Saturday, November 23, 2013

2013 Lawn Additions

Lawn additions dropped this year, as I mentioned in the gardening post from yesterday.  At this point, I'm reaching maintenance mode on the soil and no longer need to apply the level of organics that I used to.

A total of six pounds per thousand square feet of nitrogen isn't exactly anything to sneeze at, however.  It's more than enough to assure that the lawn grew perfectly, spread to repair problems, and was a very nice green all year long.

This chart doesn't include sprayed iron, which I only did once this year, earlier in the week.  I also applied calcium lime, once in spring, once in late summer, at a low rate to adjust the soil pH upward a touch.

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
5/15/2013 0.91 0.26 0.13 0.00 13.0 Soybean Meal
7/26/2013 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
8/18/13 0.63 0.25 0.00 0.54 12.6 Milorganite
9/9/13 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
10/3/2013 1.05 0.30 0.15 0.00 15.0 Soybean Meal
11/6/2013 0.20 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 Vigoro 29-0-4
11/21/2013 1.12 0.00 0.16 0.16 0.00 Vigoro Super Green

Total per K ft: 6.01 1.41 0.86 0.70 70.6 706 active organic total

Thursday, November 21, 2013

2013 Garden Additions

Garden additions went way down from last year (just as the lawn's did).  I also tapped a very small amount of boron in the form of 20 Mule Team Borax into the gardens in May.

The organic material tests now have the gardens at a very good 9.3%.  I didn't add mulch this year as there was enough left from last year to carry through, so that number might drop a little in 2014.

This table doesn't include synthetic additions.  Once per week, I add 1 pound of 24-8-16 across the entire garden, or about 1/4 the recommended rate.  Adding this to the organics brings the gardens up to stellar performance, but does tend to lower the pH.  I corrected that again this year with the dolomite I added in April, plus a small amount of calcium carbonate-based lime in July.

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
4/20/2013 0 0 0 0 0 Dolomite 40 per K
5/9/2013 1.10 0.00 0.44 0.88 22.0 Milorganite
6/5/2013 0.83 0.23 0.10 0.10 12.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
7/8/2013 1.55 0.62 0.00 1.24 31.0 Milorganite

Total per K ft: 3.48 1.29 0.10 2.22 65.5 131 active organic total

That's a Wrap!

This week closed out the gardening and lawn season for the year as temperatures are due to plunge into the thirties (for a high) next week.  Tomorrow is the last day we show a high over fifty for quite some time, although we'll undoubtedly flirt with higher temperatures in December.  We usually do, nowadays.

Yesterday I completed spraying 6 oz per thousand square feet of iron on the lawn.  I'm still drawing off the fifty pound bag of ferrous sulfate monohydrate I bought last spring, but I ran out of ammonium sulfate.  I substituted Miracle Gro 24-8-16, which works perfectly well.  The lawn is now finishing up its color change, from a rather anemic green with a slight yellow overtone to a deep green with blue notes.

This evening I dropped my winterizer.  1.12 pounds of nitrogen, from Vigoro Super Green.  That will help add a bit more iron into the mix, plus some slower release nitrogen for the inevitable warmer periods through winter.

With luck--and temperatures that don't dive under fifteen--the lawn won't go dormant this year at all.

I'll release my charts of feedings for both the lawn and garden for the year shortly.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Drip of Nitrogen

Although the organics are still feeding the lawn from October, we're starting to spin into the late fall.  Our long-range forecast implies strongly that growth won't stop on the lawn until early December, if even then.

I dropped 0.20 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet this evening to wash in during tomorrow's rain.  And this time, it was synthetic as I happen to be out of grains and would rather not make the 30 minute each way trip to get more just for a small feeding.

That should kick in around the weekend and feed the lawn for the next two weeks or so (nitrogen demands are down due to the slowing growth and lower levels of sunlight).

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Garden Clean Out

It's that time of year!  We're post first frost, the annuals are dying off, and the perennials are shedding their greenery for the season.

I've cleaned out and composted about two thirds of the garden at this point, and I'm waiting for the compost bin to free up to finish the final third.  I always chop up the plants with the mower and bag the remains, then dump that into the bin.  It decreases the size of the particles, and compresses everything into a much smaller space.

Add some water to the bin and there we go--compost in two weeks (if you turn it a lot).  The current temperature is running at 140° and holding, which means I'm not turning it right now as I'd burn my hands.  In four or five days that will drop to a more skin-friendly level.

The "quick" compost I produce is rough, and not good enough to dig into the soil.  It works beautifully as top dressing, however, and decay continues through fall and into spring, enriching the soil.