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turfinator
09-16-2003, 02:20 AM
Just wondering if anyone has had any experience with Aggrand products and if so what do you think. I live in Manitoba and have for the past few years wanted to start offering organic services but the prices for product are just outrageous. Many of the companies Ive seen here suggest in their advertising they are organic and to the less knowledgeable potential customer they gobble it up. In actuality they use a combination of synthetic/organics but downplay the synthetic angle. Does anyone know of any for fert or herbicide from in this neck of the woods.

turfinator
09-16-2003, 02:22 AM
That last line should read.... Does anyone know of any suppliers for fert or herbicide from in this neck of the woods.

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-16-2003, 04:20 PM
I'm not familiar with the brand, but that hardly ever stops me from having a comment. I have a brand nearby that in many products sets the standard for organic materials. However they also have products that are "organic based," as it states on the label. In reading the ingredients carefully, they do have some organic materials, but they also have some "semi organic" and some outright synthetic materials. By semi organic I'm talking about synthetically reproduced urea.

Now let me say this about urea. I belive the synthetic urea to be identical in chemical structure to the urea in mammalian urine. As such, I personally don't have a problem with it other than it is one HOT sumbit@h on the grass. But what I think about the product is immaterial to the issue. It is what your client thinks of the product that matters.

If you PROMISE them a 100% organic program, then by golly (pardon my French) you should deliver it and darn the cost. They should know what they are getting into in every a$pect of the program and for sure they should know if you EVER think a deviation from 100% organic would give them a nicer garden. Keep in mind that these folks, by and large, are conditioned to expect less with an organic program. I am certainly NOT conditioned that way, but the general masses are.

Now as for alternatives to commercially branded organic fertilizers in Canada, my Canadian e-friends use canola meal, soybean meal, corn meal, seaweed meal, and fish meal. I would stay away from the fish meal because it really will stink up a neighborhood. It depends on where they are geographically relative to the mills and what the mills get in to grind for animal feed. The retail cost for the whole ground meals should be about 1/6 to 1/10 the retail cost of the commercial brands. Look for a cost around $0.10 per pound or less.

turfinator
09-16-2003, 06:10 PM
Of the meals that you suggested corn and alfalfa seem to be the easiest to obtain. What would you recomend as far as a recipe? Not much fish or seaweed meal here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have used alfalfa meal on my own lawn last year with limited results. I do realize that these products do take longer to see results but the results I obtained werent really satisfactory. I know some companies selling organic products list mollasses as a main ingredient. I wonder if there would be a way to add this to the alfalfa and corn meal without using a tea mix. If a tea mix was to be used how difficult would that be to use on a commercial basis.
Thanks

Green in Idaho
09-16-2003, 06:40 PM
Turfinator,
Can you tell us more about using the alfalfa meal previously? Application rate, # of apps in the season, etc?

What was not satisfactory? No change?

turfinator
09-17-2003, 02:03 AM
I used about 10lbs per 1000 sq/ft and applied it in the spring mid summer and early fall. This was the first season using no synthetic fertilizers. Its not that I had horrible results its just I didnt get the same lush dark green lawn I usually have. I found I was pretty tempted to use synthetics when all the neighbors had very nice lawns last year. It seems the alfalfa had a very slow availability. I am looking for something I could use that would have a more rapid availability while at the same time not be offensive smelling or attract every animal in the neighborhood. Could be a tough order to fill???

Green in Idaho
09-17-2003, 11:12 AM
10lbs of material or 10lbs of N? Given your lack luster results I have to guess 10lbs of material (meal).

I don't know about your specific product but my reference says alfalfa has 2-3 lb N. If we can assume it is similar for your meal. Then :

3% of 10lb is 4.8 oz of N. You probably put on about 4oz of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft. Did it 3 times, so you did about 3/4 pound for the season.

See where I'm going?

As a standard --KY Blue needs 2-6N/1,000 per year. Using a. meal of 3%, the math says you have to apply 200lbs/1,000/yr to feed well.

Solution would be apply more often (6+ times per year) and mostly in fall. OR also use a material with a higher N. Alternate one app of alfalfa and one of something else such as cottonseed meal 6-2-2 (ordorous) or something like the Ringer products.

I would say to ween a lawn off chems and to start an organic program the higher volumes are needed, but then after a couple seasons the soils and mulching will take over and much less material would be needed.- Thereby the costs and efforts go down over time.

Also it is not necessary to use only ONE organic fert. Mixing, blending and using variety are very helpful to get a better supply of trace elements too.

yardmonkey
09-17-2003, 12:11 PM
turfinator -

Dried molasses should be readily available at feed stores. I got a 50lb bag for about $10. Mixes easily.

Green in Idaho
09-17-2003, 12:54 PM
Molasses 1-0-5.

Even LESS N so it's not a good source to green the turf. However it is a good source for sulpher and potash, and it feeds the microbes.

***********
To address the initial thread. I searched for AGgrand Web site and did not find THEIR home, but several other sites selling the products. Looks like they are all liquid products and marketed for smaller scale use.

Does apply to LCO though when a customer has a sick plant and wants to enhance or help recover the plant- i.e. using the kelp/seaweed blend.

So within the world of organics as it applies to professionals it is necessary to consider and PLAN for wide scope needs (fertilizing every account) and narrow scope needs (curing powdery mildew on one rose plant).

Solution: I have several good reference manuals handy.

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-17-2003, 05:30 PM
I use cornmeal at about the same application rate of 10 pounds per 1,000 and get really good results, specifically color and density are very good at that rate. My grass is St Augustine in a crushed limestone soil base. Can you comment on the general nature of the soil and grass you have?

Molasses can be used to help stimulate microbial growth on the surface of the plants and in the soil. An application rate I've seen work remarkably well on cotton plants is 1 gallon per acre applied 3 times per season. That translates to 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. This was on no-till and non-irrigated cotton in the Texas panhandle. The water and irrigation equipment savings is enough each year to more than make up for any crop losses due to no irrigation. These cotton plants thrive from rainstorm to rainstorm apparently due to the vastly increased numbers of micorhyzzal fungi (university testing). So does this molasses application translate to the home? I cannot say.

Dried molasses is wet molasses poured over chipped corn cobs or rice hulls. It will solidify in the bag once it is opened to the humidity. You get a LOT more molasses for your money if you buy it by the pound at an agricultural co-op for $0.11 per pound. A gallon will cost $1.16 in YOUR bottle. A 55-gallon drum would cost about $60-$70 in YOUR drum.

turfinator
09-18-2003, 11:03 PM
Man this is a great place. Thanks for all the responses. Yes I was using 10 lbs of meal not N per 1000 sq ft. The lawns out here are mostly KY blue with hard clay based soil. I should also mention that I aerate twice a year in early May and now. As Green in Idaho put it I'm looking for a plan for wide scope needs (fertilizing every account) What I need is a multipurpose fertilizer that I can use for the majority of yards and alter as required. All of my customers are very loyal and I wouldnt want to introduce and promote something new if I wasnt sure it would work (likely why Im still sitting on the fence) I would want to definitely see some positive results on my own lawn before offering this service. I know commercially prepared organic products are everywhere (including my local grocery store) but the prices are outrageous. I'm hoping with some experimenting, more research and some input from you fine folks there should be a more affordable alternative.
Thanks

Green in Idaho
09-19-2003, 12:43 AM
For competitive pricing you have to get it wholesale.

As David said, buying stuff at ag coops or other avenues to get it as close to the producer as possible.

Retail purchasing, and even discount retail purchasing is NOT going to cut for an operator.

Seek the distributor who will be happy to sell you a pallet or two.

I bought pallets from some producer in the Midwest to have shipped to me here. I about dropped when I saw that much fert he first time. Enough for the whole season.... :dizzy:

That was several years ago. I think the name was Greener Pastures (not the fine fellow on here) in MN or somewhere around there... don't know if they are still around....

Dchall_San_Antonio
09-19-2003, 01:03 PM
I know a guy, the owner of a Mexican bakery. He buys about 1,000 pounds of whole kernel corn daily and grinds it to flour himself. We figured out what he pays per pound and it is about a penny more per pound than I pay for bagged corn meal at retail.

I guess I'm saying that at $0.10 per pound, there is not a lot of room for the farmer and other middlemen to discount. If you go direct to the farmer to buy, then pretty soon you're in the futures business, too.

As for the amounts to be used on different grasses: I use 10 pounds per 1,000, three times a year. From what I understand from my homeowner friends in Canada, they do the same thing with canola meal, soybean meal, or corn meal. My growing season is MUCH longer than theirs so their applications are considerably more compressed in time than mine.

Gerry Miller
10-28-2004, 01:21 PM
I have used the Aggrand Organic Lawn Care Products. The fertilizer is a 4-3-3 and is a fish/kelp combo. It does have a fishy smell, but that is gone within 24 hours, and to me it isn't all that bad. In my opinion, they are the most economical of all commercial organic products. The results are very good, however if you are starting an organic program and have been using chemicals prior, it will take more applications the first year to see results.

Their application rates are 1 quart covers 5000 sq. ft. in spring to Fescue and Bluegrass. 2 quarts covers 5000 sq. ft. in spring and fall to Bahai, Bermuda and St. Augustine. They also state that light soils may require spring and fall applications and that these rates are based upon returning clipping back to the soil. One quart goes for $8.35. For commerical use, it's available in 55 gal. drums. for around $950, retail, of this concentrate.

They offer 25% reduction of cost if you become a preferred customer, which has a fee involved. And if you become a dealer, the cost is less off the retail price, but you paid annual fees to become a dealer. So it depends on how much you are going to be using to get the biggest benefit.

Another consideration is shipping cost. Buying in larger quanties saves on shipping, like a case of 12 quarts instead of one or two bottles.

Im quite happy with the results of using this product.

Please email me for any more info.

msparks
01-13-2005, 09:04 PM
Molasses 1-0-5.

Even LESS N so it's not a good source to green the turf. However it is a good source for sulpher and potash, and it feeds the microbes.

***********
To address the initial thread. I searched for AGgrand Web site and did not find THEIR home, but several other sites selling the products. Looks like they are all liquid products and marketed for smaller scale use.

Does apply to LCO though when a customer has a sick plant and wants to enhance or help recover the plant- i.e. using the kelp/seaweed blend.

So within the world of organics as it applies to professionals it is necessary to consider and PLAN for wide scope needs (fertilizing every account) and narrow scope needs (curing powdery mildew on one rose plant).

Solution: I have several good reference manuals handy.

Hi guys, I don't want to advertise on here but I am an Aggrand dealer so that you know where I'm coming from.

The products are sold through dealers in a Multi Level Marketing program. The main company is Amsoil(I'm sure you've heard of them) well they have this organic fertilizer division.

Anyhow, there are commercial programs that allow you to buy in bulk. They even have pricing in 275 gallon totes. The mix ratio is not bad usually 1 gallon per 25 gallons of water.

If you want the company HQ you can go directly to them here:
AGGRAND (http://www.altrumonline.com/redirect.cgi?zo=513524&page=store)

They also have a non Multilevel program where they sell direct not though any dealers. But they call the product something different.
It's call Aggrene.
http://www.aggrene.com/

The products are all natural and they are balanced. So they are considered organic. If you have any questions you can call the corporate hq and ask for Greg Sawyer. He is the one that heads that division.

I would love to advertise on this site with that product but I inquired and it was out of my price range right now. Oh well. :cry: