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phasthound
11-24-2009, 05:59 PM
Originally Posted by phasthound
I'll be the Devil's advicate here.

I know this is from a Liberal Eastern Institution
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/ga...pagewanted=all
but there is a great deal of merit into understanding the importance of feeding the soil, not the plant.

And by the way, this is my apolitical opinion.

Barry,

Would your products get these results or does a person need the teas?

I wouldn't mind going a more organic blend fert if I get results and still use a sound herbicide program. I still think that herb apps will always be needed...but I would be interested in learning more about alternative "GOOD" fert programs if they work.

Teach me as I know very little about this aproach!

Thanks,
RC

I posted that link because it helps give insight on the importance of soil biology. This link goes into more detail about what is being done there. http://www.uos.harvard.edu/fmo/landscape/organiclandscaping/soil_presentation.shtml

As you can see this is a very intensive program! It is providing results that can not be achieved with production line applications, synthetic or organic.
But there is a great deal of useful information for the green industry coming from projects like this. Working with soil biology does provide healthier landscapes that are easier to maintain. This can mean bigger profit margins with the bonus of less environmental impact.

The products that I supply are not going to change the soil as much as applying compost and aerated compost teas. Compost & compost tea are powerful tools. However I can honestly tell you that using organic and/or organic based Nutrient PLUS granular fertilizers, ICT Organic fertilizers, pelletized vermicompost, humic acid, kelp, and fish hydrolysate will economically produce a healthy landscape with fewer problems.

I know this because I use all these products in my application business. And because it's being done successfully all over the country by other companies.
Is there a learning curve? Yep, just like there is with anything else. But I have found it to be much easier than trying to understand the proper use of all the chemicals used in lawn care. If you can avoid many problems, life is simpler. That's not to say that our programs will prevent all problems, problems will come up.

That being said, I don't take a hard line approach. If you need pesticides to correct certain problems and know how to use them properly, then go ahead. But now figure out why those problems happen and correct the cause rather than rely solely on chemicals.

As a business person, you will learn that you are doing less work for more money. As a member of the green industry, you will learn about stewardship.
Please, don't anyone take offense. I have applied or been responsible for more pesticide applications than just about anyone else here. I know how effective they can be and I know their limitations.

grassman177
11-24-2009, 07:24 PM
great post, thanks

rcreech
11-24-2009, 07:57 PM
Thanks Barry!

CHARLES CUE
11-24-2009, 08:24 PM
Nice berry but how do they figure there organic program cost just as much as a chemical program top dressing alone for a acre would cost more than doing a chemical program on a acre. I am all for good soil you cant beat it
Charles Cue

phasthound
11-25-2009, 09:24 AM
Nice berry but how do they figure there organic program cost just as much as a chemical program top dressing alone for a acre would cost more than doing a chemical program on a acre. I am all for good soil you cant beat it
Charles Cue

The cost savings are realized when comparing the total maintenance budget. Once the soil is improved, irrigation is cut in half. Less N means slower growth, less mowing. They have enough material on site to make compost and aerated compost tea, saving fertilizer costs. They are eliminating pesticide costs.

This is a great plan if you have control of the site and understand that the up front price may seem high, but long term you will see substantial savings.
It's the same thought process used when buying good tools. Decide what tool you think you need and buy the best quality one, you will save. Or, remember that old oil ad? "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."

This plan will not be adapted by most lawn care clients. But by understanding how to use the knowledge gained from projects like Harvard Yard in your business will give you better results in the field. It will also help you stay ahead of upcoming changes.

Lawn Care Industry Faces Monumental Changes
The manner in which lawn care operators produce results in the year 2018 will be drastically different than how they’re producing them today. That’s why the lawn care industry must shift from a mindset of “killing things” to one of “greening and growing.”
That was the message of Neil Cleveland, managing director of Bayer Environmental Science, the manufacturer of Merit and other popular pesticides.

grassman177
11-25-2009, 11:57 AM
cant you buy compost tea concentrate already? if so, i will be looking into it over this winter.

greendoctor
11-25-2009, 01:43 PM
The cost savings are realized when comparing the total maintenance budget. Once the soil is improved, irrigation is cut in half. Less N means slower growth, less mowing. They have enough material on site to make compost and aerated compost tea, saving fertilizer costs. They are eliminating pesticide costs.

This is a great plan if you have control of the site and understand that the up front price may seem high, but long term you will see substantial savings.
It's the same thought process used when buying good tools. Decide what tool you think you need and buy the best quality one, you will save. Or, remember that old oil ad? "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later."

This plan will not be adapted by most lawn care clients. But by understanding how to use the knowledge gained from projects like Harvard Yard in your business will give you better results in the field. It will also help you stay ahead of upcoming changes.

Lawn Care Industry Faces Monumental Changes
The manner in which lawn care operators produce results in the year 2018 will be drastically different than how they’re producing them today. That’s why the lawn care industry must shift from a mindset of “killing things” to one of “greening and growing.”
That was the message of Neil Cleveland, managing director of Bayer Environmental Science, the manufacturer of Merit and other popular pesticides.

That is the basis of my program. There have been some new customers who do not understand why I am not itching to blast everything with pesticides even thought they have weeds everywhere. Truth is, I will not consider it until the grass is growing healthy enough to choke out further weed invasions after I wipe out the existing population. If I did not have this mindset, I would be spot spraying with Three-Way and worse, every month of the year.

grassman177
11-25-2009, 02:42 PM
what do you say barry to eliminating a round of fert or more with a high rate of compost tea by ITC that you have on your site. you think it would work for one app or more? very intersted in incorporating more orgainc nutrients and increasing availability in the soil. feel free to emial me, call me . i want to discuss what i may be able to do with some of the products you offer. i sent you a pm.

NattyLawn
11-25-2009, 04:04 PM
cant you buy compost tea concentrate already? if so, i will be looking into it over this winter.

It's hard to get the microbes dormant and then shelf stable. ICT Bill's product is more of an extract, but it doesn't contain compost. Check it out. Brewing tea isn't difficult, but there's definitely a learning curve. I would look into the ICT and then move up to brewing if it fits into your business.

phasthound
11-25-2009, 05:58 PM
That is the basis of my program. There have been some new customers who do not understand why I am not itching to blast everything with pesticides even thought they have weeds everywhere. Truth is, I will not consider it until the grass is growing healthy enough to choke out further weed invasions after I wipe out the existing population. If I did not have this mindset, I would be spot spraying with Three-Way and worse, every month of the year.

Like I said, the majority of LCO's don't know 1/10th of what you know. :clapping::clapping:

Oh, the claps are for you, not them. :)

phasthound
11-25-2009, 06:01 PM
what do you say barry to eliminating a round of fert or more with a high rate of compost tea by ITC that you have on your site. you think it would work for one app or more? very intersted in incorporating more orgainc nutrients and increasing availability in the soil. feel free to emial me, call me . i want to discuss what i may be able to do with some of the products you offer. i sent you a pm.

I set up programs that include both granular ferts and ICT. They work well together. I also brew my own tea.

Got your PM. We'll talk.

phasthound
11-25-2009, 06:09 PM
It's hard to get the microbes dormant and then shelf stable. ICT Bill's product is more of an extract, but it doesn't contain compost. Check it out. Brewing tea isn't difficult, but there's definitely a learning curve. I would look into the ICT and then move up to brewing if it fits into your business.

Agreed, brewing tea isn't that difficult and has many benefits. While ICT products don't contain compost (sorry Bill :)), they are not really an extract. ICT isolates and cultures known beneficial soil microbes and successfully puts them to sleep without harming them.

I use both with great success.

grassman177
11-25-2009, 06:43 PM
while i dont claim to know how to apply these teas and extracts to lawns, that is why i need your help. i do however have degree in turf managment and hort, that did include soil biology and structure. this gives me a great understanding of what is happening, just never aplied it before.

LawnoftheMonth
11-25-2009, 08:01 PM
Great information, thanks for the post. I take the organic route every chance I get, if the customer understands that results take longer but the long term benefit is worth the wait.

NattyLawn
11-25-2009, 10:48 PM
Agreed, brewing tea isn't that difficult and has many benefits. While ICT products don't contain compost (sorry Bill :)), they are not really an extract. ICT isolates and cultures known beneficial soil microbes and successfully puts them to sleep without harming them.

I use both with great success.

When I say it's an extract, that's what Bill has posted many times in the organic forum.

Back to discussion.

rcreech
11-25-2009, 10:53 PM
I guess I would 1) have to research this over the winter and 2) see how profitable it would be and 3) is it a convenient program 4) see if my customers would even be interested.

This makes me think...but just don't have time for it right now until we are done. We may need to get a "learning curve" going on here this winter.

Can this tea stuff be applied though a ride-on? What gallons would one have to use?

grassman177
11-26-2009, 12:27 AM
that is the same as i am thinking, ride on spraying, oh yeah. fertin all over them yards!

CHARLES CUE
11-26-2009, 06:41 PM
I guess I would 1) have to research this over the winter and 2) see how profitable it would be and 3) is it a convenient program 4) see if my customers would even be interested.

This makes me think...but just don't have time for it right now until we are done. We may need to get a "learning curve" going on here this winter.

Can this tea stuff be applied though a ride-on? What gallons would one have to use?

You should go to the organics forum and search down a couple pages i dont think you can use a ride on unit from what i have read but you never know
Charles Cue