Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

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Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by andy10917 » November 16th, 2020, 9:08 am

Well. we're into the Off-Season for Cool-Season Lawns...

Does anyone have a topic (or topics) that would make interesting "deeper dives" for those folks that hang around into the off-season? If you have a topic that you'd like to explore, please post it as a response to this thread - we'll open threads for deeper discussions.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by edslawn » November 16th, 2020, 9:35 am

Any chance of getting updates on your shade grass experiments that you have alluded to conducting?

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by northeastlawn » November 16th, 2020, 11:16 am

I hate to say it, unless I cut down a few trees, I have a lot more shade in my future than full sun.

I'd be interested in more info on how to handle KBG and TTTF growing in shadier conditions also.

It doesn't have to be a formula for miracle in a bottle, just the practices it takes to succeed when dealing with shade.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by umbo514 » November 16th, 2020, 2:13 pm

I too would be extremely interested in a shade discussion.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by andy10917 » November 16th, 2020, 5:35 pm

We can discuss Shade if you'd like, but I'm not going to discuss the progress of the experimental stuff that I "alluded to conducting" - the experiment was cancelled for 2020 when I ran out of a critical ingredient, and the vendor (halfway around the world) shut down due to COVID. I can't get the product in quantity at a reasonable price anywhere else. I still have the work documented in the "Experimental Projects" forum that has very limited access, so I can start out 2021 OK if things improve. The product was also intended for the "Humates" experimental work for this past Summer, and while that aspect is incomplete, I do plan to take the Humates stuff "mainstream" next year.


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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » November 17th, 2020, 4:58 pm

I'm faintly considering asking for something of a chemistry deep dive, but can't really think of a topic off-hand. We cover all of the major nutrients daily, the minor ones weekly, the trace ones at least once a month, and the micronutrients at least once or twice a season.

We could discuss things like cobalt and silicon and the like, but...there's maybe two of us (you and me) that worry about cobalt and I don't think either of us concern ourselves with silicon since it's generally freely available in any soil with sufficient sand or silt (and most clay mix soils). Bogs are the only place I can think of where that can be a problem.

And let's face it, deep chem is...deep. And boring to most people. But maybe that gives somebody else an idea of what seems clear to me but not to them? Is there interest in one of us typing up Why Boron Matters, or Why You Have Iron But Your Grass Is Still Yellow (And Your pH Is 6.2/6.8/7.4)?

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by pristinegreen75 » November 22nd, 2020, 12:03 pm

Just saw this guys and yes I would be interested why Boron matters since there is such a trace amount used. Oh...if you decide to do it please use laymans terms:)

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by andy10917 » November 22nd, 2020, 2:24 pm

You're thinking that the amount of some nutrient equates to the importance of the nutrient. That isn't true.

To keep the request that I answer in laymen's terms, it's somewhat similar to vitamins in humans and animals - we eat large amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, but only small amounts of vitamins. Try taking in no Vitamin C at all, and you'll get very sick and possibly die (of Scurvy).

Small amounts of Boron are needed to efficiently move nutrients up the plant, and transfer the carbohydrates/sugars back down to the roots. Boron is also needed to efficiently perform photosynthesis - there are something like 95 steps IIRC to photosynthesis, and many require that Boron be present. Without it, the plant both does poorly in high-growth periods and stressful periods (think the heat of summer).

I deliberately left out lots of stuff about stem cell differentiation and other more complex uses of Boron.

Boron supplementation is tricky, though. It is very mobile in soils, which means that it leaches out easily - especially in shallow rooted plants like grasses. Additionally, finding the right dose is tricky - Boron is needed at the amount around 1 PPM, but can be toxic to soils and plants at as low as 3-4 PPM. Hence, we recommend just an amount like 3 tablespoons/K, several times a season. That means there is always a bit (and ONLY a bit) available at the upper region of the soil all season.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » November 22nd, 2020, 2:30 pm

"I deliberately left out lots of stuff about stem cell differentiation and other more complex uses of Boron."

Bad biochemist! Bad biochemist! Go back to your lab, I'll deal with the likes of you later!

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by andy10917 » November 22nd, 2020, 2:47 pm

Yeah, yeah - you do that. When you get there, if I'm not there, try the "fermentation products" lab.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by edslawn » November 22nd, 2020, 8:03 pm

MorpheusPA wrote:
November 22nd, 2020, 2:30 pm
"I deliberately left out lots of stuff about stem cell differentiation and other more complex uses of Boron."

Bad biochemist! Bad biochemist! Go back to your lab, I'll deal with the likes of you later!


Image

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by pristinegreen75 » November 23rd, 2020, 11:26 am

Thanks Andy!! Much appreciated. Much easier to understand than agronomy studies. LOL at you and Morph! Way over my head guys! Holidays are going to be different this year but wish everybody here and their families a SAFE one! Thanks for every ones help throughout the year!!!!!

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by Masbustelo » November 29th, 2020, 1:48 pm

Maybe here is as good of a place to pose this question as any other. Is there a relationship between high organic matter content/ cation exchange capacity and iron being accessible to turf? I have high Ph, high iron content soil. If one raises the organic matter content, will this make the native iron more accessible over time?

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » November 29th, 2020, 3:19 pm

To copy Andy's brevity?

Yes and yes, respectively.

:-)

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by andy10917 » November 29th, 2020, 9:14 pm

I'm not sure that I agree - at least practically. The OM may hold more Iron, but the Iron won't be bioavailable in any real quantity. In a high-pH environment, the Iron changes to a different form. Only chelated (naturally or chemically) Iron hold out for any length of time.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by Green » November 29th, 2020, 9:31 pm

[quote=northeastlawn post_id=344774 time=1605539800 user_id=5185]
I'd be interested in more info on how to handle KBG and TTTF growing in shadier conditions also.

It doesn't have to be a formula for miracle in a bottle, just the practices it takes to succeed when dealing with shade.
[/quote]

If you want a quick answer and to avoid a deep dive, my experience says more TTTF and less KBG. I find that KBG is prone to root decline in shady areas in the wet times of the year. TTTF is shade tolerant enough and has deep enough roots that it doesn't seem to be affected anywhere near as much. Now, if you could figure out how to drive KBG roots deeper in shade to compensate, that might warrant a deep dive.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » November 29th, 2020, 10:25 pm

I was being just a bit curt and jokey, and it does tend to depend on what pH range, exactly. I'll type up something much more Long-winded and Backgroundy tomorrow when I have time.

This weekend was eaten by minutiae, as Thanksgiving Weekend tends to be.

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by northeastlawn » December 1st, 2020, 4:24 pm

Thanks for the reply Green....

I think your right. I have a heel strip in the front thats my last original bit of lawn and is in semi shade, it always grew well until the fall so I never did much with it. I have tried over-seeding with PR to even out the color and last year even played around with some sod to get rid of some triv looking patches. The plot is like 3" higher than the side walk and and the mis-matched grass drives me nuts now. I may just take the existing sod out and reseed it.

Im probably going try out some shade tolerant TTTF from SSS there this spring. My neighbors will think Im nuts redoing the hell strip again, but it will be cool experiment. I have FF on the sections by the fence and its been great in the shade at 4". Ill have a good test plot of TTTF vs FF to play with,

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » December 1st, 2020, 5:14 pm

OK, then. Get used to the sidenotes and Fun Facts. I'll put them in parenthetical statements so you can skip them if you want.

Iron's just weird. It's one of those things that's very pH-dependent (not that most aren't), but it's available in an acidic regime for the most part. It really, really likes binding into less-soluble forms in alkaline regimes, to the point that you can end up with stuff like iron oxide (rust) which is effectively insoluble. Iron carbonate and even iron hydroxide also occur on iron particle surfaces, which aren't going to allow access to the unreacted iron.

(Side note: Iron bands in soils are from [or even slightly before] the Great Oxygenation Event way back when and are a very interesting history of a time period of Earth when the oceans absorbed oxygen from the air. Among other things, iron oxidized out to form the iron bands in soils. It's a fascinating period and why, for a long time, atmospheric oxygen remained reasonably static [albeit not without dips and spikes] while photosynthesizing life forms burgeoned in the oceans. Point being, good luck finding much unoxidized iron on Earth unless it just erupted out of a volcano. And then, give it ten minutes even if it didn't find some of the ample oxygen down deep.)

So most of our planet is now covered with an alkaline water layer that doesn't allow free iron. Delightful. Fortunately, fresh water tends to have a pH that's acidic when it falls (about 5.3 or so if I remember correctly even in perfect conditions; it reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air). Countered by natural sodium sources in the stratosphere, and so on, and so on... :-)

Too much? Point again being, it happens in soils, too. The same ions kick around, the reactions just tend to take a little longer and some reactions differ a bit due to different chemicals being around. That's where some other considerations come in. Your soil is not seawater--obviously--with a pH of 8.2 around the year 1400 and 8.1 now (yea, seriously).

https://ucanr.edu/sites/Salinity/Salini ... _fertility_/

This chart (scroll down) shows the general availability of iron by pH. It's not that great in the sense that, by the time you hit a pH of 7.2, iron availability is quite low, not the yellow band you see here. But I understand why they show it as yellow. Iron is a micronutrient, not a major nutrient, and large amounts simply aren't necessary at any one time. At higher pH levels, loading the soil with more iron is often sufficient to supply ample amounts to the grass.

Or, increasing organic material (oh, finally, NOW HE GETS TO THE POINT!). Organic material has binding points for positive ions (iron, most often, being Fe 2+ [spaced for easier reading]). So iron and others will be happy to bind to organics and release when the plant pulls it away, which the plant (or a bacteria that would need iron) will certainly do.

At a pH level of 6.9-7.5 or so, that's an extremely good set of solutions; raise the iron levels and raise the organic matter levels. Both of those can overcome near-neutral pH levels and enable the lawn to achieve a much better color than otherwise. Just piling on the iron is workable up to about 7.2, although I'd personally also increase the OM levels as well.

Now...a warning. At higher pH levels, start thinking of the chemistry as The Hulk. It gets stronger. So as it goes up, that becomes less effective and the alkaline ions are more common. They'll rip the iron away from the organics. It won't work so well. That yellow band dwindles into the red.

Above about 7.6 (ish), it gets harder. More iron, more organics...more work...for less effect. There's a turn-around point. You can decide where that is, for you. For me? Well, I haven't played with it much as I'm in acidic PA. From what I've seen and heard and doing the math a little, I'd play more in a high-calcium regime than I would in an excessive magnesium one. In a high-sodium soil, I'd abolish that first and then see where I were. Potassium is not likely to interfere very much at all.

As we enter the highest pH soils we see, 8.0-ish...well, no. We're hitting the point where plants can survive, but ion availability is just getting questionable across the board at times. Up here, spray iron for color. It's cheaper, easier, and is going to give you better results. Certainly you can and should add organic matter for other reasons like soil health, but the soil probably has so much in the way of alkaline solids that changing it in any meaningful way is not going to happen. You embrace what you have and move on with life.

We don't see them here, but some soils could hit higher pH levels--much higher. Plants are, simply put, unlikely to survive, the soils are generally sodic, and they probably don't concern us. :-)

Here's a couple articles I saw while meandering around I kind of liked for one reason or another. They're not perfect, but:
https://www.agweb.com/article/understan ... rell-smith
http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/Management/pdfs/a3554.pdf

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Re: Longer/Deeper Topics for Off-Season?

Post by MorpheusPA » December 1st, 2020, 5:19 pm

I actually do have KBG flourishing where it sees 2 hours of sun some months, none others...there are considerations. My hands are tired. Minutiae is about to eat some of my evening at the very least, until 9 PM at minimum. More later if I can, later this week if not (and I have a pile of canvases to do before Christmas, so my hands also friggin' hurt).

Thank migraines I only sleep five hours a night. :-)

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