Everything listed under: organic fertilizer

  • October 2016

    We are always testing, questioning and learning. Thank God. I recently saw a post from the Nevada Landscape Association saying that it is good to use soluble high-nitrogen fertilizers on lawns at this time of year.  Is that right? "It depends". 

    12Lb Biosol

    Our recommendations for lawn-care come from a perspective of creating a healthy natural ecosystem, not unlike a natural grassland or meadow. We add composts and manures, promote healthy soil and use fertilizers that actually feed the soil microorganisms first, who, in turn, feed the plants.  That is how it works in natural systems.  

    In spring, we aerate (poke thousands of holes) and top dress with Topper (a fine, mature compost) and add G&B Lawn Fertilizer (a slow-release organic fertilizer teeming with beneficial soil bacteria and fungi) that settles into the holes and feeds the soil.  We mow high (3-4") to allow more grass blade to photosynthesize and turn CO2 into carbohydrates that strengthen the grass plants and also to feed the soil microorganisms. The microorganisms are, in-turn, eating the organic fertilizer and lawn clippings and giving water, nitrogen and dozens of other macro and micro-nutrients to the plants while gladly gobbling the carbohydrates the plants are giving them.

    I HAVE occasionally used urea on my lawn, a very soluble and very powerful high-nitrogen fertilizer (46-0-0) that will green-up a lawn in 48 hours (or less).  When used carefully, it actually feeds the soil while directly feeding the plants (I've even added it to compost to speed the bacterial decomposition). Reecent studies show that an application of high N fertilizer late in summer (Fall in warmer climates) helps cool-season grasses (like ours) store energy in their crowns that help them survive long winters. Too much soluble fertilizer will kill the essential soil microorganisms, so be cautious.  I use urea at 1/4 of the recommended rate. 

    Slow-release chemical fertilizers are not the same as slow-release organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers have tiny nutrient molecules that dissolve in water and move wherever water goes, including down past roots and into our ground water. Organic fertilizers are made of ground-up organic materials like feathers, fish bones, and manures and they are enormous compared to nutrient molecules.  They cannot travel very far in the soil because they are just too big.

    In fall, we add BIOSOL to our gardens for spring and beyond (there are some immediately available nutrients as well).  Many clients have found that applying Biosol to lawns AFTER the soil freezes (early to mid November) helps deter voles from creating their runs under snow while devouring your turf. Biosol contains nearly 25% humic acids, mineralized organic materials. The best composts have humic acids that aid in building rich, healthy soils. 

    We LOVE BIOSOL. We use BIOSOL. We are very pleased to introduce the 12 Lb. Biosol Bucket.  These will be regularly 27.99 but through November (while supply lasts) they are 24.99. You can refill them for 20.00 when you run-out (...and the bucket keeps your Biosol dry).  The 50 Lb bags are still 59.99... of which we unloaded 8 more pallets (16,000lbs) last Thursday (...and 4 went straight to conscientious local landscapers).

    *When we use BIOSOL, we add some inoculant in the form of G&B Lawn (beneficial bacteria and fungi plus raw organic materials).  Biosol works as well as it does, in part, because it promotes soil biology so it works even better in our poor soils when we help reestablish microorganism populations. 

  • Smart Mountain Lawns


    Our Truckee Donner PUD irrigation days are Tuesday and Friday and lawn's are our largest outdoor consumer of water yet they are not as bad as they are often made out to be. They clean volumes of air pollutants and dust and they produce vast amounts of oxygen and they give us an outdoor room where our children can run. (“Plant containers, trees, shrubs, groundcover, and vegetable gardens may be watered as needed when using automatic drip irrigation or hand watering.”) Please Share this.

    My lawn tips: • Keep lawns small. Sheet Mulching is an easy method of reducing your extra turf without injuring tree roots. Mow tall and leave the clippings. Lawns mowed to ≥3" use less water, have far fewer weeds, require less fertilization and require less frequent mowing than short lawns. The longer blades photosynthesize far better (feeding and encouraging deeper roots) and they shade the soil surface (reducing temp's, moisture loss and impeding weed growth). • Aerate and Topdress (with a deep-tine or plugger aerator - Truckee Rents) twice a year (or at least once) and then top dress with your own mature compost or bags of Kellogg Topper (a fine screened mature compost). Aeration opens compacted soils and allows for deeper water penetration and better aeration (healthy soils, roots, microbes NEED oxygen). Topdressing compost adds humus that helps soil hold much more water, reserve nutrients and supports microorganisms that break-down lawn clippings, digest & excrete organic fertilizers and protect the lawn from pathogens. We apply 2cu.ft. over 200 sq.ft. and it defies logic that it helps as well as it does. It really helps lawns retain moisture through the summer. • Use organic fertilizers. We usually apply BIOSOL (food-grade organic cottonseed & soy meals that have been completely digested by fungi :) in fall. Biosol seems to minimize rodent damage under snow in "normal" winters and releases throughout the rest spring and summer. We use G&B Organic Lawn Fertilizer in spring (and at a lighter rate every time we aerate & topdress) to give lawn a little boost while the living microorganisms in the fertilizer go to work digesting the brown straw (no, it's not "thatch") left over after every winter. • Water deeply and infrequently. In a normal summer I'll water 3 days a week in July & August but 2/week June & Sept. and occasionally, as needed in the shoulders. This summer I'll water Tuesday & Friday. Break-up your irrigation on watering days. For example, if you put your gauge out on the lawn and found it takes 30 minutes to apply 1/2" of water, then water for 10 minutes at 5am, 10 min at 6am and 10 min at 7am. Like a light rain, the first watering, wets the soil, breaks the surface tension and allows the next watering to go deeper without running-off, the third, allows water even deeper into the soil. Do not water for 10 minutes at 5am, 10 min at hood and 10min at 5pm as the moisture will simply evaporate & transpire without getting to the deepest roots that you are really trying to encourage.  This is especially important if you have any slope to your lawn or if you planted sod (often grown in dense Nevada clay). Syringing is a technique, used in the hottest weeks, where we apply 1-2 minutes of water to the lawn, near the hottest time of day (on your lawn) in order to cool the grass blades, increase humidity and halt evapotranspiration (moisture loss) for a few hours which actually saves much more water than it uses. On those Tuesdays & Thursdays, in July & August, you might try this at ~about~ 2:00pm.  Watering late in the day is generally discouraged because moist leaf surfaces at night invite disease.  • If you have dandelions it is a strong indicator of poor soil (bluegrass in rich soil, will not allow many weeds). Aerate & top dress more frequently and avoid chemical fertilizers.  There is a relatively new natural selective herbicide (Natria) of chelated iron, that kills broadleaf plants in lawns without killing grass.

    Bluegrass can go many months without water in a summer dormant state and come back to life when moisture returns. Turf-type Tall Fescues are slightly more drought tolerant in a daily basis but will die in a month without any water. Fine Fescues Meadow Blend (meadow-like grasses) are shade tolerant and can stay green on once a week watering and once a month mowing. Native Grass Blend is six species we selected for relatively short growth, drought tolerance and the ability to thrive when grazed (or mowed occasionally). Clover added to a lawn at 1/4-1/2 lb / 1000 sq.ft. reduces the lawn's need for fertilizers, improves the color of the grass and the lawn as a whole, improves the soil, and is NOT a weed in lawns. Bluegrass is a weed, that's why it makes such durable turf.


  • Late Season News / Sales / Coupon

    Check-out the most recent e-mail news with late season nursery sales and a Biosol coupon @ http://conta.cc/10TRZSk

    Check-out the Facebook page for more info and a Biosol give-away @ http://on.fb.me/1x6vLY


  • Solstice Summer Sale

    We've been trying to carve out a few minutes to make a Spring Promotion Newsletter, so here it is, a few days past Summer Solstice, a sale to last until nearly 4th of July.  Get your garden on if you have not yet... I planted my greens in early April but have not had a chance to start my Tomatoes yet - (It has become an tradition for me to stay home from the parade to plant mine up.)  They're all 20% off until the 3rd along with beans, cukes, peas, squash, peppers, lettuce, etc....  The mature composts from Kellogg as well as the garden enhancing Chicken and Farmyard composts are all buy-three-get-one-free now as well so side-dress away.  We put a couple of awesome #5g shrubs (maple and chokecherry) on special for your screening needs this week, because they are fantastic.  Ad 30% off of our Apples, hardy Cherries, and incredibly productive currants and gooseberries is a smokin' deal - you can use fruiting shrubs as ornamentals without worry, they're tough and attractive as well as productive.  Sales run through July 3.  Our 4th of July hours are roughly 9-10 and 12-2... depending on traffic and the parade when we are closed.  Please swing by and say hello if you're walking the route (or throw us extra candy if you're on a float).

Contact Villager

Villager Nursery, Inc
10678 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161-4834
Central Truckee, exit 186 off I-80
(530) 587-0771

Founded 1975, Incorporated 1990

California Nursery License 1975
No. C 3976.001, Co.29CA
Contractors License 1977
No. 413907-C27 LS
ISA Certified Arborist: Eric Larusson
No. WE-7983A

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