UPDATE ON MONTHLY APPS OF CGM: Wow! The grass certainly loves its CGM! Inasmuch as the grass has never been more dense, it might even be overtaking some of the weeds that it has never been able to compete with. I have also kept up with the monthly apps in the flower and veggie beds. Weeds may be held back some. Unfortunately I have not kept a control plot to compare.
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I am not entirely sure there is sufficient iron in greensand to make a difference. However, there might be other mechanisms at work which serve to release the iron bound by the high pH soil. Whatever it is, the greensand seems to work throughout the season unless you have another torrential rainstorm.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
The appropriate zeolite to use is clinoptilolite (which is not the type commonly used in kitty litter). And no, it won't address an iron deficiency. As a molecular sieve it does have an affinity for several metals but iron is not one of them. It helps maintain a green, lush lawn by holding nutrients and water but won't, on its own, make a yellow lawn become green.
I will look into the availability of a good source of zeolite in garden shops in Texas and post my findings soon.
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:14 pm Posts: 12 Location: CORPUS CHRISTI,TEXAS
I've only been organic for about a year so I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what HEB told me about the Hill Country Fare "Traditional" kitty litter. It is all natural zeolite mined in Tilden, Tx. by Zeotech. It is calcium based with clinoptilolite. By the way, Zeotech is the company that makes Turf Mate which is the product Howard recommends as a soil ammendment. I was having a bad day at work when HEB called me, so I didn't ask them how much clinoptilolite was in the product.
From my own checking/testing (my wife has cats) the "Traditional" brand does not clump while the "Scoopable" brand does. The "Scoopable" brand, also a Hill Country Fare product, is labled as an all natural clay product.
I've also heard Howard, or Tropical John, or one of his listners, say that Sweet PDZ ( used in horse stalls) is also a good substitute. I haven't checked but I understand it has a high volume of clinoptilolite.
My grass yellows after an initial green up. Greensand doesn't green it up either. I haven't done a soil test but my area is traditionaly high alcaline. Like Within Reason, I was hoping that the zeolite would make the iron more available to the grass.
What you have found are zeolite/mineral companies that have a kitty litter product rather than kitty litter companies that happens to include some zeolite in their mix. The zeolite that I am most impressed with is BRZ (Bear River Zeolite) from Idaho but Zeotech is also a good source. I know less about Sweet PDZ (Steelhead Minerals). Keep in mind you want this in the root-zone so the best time to apply it is after aeration.
Zeolite is slightly alkaline so you may want to address the pH imbalance. Aluminum sulfate or sulfur-coated urea should help lower the pH. Iron deficiencies can be corrected by a chelated iron (which will provide a sustained release of iron) such as milorganite or "ironite".
I just got zeolite at the feed store. I forget the name but it is used for horse stalls. It comes in grainular or a powder form. I just put some out in the yard where my dogs "water the grass." I hope it helps.
As I mentioned, the best way is to brush it (along with some sand and fertilizer) into the aeration holes. Alternately, you can top dress. This would work well if you top dress with compost or manure, or if you over-seed adding some soil in the process.
Interestingly, a study examining plant health as indicated by rootmass showed that the roots will attach to the zeolite grains (because the zeolite holds a good balance of water, nutrients and provides space for air too) and actually pull the zeolite grains deeper into soil as the roots grow. The study did not produce any results because the researchers were unable to separate the zeolite grains from the roothairs without damaging the roots they were trying to measure.
Last edited by soilgeek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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