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Organic Management of Turfgrass: a Comparison of Composts in Monroe, Nassau, Tompkins, and Tioga Counties 1999

Project Leaders: Jana Lamboy and Jennifer Grant (New York State IPM Program), Tamson Yeh (Nassau County Extension), Brian Eshenaur (Monroe County Extension, and Walter Nelson (Chemung County Extension)

Cooperators: Eric Nelson, Joann Gruttadaurio, Joseph Esnard, Frank Rossi, Marty Petrovic and Leslie Weston (Cornell University) Roger Casterline (Ithaca College) James Nawojski and Gunther Fishgold (Bion Technologies)

Introduction: Across the state, stakeholders ask cooperative extension offices to deliver methods for organic turf maintenance. The value of active organic matter such composts containing beneficial microbes and plant nutrients has long been accepted in production horticulture and vegetable gardens. However, protocols must be developed for the use of composts for lawns and athletic fields. Studies at Cornell indicated advantages in turfgrass disease suppression with specific composted manures. The main goal of this project is to demonstrate the advantages in the long term (3 years) of recycling active composts on lawns and athletic fields. In the process we will compare different regional composts with a standard commercial compost and monitor all pests.