it at least 3 weeks between applications to let it work. You'll notice the aroma regardless of how little you use. But if you used a full 20 pounds or more, it would linger for weeks. With 5 it should go away soon. Next time you apply you can go up in dose by 5 pounds.

Did you find a recent message from okc dan? I thought he left this forum years ago. You can find straight soybean meal at many feed stores. You have several near you no matter where you live.

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clipped on: 03.19.2014 at 03:35 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2014 at 03:56 pm

RE: Fertilizer Recommendation for Bermuda Lawn (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 01.25.2014 at 05:13 pm in Lawn Care Forum

Call around to Tractor Supply and the other farm and ranch stores in the Greater Hutto Metroplex (snicker). Ask if they have Lesco products. I believe that is what Texas Weed goes for.

I would suggest ignoring the soil test results from TAMU. It appears like you have wildly different soils from front to back. That is unlikely in a distance of 20 yards. Unless you are an Aggie yourself and feel some loyalty, then get your future soil tests at Logan Labs in Ohio. Their tests are much more useful for correcting soil micronutrient deficiencies than the TAMU test. Also it would cost you around $100 additional at TAMU to get something like what LL produces for their standard $20 test. Texas soils are dominated by limestone deposits. Correcting for that is impossible, so we have to just live with what we have. I would not spend another minute or dime on testing unless you have a dead spot that simply will not grow anything.

Bermuda is deceptively simple when you boil it down...

Weekly - mulch mow low 2x and water deeply once during the growing season
Monthly - fertilize with a high N fertilizer during the growing season

Having said that, mowing 2x per week and monthly feeding is a lot of work that many people don't want to deal with. But that leads to a spectacular yard.

Instead of, or in addition to, that balanced fertilizer, I would apply alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow) at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. I would put that down 3 weeks prior to your statistical "last frost" date. For me in San Antonio, that date is in March so I apply about Washington's Birthday. Alfalfa pellets will revive your soil's microbes and bring them back to good health after months of getting hammered by chemical fertilizers. You can use alfalfa pellets instead of or along with the chemical fertilizers. They work different ways and will not affect the other one. You can use alfalfa pellets as often as you can afford to without fear of harming anything.

I would not apply any chemical fertilizer until after you have mowed real grass (not weeds) for the second time. Fertilizing dormant grass or weeds is a big waste of time and money. It will not bring the lawn out of dormancy any sooner. Unlike the organic fertilizer (alfalfa), chemicals will wash through and disappear before you have active roots to pick them up.

Since you are now to lawns, one secret is to not water too frequently. Watering once per month this time of year is about right. As the temps get into the 70s, move to watering once every 3 weeks. When it warms to the 80s, go to once every other week. Temps in the 90s go to weekly watering. Never water daily no matter what your neighbors or the sprinkler salesmen tell you. That is the fast track to weeds and herbicides. When you water apply a full inch as measured by tuna or cat food cans placed around your yard. If you can't do that without runoff, write back before you try to fix that.

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clipped on: 03.18.2014 at 04:26 pm    last updated on: 03.30.2014 at 03:30 pm

RE: Hey okcdan (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: okcdan on 04.21.2007 at 01:37 pm in Organic Lawn Care Forum

OK - here's my routine:

First, let me say that I use no chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticedes....at all.

Several weeks ago when we had that early warm spring weather I rented a power dethacher & went deep, making sure the tines were kickin up dirt, to try to remove as much of the top dead stuff as possible. Then I dropped my reel mower cutting height all the way down & scalped the lawn. (I did use the catcher for this & discarded all the dead thatch.) The lawn really looks like crap when you do this, but so what? Everyones lawn is still in dormancy and no one's lawn looks all that good so early in the year. At that time I applied 15lbs/1000sqft soybean meal, then a week or so later I applied 15lbs/1000sqft alfalfa pellets. I ended up mowing a few times, then we had our cold snap which completely stopped the top growth. I've finally mowed again yesterday, mowing at approx 5/8", and I applied my next application of soybean meal (@ 15lbs/1000sqft.) and while my lawn isn't completely out of dormancy yet, it looks better than most folks lawns around here.

For weeds, I only use a weedhound (and cultural practices.) It's really easy in spring when your grass is still mostly all dormant because the only things green are the weeds, so I walk around the yard for an hour or so with my weedhound & the wheelbarrow & pull em all. From that point on, it's just maintenance a few minutes a week, until the grass is completely out of dormancy & growing well. You'll find when the bermuda is real dense & growing so that you need to mow every 2nd or 3rd day that the weeds are choked out well. the trick for most folks is knowing how to get it real dense. The way to do that is with following the ABC's of cultural practices

From this point forward throughout the growing season until fall:

A) I water twice a month, very deeply (irrigate 1 to 1-1/2") if we don't get any help from mother nature. (When mother nature's helpin, I don't get out the sprinklers.) Watering very infrequently keeps shallow rooted weeds from taking hold or being a problem.

B) I mow frequently. I cut it short (5/8") and I mow so that I'm not removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade, once it starts gettin hot & if we have some rain, that could be every 2 days, but usually it's every 3rd day. I don't bag (or catch) my clippings, I don't use the catcher that came with my reel mower, I just let the clippings return right to the lawn. Mowing this frequently is what helps the bermuda thrive & makes the weeds virtually non-existant.

C) I fertilize with soybean meal once a month.

I know it sounds pretty simple, but I learned it all right here in the GardenWeb forums and when ya drive by my house, the lawn speaks for itself.

Randomjoe If you have bermuda & you follow good cultural practices you won't have any need for any overseeding whatsoever. Bermuda repairs itself & fills in very well. I'll show you what I'm talking about with a couple pics. Last year, I built a bed in front of my house. The previous owners just had some ugly pavers & had bricks lining both sides of the sidewalk that leads to the front door. I removed all the bricks, built the bed, then just filled in the trench that was left from removing the bricks. It didn't take very long & the bermuda just came right across & filled it in. After only 5 or 6 weeks it looked as if it was there the whole time. Unless you have issues with shade where bermuda just won't grow, your best bet in our climate is bermuda, it's much more drought tolerant than fescues are.

Check it out:

Well, I have some work to do in the garden...later!

Good Day, Dan

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clipped on: 03.19.2014 at 03:43 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2014 at 03:44 pm

RE: Since everyone 'hates' scotts 4 step online, what's preferred (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: david_tx on 06.09.2011 at 10:46 am in Lawn Care Forum

I use a mixed program. I'm not an organic purist. I use Dimension or similar pre-emergent in September and March. I use organic fertilizers purchased at a feed store on my 4000 sq ft back yard. I alternate between CGM, cotton seed meal, and alfalfa. For my 7500 sq ft front lawn, I continue to use chemical ferts.

I have a nitrogen hungry Tif419 bermuda lawn so I apply 50 to 100 lbs monthly at a cost of $12 to $25.

Here's a few pics of my back yard taken a couple of years ago. Everything looks the same except my son finally reclaimed his large black lab so the big yellow spots are gone. The yellowish color you see in the close up is freshly applied CGM.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Shot at 2005-07-13

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Shot at 2005-07-13

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Shot at 2005-07-13

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clipped on: 03.19.2014 at 03:23 pm    last updated on: 03.19.2014 at 03:23 pm

Lawn update and thanks!

posted by: jonmhenderson on 08.17.2009 at 10:37 pm in Lawn Care Forum

I just thought I'd take a moment to show everyone how nicely my yard has come along thanks to some great advice from TexasWeed and everyone here at the forum. I've learned so much!

Tifway 419 sod mid April
Here's the Tifway 419 sod on the cold day in Mid April here in Middle Tennessee when it was layed. We actually had some ice later that week!

August Tifway 419

Here it is now in mid August, freshly mowed at approximately 2 inches with a Troy-Bilt rotary mower. My yard is just too bumpy to take it down lower.

From the street

Another shot from the street.

Thick and lush!

Man, is this stuff thick!!! The canopy is so dense, it's hard for a weed to get a word in edgewise! I'm really starting to understand the principle that the best weed defense is a healthy yard. I'm having to mow it every other day, even at 2 inches, to keep it from bogging down my mower to a grinding halt, and my mower has a 5.5 Honda motor on it! That's my wife's foot, BTW. :-) Anyway, thanks for looking and sharing your expertise, everyone!
Jon

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clipped on: 03.18.2014 at 04:52 pm    last updated on: 03.18.2014 at 04:53 pm