Zeba saves on water

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by jimweed, May 7, 2008.

  1. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    I was wondering if anyone has experience using a product called Zeba? I have read plenty of fact sheets on the product but I have a few questions I would like to ask someone who uses it.

    thanks jim.
     
  2. Alan Dudley

    Alan Dudley Member

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    Jim,
    I use it in bulk form and also have the tea bags for my customers.
    Alan
    Turf Logic West Vancouver
     
  3. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for the response Alan. The fact sheets I was reading are just from the supplier. I have never heard of anyone who uses it yet.

    Can Zeba be spread under new turf being installed? and,

    Is there a way to pump it under existing plants or trees?

    Those were a couple questions I was wondering about.

    Thanks, Jim.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    New to me. I've heard of Zebra, though. Useful manure, similar to horse manure.
     
  5. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Jim, I'm using it in containers this year, (in place of the polyacrilamide type crystals which I'm leery of due to the chemistry of 'em) and have been very pleased. Side by side with hanging baskets in regular promix, the zeba enhanced mix will be well worth the investment. But this wasn't your question was it!

    I've tried pushing zeba into the row under my already sown celery bed, following what instructions the mfr gives...and I think it will work to a degree. Much better to install it before sowing/planting obviously. The lawn sounds interesting...this product only remains for the first year before breaking down, but that will be the critical establishment period for the new grass. I hope someone gives their actual experience with it.

    Established trees and plants, no experience. Like you, I'm sure we're worried that digging around in the root zone will do as much to upset the plant as the good that the zeba might accomplish. With a very sandy soil, the benefit might be worth it.

    I'd be interested in planting trees, etc. with it to get them established, similar to the new lawn scenario. I'm thinking of all the street plantings that take so much hand watering for the first year...zeba is expensive but that truck mounted water tank and operator must cost a fortune to run thru the summer drought time.

    An interesting product, (right up there with zebras, Michael).
     
  6. growing4it

    growing4it Active Member 10 Years

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    A ZEBA supplier told me that to apply ZEBA to installed trees, apply a dilute solution of ZEBA can be deep root injected with irrigation water. We may be using ZEBA on a project soon, I'll keep you posted.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    So what is it, and what does it do?
     
  8. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Michael and all--trying to avoid commercial plugs, but the general idea is the zeba is a starch based polymer that can be mixed into soil, absorbing and releasing water from and to the root zone.

    There was so much buzz about the water absorbing crystals (like disposable diaper material) in the past, and I did try those products with some beneficial results. However, that chemical is pretty questionable, I think it's polyacrilanimide, which sounds rather carcinogenic, plus it holds the water so tenaciously that the plants can only use some of it during dry periods.

    The zeba is looking pretty good in my trials this year, the containers and baskets with it in the potting mix have been easy to care for, while some hanging baskets with straight sunshine mix (commercial peatlite product commonly used here) have wound up wiliting many times with the same care.

    Again, my apologies for any sense of commercialism here, but the full explanation of this product is on their website
    http://www.zeba.com/index.htm
     
  9. Alan Dudley

    Alan Dudley Member

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    Jim et al,

    Sorry Jim, I didn't reply to your further question.

    Last June, I did a new lawn install by seed and applied corrective fertilizers (based on the results of a soil test), Turf Smart and ZEBA. It is a heavily treed area so competition with trees for water and nutrients is substantial. The lawn came in really nicely and stayed quite green throughout the Summer months.

    As Growest mentioned, ZEBA does break down after one year.

    As Growing4it said, ZEBA could be applied in diluted form via a deep root feeder, I own one but don't use it much as my primary business is organic lawn care, with fertilization left for the slower times.

    One customer had forty 5' cedars installed in a new home construction and lost several of them likely to poor root development. This coming Fall, when she replaces the trees, I'll be using the deep root feeder to apply Turf Smart plus will apply the diluted ZEBA. I'll be sure to post an evaluation a few months later.

    Alan
     
  10. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    I am still not too sure if Zeba will plug up in any of the filters or screens while pumping it through my spray rig and deep root fertilizing tool. Does anyone know if it will stay suspended in my tank over night if I don't use it all in one day? I am eager to give it a try, but am a bit weary of how it flows.

    Jim.
     
  11. Alan Dudley

    Alan Dudley Member

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    Jim,

    The Turf Logic Frank guru says:

    Take out the filter. I doubt if it would hang up in it, but to be safe. It will settle out so stir it 1st with a paddle just to get it moving...otherwise if you start the pump, you'll suck the settled Zeba in 1st...may be OK, but don't take the chance.

    Alan
     
  12. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks, I will give it a try. Not like I haven't had my filters plugged before anyway: Moss control season can be horrible.
     
  13. tlpenner

    tlpenner Active Member

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    I used Zeba on my green roof last year (native grass and california poppy are sown up there) with excellent results. Because the roof is non-irrigated, grass tends to die back in summer. This generally results in a golden brown roof from June to September (which is not completely awful but is a new aesthetic that some of my neighbours question!).

    With the surface application of Zeba last spring, die back occured later and lasted a shorter period of time, so that we were browned out only during late July and August.

    I applied at a rate of about 1/4 cup (one handful) per 40 square feet and raked it in with a gravel rake. A pitchfork would probably work well for small areas and I plan to do that next May. By the way, disturbing grass roots can be good for allowing oxygen and water to penetrate, especially in compacted areas.

    For larger applications, I would try mixing with sand to apply after core aeration.

    One word of caution: timing is very important for application of this product in the Pacific northwest area. We do not need more moisture from about November to May; as this product functions to retain water, best to apply at the end of the the wet season to avoid excess moisture and it's consequences.
     

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