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 Post subject: Zoyia El Toro
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2004 6:36 pm 
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I live in the hill country outside of Boerne.About three years ago I brought in soil that I bought from a place off of hwy211.I then planted zoyia el toro grass.Not knowing better I have been using scotts fertilizer.Well to make a long story short my yard is never ever green all the way. Some ereas are green and some are not.During the heat of the summer I cannot keep it alive.Even with tons of watering.Only in sum ereas it will stay green.Did I plant the wrong grass?Also I had lots of cedars that were here for years.Any info would help.

Rusty


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:03 pm 
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Stop using anything that isn't organic. Find an organic nursery. We can help you with this search if you need it.

I think your first steps would be to use cornmeal. In any form will work but horticultural is better. Also zeolite would be a good addition to neutralize those synthetic fertilizers you've used.

Really once this is done you can begin to add other useful ammendments as your budget allows. Molasses would be one of the cheapest soil boosting products. You can get this in liquid or spreadable form from any feed store. Beware, to spread molasses with a spreader, you must have a VERY dry day because it will clump together if humid.

Then take good care of you grass. Don't allow too much traffic. Zozyia can't handle it. Mow in the evenings so the stressed cut grass can heal overnight. Don't mow too short, you want a high pile carpet look not golf course green. Water only once or twice a week but very deeply.

By the way, many of these care tips can be laxed when under an oganic program because the soil and grass isn't under stress from chemicals.

Hope this helps!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:50 pm 
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Thanks for the reply.Now I am real new to organic products.Lets say I use cornmeal first( or would zeolite be better)How long after this treatment do I wait till I use mollasses on the yard?Then what is next?Will the mollasses green the yard up in the spring?Do I need another treatment?What about the summer months? As you can see I am very green at this approach.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:28 pm 
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Hi Rusty. I often tell folks they have to unlearn some things before they can go organic. One thing is that with organic materials, you can almost always use all the products or materials on the same day because there is no interaction with each other. That's one of the cool benefits.

Corn meal is a protein fertilizer. So are soy meal, alfalfa pellets, cottonseed meal, coffee grounds, and other ground up seeds, nuts, and beans. It takes three weeks to see any greening effect but you should see considerable improvement after that. The application rate for these types of fertilizers is 10-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If you accidentally apply 40, 80, or 200 pounds per 1,000 square feet, you will not do any damage. Over 500 pounds per 1,000 then you have to worry about smothering the turf (and wasting a lot of money :shock: ). You might also get some fragrances you never smelled before!! So keep it down to a normal application and you'll see good results for a good cost.

Your brown spots might be caused by fungus or grubs in the soil. The solution for fungus is to fertilize with corn meal. Corn meal, besides being a great organic fertilizer, has strong anti-fungal properties. If the problem is grubs, then you can use something called beneficial nematodes. You should be able to get them at Barkley's Farm and Ranch (and nursery) on the east side of I-10 in Boerne. You can get corn meal there, too. Corn meal should cost $6.50 or so per 50-pound bag. Beneficial nematodes should cost about $8.50 for a million (to cover 2,000 square feet). Get good instructions on how to use them and use them all at once. Don't try to save them. Use them early for best effect. They multiply fast in your soil.

If you decide to use molasses, and I don't see a reason to yet, get the liquid form. It is a much more efficient use of the product - more bang for the buck. Dried is okay but turns solid on you if you open it and don't put it down all at once. I've used molasses many times with zero effect, but I seem to be in the vocal minority.

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 Post subject: Zoysia
PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2004 8:00 pm
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Rusty and Gang,
I'm a newcomer to this forum from Ft. Worth but I thought I would add something anyway. I have a 4 year old zoysia lawn and I'm extremely happy with it. For what it's worth, mine is Empire. I chose Empire because it is suppose to be more shade tolerant than El Toro. I have a good deal of shade in my front yard (60%) and FULL sun in my backyard. It performs superbly in both environs. Do you have much shade? If so that may be a factor. Empire has a more coarse blade than ElToro but it still has a very luxurious texture. It's like walking on 2 inch thick carpet. I have had no significant problems with fungus or grubs unlike my neighbors with St Augustine and Bermuda. While I haven't compared water bills with them, I suspect that it also requires less water. I water at most, every other day when it is very hot and dry. I don't have particularlly good soil in my back yard (I should have ammended it heavily prior to sodding) but the grass does well in even the poorest parts.

This will be my first year in a full organic program. Last year I spread about 20 pounds/1000 ft2 of volcanic sand and a synthetic fertilizer in the spring. I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements an organic program will yield this year. I know this doesn't help you too much since you are already heavily invested with El Toro in your yard, but maybe those that are contemplating zoysia will find it usefull. OBTW, my yard is already greening up nicely while my neighbors Bermuda and St. Augustine are still mostly dormant.

My Best,
Jim


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