Organic components, by their very nature, improve the soil and promote healthy plant growth. Organic based lawn programs include carbon and organic matter. Carbon is the building block of all life and is instrumental in the breaking down of nitrogen, making it available to be used by the plant in the form of nitrate.
Adding organic matter to the soil increases water and nutrient holding capacity, which provides greater heat and drought resistance. Organic matter also naturally loosens the soil and allows for healthier, deeper root systems.
Synthetic Fertilizers (chemical fertilizers), by their nature, destroy the soil and in the long term, weaken plants. And due to their salt content, they dehydrate soil and will therefore require more watering.
Most chemical fertilizers have a very high salt content. High salt content can leech moisture from the soil, damage plants and kill beneficial soil microbes. Synthetic fertilizers also contain little or no organic matter, which is the natural food source for soil biology.
Many states and local governments have regulated the use of chemical fertilizers due to environmental damage caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus runoff. These runoffs damage streams, lakes and other watersheds. Chemical fertilizers have also been proven to disrupt nature’s ecosystem and have been linked to human diseases such as cancer.
Sus tain a ble (adj.) Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment: sustainable agriculture.
One of the main goals of implementing a mineralized organic based program is to support and promote sustainability.
Long term neglect, construction damage, and the consistent use of chemical fertilizers have rendered our residential and commercial soils nearly devoid of any healthy, biological activity. This biological life is key to creating a healthy living soil.
You may ask the question, “Who fertilizes the forest? Who waters the wild flowers of the world?” These ecosystems care for themselves. They have their own consistent sources of diverse organic matter in the forms of decaying leaves, grasses, twigs, animals, plants, etc. This organic matter is constantly available and creates an active, living soil loaded with all forms of biological life. This continual supply of organic matter does not occur naturally in our lawns, gardens or landscaping.
The Soil Food Web is the “life” below the ground that breaks down organic matter. This “life” consists of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, worms, arthropods and other living things. They provide natural nutrition and NPK fertility (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) that are used by all plants to grow normally. They provide natural nutrition and NPK fertility (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) to promote normal, healthy plant growth.
People’s Choice Organics products contain the necessary components to restore and maintain healthy soil life.
Soil rehabilitation requires amending the soil with components that will help restore soil life. This includes adding diverse sources of organic matter and living biological inputs, as well as necessary amounts of minerals that will sustain healthy plant life. These additions will also begin the process of breaking down compacted soils, critical to the rehabilitation process.
Soil compaction affects plant growth by hindering root growth. Less root growth means reduced uptake of nutrients and water. Decreased root growth also results in stunted, weaker, stressed plants that are more susceptible to heat, drought, insects and disease.
People’s Choice Organics products; Jackhammer, Growzilla and Clear 90, help condition and revitalize the soil. Our liquid formulas penetrate deep into the subsoil, ease soil compaction and are easy to use. No digging or mechanical aeration is required and is not recommended.
Clay: Clay soils are made up of tiny particles that cling together and ultimately hold water well. Clay soil is more solid and sticks together when compressed.
Sand: Sandy soils are made up of uncompressed soil and sand particles that have poor moisture and water holding ability. Unlike clay, sandy soil will not cling together well.
Loam: Loam is a combination of sandy and clay soils. It has excellent water holding qualities and is more open and porous.
Humus:Humus is basically organic matter. It is comprised of plant debris, dead animal matter, and other organic matter that decomposes on the ground. This organic matter creates a loose structure throughout the soil that holds moisture, drains well, supports a living soil food web, and allows roots to grow bigger and deeper. It also contains large amounts of nutrients and microbial life.
Prior to starting your lawn renovation, take time to walk your landscape and observe how different areas of your lawn experience and react to diverse environmental factors such as sun, shade, and water flow. For example, you cannot expect grass to grow the same in full sun as it would in shady conditions. These different environments are called microclimates and understanding how they affect your lawn is very important to having a beautiful lawn year after year. Think of your lawn as a year-round continual crop. The vigor and outward appearance of your lawn will vary as the seasons change throughout the year. Lawn health and the ability to survive will be impacted based on what you do and don’t do all year long. It is important to be proactive and care for your lawn every month (“YES, every month”) and follow our tips to maximize a sustainable growing environment. (See our “Annual Turf Care Program and Tips” on our website for year-round care)
The best time to seed varies depending on location, but generally the best time to seed fescue is the beginning of September through November. Seeding early in the fall allows more time for root growth and grass blade development before cooler weather arrives and leaves begin to fall. Cooler weather slows root development and falling leaves inhibit germination by restricting sunlight and proper airflow. It’s best to seed early and follow up as needed with spot seeding. Be proactive by recognizing those areas that may need some additional TLC !
Choosing the right seed blend is just as important as knowing how much to apply.
See “Lawn Renovation” video on our website or click on the link below for more info:
Unfortunately each situation is unique. Do your research to find the highest quality seed for your region. It takes quality seed to grow a quality lawn. Cheap seed equals poorer performance and reduced tolerance to your specific environmental conditions. Also, cheap seed usually has more weed to seed content. Check the tag that is on most bags of seed for more information such as seed varieties, weed content and germination rates.
|Well established grass||1 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|Med. Established grass||2-3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|Thin established grass||4-6 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|Bare or raw dirt||7-9 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft.|
|TIP: The #1 mistake that most people make is to apply too much seed.|
Excessive overseeding causes competition for water, air, and nutrients. It also inhibits proper air circulation necessary for healthy growth.
When the new seeds emerge it may look nice and thick. However, next year the excess grass will choke itself out.
Seed does not need to be covered to germinate. Just make sure that you have good seed-to-soil contact and keep the seed moist. Allowing the seed to dry out after it has become moist may cause it to die and not germinate.
When the soil surface is lightly loose to ¼ inch deep, the seed-to-soil contact will be enhanced. If you want to add an amendment to the seedbed, I recommend a light coat of Amazon Soil and/or a very light coat of Humus (Very light!). Seed aids can also be used, such as rice hulls or compressed paper pellets.
|TIP: Never use Wheat Straw or Peat Moss to cover seed!|
Wheat straw contains all types of weed seeds that are ready to germinate right along with your grass seed. Peat moss makes the soil acidic. It dries fast and is hard to hydrate. Peat moss also creates a false growing environment that is not sustainable for grass crown formation.
We recommend an organic approach using our People’s Choice Organics products; Jackhammer, Growzilla and Clear 90. These products provide the soil with a balance of macro & micronutrients, amino acids, carbon, beneficial mycorrhizal fungi, sea minerals, humic & fulvic acids and sea kelp. These ingredients help create a healthy sustainable soil structure that will in turn create a healthy and vibrant lawn, even in the heat of summer!
Synthetic (chemical) fertilizers temporarily feed the plant but do nothing to support sustainable soil health.
Follow the procedure below once seeding is completed
Newly planted grass seed requires adequate moisture for proper germination..
Grass seed germinates at different rates so be patient. Most seed varieties will take on average 14-21 days to germinate. Some may take longer. Remember, seeds will not germinate if adequate moisture levels are not maintained, and may die if they dry out during germination.
However, be careful not to over water! This can result in an outbreak of fungus and/or soil compaction. See over watered area in picture below.
The amount of water your lawn and landscape needs will vary with different types of grass. Seasonal changes and soil structure also play a role in determining water needs. As a general rule, plants need one inch of water per week to maintain good health. Healthier soil structures rich in organic matter will require less supplemental irrigation.
Water deeply or don’t water at all! Watering lightly actually does more harm than good, and this is true whether the water comes from rain, irrigation, or your water hose. If the lawn is to stay deep-rooted and healthy, it must be watered until the soil is moist to a minimum depth of at least eight (8) inches. This deep watering will help your grass survive drought and hot weather conditions.
|Warning: Light top watering will cause shallow root systems and weak plants.|
Don’t guess when it comes to determining how much water to apply to your lawn. To measure, simply place a rain gauge in the zone to be watered. The gauge should be placed near the center of the arch of water coming from your sprinkler or irrigation head. The goal is to run the watering system until one inch of water accumulates in the gauge. To test your watering system, set your timer for fifteen minutes and then measure the amount of water in the gauge. For example, if one-quarter inch collects in fifteen minutes, you can now calculate that one-inch of water will accumulate in one hour. Now that you know how long it will take to get your required one inch of water in this particular area or irrigation zone, you can repeat the process in other areas or zones.
|TIP: To prevent waste and ensure deep-water penetration, irrigate in intervals. For example if sixty minutes is needed in an area or irrigation zone, then water in three twenty minute intervals. The first pass will open the soil to allow the water to penetrate. The second twenty minute interval will allow the water to soak in deeper and so on. After three twenty minute cycles in each zone, you will have accomplished your goal of applying one inch of water.|
Applying more water than is needed in a given area may cause plant decline. Water is a precious resource. Water wisely!
Now that you’ve watered the required one inch, wait approximately 2 hours, and then check the soil in the area or irrigation zone to see if water has penetrated a minimum of eight (8) inches in depth. This can be done by simply using a large knife or coring tool. Cut out a one-inch by eight-inch deep core and remove. Check to see if moisture has penetrated to the proper depth. If so, replace the dirt and grass core and press firmly back in place. If not, adjust the duration of time you are watering for each area/zone until a minimum of eight inches is achieved.
Please note: Each zone may not require the one-inch of water to penetrate eight-inches or more in depth. Some areas, for instance slopes, may need more water to achieve proper depth. Sometimes watering slopes can cause overwatering in other spots. Adjust as needed. Corners and edges may be missed by your sprinkler system and areas next to walls, sidewalks or pavement may require more water since they tend to dry out faster due to the radiant heat of brick and concrete.
How do you know when to water again? You will not water again until the soil has dried to at least two inches in depth. Again check this by removing a core sample. If it takes twelve days for the soil to dry to two inches in depth, you will water one inch every twelve days. Each month may have a variance in temperature or natural conditions that may change the time it takes for the soil to dry out. During April, it may take twelve days, but during July it may only take six to seven days to dry out. Keep a monthly calendar and make adjustments as conditions change. After your first season of watering you will have a good routine to follow. Adjust for rain and always have an automatic rain gauge timer on your irrigation system. When installing an irrigation system or upgrading an old one, have a soil moisture system installed to help better monitor soil moisture content.
It is impossible to prescribe a fixed routine for watering due to differences in soil, shade, grass species, plant systems, topography, microclimates and weather variations. Due to all of the elements involved, what may be good today may not be the same next month or at the same time next year. You must remain flexible and diligent in your measuring and monitoring, watering only when and where needed throughout the growing season. Healthy organic soil requires less to no supplemental watering. Promote plant and soil health by using Growzilla, Jackhammer and Clear 90 to optimize soil health and increase the water holding capacity of your soil.
Lawn renovation does not happen quickly. There is no magic recipe. Every lawn is different and virtually every section of lawn has a different microclimate.
Most people want to know how soon they will see results. There is no specific answer to this question. Each landscape will have its own challenges. Weather, watering habits, application technique, existing toxicity, compaction level, soil types, mowing practices, and many more conditions will need to be considered to make sure that expectations are in line. Stay focused! Be patient & proactive!
As a lifelong farmer and certified turf grass professional, I have seen it all, heard it all and grown it all. There is no magic in a bag or bottle of fertilizer. If there was, then all crops, lawns and gardens would grow equally and everyone would be equally successful. But, agriculturally, that’s not realistic. To be successful you must first understand everything about the crops and plants that you are growing. Next, you will want to understand that nature is really in control and you are only the caretaker of this piece of earth. My golden rule is to stay flexible, and adapt to seasonal changes and conditions. Each year is different. What happened last year or how great your lawn was at your last home is not the yard that you’re growing this year. “It’s Farming!” And believe me when I say if we could have a successful crop every year there would be no poor farmers. If we as farmers can lose a crop with all of our knowledge, you can lose your lawn and or plants from year to year. That’s just life on the farm or at your home. So please be proactive, stay on schedule and be realistic and when times are tough, think like a farmer. Don’t give up!!
Jackhammer – Liquid Soil Aeration
Think of Jackhammer as a humus building “therapy” for your soil! Increased soil oxygen is second only to fertilization and is one of the secrets to making everything else grow better. But Jackhammer goes beyond that. Jackhammer’s premium formula penetrates deep into the soil to improve texture and structure while also softening the soil so roots can flourish. When increased oxygen levels are available in the soil, humus-building microbes can thrive, creating a rich, sustainable, living soil structure, just the way Mother Nature intended. Jackhammer contains Sea Kelp, Humic and Fulvic acid as well as beneficial carbon. These ingredients combine to help stimulate root growth and the creation of humus, a nutrient rich soil structure.
Jackhammer’s active ingredients include:
Humic Acid’s Role in Improving Soil Quality and Plant Growth
What is Humus or Humic Acid?
The Latin term “humus” means ground, earth or soil and dates back to the time of the Romans, when it was frequently used to designate the soil as a whole. The term was later applied to the organic matter of soils and composts, or to different fractions of this organic matter. It also referred to complexes formed from a variety of natural organic substances. Humus compounds are complex natural organic compounds that are formed in soils from plant residues, by a process of “humification”. Humus materials are complex aggregate of brown to dark colored amorphous substances, which have originated during the decomposition of plant and animal residues by microorganisms, under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, in soils, composts, peat bogs, and water basins. Chemically, humus consists of certain constituents of the original plant material resistant to further decomposition; of substances undergoing decomposition; of complexes resulting from decomposition, either by processes of hydrolysis or by oxidation and reduction; and of various compounds synthesized by microorganisms.
“Humic acid ” is the commercial term often used to refer to the combined humic and fulvic acid content found in these naturally occurring deposits. Humic acid is known to be among the most bio-chemically active materials found in soil.
Why Use Humic Acid?
Today, there is a recognized and increasing use of humic acids for their beneficial impact on the growth and cultivation of crops (vegetable & non-vegetable), and particularly in organically-deficient soils.
How Does Humic Acid Improve Soil?
When applied to clay soils, humic acid can help break up compacted soils, allowing for enhanced water penetration and better root zone growth and development. When applied to sandy soils, humic acid adds essential organic material necessary for water retention thus improving root growth and enhancing the sandy soil’s ability to retain and not leach out vital plant nutrients.
How Does Humic Acid Affect Microbial Activity and What is its Role?
The activities of beneficial soil microbes are crucial for the sustainability of any soil and plant growth. Humic acid stimulates microbial activity by providing the indigenous microbes with a carbon source for food, thus encouraging their growth and activity. Soil microbes are responsible for solubilizing vital nutrients such as phosphorus that can then be absorbed by the humic acid and in turn made available to the plant. Additionally, microbes are responsible for the continued development of humus in the soil as it continues to break down partially decomposed organic matter. This in-situ production of humus continues to naturally add to the humic acid base and its benefits.
Humic Acid’s Role in Fertilization
Humic acid is technically not a fertilizer, although some people do consider it as such. Humic acid is an effective agent to use as a complement to synthetic or organic fertilizers. In many instances, regular humic acid use will reduce the need for fertilization due to the soil and plant’s ability to make better use of it. In some occurrences, fertilization can be eliminated entirely if sufficient organic material is present and the soil can become self-sustaining through microbial processes and humus production.
Some of the Benefits of Humic Acid:
Benefits of Using Fulvic Acid
We can classify the great benefits of fulvic acids into those which have a positive effect on the growth and development of crops and those which improve the structure of soil.
Fulvic acid’s positive effect on the growth and development of crops is due to an increased extraction of macro and micronutrients, as well as an increase of the membrane’s permeability, on a biochemical level. These characteristics lead to the following advantages:
More benefits of Fluvic Acid.
Benefits of Ascophyllus Nodosum Sea Kelp:
Clear 90 – Organic Fertilizer
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 is an all natural lawn and garden fertilizer designed for easy use on all indoor and outdoor plant material, including lawns, pastures, vegetables, shrubs and flowers. Using a proprietary process, we harvest pure, deep ocean water minerals and use them as the base into which we blend supercharged, organic fertilizers that are sustainable and friendly to the environment. This mineralized base is combined with organic sources of nitrogen and potassium to encourage well-balanced nutrition in plants and soils. Clear 90 is non-toxic, leaves no chemical residue and is suitable for all organic production.
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 is formulated to act as a companion fertilizer used to supplement your current fertilizer program and is the perfect product for augmenting the natural soil conditioning and fertilization properties of our Growzilla product.
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 is also a vital component of the People’s Choice Organics turf care program. Please review our turf care program for further information on how you can have the healthiest and best looking lawn in your neighborhood!
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 provide a foliar nutrient program that provides landscapes of all types the ability to maximize their genetic potential beyond that which is available through traditional (NPK) fertilizer programs of today. With the development of sustainable organic programs and new technology, People’s Choice Organics offers you a real organic solution as it combines sustainable ocean and earth based ingredients that are designed to optimize growth in your ecosystem.
Today we are more aware of toxic fertilizers and pesticides being used in our landscape as they can potentially have adverse affects on our children and pets as they are outside playing in the landscape. Clear 90 is an all-natural sustainable way to provide your landscape plants, lawns, gardens, and all indoor plants the nutrients they need while reducing and eliminating toxic chemical risks.
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 is designed not only to provide plants immediate nutrients, but also to act as a biocatalyst that helps to renew and revive the soils surrounding your plants material.
Clear 90™ 2-0-3 is:
Over time, your plants will begin to maximize their genetic potential and benefit from both trace nutrients from Clear 90 and the released “latent” nutrients from revived soils. As your plants become naturally healthy and vibrant they will also have an increase in Systemic Acquired Resistance (SAR). The healthier a plant is, the better it can withstand common stress due to disease, insects, water and heat stresses. The result would be a lesser need to apply harmful pesticides.
Growzilla – Super Plant Food / Soil Conditioner
Growzilla is formulated with humic & fulvic acids, endo & ecto mycorrhizal fungi, beneficial bacteria, sea kelp, amino acids, macro and micronutrients, and is rich in potassium and calcium. They create a rich sustainable environment that gives your plants everything they need for healthy vibrant growth.
Let’s examine endo & ecto mycorrhizal fungi and what they do for your plants. In nature, plants have all of the components necessary to survive on their own. One of the many key elements in nature is the association between a plant and beneficial bacteria and fungi.
The word mycorrhizal refers to the association between plant roots and fungi. The term mycorrhiza literally means “fungus‐ root”. The mycorrhizal fungi assist in the absorption of minerals and water from the soil and help protect the roots from other harmful fungi and nematodes, while the plant provides food sources (carbohydrates) to the fungus.
Mycorrhizal fungi exist in two categories.
Ecto Mycorrhizal fungi are those that populate the area around a plant’s roots and form very thin filaments, adding to the length and efficiency of a plant’s roots. These fungi greatly increase the root mass allowing a greater surface area to absorb water, nutrients, and air.
Endo Mycorrhizal fungi are those that populate within the roots’ cell wall. They help defend the plant against disease pathogens such as pythium and phytophthora (rot root)
Bacillus subtilis and bacillus pumilus are just two of the different strains of beneficial bacteria included in People’s Choice Organics products. They help suppress diseases within the soil by fighting off disease pathogens.
Trichoderma harzianum is a species of beneficial fungi that aids in the suppression of certain fungal diseases