May 14, 2007

I talked to the horticulturalist from the City of Ottawa. Here are my questions and her answers:

Q: Should I put down compost first and then put down corn gluten meal (CGM) to help cover up the 10-3-3 fertilizer that I’ve already put down?
A: I don’t need to put down compost to cover the 10-3-3 fertilizer before putting down the CGM. I would only put down compost in bare spots after having put down the CGM if I wanted to seed a small area.

Q: If coffee grounds have an NPK value of 4-1-3, won’t that interfere with the effects of the CGM?
A: The CGM won’t be affected by the coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are great for increasing the organic matter of your soil.

Q: How ineffective will the CGM be since I’ve already put down 10-3-3 organic fertilizer? Should I put down more CGM for this spring’s application?
A: The CGM won’t be as effective since I’ve already put down fertilizer, however, since the CGM is also a natural fertilizer in about a week I will notice that my lawn will explode with growing grass from all the nutrients that I’ve added.

Other things I learned:

  • There’s no difference between powdered and pelletized corn gluten meal. People prefer the pelletized one so that the product doesn’t blow away.
  • I had my lawn machine-core-aerated this weekend. I should now be putting down coffee grounds to fill up the holes and to increase the organic matter. I should also rake up the plugs or have a lumpy lawn. In about a year, after putting down CGM three times a year as well as coffee grounds on a daily basis, I won’t need to core-aerate my lawn as it will already have a lot of organic matter.
  • I bought two 50′ irrigation (soaker) hoses and I will need to experiment in the evenings how much I should turn on the water. She suggested marking the “OFF” position on the tap, starting with a 1/4 turn in the evening and then checking the end of the lawn with a trowel in the morning. If the lawn has not been watered, I should increase the water by 1/4″ turns.
  • I should also spread gypsum (calcium sulfate) near the road and driveway to offset the salt damage from snow plows in winter.

And, apparently, I’m in for a lot of mowing this spring.

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