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Old 04-11-2011, 06:44 PM
 
222 posts, read 669,649 times
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Hello,

I am very new to gardening and am reading some books about using compost on the lawn instead of fertilizers. I am wondering if anyone has had success doing that? Also, I don't have a compost pile yet. Where would I get compost to cover a one acre lawn? Can I apply 1/2 inch covering of humus over the lawn? Would that work? Thanks for your help?
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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Landscape materials supply center. They can brief you on the rest.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:56 PM
 
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Spreading humus on top of your lawn does no more than covering it with straw. It has has next to no nutritional value and left on top can actually help smother new grass. Both compost and humus are worked into soil before planting to help condition soil and compost adds nutrients that humus does not.

Compost has often been recommended by organic gardeners as a replacement for fertilizer but they leave out the 'how to' part because it is pretty labor intensive. You have to evenly cover the lawn with a thin layer (often flinging it by hand from a wheelbarrow, it doesn't work with the traditional spreader used in suburbia). Then you have to go back and use either a brush broom or a rake and work it down between the blades of grass without tearing everything up.

You can get composted materials and "garden soil" in bags at the box stores, co-ops and most nurseries, as well as the landscape specialist Bulldogdad mentioned. The local nursery/landscape company might have a better handle on the right stuff for what you want to do. Some municipalities also create compost and mulch as part of their recycling programs which would be another source, but it does not come bagged and you will need a truck bed of lots of buckets to carry enough home.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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J & E,

I want to thank you for your thoughtful response to my inquiry. I still would like to apply compost to the lawn and will check out sources in my local area in Sullivan County, New York. I am not sure how exactly I should rake the compost into the soil without damaging the lawn, but I guess I'll figure out.

Galee
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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You are welcome.

I thought of something( long after I posted, unfortunately) that you may want to look into if you want to grow your lawn organically. I focused on the physical material of compost and humus and not on the fact that what you really want to do is substitute something for fertilizer. Humus and compost are part of soil amending, which is a way to change soil texture and water holding ability, with the fringe benefit of weak fertilizing. You can make a liquid fertilizer called a "compost tea" from compost. If this is what you were after there quite a few sites out there with "how to" information. An example would be: How to Make Compost Tea page 1
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:16 AM
 
25,626 posts, read 34,499,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
Spreading humus on top of your lawn does no more than covering it with straw. It has has next to no nutritional value and left on top can actually help smother new grass. Both compost and humus are worked into soil before planting to help condition soil and compost adds nutrients that humus does not.

Compost has often been recommended by organic gardeners as a replacement for fertilizer but they leave out the 'how to' part because it is pretty labor intensive. You have to evenly cover the lawn with a thin layer (often flinging it by hand from a wheelbarrow, it doesn't work with the traditional spreader used in suburbia). Then you have to go back and use either a brush broom or a rake and work it down between the blades of grass without tearing everything up.

You can get composted materials and "garden soil" in bags at the box stores, co-ops and most nurseries, as well as the landscape specialist Bulldogdad mentioned. The local nursery/landscape company might have a better handle on the right stuff for what you want to do. Some municipalities also create compost and mulch as part of their recycling programs which would be another source, but it does not come bagged and you will need a truck bed of lots of buckets to carry enough home.

Deliver right to your driveway. A lot cheaper even with a deliver charge than the bagged stuff. Well at least for the good stuff.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:14 PM
 
222 posts, read 669,649 times
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Bulldogdad,

Can you be more specific? Where can I get compost and how much would it cost to buy enough for a one-acre lawn? I am very new at this so I have no idea about this.

Galee
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:29 AM
 
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There are websites on line that will give you calculators. If you're going to "top-dress" your lawn (which is usually what its called when you put organic material on top of your existing lawn instead of working it into the soil before planting grass) - you want to make sure its 1/2" or less - otherwise you could smother it.

We're going to go with composted horse manure - well aged (at least 1 year) this next Fall (we missed our opportunity this Spring). We have friends with the most lush lawn you've ever seen - and that's their secret that their mower/landscaper (he only helps with their lawn) uses. A coworker of mine did it 2 years ago (after we talked about it) and he only applied it to half his lawn. In the Spring when the grass perked up the line of demarcation between the compost/non compost was ridiculous. The composted grass was about 2" taller/thicker/greener than the non-composted side.

We purchased a small manure spreader (a very small one) - and are going to use that to spread the composted manure. It spreads an even layer about 1/4" thick. We'll just hook it to the tractor and go. At that low a thickness, just rain/water will wash it into the underlying soil. We will also aerate before we top dress to get some air into the clay and give the top-dress more places to perk into the soil.

Oh - and composted manure - I'd look in your "craigslist" farm/garden section. If you're anywhere near farm country, you should be able to find it.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Maine
6,425 posts, read 12,595,806 times
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Is there a landscape business in your area that delivers by the truck load? If so, they're the people you want to talk to. They can tell you how much it will cost, when it can be delivered and everything else you need to know. They might be able to deliver and spread it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by galee View Post
Bulldogdad,

Can you be more specific? Where can I get compost and how much would it cost to buy enough for a one-acre lawn? I am very new at this so I have no idea about this.

Galee
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:17 PM
 
25,626 posts, read 34,499,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
Is there a landscape business in your area that delivers by the truck load? If so, they're the people you want to talk to. They can tell you how much it will cost, when it can be delivered and everything else you need to know. They might be able to deliver and spread it for you.

Bingo. Make a few phone calls and shop around at local Landscape materials suppliers. Pick up the phone and get to crack a lackin. LOL

Measure your yard square. Length times width to get square ft. give that info to the materials people. They can guide you through the rest.

Or hire a landscaper pay some extra and sit back drinking coffee, chai, green tea or whatever.
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