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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:17 pm 
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Recently replaced our Bermuda lawn with Texas Bluegrass sod (Vortex). The sod farm recommends using a 20-10-5 fertilizer. What would be an organic alternative to this type of fertilizer. If you could be as precise as possible with instructions (I have 10,000 sq. ft. of sod to fertilize) I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:48 am 
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The topic has come up - use the search feature here at Dirt Doctor and you'll find a number of answers.

Here is a starting place in the library

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:26 pm 
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The grain type organic fertilizer with the highest protein (N) content is corn gluten meal. Right behind that is soybean meal. Soy is much less expensive than CGM this year, so look for that.

Keep your first application down to no more than 10-15 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Soybean meal can smell to high heaven if you apply too much too fast. You can eventually bump it up to 20 or maybe 25 pounds. It can be applied every month.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:12 pm 
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Thanks for the information!!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:35 am 
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The sod farm is recommending what the chemical companies push. These fertilizers are creating numerous problems that are finally starting to be regularly reported.

Here are some better alternatives:

1. Garrett Juice Plus and THRIVE
2. Medina Growin Green
3. Avenger Fertilizer
4. Earth Harvest fertilizer

https://gardens.naturalorganicwarehouse ... =51&page=1


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:47 am 
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In reply to Doug's suggestions

1. Not a serious lawn fertilizer. Garrett Juice is not a fertilizer at all but a microbe stimulant. Once they are stimulated, they need real food. And they need pounds and pounds of real food. The Thrive product provides fractions of an ounce rather than pounds and pounds. You would have to apply 8 gallons per 1,000 square feet to get a decent amount of nitrogen.

2. Mostly poultry litter. With Growing Green selling for $23 per bag, you can save a lot of money and get a better fertilizer with alfalfa pellets at $12 for a 50-pound bag.

3. Even more expensive than Growing Green for the granular product.

4. Another liquid. Apply every day according to the label or once every 3 months at a rate of 8 gallons per 1,000 square feet to get the same effect as one app of a grain like alfalfa pellets, soybean meal, or corn meal. Liquid fertilizers are just not for a lawn. There is essentially no lasting value to them.

Here is a picture of a spot fertilized with alfalfa pellets. The picture was taken a year ago and posted to another lawn forum. The spot was fertilized with alfalfa in May 2011. Note the improved color, density, and growth.

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Wow, so much to consider. Thanks for the detailed information.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:40 am 
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If Alfalfa pellets are too big to spread I can recommend Chicken Feed that contains 20-28% protein in the Crumble form which runs through any spreader very easily. It has slightly more nitrogen than alfalfa (14% protein=2.2%N) at the same cost. It is available at any feed store including Tractor Supply stores. My last bag was $11.50/50 lb bag of 20% protein (3.2%N) feed.

Just make sure you do not get the medicated versions.
2 bags would be enough per application.

I fertilize 3 times per year which is slightly less total Nitrogen application than the old synthetic 15-5-10 would be in one application.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:44 pm 
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bobgilbert, I'm all for your suggestion if it does not lead to weeds. You say you have used it more than once, so I assume the stuff does not sprout. 20% protein is excellent for that price.

Can you direct me to the product? I'm looking at the Tractor Supply website and don't see a crumble product. Not sure what that means. Is that like a reconstituted dust pellet?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:02 pm 
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David,
I have used it now for 4 applications on my yard. Pics are on another submission I made at Gardening & Landscaping Forum under "Chicken Feed as Fertilizer" and the yard is in excellent shape with no new weeds.
Crumbles is similar to flake but does have some dust so it is best to spread when wind speed is low.


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