It is currently Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:04 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Care for St. Augustine
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:50 am
Posts: 8
Location: z8a texas
We recently moved into our first home in Killeen, TX. I have never dealt with organics before but obviously it would be advantageous to care for the lawn organically. Can anyone help me come up with a plan of action? The grass is in fairly decent condition, not many weeds, slightly brown. I really haven't a clue how to take care of a lawn but I am willing to learn. I do know to mow high - that's about the extent of it! lol Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thank you


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 7:47 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 9:12 am
Posts: 80
Location: Dallas, Texas
You will find all of that information and more if you read the sticky post on St. Augustine, and the organic lawn FAQ. Both are located at the top of the forum. If you have specific questions after that, then post them here and we'll try to help.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2004 3:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:50 am
Posts: 8
Location: z8a texas
Yes, I did read those posts and more, I still am not sure exactly what my first step should be? I don't know why, but horticulture matters seem much more daunting to me than when I became a parent! lol... Can you even go organic without having a compost pile?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:30 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I've never successfully simplified anything in my life, but I'll try.

Right now, fertilize with ordinary corn meal at a rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet of turf.

In February, wash in beneficial nematodes. Get ready to mow by welding your mower to the highest setting and sharpening the blade.

In March, fertilize with 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet of corn meal per 1,000 square feet.

Your grass in Killeen will probably start growing in April. Be sure you water deeply when the grass needs it, not until. You'll be getting rain then so don't worry about watering until June probably.

In June fertilize with 10 pounds of corn meal per 1,000 square feet.

In July apply another batch of beneficial nematodes.

In September fertilize again as before.

Notice that I never mentioned compost.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:49 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:50 am
Posts: 8
Location: z8a texas
Thank you sir! That was extremely helpful and you simplified beautifully! :D Thanks again


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: St. Augustine
PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2004 1:57 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 2
Hi,
If you use 10lbs corn meal/1000sqft 4x a year, how does CGM fit in. Do I use CGM in spring and fall and then use corn meal during summer months? I'm not sure of the annual program. On another subject, how do you control chinch bug?
Thanks.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 10:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2003 3:53 pm
Posts: 291
Location: Dallas,TX
You need CGM now, at the rate of at least 20lbs per 1000 sq ft, for pre-emergent control of late winter-spring weeds. Then again in mid-Feb for control of summer-fall weeds. Use the powdered kind, as the granular kind (sometimes labelled "easily spreadable") does not dissolve effectively.

If the chinch bugs are already there turning your grass brown, then dust diatomaceous earth over the area and into the green around it. You can also lightly drag a broom over it to disperse the DE down into the base of the blades.

Nematode applications will get the larva/eggs. But not at the same time because the DE has to remain dry a few days to inflict the 'death by a thousand cuts' on the bugs.

_________________
...Bill


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2004 2:26 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 2
Thanks Billusa99,
Do I still apply corn meal in the spring and summer at 10 lbs/1000 sqft? Does this supply to much nitrogen to the the grass. I do not want to produce excess thatch.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:08 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
In organic gardens, the actual nitrogen that goes to the plants is controlled by the plants themselves. If there is excess nitrogen in the soil, rather than being forced into the roots by osmotic pressures, the soil microbes will store the nitrogen in the form of humic acids. Then if there is ever a shortage of readily available nitrogen, the microbes will draw from the humic acid reserves to provide the nitrogen to the plants.

Thatch is not caused by excess nitrogen. Thatch is caused by frequent shallow watering. People who water for 10 minutes a day, every day, get thatch. The thatch is started by an accumulation of roots that cannot penetrate the hard soil underneath. The grass plants develop these short roots and perch themselves above the ground. The roots never have to look for water because they get watered every day. Some of those roots die every year and maintains a sort of ecosystem right there on top of the soil. Then when grass clippings or leaves fall on the turf, there is not enough moisture or soil microbes to decay the fallen leaves so they build up on top of the soil with the turf. On the other hand, if you water deeply and no more than once a week, the soil will soften as the roots penetrate deep looking for water. Soil microbes will thrive and keep the decay process going for any fallen leaf matter.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:51 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 2
Thanks Mr. Hall,
I have always been told that over fertilizing causes the turf to "grow" to fast and thus creates a thatch problem.
Watering less frequently can be problematic here in SC. We have gotten quite a bit of rain lately and through out the summer. I don't know if I should be happy that I'm not running the sprinkler or more concerned that I am involuntarily on the more frequent and less water regime. There has only been a few weeks of extended dry conditions during July and August. That's when the chinch bug got me, but that will be another post/follow up exchange.
Jedsc


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 9:14 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Just to clarify, were they talking about organic fertilizer or synthetic fertilizer?

Yes, you can't do much about Nature's rain. All you can control is your irrigation.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2004 11:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:49 am
Posts: 2
Mr. Hall,
They were talking synthetics. Since there is a lot of centipede grass in SC, over fertilizing with synthetics tends to cause a lot of thatch and then turf decline after about five years -The extension service (http://hgic.clemson.edu/). Centipede requires about 1 lbs N/1000 sqft/year if that much. Also, It has been recommended to me that potassium should be applied 4X year @ 1lbs/1000sqft. I hesitate to apply to much corn meal/CGM to a centipede lawn. It seems from reading other posts that centipede may have similar requirements as Buffalo grass with a preference to do nothing. Maybe CGM in the spring and corn meal sometime in the summer for a year or two just to get the lawn conditioned and then not doing a lot. What's a good organic source of potassium.
Jedsc


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:16 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
The best source of potassium is anything organic that has been burned into ash. Usually these materials are alkaline which is probably a good thing for your soil. I would tend to compost wood ashes and apply the compost after a few months.

I need to find someone with a centipede lawn. I would assume the thatch would be caused by too frequent watering, like on most lawns. If you water every day, the roots only need to be 1/4 inch long because they won't have time to dry out between waterings. When you have those short little roots in humid conditions, they don't need to penetrate the soil. And as the grass blades die, they never hit the soil where the decay microbes live so they just sit there forming thatch. This can allow an entire turf to grow above the ground - all you have to do is water it all the time. Whereas if you water deeply and infrequently, the roots will go deep into the soil and connect with the beneficial fungi down there to build your soil. Those fungi will find potassium for you and deliver it to the plant when the plant needs it.

All you need to do is keep the soil microbes fed. One of the things I had to forget when I went organic is to worry about pounds of nitrogen and the needs of the plants. I have absolutely no interest in how many pounds of nitrogen there are in corn meal or alfalfa or soy. I know soy is charged up with more protein than alfalfa and more than corn, but protein is all I care about. The soil microbes need protein to do their best for your grass. I would follow the plan - the plan being to apply 10-20 pounds of corn meal per 1,000 square feet about 4 times a year. I would do this not because the plants need it but because the soil needs it. Then let nature take its course.

I also suggest you forget anything anyone has told you about chemicals because none of that stuff applies to the organic program. This is a life changing event here. Just ignore those chemical guys. Even if you get a soil test (unless you got it at Texas Plant and Soil Lab), I would ignore it. All they can do is tell you how many pounds of pure chemicals to "fix" your soil chemistry. What you need to do is fix your soil BIOLOGY.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by eWeblife