Ready for Spring!!! We are!!

Wow, It feels good to be back. BioGreen Organics is ready for a wonderful spring season. We are keeping the prices the same as last year and all the products are the same as well. We have a new office assistant and a new buyer for 2017. Some other great news is, Isreal is with us again this year building the same high quality products you have loved since the beginning.

I wanted to keep the BioGreen recipes alive and out there for the world to use, I believe these products are the best on the market today. I’d love to show you why this is true. Let’s chat!

Call us anytime 847-740-9637

Crabgrass article

So what’s going to happen to crabgrass this year??

We’ve had a brutal winter here in the Midwest.  The cold weather has killed off all of the crabgrass from last year.  But what about the thousands of seeds that are ready to germinate?  How do we stop them from popping up?

We all know a few things about how crabgrass grows, for instance …

  • Crabgrass is an annual plant that drops thousands of seeds for the next season
  • It favors low calcium and low organic matter
  • It thrives in low and high moisture settings
  • It loves compacted soil and clay areas
  • It tolerates salt and other toxins
  • It will germinate in low mowed grass
  • It will grow when soil temperatures are at 55 degrees or higher for 5 days straight

So if we do the opposite of what crabgrass likes, then we can eliminate it WITHOUT the use of harmful chemicals. 

Starting off the spring season with a high quality organic fertilizer is going to be key.  Adding nutrients and organic matter into the soil will relieve the stresses caused by the cold season.  On the other hand, applying high salt-based synthetic fertilizers will do more damage than good coming out of this Midwest winter.

Applying a product like BioGreen’s TurfMaster in the spring will thicken up the lawn while adding plenty of organic matter and nutrients back into the soil.  It contains calcium and humates to help relieve compacted soil and remove toxins.

Then, by raising the mower height to 3 inches, the crabgrass seeds can be shaded out, preventing them from even germinating in the first place.

Keep the right amount of moisture in the ground and you have a perfect recipe for a healthy lawn.

Don’t give crabgrass and other weeds a chance to start growing in the first place.

BioGreenorganic.com has all the information you need to have a safe and healthy lawn.

 

Dan Neilson

Soil Specialist

Dan@biogreenorganic.com

847-223-6900

ORGANIC FERTILIZERS – The Nutrient Story

ORGANIC FERTILIZERS – The Nutrient Story

Facts about synthetic and organic fertilizers

 

  Organic fertilizers contain trace minerals which are often critical to plant health and growth and missing in artificial fertilizers.

  Organic fertilizers do not leach out of the soils as compared to water soluble artificial chemical fertilizers.

  Organic fertilizers do not contain harmful salts that contaminate soil and create hardpan as artificial chemical fertilizers.

  Organic fertilizers last longer in the soil hence are cheaper in the long term. On turfgrass only two applications of an organic fertilizer gives better results that 4 applications with an artificial fertilizer.

  Organic fertilizers do not burn the roots of plants.

  Organic fertilizers do not destroy beneficial microorganisms and earthworms.

  Organic fertilizers increase a plants resistance to disease (Artificial fertilizers do the opposite which works out nicely for the manufacturers since they sell more insecticide, fungicides and other chemical poisons. Plants become addicted to the chemicals.)

  Blood meal contains about 15% Nitrogen, Bonemeal contains about 21% Phosphorus, and wood ashes contain about 7% Potassium. Mix one part blood meal, one part bonemeal and 2 parts wood ashes and you get an organic fertilizer supplying nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the ratio 5-6-4.

  Compost is a excellent slow release soil amendment that also contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, trace minerals, humic and fulmic acids, vitamins, enzymes, and other needed nutrients.

  Studies at the Alabama Polytechnic University have shown that as much as 50% of the synthetic derived nitrogen applied to the soil will be leached out and lost anyway and the half that does reach the plants may in fact be harmful. Other studies have shown that only 5-10% make it to the plant and the rest is wasted and pollutes the environment.

  Nitrogen in organic fertilizers is found in proteins and other complex molecules.

  “Every pound of excess Nitrogen applied to the soil by artificial fertilizers destroys 100 pounds of humus.. .” The Carbon Connection, L. Ridzon and C. Walters

  In reference to organic fertilizers, “…they are much less labor over the long run, and the soil improves rather than degrades…. In general, for vegetables, ornamental’s, and berries, organic fertilizers are vastly preferable.” Year Round Vegetables, Fruits, and Flowers for Metro Houston, Bob Randall, Ph.D.

  “Plants grown with ammonia- based synthetic fertilizers actually attract pest insects (Earth Kind Gardening, 1993). Many studies since then have confirmed that insects and diseases are attracted to plants that have had artificial fertilizers applied.

  Evidence is accumulating that synthetic chelates (fertilizers) are ineffective and have harmful side effects. Synthetic chelates are alien molecules, and plants can absorb them slowly. Also, after the chelating molecule releases its payload it may latch on to other nutrients in the plants, thus making them unavailable. For example: synthetic iron chelates cause a manganese deficiency and lower zinc and copper levels; EDTA grabs calcium ions and thus upsets the calcium-potassium balance. September 1981, Acres U.S.A., p. 32-33

  Plant growth is often limited by the amount of CO2 available to the plant. C.H. Wadleigh, 1957 USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, “Soils”, (p.41). Agronomists and farmers are increasing yields by adding carbon dioxide (CO2) to their bag of practices…Carbon dioxide is a basic requirement for plant growth (October 1968, World Farming, p.31). We have evidence that CO2 produced by the respiration of microorganisms in the soil is an important factor in the supply of the gas to photosynthesizing plants. A soil rich in decomposing organic matter provides a much higher level of CO2 in the air just above the soil than a barren, infertile soil. Use organic fertilizers and compost.

  Seaweed based organic fertilizers in addition to primary nutrients generally contain 60 trace minerals and several important growth stimulators (includes auxins, hormones, gibberellins, indoles, and cytokinins). Seaweed fertilizers work best when applied directly on the foliage. People using seaweed fertilizers regularly report increased cold hardiness in their plants and increased resistance to powdery mildew and black spot. If transplants are soaked in a seaweed solution it makes an excellent stimulator and starter solution. Texas Gardener, September/October 1993.

  Why not use manures (horse, cow, etc.) directly on plants instead of compost? USDA studies indicate that raw manure lost 50-75% of its nitrogen in storage and application. A study by Iowa State University indicated that 65% of the nitrogen, 75% of the phosphorus, and 49% of the potassium is lost when manures are spread directly on farm acres. It has been suggested that one ton of pre-digested (composted) manure can replace 20 tons of raw manure when applied to imbalanced soils.

  Using compost as an organic soil amendment stimulates microorganisms to take nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil where plants can use it. Up to 120 pounds of nitrogen can be fixed per acre per year under ideal eco-conditions. An Acres U.S.A. Primer.

  The University of California at Berkeley has found that broccoli and other vegetables fertilized with organic fertilizers attracted less pests (aphids and flea beetles) than those with chemical fertilizers. Additionally, the organic fertilized plots out yielded the commercial plots.

  Using lava or granite sand is an excellent organic fertilizer. It contains almost all trace minerals which helps stimulate microbes to fix nitrogen from the air. It also helps the soil become better balanced chemically which means healthier plants and fewer problems. Often used in making compost to increase mineral content also helps prevent odors from forming.

  Azomite is a naturally occurring organic fertilizer. It is a pinkish powdery clay found only in Utah and is chemically a hydrated sodium calcium aluminosilicate that contains 67 major minerals including many trace elements. Increases growth rates, diseases and pest resistance of most plants.

  Grass clippings contain 4% nitrogen, 0.5% phosphorous, 2% potassium and many essential minor elements (Texas A & M University).

  Animal feed such as Corn gluten meal is 9% Nitrogen, often used as an organic pre -emergent weed & feed in late winter at 20 pounds/1,000 sq. ft.

  If a soil contains 4% organic matter…then up to 55Kg (120lbs) of ammonium could be released each year per acre (USDA).

  Wood Ash – hardwoods produce 3X as much ash as softwoods and contain 5X the amount of nutrients. Wood Ash typically contains: 10-25% Calcium, 1-4% Magnesium, 5-15% Potassium, 1-3% Phosphorous. If listed as a chemical fertilizer it would read 0-2-10. Note: Tends to be very alkaline so do not use too much or compost it first.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENS WHEN YOU USE ARTIFICIAL FERTILIZERS

  High nitrogen artificial fertilizers can increase yields in some cases (temporarily) of certain grains, however the amino acid content of the protein is actually adversely affected. For example in wheat and barley grown with synthetic fertilizers are less nutritious even though the total protein weight may be higher since critical amino acids are missing or reduced in quantity as compared to organically grown (USDA Researcher).

  Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers increase the amounts of toxic nitrates in dietary intake. According to the National Research Council, 6 of the top 7 and 9 of the top 15, foods with oncogenic (cancer causing) risk are produce items with high nitrate content from pesticides or nitrogen fertilizers. A 12 year study comparing organically grown versus chemically grown showed that chemically grown foods had 16 times more nitrate (a carcinogen).

  Vitamin C content decreases in crops as the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers increase (Soil Scientist, USDA).

  Excess synthetic nitrogen (fertilizers) can also reduce carbohydrate synthesis which results in lower glucose content which affects taste (Soil Scientist, USDA).

  Artificial synthetic nitrogen (fertilizers) has been found to reduce insect and disease resistance of plants (Soil Scientist, USDA). Numerous studies have now confirmed that the use of artificial fertilizers significantly increase the amount of insects and disease problems one has.

  Four metals that are considered harmful to humans; aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury are lower in foods grown organically as compared to those with synthetic chemicals. Doctor’s Data Analytical Laboratories.

  1) Chemicals not absorbed by the grass can leach into ground-water and pollute the water supply. In time local ponds, streams, and lakes become polluted. 2) Salts accumulate in the soil and can “lock up” water and other nutrients making them unavailable to grass, salt buildup also reduces the soils ability to absorb water and air 3) Fast release chemicals needlessly stress the grass making it more susceptible to insects, disease and injury. 4) Slow-release fertilizers are coated with other materials that can further pollute the soil and environment 5) Thatch greatly increase with the use of synthetic fertilizers since the soil becomes too acidic for earthworms and microorganisms (if the salts have not killed them first) hence they are not available to break down the thatch back into beneficial organic compounds. 6) Chemical burning and browning often occurs if synthetic fertilizers are over applied to grass. 7) Destruction of earthworms and microorganisms leads to a reduced root zone in the soil which means more watering required and additional fertilization required to keep plants green which starts the cycle all over again.

  Synthetic fertilizers use strong chemical salts used to carry nutrients that create a thatch buildup by killing both microorganisms and earthworms in the soil that eat and breakdown thatch. Thick layers of thatch (high lignin content) create a fertile breeding ground for diseases and destructive insects unlike mulch.

  As a rule only 30% of the nitrogen (up to 50% for anhydrous forms depending on soil types) and 10-11% of the phosphate applied as a fertilizer is actually used by plants in a best case environment.

  Excess salts used in synthetic fertilizers cause 2 problems. First, they reduce the moisture holding ability of soils and cause what moisture is present to be bound more tightly to the soil making it harder for plants to absorb. Second, also salt exposure reduces a plants roots ability to absorb water even if the soil is fully saturated. Since most commercial fertilizers are composed of soluble salts (ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride, etc.) and as these salt build up in the soil more water (irrigation) is required, the plants are weaker and more susceptible to insects and disease hence require more pesticides, fungicides, etc.

  A few common artificial salt based fertilizers.
NaNO3 – “sodium nitrate or nitrate of soda”, contains 16% Nitrogen, very soluble hence leaches easily and pollutes (not good for conifers or hardwoods).
NH3NO3 (NH4NO3) – Ammonium nitrate, 33.5% nitrogen (50% in nitrate form & 50% in Ammonium form), highly soluble hence leaches and pollutes lakes and streams. Also flammable and can explode if stored in a closed warehouse. Also absorbs water. Commonly used in nurseries, may also be used as a top dressing, acidifies soil. Kills soil microbes that prevent diseases.
(NH4)2SO4 – “ammonium sulfate”, source of N and S, can acidify soil, may be used as a top dressing, kills microbes in the soil that prevents disease.
CO(NH2)2 – “urea”, nitrogen loss by volatilization can be a problem, dissolves rapidly and suffers leaching losses.
KNO3 – “potassium Nitrate or nitrate of potash”, 13% nitrogen (not good for trees as a N source, may be okay for K), raises soil pH
CaNo3 – Calcium nitrate, 15% nitrogen, raises soil pH
Anhydrous Ammonia – 82% nitrogen, a particularly lethal form of nitrogen, combines with soil moisture to form colloids that stay in soil, when applied to soils low in humus over 2/3 (67%) can be lost to the atmosphere

  Most (all) synthetic fertilizers use “fillers” to help carry the nutrients. These fillers are not listed on the label. These can be chemical salts, sand, lime, dolomite, or even (as it was recently discovered) contaminated wastes containing dangerous heavy metals and hazardous wastes. These fillers can often cause problems. For example, if your soil has high magnesium relative to calcium, then using a fertilizer with a dolomitic lime filler will make the soil imbalance worse, resulting in more weeds.

  Synthetic fertilizers kill the soil microbes that are so essential for healthy soil and healthy plants. The residues from these fertilizers can adversely affect the soil biology for years.

  If anhydrous ammonia (synthetic fertilizer and a particularly lethal form of nitrogen) is applied to a field low in humus, over 2/3 of the material can be lost to the atmosphere, sometimes before the farmer can move from one end of a field to the other. Acres USA Primer, 1992

  Many synthetic fertilizers are dangerous to keep around as they can create a condition where spontaneous combustion can occur. They also can be used as a essential ingredient in making explosives (i.e. Oklahoma City Bombing).

  Labeling laws are misleading. For example they require that nitrogen numbers refer to total N while those for phosphate and potash only tell the amount that will be released in the first year…not the total amount. Hence when one buys an organic fertilizer they are getting a lot more nutrients than shows up on the bag

  New studies have shown that nitrate from synthetic fertilizers stimulate the germination of weed seeds. In tests of 85 species of weeds it was found that nitrate could replace light requirements for germination, and increase germination under adverse temperatures. Other studies have shown that nitrate increases weed germination rates 11 times higher (3% to 34%). Acres USA February 1997, Harold Willis, Ph.D.

Potential Acidity: 406 lbs. calcium carbonate equivalent per ton. – This means 406 lbs. of limestone (CaCO3) are required to offset the acidifying effects of this fertilizer (hidden expense)Useful References:
An Acres U.S.A. Primer, by Walters and Fenzau
The Rest of The Story…About Agriculture Today, by Dr. Harold Willis

Texas Organic Gardening Book, by Howard Garrett
“The Guide To Organic Fertilizers” by Vicki Mattern, Organic Gardening May/June 1996, p. 55-59

WWW.SEATTLETIMES.COM -A series of investigative reports (copyrighted) by the Seattle Times Newspaper has found that many companies that manufacture synthetic fertilizer add hazardous waste and radioactive waste to their fertilizers. These extremely dangerous wastes then end up in our food supply or in our yards for our children to play in. July-August 1997-1999, Seattle Times Newspaper.

Fateful Harvest, by Duff Wilson, Harper Collins Publisher, ISBN 0-06-019369-7, A history of how hazardous waste is disposed of in synthetic fertilizers and ends up contaminating the food supply of your children and pets.

 

What our customers say about BioGreen

I have not lost a roll since using the Super Sod Starter. 
Mark Van Landuyt, Vans enterprises

All About Mychorrhiza by Fred Davies

Opportunities from Down Under ⎯ How Mycorrhizal Fungi Can Benefit Nursery Propagation and Production Systems©

Fred T. Davies, Jr. Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2133; email: f-davies@tamu.edu

INTRODUCTION
Mycorrhiza means “fungus roots” which is a symbiotic association between specific fungi and the fine, young roots of higher plants.

Why Use Organic Fertilizers?

What are Organic Fertilizers?

Fertilizers made of natural materials that undergo little or no processing and include plant, animal and/or mineral materials.

Positive Reasons to Use Organic Fertilizers

  • Immediate access to treated lawns.
  • Foliar applications are safe after they have dried.
  • Provides safety to people and pets. Huge benefit!
  • Promotes a healthier environment: reduces use of synthetic products.
  • Avoids nutrients being tied up in the soil.
  • Eliminates plants damaged or burned by use of chemicals.
  • Builds stronger plants over the years resulting in less pesticide use.

Organic Drawbacks

  • More organic products required than mineral products.
  • May cost more per bag.
  • May take 2 to 3 years to rebuild the soil.

Healthier plant material = less stress
Less stress = fewer pests and diseases
Fewer pests and diseases = fewer pesticides used

Additional Benefits

Composting and mulching

Decomposing naturally provides nutrients to the soil.

Mychorrhiza

Microbial fungi that promotes development of feeder roots of plants.

Foliar Feeding

Replaces nutrients through surface applications. Uptake is faster than through the roots.

Soil Applications

Conditions and builds the soil.

Building Healthy Soil Organically
  • Soil tests taken and professional evaluations provided.
  • Address soil deficiencies before planting begins.
  • Micronutrients create healthy soils.
  • Healthy soils promote healthy plants.

 

Let us help you figure your costs per Acre/1000 Sq.Ft.

This template is to help figure your costs for Foliar and Deep Root feeding.

 This template is to help figure your costs for Liquids and Dry fertilizers.

 This template is to help figure your costs for Granular fertilizers.

Why is Excess Phosphorous dangerous?

Synthetic vs. Organic Fertilizers

Synthetic vs. Organic Fertilizers: Can Plants Tell the Difference? YES!

A 15-5-10 synthetic fertilizer is the classic 3-1-2 ratio high-nitrogen, synthetic fertilizer – the kind that the other guys recommend. These numbers mean that the bag contains 15 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphorus and 10 percent potassium. The remaining 70 percent of the material in the bag is filler. That can be hydrogen, oxygen and other compound parts but can also be just about anything – sawdust, sand, dirt or even toxic industrial waste. Filler is used to distribute the N-P-K throughout the fertilizer bag so you don’t burn the heck out of your turf when you apply it.
When we use organic fertilizers we’re using very low amounts of buffered nutrients. Everything in the bag is useful to the plant. Our ‘filler’ is organic material with a variety of trace minerals. This means much better stimulation of biological activity in the soil.
There are all kinds of problems with synthetic, high-nitrogen fertilizers. The primary problem is that there’s too much nitrogen. It creates an unbalanced situation as far as nutrients in the soil and in plants. High levels of nitrogen and low levels of trace minerals force fast growth that results in very weak watery cell growth in plants. But the imbalance and the watery cells bring on insects and diseases. And, the form of nitrogen is wrong. It works too fast. Plus, it’s soluble. If it rains after you put it out, it washes away and leaches through the soil into the water stream.
The second problem is the phosphorous source. The phosphorous in synthetic fertilizer is usually triple super phosphate 0-46-0 made by treating rock phosphate with phosphoric acid. Rock phosphate was made by treatment with sulfuric acid. It was a more balanced phosphate and did not tie up trace minerals. Now, all the synthetic fertilizer manufacturers use triple super phosphate. Big problem – the new material is so raw and so bare that when it’s put on the soil, it grabs and locks onto magnesium, manganese and all sorts of other trace minerals. It ties up these nutrients making them unavailable to plants.
The third problem is potassium. The source of potassium in most synthetic fertilizers is muriate of potash or potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is bad on specific types of crops – especially fruit crops. It’s also harsh on the soil. What we like as a potassium source is potassium sulfate. It’s made from the salt of The Great Salt Lake.

Our definition of a fertilizer is anything that improves the soil and helps to stimulate plant growth. For example, dead leaves that fall off a tree are fertilizers. As they break down they turn into organic matter or humus and feed the soil microbes. Microbes such as the beneficial fungi on the roots protect and feed the root hairs of the plants. This feeding process releases the nutrients to feed plants. That’s how it works on the prairie and in the forest. We’re just speeding up the process. All the basic soil amendments meet that definition, but they are intended for building the health of the soil more than for routine fertilizing. Build the soil, the plants will follow.
Manure based organic compost – this is the basic building block of organics. It acts as a gentle fertilizer encouraging microbial action.

Cornmeal – this natural fungicide is a mild fertilizer and disease fighter that should be used until your soil gets healthy.

Lava sand – you can use as much as you want as long as you want. Remember that the most productive soils in the world – Costa Rica, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast and the Mediterranean – are places with a history of volcanic action and are almost solid lava.

Greensand – mined from ancient sea beds, greensand is a marine deposit that is loaded with iron – and other trace minerals. It can end up being a bit of a problem in soils with high levels of iron.

Dry molasses – this is not solid dried molasses. It’s organic material like rice hull bits that have been sprayed with molasses and dried. It is a powerful carbon source that really kicks up microbial activity.
We at BioGreen have invested over thirty years in developing the very best formulation of ingredients in TurfMaster, our organic fertilizer. We address beneficial biologicals and use the best natural products available.

BIG BIG news for BioGreen Organics!

The BioGreen tradition continues… My name is Dan Neilson and as of February 2017 I am taking over as NEW OWNER of BioGreen!

This is a very exciting time for me and my family. We are looking forward to giving you the same high quality products you know and love. I will be making a few small changes for the better as the weeks go on. My hopes are for you to continue on this journey with me. This world needs the BioGreen organic products. I’m excited to see you all out in the field again… It’s great to be back! Let me know how I can help.

Dan Neilson
Soil Specialist
847-223-6900