View Full Version : Organic Services

12-07-2002, 01:53 PM
How many of you offer organic alternatives?

bubble boy
12-07-2002, 02:03 PM
you mean for weeds? try over in the pesticide forum

for the record we don't :blush:

12-07-2002, 02:09 PM
I'm north of te border and up here municipalities are banning pesticides left and right. I've been in the business for 15 years and the organic end has grown over 300% in the last 3 years. With ecxellent results, including city park land. Profit margin is huge.


12-07-2002, 03:45 PM
I do, I use Sustane for the most part. I also offer soil topdressing with a 50% topsoil/compost mix blown onto the lawn. The results are always favorable.

bubble boy
12-07-2002, 04:52 PM
left and right? the judgement allowing for such bans just recently passed. still, all i ever hear is talk. same with blower bans. talk.

12-07-2002, 11:21 PM
We have a very successul program that I euphemistically named the Bio-Rational program. We add a check-up between services, only spot treat all pest problems, and really emphasize IPM.

This program is expensive because of the extra trips to the lawn and the fert costs, but those folks are willing to pay it. I have a good friend who has an organic only service, and I have referred customers to him who are really on the anti pesticide bandwagon.

I offer this as an alternative, but I in no way accept 99% of the arguments I hear against the wise use of pesticides. I think most of the folks are misinformed, and mislead, but good customers.

12-20-2002, 09:47 PM
"Wise use of Pesticide???????"
You are making Fertilizer and Pesticide Co. tons of money and putting tons of chemicals into the ground water and environment. How can you even try and rationalize that organics are not the way to go?
I understand they may cost a bit more (once implemented), however once in the ground....You are spending less on fert, watering less applying less fungicide & pesticides etc. AND not harming the water you drink and your kids don't have nervous system problems because they played on the lawn.
WOW! How did we ever fertilize anything before OIL companies and Chemical companies stared "helping" us out? None of their stuff is even approved...but people like you continue to generously apply it without the slightest idea of the repercusions. Dursban......Diazinon....etc. (which I can go buy with my license...see, these days you just need to spend a little more to destroy the environment)
The only thing NON organic fertilizers insure is that you will buy more....a quick fix to a problem is just that.
As more and more information surfaces on chemical ferts and pesticides more and more TRu-green,Pro-lawn,Stay-green Services will fail.
What is happening in Canada... unfortunately will not filter down to us, any time soon, because we Americans are into instant gratification!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't get me wrong...I'm not a tree hugging enviro-hippie with nothing to do but go on websites late a night and vent....I'm just educated............. on what is right and wrong. Plants and turf dont care for synthetic fert and niether do I.

12-20-2002, 10:20 PM
Even in the best organic programs, there will always be a need for pesticides. There is a point where you cannot control populations because they are so high with biorationals. There will always be a need for pesticides. The real issue is how much of a need will there be.

12-20-2002, 11:09 PM
Can you elaborate, on why we will always have to apply pesticides?

Randy Scott
12-20-2002, 11:27 PM
Before any pesticide hits the streets it goes through extensive tests and analysis. It needs to meet FIFRA laws which are overseen by the federal EPA. When these approved products are applied by a certified professional they are acceptable in our society. Obvious abuse by an applicator will do harm. Yet it's o.k. for the home owner to overapply roundup or weed-n-feeds because they are uneducated and think more is better. The only people doing real harm are the people that can obtain similair products without really knowing how to use them.
If you want to cry about the environment being destroyed by dangerous products, then we all better stop driving our gas guzzling pollution units we use every day, they're called vehicles. Just as pesticides need to meet certain requirements, so do automobiles. What's the difference? If you are going to outlaw one, then evrything that can be related to our personal harm should be eliminated.
If the government allows a certain amount of auto pollution to be consumed by the general public, that is quite similair to pesticide pollutant amounts. Also, people who abuse and misapply pesticides are the ones doing harm to people, just as a reckless driver can cause harm to people also. Where's the difference? They're both government mandated products doing harm in society.
The difference is nobody wants to be inconvenienced by giving up their car. It's easy to cry about something that is not quite as determental to their everyday doings. So playing the "dangerous pesticides" card is an easier sell.
I guess whatever the government wants us to use for peoples lawns are fine with me. I'll sell what I need to. The reason products have been pulled is because they have found them harmful. So the laws by the EPA have been effective and I'm glad they have them. Just as emmision standards have been brought up to par. They have found out over the years that emissions from vehicles have killed people and that is why they have enacted emission testing stations. Just like the pesticides have evolved with testing and new laws. Maybe I'm an idiot, but to me, that's the same scenario.
I'm all for safety laws and regulations, but to think that banning pesticides is what needs to be done is an ignorant statement. Making people aware of safety procedures and laws about proper applications are what need to be enforced. I would say out of the 100 fert customers I maintain, 50 of them were so surprised when I gave copies of my state licensing and/or told them we need to be state certified to apply these products. They were blown away and had no idea. Also, alot of them asked about their use and the products they buy from retail stores. They were puzzled that they could apply similair products with no rules applying to them. As well as I am. If you want to start banning pesticides, I whole heartedly suggest starting with homeowner products available in retail stores. Let's see how that works out first.

bubble boy
12-20-2002, 11:38 PM
bottom line is IF they ban them we have to adapt. i am against the idea of a ban but i do expect them to come into effect eventually.we should, i guess, be prepared.

12-21-2002, 12:36 AM
Hey Randy!
I could'nt care less what kind of car you drive...My point is what is best for the landscape not what is best for "your bottom line."
I'm talking about the benefits of organic fert vs chemical....And you are talking about environmentalists taking your rights away! Two completely different things!!!!!
Follow me here..........
Your car runs on gasoline........not horse manure or chicken crap right?
There is no alternative, for our cars and gas....(ya I know a guy in Finland runs his car on methane gas from cow dung....it just has'nt hit the stores yet!!!)
BUT! For our plants, for our grasses for our landscape there is an alternative to chemicals.....Bad analogy.

12-21-2002, 09:08 AM
Thanks for all the posts. I just wanted to see the opinions of my peers when they can remain fairly anonymous.

Here's another question: has anyone really checked into any of the big chem. companies so called "organic products"?

Did you know organic simply means carbon based? The chem. companies sure do!

Companies of this nature are always sending flyers and info on their new "organic products". I wouldn't recommend any of them 'cause you are still supporting these establishments.

Can anyone tell me at least one inert that is contained in any of the pesticides? And if so, has that been tested?

NO, because the inerts are trade secrets! Even the regulators don't know!

our biggest problem with natural pest control for chinch bugs has always been a challenge, until this past summer. We now have an immediate safe and 99% effective control that does not need any registration. Any guesses what it is?
We designed a gas powered shop vac. Works great! Digital microscope shows eggs, juveniles and adults. Simply water and apply diatomaceous earth after vaccuming. I'm anxious to see this method get torn apart be those who have not tryed it. I love pesamists- helps innovate ideas!


"the grass is always greener on the other side, problem is, you have to mow it twice as much" M.D. Smith

12-23-2002, 12:08 PM
just my two cent's worth.
Are you really aware how most 'organics' are made?
Do you understand the impact of corn gluten in soil when milled from genetically altered corn?
Are you aware that most organic fertilizers contain heavy metals and byproducts from the refuse they are made from?
As a previous poster stated, misapplication can result in abuse yet the consistently most grievious abuser of pesticides is the home owner. Dursban and Diazinon are still available to homeowners from Home Depot type stores, yet not to licensed professionals.
There will always be a need for synthetic chemical use as populations shift and mutate. That's nature.
And yes, the analogy made earlier is quite correct.

12-23-2002, 01:43 PM
diatomaceous earth , i looked into it.. $$$$, michigan needs a license to apply this product. sorry fella's but, argue all you want, but my bottom line is what i care about..

12-23-2002, 07:13 PM
Hey SWD-
Do you even know what corn gluten does in the soil? Or are you simply repeating what someone else told you that it does?
Yeah, all those metals that are left in the soil by using natural products, are called trace minerals.....we need them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Something your chemical ferts don't have.
Are we both talking about organics?
I think it's more misinformation or misguided or MISINFORMED!
Next, how is and analogy right or wrong? They are either bad or good. That's like sayin one hypothetical situation is right and another is wrong!!!! They are both hypothetical! It's a freakin analogy! Comparing the analogy of cars and plants is not a good one because we have no alternative to gasoline for our cars, however we do have an alternative to chemicals on our plants.

Now, this is where you say.."but I don't know anything about organic material, but I do know that fertilizer is easier and all I have ever known!" And that is where I am fine with your opinion.

Get in make your money and get out. However in the meantime stop with your weak arguments about why and how chemical ferts are well tested and in the best interest of everyone involved....It makes you sound uneducated on the matter.
I imagine that no fert company supplying you or a golf course with their product is going to make you aware of the repercussions of their product. Can anyone list for me the cons of using organic except COST? Nope....but you can try

"You do ILL if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you DO NOT UNDERSTAND"
Leonardo da Vinci

12-23-2002, 10:05 PM
I still haven't figured out why folks who hate pesticides ever bother to visit a forum designed to help professional pesticide applicators who come here in an attempt to further their knowlege.
Maybe I never will figure it out either. Perhaps they just like a good fight & find the security of a forum the only place they can muster the nerve to pick the fight. I don't know.

My Dear Eirik,

I am a member of one of those fertilizer & chemical companies. And from a business stand point, I couldn't care less what I sell to you. Organic or synthetic it doesn't matter to me. I'll work margin into it & stay in business either way.

In a way, I kind of like my 100% pesticide free customers business plans even more than the conventional LCO crowd. They spend more money per square foot, so who am I to complain. They buy a lot more fertilizer & grass seed. The freight bill is higher, I'll say that. But the added seed sales seem to offset that.

I won't get too involved in the technical benefits of organics. Humic Acid is good for soils. Period. Hey, I even use ogranic here at the house sometimes. But plants DON'T care how the chemical nutrients get to them. Whether from natural sources or synthetic, all the elements that plants use must eventually be converted to chemical forms before plants can use them. Now harm can be done by synthetic fertilizers if they aren't properly used. I'll admit that. But true professionals don't have these problems.

Please don't go into a tyrate about adding to percent OM in a soil test. Growing healthy grass, top-dressing & recycling clippings all contribute a lot more OM than ANY 50 lb bag of Mommy's Milk Organic Lawn Food ever could. The number of bags would be rediculous & cost prohibitive to correct a real OM deficiency. It is much cheaper & easier to fix these things with a load of composted manure or municipal leaf compost.

Please don't mistake natural organics as squeaky clean & environmentally friendly. Some are way more toxic than their commercial (synthetic) counterparts. Please take the time to educate yourself in the fine art of the discriminating the difference between good & bad natural organics. You may use one of the good ones. I hope you do. To be sure, check here:


Please navigate to this website. Click the first letter of the name of the natural organic or synthetic fertilizer you want to check out. Keep in mind that some small regional companies aren't listed here. We are. Most of the hiiters are. Please take a look. If you have trouble, send me an email & list what you use. They might be here under some parent companies name. I can help.

Please let us all know how your product of choice makes out. Some of the organcs are derived only from food by products or poultry manure & other "clean" sources. Others rely on human municipal sewage & don't rate favorably at all. You decide.

It's getting late. I don't really feel like getting into a long drawn out brawl about the responsible use of pesticides right now. Just digest this for now. We can play again another day.

Night all,

12-23-2002, 10:19 PM
Eirik, I am still awaiting an answer to the questions I asked of you.
either you will or will not answer, however, you have shown that you are not interested in debating facts, just tripe.
Mr. Tremor, I whole heartedly agree with your post!
Eirik, I am educated, to a degree beyond most agronomists.
However, I will echo other's sentiments - we are here to benefit from one another. If our comments offend you - that is life. Either deal with it or don't, I really don't care.

12-24-2002, 12:13 AM
Wow, you guys ARE a lot more educated than I thought....You are right I am wrong...... next customer.....next customer.....next customer.....next customer.....next customer.....next customer.....

Randy Scott
12-24-2002, 01:36 AM

12-24-2002, 08:50 AM
Because we often dicount or mistake the value of organic matter in soils, I think this may be of use.
I belong to other internet forums & "lists".
Over the summer, I have learned that there is great confusion over the issue of PERCENT ORGANIC MATTER as expressed on a soil test.
I guess some folks never studied soils or have forgotten. So I present the following that I posted some time back on another forum. The person I was responding to wanted to know the difference between "percent organic MATTER" & "percent organic MATERIAL". Natural Organic fertilizers are still just "organic material" in the state that we apply them. 50 lbs of even the best will take quite some time to eventually amount to several ounces of stable organic matter. The biology of the soil still benefits, so please don't think I'm bashing the concept. I'm not. But let us not classify organic matter as the silver bullet either. It's not.

When confused over the role of organic fertilizers & what they can contribute to plants & soils, please let us keep the following in mind:


Please see the following link for the easiest to understand explaination of organic soil structure:


Simply stated. We add organic material to soils to improve their nutrient holding capacity, moisture rentention capability, to add space for oxygen to reside in, and reduce compactablility. The organic material we add can be leaves or grass clippings & other yard wastes. Compost from municipalites or our own yard recycling can even include degradable organic table scraps. Animal manures of various forms are also very good because they run higher in elemental plant nutrients.
In time, organic "material" is eventually converted by microorganisms & oxydation into "stable organic matter". It takes a lot of organic material to become a little organic matter. It becomes organic matter when it reaches the stage that it resists further decay.
I think a lot of the confusion centers around the "Percent Organic Matter" (%OM) that we see on soil test results. It is listed on the printed results by WEIGHT. Yet I have seen other
websites that suggest tilling 4 inches of organic material into the top 12 inches of soil to end up at a 25% organic material content. That is completey wrong. The end result would be a 25% (short term/before compaction)
increase in VOLUME. But only the volume of organic material. In the first season, only a small amount of the added material will be converted into stable organic matter. And remember, matter is tested for by weight.

I THINK this is where the confusion comes from. Does the explaination help? Or did I just make things even worse?


Merry Christmas & God bless


12-24-2002, 09:00 AM
I noticed someone mentioned poultry by products, We stopped using it or recommending it due to our labs finding salmonella in it. We contacted health Canada and discovered their is an allowable level of salmonella. There are excellent products on the market without chicken parts (alfalfa based). We have substituted chicken crap with molasses- Try watering molasses down and apply to a spot on your lawn- grass love it!



12-24-2002, 09:14 AM
Hey Eirik, if you would ever like to share info or collaborate on organic packages send me an e-mail. I like tossing ideas back and forth. Did you know that pre wwI farmers knew that corn by products would keep weeds down in the garden rows. I have a real good (hand written) book on crop mangement from the late 1800's. The whole way of thinking disappearred by WWII. Thier is alot of innovation on the organic front lines, I can't say too much but imagine a sprayable protien derived from corn gluten to control weeds.


12-24-2002, 06:08 PM
Hey Mojo,

That was me with the Sustane Aerobically Composted Turkey Manure. As far as I know, salmonella is killed at the teperatures that Sustane composts at. I'll need to find out for sure. There are no spent body wastes present at all.

I do have a customer that was shopping for natural organics this summer due to the drought. I ususally sell him his summer round as a standard high SCU commercial grade. He asked for more organic than we had. We've had trouble finding bulk municipal bio-solids that are dry enough to resist going back into methane production. Either the supply is too limited or the supply doesn't meet spec. He wasn't interested in paying the premium for Sustane. So we passed.
The stuff he got was HORRENDOUS! The stench was phenomenal. He had to seal it away in a seperate building & park all his trucks outside.
Later in the summer, his brother-in-laws dog dies. The vet asked if the dog had contact with a slaughter house or commercial meat processing plant. The guy says no.....long story short....the organic material contained blood. The stuff did test poitive for Hepatitis B. That's what the dog died of. We don't talk much about it now. Don't ask who formulated the junk. I won't say.


12-24-2002, 07:35 PM
I think that the debate of pesticides vs organics is alot like democrats vs republicans. Too much one sided hype from both sides, no "independent" group. On the left you have the "sky is falling" mentality with cancer problems, nervous system damage etc.., on the right, you have chemical companies saying pesticides can be eaten and are not dangerous. Neither parties take the midstream and take or make responsible claims, practices or produce a solution. While organics will be the future I believe ( we see whats happening to our northern aplicator brothers in Canada), our "Green Industry" rejects and fights this claim and potential victor much like the hard staunched tobacco companies fighting to hide inside reports of tobacco's real hidden dangers. Our green industry should be imbracing new technology (not that organics are new and are not even technical) as a market for new potential sales, new companies, product lines, etc.. Not to mention the percieved look that these big "toxic chemical" companies will look like they will be developing an alternative to chemical based fertilizers, and granola munching yuppies will purchase their new organic line as opposed to going elsewhere. I had to laugh when Steve mentioned the dog dieing (not that it's a laughable matter) but the organic side makes the same claims with dogs dieing of leukemia and other cancers caused by what the vets say was chemical poisoning. To set the record straight, I beleive in chemical fertilizers, pesticides as well as organic measures. Sure it would be nice to think that organics can solve it all, but face it, it doesn't. Same to say that their chemical counterparts do cause health problems even though they do their job well. But at what stake? Perception to the public is everything, marketing them both is key. If we had more smaller licensed chemical fert guys out their who know thier job, have the proper background and care taken, then we wouldn't have these problems. I blame the big fert companies and the homeowners who blanket approach the "more is better" attitude. Or in the case of Tru Green, not enough" Unfortunately, there aren't as many responsible and knowledgeable chemical application companies or individuals as there are on this site. When I hear Steve, Ray Kirby, and many other applicator experts post here, it amazes me of their knowledge and background. I always think, man if every other applicator out there took their job as seriously as these guys, we wouldn't have half the problems and negative perceptions as the public perceives toward pesticides. I own a fairly good sized maintenance firm up here in NH serving about 130 of the finest homes around the seacoast. I also own a seperate natural organic fertilizing company that seems to hold it's own. Not breaking any records, but moving along ok. Point is, organics aren't for everyone. They don't offer instant gratification, but in the long run, they green longer, are healthier for the soil and organisms, are seem to be safer. For the fanatic homeowners who don't want weeds or any turf problems, they are a worst nightmare. About 80% of my customer's lawns that have organics do rather well and seem to green and last longer through the winter season. The other 20% don't show any great results but look ok. Sorry for the long post. In closing, an open mind will do wonders on both sides of the debate, but I'm sure we won't see that anytime soon or until they start banning more and more like Canada. As soon as we can't sell or apply any more chems to our lawns, suddenly the green industry will accept this "Godsend" of a product and all the applicators will make the same $$$ that they are used to. Maybe by then, organics will improve a little more.


12-24-2002, 08:30 PM
Tremor remember the last Organic War. Professor Snake Venom made a post I liked, something like the following.

I can see how an all-organic program can work for you, since you have a 5-ton truck and a piggyback fork lift.

P.S. For those of you interested in organic programs, do a search. Last year there was a very good thread on organics. Tremor (Professor Snake Oil) wrote a small novel on the subject, complete with documentation. This is a heated subject and the Rachael Carson's and Al Gore's of the world would have us use organics only. Pesticides would be outlawed completely. We have come a long way from the days of D.D.T. and Chlordane. But we have also lost some valuable chemicals. Lindane to name one, it is in the same chemical family as chlordane. Dursban is gone now also (I personally don't miss it.). But what I don't like is the long hit list of chemicals that the E.P.A. wants to take off the market. Orthene is in the same Chemical family as Dursban and is on the hit list. There is nothing short of fumigation to cure nematodes. And the list goes on. If I want to incorporate SOM into my soil, I use Humus Peat (the layer above coal) not chicken zh*t.

12-24-2002, 08:31 PM
Well done Mike!
I could not agree more...

12-25-2002, 02:07 AM
Merry Christmas Ric. It's been too long really.

And everyone else (like me) who really should be doing something else. (like sleeping)

Don't laugh. My living room looks like Toys-r-Us. And that's why I do this after all.

Wow. Tough to type right now.

Just drank Royal Lochnager (sp?) single malt scogthch (playing with u) & some kind of gin in a blue bottle. Safire? Satire?....really good.....Anyway, all the relatives have passed out. Nice bunch of folks really. CHEERS! I won?

Right then. So there are actually just 2 answers no matter how we look at this issue.

1.) Knowlege. Nobody respects an idiot. There's too many of them. Smart folks are in demand, isn't that it? Even when they're drunk, I suppose. That's pretty easy to understand. And that's why we're here. To learn. Good for us.

2.) Balance. The answer is in the middle. Somewhere. Neither side tells the whole truth all the time. Isn't that what I just read? Isn't that what was said? Bull Sh_t!

I never lie.



Read all of my posts. Do some of your own research. Not sure? Research some more. Find out. Any time your face is on the line, you gotta come clean. Remain true to the plants. Forget the money. Let go the politics.

Being wrong & sticking to your guns is like driving straight into a wall.

It ain't worth it boys.

How many folks actually read these posts?

You wanna stake your reputation on nothing more than your printed words? With your name plastered all over it?

Go for it. If you have nothing to hide, then you won't. Someday, many of us will meet in person. Who here among us will avoid admitting who we are?

Not me. I hope none of us.

Does anyone really beleive that they really own more than just their face? Think about it.

Merry Christmas friends. May the new year bring you all prosperity like you never knew before.

If that sounds like a stretch, call me. If your face is straight & your back is strong, it's not all that hard really.

Steve Jepsen,

Got Bal-s?
We can be sensored here. Let's see if I am.

12-28-2002, 12:42 PM
To whom it may concern

May your January 1 2003 hang over be less painful than Steve's Dec 25, 2002 hang over:D :D :dizzy:

04-04-2003, 10:39 PM