I've read the "Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy" page. It seems to make sense, but I'm having trouble with one thing. The comment about salts in Chemical Fertilizers being bad for grass seems to contradict the recommendation for Ringers brand fertilizer. Ringers uses Sodium Nitrate and Potassium Sulphate - both salts. I'm not a chemist, but I an trying to do the right thing for my lawn, and now I'm confused. Can anybody enlighten me? TIA.
My impression is that most fertilizers are something like 90% salt. I think that the salts in Ringer are going to be much less. Probably less than 5%. So ... yes, I'm so busted, there is salt in there. AND! I wish to add, that I prefer to use feather meal that has none of that stuff in it, but I have not been able to find it easily available.
I use it mostly in my compost pile to get the process going in the fall. My compost pile is mostly maple and poplar leaves and there are a lot of them right after I rake.
I also use a broadcast spreader in the late winter, right after the snow melts to put some on the lawn. I've heard that chicken poo can burn lawn if too much is applied directly but I think it gets a good chance to soak in before the grass starts to grow in the spring this way.
I also drag the mostly composted leaves over the lawn once the grass starts growing then rake them back up. This is a nice way of separating the composted stuff from the un-composted stuff.
It's hard to give you a before and after. Just before I bought my house, the previous owner replaced the cepttic system and put down a new lawn. He was a Scott's 4 step kind of guy so the lawn looked good when I bought the house, even though there was less than 2" of good soil. The lawn died shortly after I bought the house. It's taken me a few years to get it back without using chemical fertilizers.
Another factor is my daughter's rabbit. We've always had one and I usually throw a few handfuls of his pellets on the lawn whenever I clean out the hutch. They don't seem to burn the lawn. I'm not sure what affect they have.
One thing I'd steer clear of are the "natural fertilizers" made from sewage treatment plants.
I watched an episode of modern marvels that showed how sewage treatment plants work and part of the process involves spraying a heavy metal (don't remember which) right into the water. That's probably not the worst thing that goes into it. Think about what, besides sewage, goes down drains like Draino, floor wax strippers, laundry soap, etc... and there is really nothing natural or organic about this stuff. It also smells worse than the chicken doo.
They really shouldn't be allowed to call that fertilizer organic.