Wednesday, September 30, 2015

October Soybean Meal Down

I snuck some time late this afternoon and got the October application of soybean meal down.  Like last month, it was just a hair early, but if it had rained just as I finished I'd only be off schedule by seven hours.  Rain isn't expected until late tonight or tomorrow.

This application should become available around October 20th, depending on the weather, and will gently feed the lawn through the remainder of the season.

This is the last organic feeding of the year.  The only remaining application will be winterization, which will generally be around Thanksgiving.  At some point after that, I'll post the complete list of 2015 lawn applications.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Kelp, Humic Acid, Prodiamine Down!

I also put down the soil conditioner, but that wouldn't fit easily in the headline!

As of today, I've applied the remaining dose of Prodiamine, 0.33 tablespoons per thousand square feet, to bring myself up close to 1.5 tablespoons per thousand this year.  The old April-applied shield is calculated to drop in early October, so this will carry me through late November.  Post that, sprouting weeds aren't generally of much concern, if any.

We're expecting modest amounts of rain in the next three days, so this won't need to be watered in.

Since I was already hauling out the hose-end sprayer, I also applied a little over 3 ounces each of kelp extract, humic (and fulvic) acid, and soil conditioner (6% sodium lauryl sulfate in water).

The kelp is supposed to gently encourage root growth, supply trace minerals, and supply tiny amounts of micronutrients and macronutrients.  In practice, it does seem to improve the lawn a bit, and the gardens moderately.

Humic acid is supposedly a good feed for the soil fungi, adds a tiny touch of organic matter, and will raise the soil's exchange capacity just the tiniest hair.  In practice, I can't say I see much effect one way or the other, but I have plenty on-hand so I use it.

The soil conditioner is sodium lauryl sulfate (6%) diluted in water.  Use of a few ounces per thousand square feet really does soften the soil and increase water infiltration.  I've conditioned the soil so well and added so much organic material that one or two applications per year are all that's required, but I do use more in the gardens to function as a surfactant for the kelp and anything else I need to have stick to the leaves.

Applications of all three (kelp, humic acid, and soil conditioner) can theoretically be done up to monthly at 2 to 4 ounces per thousand square feet.  My kelp and soil conditioner usage in the garden generally exceeds that, but with watering well, buildup is extremely unlikely to occur.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Breaking The One Third Rule

The One Third Rule:  Always mow your lawn before it's half again the normal mow height--so that you never mow off more than one third of the blade.

The mower is currently out on the north face, mowing away, and blatantly breaking the one third rule.  This time, it's more like the one half rule or even a touch more.  The grass is pushing six inches easily.

However, we're now on Day 12 without any appreciable rain (Day 9 with no rain at all), and temperatures holding in the mid seventies to mid eighties.  Mowing under those conditions would have invited a burn.

I've spent the last three evenings watering, so the ground is now moist and more normal rainfall is expected next week and the week following.

In this instance, I don't expect any serious side effects, although the grass' growth will slow temporarily while it recovers from the shock.  In late September, in tolerable weather, and on freshly irrigated soil, the shock should be minimal.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

2015 Garden Additions

It's very early for me to be posting this, but I've finished with all garden additions for the year that will be recorded on the chart.  There's still a modest amount of calcitic lime to be applied in October when the plants are removed, but that won't supply any of the major nutrients and won't be placed on the chart.

The corn meal in late August was to fight alternaria blight, and it worked very well.  Although I lost wide swatches of zinnia, I had plenty of surviving volunteers to replant the open areas.  Those new zinnia are now starting to blossom.

Overall, levels of organic feeding rose this year, not quite doubling last year's totals.  I find that the garden does better when fed a bit more heavily.

N, P, K, iron, and organics are the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and organic mass per thousand square feet, in pounds.  The notes indicate what was used, except for the total line, where it tells you the total organic poundage used through the garden that year.

Date N P K Iron Organics Other Notes
5/5/2015 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
6/3/2015 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
7/1/2015 2.22 0.66 0.25 1.08 39.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
8/1/2015 1.32 0.30 0.25 0.36 21.5 Milorganite, Soybean Meal
8/26/2015 0.10 0.04 0.02 0.00 6.0 Corn Meal

Total per K ft:    6.28    1.60    1.02    2.16    110.0    220.0 active organic total