With Spring upon us it is time to think about what we want to do with our lawns and pastures this year. Equally important is to determine how much time will you realistically have to devote to this task.
To simplify we are going to look at minimizing effort without sacrificing performance.
We have selected two products based on the most cost effective way to build up your organic matter, help you with clay or sandy soils, and to cost effectively apply enough mycorrhizal fungi to get your plants fully colonized over the growing season.
In all cases you can apply these products with your organic or conventional fertilizers so you can save time.
Lawns and Sports Turf
Start out early as possible and apply 1-2 oz (30-60 grams) or 3 – 6 tablespoons of dry PTM-Myco or CT-Myco powder per 1,000 square feet. For sports turf stay with the higher application amount unless you have an area that is already in decent shape. This amount with be mixed into water in several ways. Application methods vary with what you have. Keep it simple.
The key is to get the amount of powder watered into the given area size. Also remember you will not hurt your lawn by over applying – you just get results faster. (Hint: Spray it in all your flower beds as well. Works wonders for your blooming plants)
Use the Myco version of either one of these product for a full growing season. You can apply each time you water. Again the key is to water it into the soil so it can get close to the roots. After a season or so, switch over to the same products without the Myco and save your self some money. You still get all the benefits but no longer pay for the mycorrhizae since once you inoculate your grass properly you do not need to repeat the process.
We want to use PTM-Myco or CT-Myco (which includes molasses) since either product adds beneficial biology to immediately start breaking down toxins, recycling nutrients, breaks down and controls thatch, adds very important mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal helper biology to the roots. In addition the organic carbons, natural plant growth regulators, over 20 natural amino acids help the roots and soil start becoming more aerated and able to release nutrients. Clay soils and sandy soils benefit tremendously.
TIP 1: For hose end sprayers get a feel for how much area you can cover at the various settings. Do this by putting in a fixed amount then see how much area you cover until it is empty. Easiest way to do this is pick a rectangle area then spray back and forth a fixed distance that is comfortable for you: say 2-3 feet wide. Then walk a straight line until the container is empty. If you walked 33 feet and sprayed out roughly 3 feet wide you get a total of 100 square feet then you know at the setting you chose your unit will apply the amount of product you put into the container over a 100 square foot area. In this case you would use 1-2 teaspoons of powder in your container, mix with water until your container is almost full then screw it onto your spray head. Now just spray it on like before. If you want to apply faster or slower then adjust your unit accordingly.
TIP 2: For sprinkler systems with fertilizer injectors just put enough product in your tank to cover your yard size and let it apply every time it waters.
TIP 3: Alternatively buy an inexpensive fertigator that handles powders (EZ-Flo makes a good little unit) and hook this up to your normal sprinkler. Move your sprinkler around to get your yard watered and inoculated at the same time.
Livestock come in two basic models: Ones that cut the grass when eating and the other model pulls out the grass while eating. As you can see your roots certainly do not like the latter (Yes horse lovers you know what we mean. If you could just train them to pull the weeds out of the flower beds…).
Either way pastures need to perform. Starting as early as possible in the season and going late into the fall – these are known as the shoulder seasons. Either way the longer you can keep grazing the less money you spend on hay. Add to this the compaction caused by livestock moving around on muddy pastures and you get additional challenges affecting not only your yield but the quality of the forage grasses.
For pastures we recommend the same products PTM-Myco or CT-Myco as indicated above. Again this comes down to personal preference.
Apply 1 – 2 pounds of PTM-Myco or CT-Myco powder mixed into a minimum of 10 gallons of water per acre. Time it just before a rain if possible. Again the key is to get the product as close to the roots as possible. Apply 3-4 times a growing season at the minimum. Once you get about 4-5 pounds per acre properly applied you can switch over to the more economical PTM and CT, same products, same concentration of beneficial biology but without the added expense of additional mycorrhizae fungi. Once your pastures are properly inoculated you do not need to apply more.
TIP 4: If you disk your pasture either in fall or renovate in early spring use this time to spray the product as you have opened up the soil and provide and easier path for the product to reach the roots. In the fall if you are planting a cover crop of legumes or rye spray onto the field, follow immediately with your seed broadcast then drag with a chain harrow as usual. Alternatively mix the dry product into your planter box at a rate of ½ – 1 lbs per acre.
The list of benefits is well published in the scientific community but the best way to measure success is the health and vitality of your livestock and pets.
Grass-fed beef and dairy farmers know the benefits of higher quality forage. Increasing the nutritive qualities of forage grass through higher brix levels, more minerals and micro nutrients in the grass, all combine to make for a healthier animal and higher performance. Of course lowering your fertilizer input costs does not hurt either. In fact a properly managed cattle operation can eliminate fertilizer inputs in all but the worst case scenarios.
AgVerra is focused on providing you the tools you need to work efficiently and to get Back to the Roots of Plant and Soil Health™.