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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 9:36 am 
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Location: Dallas,TX
We are new to organic gardening and used Scotts turf builder and Scotts
summer guard on our lawn last year. So far this year we have aerated
the yard with a pitchfork type aerator and have laid down a thin layer of
compost and used green sense fertilizer. Is there anything else we need
to do to get our lawn going organically? Thanks for any help you can give me.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 2:01 pm 
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Welcome to the group. Did you read all the stuff stuck to the top of the forum? I can't remember all I wrote so I'll summarize the basic plan here.

1. Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means for an hour or more all at one time. Infrequently means monthly in the cool months and no more than weekly in the warm/hot months. Once you get your roots down deep in the soil, you'll use a lot less water and have nicer lawn (fewer weeds, less disease, no compaction).

2. Mulch/mow at the highest setting on your mower. This applies to all grasses except bermuda, centipede, and bent which should be mowed at the lowest setting for maximum density. Dense grass grows deep roots and shades out weeds and weed seeds. If you have tap rooted weeds you want to get rid of, check out the WeedHound at Wal*Mart and everywhere else.

3. Fertilize regularly. That might mean twice a year or 4 times a year. Just fertilize.

Notice that insecticide and herbicide are not mentioned. Stopping the use of chemical -icides is a key to the organic program.

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 Post subject: Enhancement Suggestions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 3:25 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
To enhance your basic program add an application of molasses once a month to perk up your soil microbes and speed the recovery process. Liquid molasses is inexpensive at around $7-8 per gallon and one gallon will take care of a regular sized city yard at least twice. It you will mix horticultural cornmeal with your fertilizer at about a 20:1 ratio (20 lbs. of fertilizer to 1 lb. cornmeal) every time you apply it you can encourage the beneficial funguses to grow or re-establish themselves in your yard and banish detrimental fungus.

Both of these inexpensive measures are helpful to your turf and trees & bushes that are recovering from the attack of the herbicides in the products you used last fall.

Hope that is helpful to you.
Kathe :D


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:26 am 
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My yard has never responded to molasses treatments. Don't know why, but the application rate is 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. A gallon should last quite a while for most.

Maybe Kathe is suggesting I'm using it too weak??? What do you think, Kathe?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:54 am 
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Location: Keller, TX
This doesn't contribute anything to the thread in the way of advice, but I thought I'd throw it in for the sake of advocacy.

I bought a jug of molasses and was spraying it on the lawn yesterday. I inherited a lawn in awful condition, by the way; it's embarassing, and I hope to turn it around.

Anyway, my 18-month old was following me around, so he walked on to the grass to see what dad was doing with the hose. As a new convert, I have to say it was nice to not worry about the kids playing on the grass following a spraying; that used to always worry me even days after I applied the stuff. I know it's better for the lawn this way, but it's even nicer to know the kids can run around freely with my biggest concern centering around the fact that they smell like syrup.

Still waiting for the Oompa Loomps to invade my yard.
Chris


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 Post subject: Thanks for the advice
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:56 pm 
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I'll try it and again thanks for all the great advice.

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 Post subject: How much molasses?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:44 pm 
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Yes, David, I think you are using too little for a lawn. If you use a gallon diluted for an acre, that would be (and I am crummy at math) calculated like this: 128 oz. per gallon @ 43,500 sq. feet = 340 sq. feet per oz. so that's a little less than 3 oz. per 1,000 square feet...right? :?

However, in lawn and garden applications, you want to use a higher ratio, I would recommend you increase that to 4 oz. per 1,000 square feet so that would be around 1.3 gallons. per acre. Generally 4 oz. per gallon is what I use. You don't have to drown the soil, just give it a once over pass. What I can tell you is that it is effective at that rate in the thick clay soil here in north Texas. Just that little increase can make a difference, push you over that edge of effectiveness, the same as adding 1/3 more in any mixture would. Imagine a cake with 1/3 less flour...YUK!

The gallon per-acre recommendation for pasture comes with the knowledge that the soil is worked differently than on a lawn. Any amount of molasses will help increase the microbe population, but soil condition, type, watering, etc. will effect the rate at which it is most effective. The final determinant is usually budget.

By the way, hamelcd, my kids say it smells like sugar cookies when I spray the lawn! :wink: :D
Kathe


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 12:55 am 
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Thanks Kathe. Maybe I'll give that a whirl later after the grass gets to mowing height. The gallon per acre is used on un-irrigated, no-till cotton in the Panhandle.

I can fix your math conversions for you. Type the following into Google and search:

1 gallon per acre in ounces per 1,000 square feet

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:30 am 
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Here is a great free conversion calculator. I use it just about every day.

http://www.joshmadison.com/software/convert/


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 10:58 am 
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jrosto wrote:
Here is a great free conversion calculator. I use it just about every day.

http://www.joshmadison.com/software/convert/


Thanks for sharing that little gem, jrosto! You rock!

~Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 8:47 am 
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I have used Convert for years until I discovered the gem built into Google. I have never used Google in my life, and conversions is the only thing I use it for now. But that feature is very cool. Convert can't touch Google for complicated conversions.

Try to convert gallons per acre into liters per hectare using Convert and Google. Google does it in one step. Convert requires you write a lot of stuff down.

Google even converts miles per hour into furlongs per fortnight :roll:

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 Post subject: Conversions
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:44 am 
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Okay, many thanks to all the engneer types for conversion help for me and all the other forum readers. I have relatives that do that for me and I do what I'm good at for them. It's a system that works well. :lol:

Kathe


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 Post subject: Re: Conversions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:23 am 
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Kathe Kitchens wrote:
Okay, many thanks to all the engneer types for conversion help for me and all the other forum readers. I have relatives that do that for me and I do what I'm good at for them. It's a system that works well. :lol:

Kathe


:)

interesting thread.. I guess I will need to look further into the molasses
thing... it's enough to make me glad I was sick this morn and listening
to Howard by my computer. :)

mark


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 6:55 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
Dchall,
Google is the solution to any lapse in memory. I never have to worry about remembering anything (almost) anymore, because with a few clue words in google I have my answer. There is no subject under the sun that can hide from google.
K


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