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 Post subject: Amendments
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:29 am 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 7:37 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Cedar Hill
We've decided to forgo mechanical aeration of our soccer field and use that money to make compost tea and other soil amendments. The initial cost of the compost tea is about $200 (most of that for the sprayer). That leaves us with a fair amount of money for ???. Last fall we spread molasses. I think that that did a good job and it made the ants run away. It really worked. I'd like to do that again, but that only cost about $200 as well. What else would you suggest? A full soccer field is 2 acres. I'd really like to put something down that the microbes in the tea could work on and multiply, etc. We will be making our first 40 gallon batch of tea today and tomorrow in a 55 gallon drum.

Thanks for any help. We are in the Dallas area.

-John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:25 am 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 10:48 am
Posts: 241
Location: Arlington
Here is the plan I came up with for 4 acres of turf in an industrial park in S. Dallas:

Organic Program
Plan of Attack

1. Early February, the first week if weather permits, spray turf with a mixture of aerated compost tea, liquid molasses, and Medina Soil Activator. For each ½ acre – 2.5 gal compost tea, ½ gal liquid molasses, 2 gal Medina Soil Activator topped off with DI water in our 25 gal sprayer.

2. Mid to late February. Apply corn gluten meal at a rate of 20lbs/1000sq ft.

3. April (when weather permits). Apply EW-Pro Plus.

4. June (when weather permits). Apply a dry fertilizer such as Texas Tea, Bio-Form Dry, or a Green Sense product. Cost will be a factor when making my decision. I may just go with alfalfa pellets.

5. Late September, early October as weather permits. Apply Corn Gluten Meal at a rate of 20lbs/1000sq ft.

I missed step 1 (my yard guy was in jail :( ) so I will do step 1 in step 3's slot. Now that you have a sprayer, you can use liquid molasses and that should reduce your molasses cost.

I used the EW Pro and the Medina Soil Activator last year and noticed pretty decent improvement in drainage at a couple of problem areas. I hope this gives you some ideas. Next year I probably will just stick with the compost tea made up as Garret Juice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 7:37 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Cedar Hill
Okay. I don't think that we will do the corn gluten meal since we will be reseeding Bermuda grass. I have no idea what EW-Pro Plus is. I tried to google that and got a lot of things that were not related!

What is the relation between liquid molasses and dry molasses? I.e., how many ounces of molasses equals how many pounds of dry molasses?

Thanks!

-John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Yeah, I don't know what DI water is either. EW might be Earth Worm. Please speak in baby talk for the rest of us.

I'm not big on Medina products. Plain and simple they are a mix of chemicals. Yes, technically most of the chemicals are approved for organic use but I still don't like them. The reason I don't like them is that chemicals are not natural nor are they complex. Potassium sulfate (which I believe is approved) has two elements in it. Alfalfa has 13 elements in it at least. Not only that but alfalfa is a real microbe food while potassium sulfate is not. And another point is that the sulfate part of that material might be a powerful antifungal agent that works against your organic program.

Your molasses question is a great one. We happen to have a molasses expert on the forum. If I have learned properly from her, this is what I know. 50 pounds of dry molasses contains about 15 pounds of liquid molasses (about 1.5 gallons) poured over 35 pounds of rice hulls or chipped corn cobs. If you shop at a farm co-op, you can get molasses for $0.10 per pound. So liquid molasses is very easy to spray out and dry molasses is very hard to put down. And if you open a bag of dry molasses and do not use it all up, it turns into a brick as soon as the outside humidity hits it.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:49 am 
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Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 10:48 am
Posts: 241
Location: Arlington
Sorry, I just cut and pasted the plan from a document I use at work. I should have edited it a bit more.

DI water is demineralized water. Tap water will work.

EW Pro is a product made by Ag-Way Products. Http:www.earthwormonline.com. This product has a very strong oder, I put it down on a Saturday at work to keep from getting complaints.

I still have some of the Medina left over from last year, so figure I might as well use it up.

When I have finished up the products on my shelf, I will start just making up compost tea and adding the supplements recommended in the home brew section. I couldn't start making compost tea last year because I did not have full management support. Now a couple of the managers are listening to HG on the weekends and are more receptive to the organic plan. Cooking up some compost tea in the compressor room won't seem so weird to them now ;)


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