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Why use half the amount of fertilizer?  RSS feed

 
David Davis
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In the "Cheap and Lazy" article Paul, he calls for using organic fertilizer and says you should use half the amount called for on the bag. Why is this? Also I've been using a fertilizer that says that it is "organic based" but i've noticed it has ammonium sulfate" in it. The ingredients are: Dried Poultry Manure, Polymer-Coated Sulfur- Coated Urea, Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammoniated Phosphate, Muriate of Potash, and Ferrous Sulfate. Would this be considered a good or bad lawn fertilizer? Anything bad about poultry waste? I worry that there could be toxic chemicals in the waste that were fed to the chickens like antibiotics and growth hormones etc.
 
David Livingston
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Firstly " organic based " are advertising weasel words to hide the fact that this is not an organic fertilizer it's big ag stuff to be blunt I think you have been had .
Secondly Paul was talking about organic fertilizers not being required as much as for veg for instance as we are talking about grasses I think

David

 
Dale Hodgins
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In many parts of the world, you will get a perfectly green lawn with no fertilizer. Unless the lawn is extremely starved of some nutrient, I see no reason to fertilize. I suppose if you were growing fodder for animals, it might make some sense. But if the only thing eating that grass are deer, rabbits and your lawn mower, why increase your workload.

I would be very happy to find a type of lawn grass that would grow to 3 inches long and then stay that length.

Vast quantities of resources go into making lawn grasses grow faster than they would naturally. After achieving this phenomenal growth, huge amounts of petroleum and other resources are used to cut it down.

The lawn at my dad's place in St Catharines Ontario was always nice and green without any irrigation. Whenever we drove into town and saw sprinklers on the lawns, dad would comment by saying "boy they must really enjoy cutting grass".
 
Tyler Ludens
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Dale Hodgins wrote:

I would be very happy to find a type of lawn grass that would grow to 3 inches long and then stay that length.


Supposedly, native Buffalograss stays between 3 and 6 inches without mowing.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Dale: I'm with you. I apply zero fertilizer to lawns that I am responsible for, and the minimal amount of water necessary to keep them alive. I hate what I consider to be the stupidity of mowing lawns. I chaff against the violence that is threatened against me by the city if I didn't have and mow a lawn. So my response is to keep it alive, but barely.

If there are a few patches of grass that grow in a clump 3 times faster than the rest of the lawn. I dig them out. No point having varieties of grass that grow too fast.
 
David Livingston
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I must admit I never use a fertilizer on any of the lawns here but I have lots of uses for the grass after I have cut it I count it as a resource

David
 
Casie Becker
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That six inches in buffalo grass doesn't count the flower stalks that rise above. Occasionally we've let it grow long for use as part of Halloween decoration. They add 12 to 18 inches to the height of the grass.

Of course, I only have to mow the lawn in spring and fall. The grass doesn't grow when it's over 90 degrees (so most of the summer) or during the winter. And even with those conditions, and never watering it, I still have a constantly improving lawn. Two or three times a year I leave the clippings on the lawn, and the rest of the time the grass clippings get diverted to the garden as a fertilizing mulch.
 
Donald Kenning
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Mr. Davis:

OK, one thing at a time.

The "fertilizer" is "organic based". They can say that because the main ingredient is stuff that came out of the butt of a chicken. You seem to be worried about the chickens. First of all, growth hormones are not given to chickens (illegal) (however they do give them to cows). Some chickens these days do not get antibiotics, but if this chicken manure is in a package with this other garbage, then quite likely, the chickens had antibiotics. Since people (and your pets) do not eat the grass the antibiotics will eventually break down. The chicken was probably, also, fed gmo corn and other crap, but that is a discussion for another time.

The other stuff in the bag. Yea, those things are either mined (raping the earth) or created from petroleum (raping the earth) and travel long distances to get to your store (raping the earth). Some companies even call those other ingredients "natural" because they came from the earth (mined).

I believe the reason that Paul suggests half the amount (of any kind of fertilizer) is because he has come to the realization that healthy soils do not get depleted of nutrients. That a healthy soil food web moves all the water and nutrients to your plants (grass) it needs. That applies to everything that grows such as lawns, gardens and 10,000 acre row crop farms. But for many people who have spent a lifetime believing soils deplete, it is hard to get them to stop using the chemicals that are simply not needed. Therefore, it is easier to convince someone to use half than to use none at all.

I could be wrong about Paul's reasoning but that is my guess.
 
wayne fajkus
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Are you bagging when you mow or are the clippings staying in the lawn?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I like to keep a lawn so nutrient-poor that it naturally comes up in clover and other plants that can survive that. The way to accomplish this is to continually harvest the grass and put it on the garden, or feed it to animals.

A good crop of dandelions is an excellent way to fertilize your lawn. They bring nutrients from further down than your grass is likely to root. I cut my friends lawn the other day, using my cordless electric machine. He asked me if I could avoid hitting the dandelions.😂

The side of my road grows up in Scotch broom. This legume is harvested and used as a fertilizer. My theory is that I am constantly removing nutrients from the gravel along my road, which should reduce the rate of growth for other things that try to grow on the road.

The owner of this lawn, fertilizers and waters. I cut it today at a cost of $250. If it were left alone, it would only need about three more cuttings before the summer drought.
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David Davis
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wayne fajkus wrote:Are you bagging when you mow or are the clippings staying in the lawn?


The clippings stay on the lawn. I have a mulching mower. I follow Paul's advice and mow high and leave the clippings. The fertilizer I've been using is called Pro-Rich by Richlawn.
 
David Davis
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Donald Kenning wrote:Mr. Davis:

OK, one thing at a time.

The "fertilizer" is "organic based". They can say that because the main ingredient is stuff that came out of the butt of a chicken. You seem to be worried about the chickens. First of all, growth hormones are not given to chickens (illegal) (however they do give them to cows). Some chickens these days do not get antibiotics, but if this chicken manure is in a package with this other garbage, then quite likely, the chickens had antibiotics. Since people (and your pets) do not eat the grass the antibiotics will eventually break down. The chicken was probably, also, fed gmo corn and other crap, but that is a discussion for another time.

The other stuff in the bag. Yea, those things are either mined (raping the earth) or created from petroleum (raping the earth) and travel long distances to get to your store (raping the earth). Some companies even call those other ingredients "natural" because they came from the earth (mined).

I believe the reason that Paul suggests half the amount (of any kind of fertilizer) is because he has come to the realization that healthy soils do not get depleted of nutrients. That a healthy soil food web moves all the water and nutrients to your plants (grass) it needs. That applies to everything that grows such as lawns, gardens and 10,000 acre row crop farms. But for many people who have spent a lifetime believing soils deplete, it is hard to get them to stop using the chemicals that are simply not needed. Therefore, it is easier to convince someone to use half than to use none at all.

I could be wrong about Paul's reasoning but that is my guess.




Paul's advice in his "Cheap and Lazy" article is mow high, leave clippings, water deeply but infrequently and fertilize in the spring and fall with an organic fertilizer at half the recommended rate. One thing that got me worrying about the chicken manure was an ad for Dr. Earth organic lawn fertilizer which said that dried poultry waste was full of all the chemicals they feed and put into chickens as well as pesticides that they spray in chicken facilities.

http://drearth.net/home/chicken-manure-in-“organic”-fertilizers-and-soils—can-you-say-“cheap-cheap”/
 
Rebecca Norman
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I think the idea was that if you leave the cut grass on the lawn, you are not removing any nutrients, so once your lawn is healthy, you shouldn't have to fertilize at all or at least, not much. And if you do fertilize it makes the grass grow more and then you have to cut it sooner and it may require extra water to support the enthusiastic growth. But I live in a place with no lawns at all so I'm basing this on having read Paul's article and some others.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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David Davis wrote:In the "Cheap and Lazy" article Paul, he calls for using organic fertilizer and says you should use half the amount called for on the bag. Why is this?

Fertilizer companies want you to use more so you have to buy more, truth is never what business wants you to believe. I use 1/4 the recommended amount if I use any fertilizer at all. Usually I am using compost for this purpose.

Also I've been using a fertilizer that says that it is "organic based" but i've noticed it has ammonium sulfate" in it. The ingredients are: Dried Poultry Manure, Polymer-Coated Sulfur- Coated Urea, Urea, Ammonium Sulfate, Ammoniated Phosphate, Muriate of Potash, and Ferrous Sulfate.

Reguardless the "organic based" label, everything else you listed here are chemical compounds which means this is not an organic product at all.

Would this be considered a good or bad lawn fertilizer?
This depends on your view/ opinion of commercial fertilizers. I would never use such a product.

Anything bad about poultry waste? I worry that there could be toxic chemicals in the waste that were fed to the chickens like antibiotics and growth hormones etc.

Like all manures what you get out of it is what went into it. If the poultry is from a commercial hen house, you have antibiotics, arsenic, copper and lots of other elements that I personally would run very far from. We use nothing on our land that doesn't come from our land with the one exception of fish emulsion and fish meal, which we either make from fish we catch or is labeled "organic" if we have to purchase it.
 
Donald Kenning
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Mr. Davis:

I read the article from Dr. Earth you mentioned. So, lets do this another way.

A chicken will eat and drink stuff. This food and drink nourishes the body and some will come out in the poop. If the food contains anti-biotics or pesticides that also comes out in the poop. Growth hormones (synthetic or natural) may also come out in the poop but it is illegal to use them. Instead, chicken factories breed "freak of nature" chickens that have large breasts and can barely stand. There could (as pointed out in the Dr. Earth article) also be a point in time where they spray the litter taken from these houses (adding some insecticides to the mix).

check this reference for the growth hormone thing. From the Poultry Site.

In their processing, they may warm the manure up to kill the bacteria and stuff, but if it gets too hot the manure looses effectiveness. This warming will never get rid of the bad elements like like Arsenic or Lead but I am not sure how that stuff would get into the manure. However, they probably would not get it hot enough to break down anti-biotics, pesticides and other bad things. My guess, they warm it enough to kill the bacteria and all the beneficial organisms that are in the manure (one of the reasons manure works so well). I am fairly sure they would treat the manure like a chemical instead of a living catalyst for growth (that is why the other stuff is in the bag). However, reading the Richlawn Company web site literature they seem to recognize there are beneficial microbes in chicken manure (but maybe not theirs). Here is the MSDS for the product you mentioned.

The points Dr. Earth brings up are completely legit, however, all the stuff in the bag (including the manure) make for one Satan's brew. Plus, according to the MSDS, as it decays it gives off greenhouse gasses (CO2 and N2O).

So what do you do if you have a bunch of the stuff? If it is not too late you could take it back. You could apply it to a small section of your lawn at 1/10 the recommended amount until you run out. This section of lawn should probably be as far as possible from a storm drain. If you think you need to put something on the rest of your lawn, start a compost bin. If you are "lazy" just throw all your table scraps and shredded paper into a pile, wait a year and collect some of that compost and throw it on top of your lawn. At least you will know where the "fertilizer" comes from.
 
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