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 Post subject: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Hello there, relevant details first I guess. I live in the northwest US and have either Bluegrass or Kentucky blue grass, I'm not sure exactly.

Four weeks ago I had a landscaper dethatch, aerate, lime, seed and fertilize my beaten lawn. About three days ago it had been four weeks and he instructed me to mow and fertilizer at this time. I mowed and noticed how full and dark green my grass was WOW! It was the greenest and fullest grass on my block. After mowing I laid down Milorganite, an organic fertilizer, evenly with my broadcast spreader.

That was three days ago, today it's bright green. It has rained twice lightly throughout the day and I did leave the sprinkler system on accidentally. I've read that my soil could be lacking iron from both the organic fertilizer and has received too much water thus having an iron deficiency, causing the bright green grass. Does that sound right? I've looked at a lot of iron supplements and many contain fertilizer. My question is if my lawn was fertilized a month ago, chemicals I assume, and I just used organic fertilizer three days ago, when can I apply an iron supplement with fertilizer and is there a product that anyone could recommend?

If you're able to provide an answer thank you, I'm still new to this lawn care business and I look forward to any incite you can provide.


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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Do you know what the chemical fertilizer was? (I hope you plan to discontinue the chemical approach to gardening; organic is better and isn't hazardous to your health or the environment.)

I looked up Milorganite - its a nitrogen fertilizer from Milwaukee waste water solids. NPK is Nitrogen 5%, Phosphorus 2%, Potassium 3.2%. It says it doesn't burn, but it gave your grass an unbalanced blast of nitrogen versus the rest of the ingredients.

If you need iron, use compost and Texas Greensand, don't use ironite. More information here.

Milorganite

Quote:
What is it?

Milorganite fertilizer is one of the oldest branded fertilizers on the market today. It is derived from heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic material in wastewater. Milorganite is manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The District captures wastewater from the metropolitan Milwaukee area, including local industries such as MillerCoors. This water is then treated with microbes to digest nutrients that are found in it. Cleaned water is then returned to Lake Michigan. The resulting microbes are then dried, becoming Milorganite fertilizers. The Milorganite program is one of the world’s largest recycling efforts.
How Do We Make It?

Wastewater enters the Jones Island water reclamation facility, where all solid materials such as sand, boards, shop rags, etc. are removed. Microbes are added to the leftover water during the activation process, which serves the same purpose as adding yeast to bread. Oxygen is pumped in to create an ideal environment and the microbes digest the nutrients in the water.

When all the nutrients have been consumed, the microbes die. Agents are then added to begin clumping the microbes together. This process of settling and coagulating takes place in quiet sedimentation tanks.

After settling, the clumped microbes are removed and sent to the Dewatering and Drying building where moisture is removed using belt presses. This produces a semi-solid form similar to wet cardboard that is subsequently dried in twelve rotary driers at temperatures ranging from 900⁰ - 1200⁰F. Any surviving pathogens are killed from the extreme hot temperatures.

The product is sampled thoroughly in our testing process, including over 20 tests per day, which guarantees Milorganite complies with standards for protecting human health and the environment. It is then ready to be packaged for homeowners, landscapers and golf course superintendents throughout North America.

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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 12:13 pm 
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I don't sorry. I layed out greensand last week, thanks for the advice. I'm hoping to see results in the coming weeks.


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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:14 pm 
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If your soil is lacking iron it is not from the fertilizer. Milorganite was not a mistake. It is possibly the most reliable organic fertilizer on the market. It is reliable both in performance and in ability to find it around the country. Milorganite is basically baked microbes, but it also has an iron supplement which usually cures yellow turf. So the problem is not due to the Milo.

You said you had the landscaper "dethatch, aerate, lime, seed and fertilize my beaten lawn." Why did you have all that done? Was this one of the best landscapers in the area or was it a guy leaving posters on the telephone pole? I ask because a good landscaper would know that seeding is best done in the fall. Spring seeding is usually doomed to failure from heat or crabgrass. And if your landscaper was trying to pull a fast one on you, he would toss in the extra unnecessary items of dethatching, aerating, liming, and fertilizing just so he could catch up on his boat payments over the long winter. I think you might have gotten taken to the cleaners.

What was the original problem? I think it can be fixed for little to no extra cost. Usually it is a matter of changing the water regimen, mowing height, and fertilizer. These are things you were doing already. But the cure will not involve dethatching or aerating.

Have you had a soil test done to show that you need lime? And which kind of lime? If this question prompts you to run out and get a soil test, please run out to Logan Labs in Ohio. Their $20 test is equal to the $120 tests at your local extension service or university.
How often do you water and for how long?
How high/low do you mow?
Before the landscaper, when were the last two times you fertilized and what di you use?
Have you used any herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides in the past year? If so, what?
Where do you live in the northwest? Please be specific because things are different west of the mountains.

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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Thanks for offering information about the Milorganite. I always look for your answers here to learn more on lots of topics.

I attended a talk by Howard today, and he spoke about that product. It has issues, but more to do with the pharmaceuticals left over after all of the filtering.

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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:40 pm 
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I have issues with Milorganite, also; however, if someone wants to use it, it sure seems to work.

My issues are with heavy metals in it. While they might be below the levels of tolerance required by our government, why not go all the way to zero heavy metals by using a grain type fertilizer like corn meal, corn gluten meal, alfalfa, soybean meal, wheat flour, cottonseed meal (although heavily sprayed with pesticide and herbicide), and even used coffee grounds (FREE!)?

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 Post subject: Re: Neon Green Lawn
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:02 am 
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I wish it were true that there are no heavy metals in the materials you mention. The unfortunate fact of life is that there are few if any perfectly clean and totally organic products. Once again, the goal of all plant people should be to use products that are the most efficient at stimulating biological activity. It's the answer to production as well as detoxification.


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