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View Full Version : what do you think of this lawn


dan deutekom
09-27-2003, 11:51 AM
What do you think of this lawn?

yardmonkey
09-27-2003, 10:55 PM
Yes, its weedy. (anyone can see that, even in the tiny picture)
Yes, its beautiful. (anyone can see that, I hope)
Yes, I have clients that would be happy with it. (everyone does)
Yes, I have clients that would not be happy with it. (everyone does)
No, I did not vote in the "poll".

What are you getting at?

Green in Idaho
09-28-2003, 10:40 AM
I think it looks a lot like my back yard. :D

HighGrass
09-28-2003, 12:00 PM
I would rather see a close up...got any?

dvmcmrhp52
09-28-2003, 01:18 PM
It is overseeded with clover to add nitrogen to the soil.
Some would like it others not.Depends on the objective of the customer.

Green in Idaho
09-28-2003, 01:32 PM
Let's see it with the pretty white flowers..:D

mower_babe
09-28-2003, 08:07 PM
how do you guys even see that?? I saved it to my photos, opened it up and enlarged and I dont see anything but green. How can you tell anything?:confused:

dvmcmrhp52
09-28-2003, 08:50 PM
Mowerbabe,
It's a trade secret......I'll tell you later if dan doesn't.
I think he is trying to make a point,but we will see.;)

mower_babe
09-29-2003, 01:27 AM
thank you, dvmcmrhp52- thought my eyes were failing me.:dizzy:

Hamons
09-29-2003, 08:48 AM
I remember that picture off of a website that was posted by DCschall. It ias ovwerseede with Clover.

I don't think it looks very good myself.

trimmasters
09-29-2003, 12:33 PM
I think it needs this -- www.trugreen.com (http://www.trugreen.com)

mower_babe
09-29-2003, 07:40 PM
:eek:

mower_babe
10-07-2003, 01:53 AM
ok, so did this have a point or are my "blond roots" showing?

dvmcmrhp52
10-07-2003, 08:40 PM
As has been said it is a picture from a site that was listed for organics. It is a lawn that was overseeded with clover.(that's how I knew!:p )
As for A point.......My opinion on that is somewhat biased so in the interest of comeradery i'll wait for dan to answer.:cool:

Soooo....You have blonde Roots eh?:eek:

dan deutekom
10-07-2003, 09:28 PM
Mower_babe nothing wrong with blond roots:D

The point is that if I have to build a lawn care business I have to provide a product my clients want. The pole shows that the majority of our clients would not accept a lawn that looks like this. This picture is a promotional picture from a Halifax Lawn Care Company http://edmonds.ns.ca/lawncare/lawncare.php. Now I have nothing against organics, or synthetics but I do know that if almost 70% of the population do not find this to be an acceptable lawn then I am not going to have an easy time building a profitable business. The only way that organics can become a viable profitable business is to find a way to deliver what the client expects at a reasonable cost. Otherwise it will always be a fringe element. I always hear that we have to educate the client......... NO. That won't work. We have to give the client what they want. A green, weed free GRASS lawn . Most of them really don't care how it is done.

mower_babe
10-07-2003, 09:34 PM
Dan, hmm...interesting point.

dvm - sorry to mislead you - I am a brunette with blonde tendencies. :dizzy:

woodycrest
10-07-2003, 10:08 PM
Dan,

I understand your point, but overseeding with clover is not what i would offer to the customer. I agree that 'educating the client' is not going sell an organic program. In my opinion, if i can sell one customer an organic program and show good results then i have started the ball rolling.

Instead of giving the customer the blah blah blah, i can show them tangible results on actual lawns. I can offer the service at a substantially lower price than 'The Weed Man' and get comparable ,or in my opinion, better results over the long term.

A green, weed free, grass lawn is what i offer and i can provide it.

A poll with 8 responses isnt what i would call reliable evidence.

What do you think of this lawn???

YardMeister
10-07-2003, 10:35 PM
I like clover. For my own home, I follow an organic plan. For our customers, we offer a choice. If they want an organic plan, we can provide it. If they prefer the normal chemical approach, we can provide that too.

I have actually converted three of my neighbors to go organic, just from what my own yard looks like.

Yes, most of our customers want a chemical plan, but not all do.



:)

YardMeister
10-07-2003, 10:41 PM
I like clover. For my own home, I follow an organic plan. For our customers, we offer a choice. If they want an organic plan, we can provide it. If they prefer the normal chemical approach, we can provide that too.

I have actually converted three of my neighbors to go organic, just from what my own yard looks like.

Yes, most of our customers want a chemical plan, but not all do.



:)

Green in Idaho
10-07-2003, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by dan deutekom
but I do know that if almost 70% of the population do not find this to be an acceptable lawn then I am not going to have an easy time building a profitable business.

Dan, it appears your respirator mask is not working too well....

Given the fact that the picture is so far away and no one on here could even tell it has clover-- your 'planted' 5 responses mean NOTHING in 8 replies.

"My customer would fire me for this" for 5 responses???? GIVE ME a BREAK! Again, the photo doesn't even reveal the clover. The photo shows a GREEN nicely mowed lawn with lines straighter than 50% of the turf photos on this site!

You should go to work for some political party promoting their polls. Good one, you made me laugh!
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

BTW if you do not have permission to post that photo you are violating copyright law and at least one of the "COMMANDMENTS of lawnsite....:p

dvmcmrhp52
10-07-2003, 11:47 PM
Mowerbabe,we all have blonde tendencies at times.

As for a customer not wanting a lawn that looks like this one ....Then don't give them a lawn that looks like this one.
This picture is only ONE option of an organic program.
Nice try though dan.

dan deutekom
10-08-2003, 05:58 PM
GIH:

It certainly isn't to hard to get your knickers in a twist.


Originally posted by Green in Idaho
Dan, it appears your respirator mask is not working too well....

Given the fact that the picture is so far away and no one on here could even tell it has clover-- your 'planted' 5 responses mean NOTHING in 8 replies.

"My customer would fire me for this" for 5 responses???? GIVE ME a BREAK! Again, the photo doesn't even reveal the clover. The photo shows a GREEN nicely mowed lawn with lines straighter than 50% of the turf photos on this site!

You should go to work for some political party promoting their polls. Good one, you made me laugh!
:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

BTW if you do not have permission to post that photo you are violating copyright law and at least one of the "COMMANDMENTS of lawnsite....:p :D :D :D

And as far as planted responses well yes because Yardmonkey voted once for each response so in reality the poll is 100% the client would fire me. More people can respond if they like.

Send over the copyright police and let Lawnsite administrators ban me. While you are at it send over the crayon police because I don't colour between the lines.:D :D :D

One other thing You might notice that I am not afraid to post using my real name and location. I can be found in the phone book. Can't say the same about you. I have always found the more insecure people are in their beliefs the more they hide behind anonymity.

dvmcmrhp52: You are 100% right. It is only one option. I am still trying to find the balance of the high cost of organics compared to synthetic, the slower response time for organics as compared to synthetics and so far inconsistent results for organics, plus the fact that there still arn't organic solutions for all of the problems that occur with turf. I have concerns with what my clients expect in the way of quality. Until these concerns are answered I will be sitting on the fence questioning everything but I will also keep trying all methods to get my answers.

Dan

dvmcmrhp52
10-08-2003, 06:24 PM
Dan,
I guess the whole point is that your customers have to want it and be educated on what organics can and cannot do.An organic lawn will just not satisfy some people no matter what....They will stay synthetic.Others will move to organics in time or slowly,and still others won't have it any other way but organic.As time goes on and more communities legislate or put controls on fert usage
the demand for organic solutions will increase. My Idea is to be ahead of that curve, As well as slow down the use of synthetics that do have an impact on the environment.(no I'm not a tree hugger.I'm a conservationist not a preservationist.)

dan deutekom
10-08-2003, 06:43 PM
dvmcmrhp52

I think you and I are very much on the same wave link. Stay ahead of the the curve, try new things and use what is safe and works and keeps you in business.:)

yardmonkey
10-08-2003, 08:48 PM
As I indicated in my response, I did not vote in the poll. I guess I figured correctly that you were using this to argue that organics are not practical or profitable. As others have responded, this picture is not what most organic lawn care professionals would offer. I am also quite sure that probably millions of people in this country would be happy with that lawn. Myself, as a lawn care professional, I don't like seeing clover in a lawn. For most organic LCO's I'm sure the goal for most customers would be a nice healthy weed-free grass lawn.

In my opinion the cornerstone of organic lawncare is mulch-mowing. Combining this with other mowing practices (don't mow too low, don't mow too infrequently) may be all that is needed to maintain a very nice lawn. Some lawns may like to have some fertilizer - and there are countless organic options. And proper irrigation is another factor - many people over-water which can contribute to weed problems. One of the nicest, greenest, thickest (and weed-free) lawns I mow was not fertilized or watered at all this year (or probably for several years previously).

Once a healthy lawn is established it can be very easy to maintain it organically. The real challenge is in transforming weedy lawns without using poisons.

And I have to admit, after much reading here, I am starting to warm up to the idea that it may be an acceptable option to sometimes zap a lawn with a chemical herbicide just to get things under control to start with. Once the weeds are gone, the goal would be to develop healthy turf, and this in itself should take care of most weed problems.

As far as a business niche goes, if most people want chemicals and don't ever want to see a single weed, OK there are many LCOs around to take care of them. But if someone wants to be a little more eco-friendly - there are at this time only a very few professionals offering organic lawncare. High demand and low supply can make for a profitable situation. I'm not out to run some kind of scam to make a quick buck, but I certainly would not see organic lawn care as unprofitable or impractical. In fact it is the "wave of the future"........

woodycrest
10-08-2003, 10:13 PM
I agree, mowing practices are a very important part of maintaining a healthy lawn. Last season i saw major improvement on the golf courses i look after from just consistent mowing. Mowing in a different direction every time, mowing high.

I also have seen good results from letting the grass grow tall and not cutting as often, i think the result is that the roots go deeper when thegrass is left to grow.

Another important point is that the condition of the turf varies considerably at different times during the growing season regardless of fertiliztion and mowing practices.

dvmcmrhp52
10-08-2003, 10:59 PM
Ahhhh,A good healthy exchange of Ideas......This is good....

lawn_angel
10-10-2003, 01:32 PM
LOL...the lawn on top looked a lot like my lawn. And the second picture looked kind of like another one that I saw.

Speaking of overmowing a lawn, I wonder if you can kill a lawn by cutting it too low and too often. It baffles me how my next door neighbor does this and his grass seems to take whatever he dishes out. I've never seen him fertilize it. Maybe it is just super grass....LOL

About having a healthy lawn, my father swears by letting the grass grow to about a foot tall and then mowing it. Seems to work for him and it works well on our lawn. He never fertilizes or waters his lawn and neither do I. I only wish I could find a way to prevent dandelions and other weeds from sprouting. They grow so quick and they make the lawn look unkept. I would like to use an organic weed killer (little one in the house) if there is any.

I was thinking about starting a little lawn mowing business. What are the minimum supplies you need and how do you start? Oh, and do I need to worry about mr. tax man?

lawn_angel
10-10-2003, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by dan deutekom

Send over the copyright police and let Lawnsite administrators ban me. While you are at it send over the crayon police because I don't colour between the lines.:D :D :D


Given they probably would slap you on the hand for using their image without permission but I highly doubt they'd ban you.

lawn_angel
10-10-2003, 02:43 PM
:angel:

mower_babe
10-10-2003, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by lawn_angel
I was thinking about starting a little lawn mowing business. What are the minimum supplies you need and how do you start?


GO to just starting in business forum... more helpful than here.



Originally posted by lawn_angel
Oh, and do I need to worry about mr. tax man?

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Dchall_San_Antonio
10-14-2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by dan deutekom
The point is that if I have to build a lawn care business I have to provide a product my clients want. The pole shows that the majority of our clients would not accept a lawn that looks like this. This picture is a promotional picture from a Halifax Lawn Care Company http://edmonds.ns.ca/lawncare/lawncare.php. Now I have nothing against organics, or synthetics but I do know that if almost 70% of the population do not find this to be an acceptable lawn then I am not going to have an easy time building a profitable business. The only way that organics can become a viable profitable business is to find a way to deliver what the client expects at a reasonable cost. Otherwise it will always be a fringe element. I always hear that we have to educate the client......... NO. That won't work. We have to give the client what they want. A green, weed free GRASS lawn. Most of them really don't care how it is done. I don't understand why folks visit forums to post points and opinions that are in direct conflict with the premise of the forum. The only folks I've seen doing this are tree huggers and animal rights advocates when they are protesting a site with their spam. If there are facts in question, then that's one thing, but this is pure opinion about clover in a lawn. What is the value of searching the Internet for arguments to support an anti organic opinion for presentation to an antagonistic audience?

This forum is a place to discuss ways to make organic programs work, not to change peoples' opinions.

As long as I'm looking to make lemonade out of this thread, that Edmonds lawncare site is wonderful! Too bad Dan didn't mention that the picture he started with with was an 'after' picture of a before and after set. The 'before' picture is posted on that Edmonds site. The point of the picture set is to show how clover can be integrated into a turf to give a uniform appearance rather than the typical clover clumping appearance. I had never seen anything like that before. And I too did not recognize the clover in the picture at the top of this thread. It is readily apparent as clumps in the 'before' picture. If Dan had posted both pictures, explained the differences to those who could not see the clover in the 'after' pic, and then asked which one you prefer, I think the poll would be different. Too late for that, now.

I agree with Dan that organic turf management will be a fringe element for quite a long while. And in the mean time, this forum will put a group of grounds keepers ahead of the learning curve as to how to use the products.

We are not trying to twist the arms of synthetic oriented clients to change to an organic program. That is not at all what I'm trying to help with. When I talk about educating the clients, I'm talking about giving them the basics of your company's organic program so they know what to expect and when. It can be disconcerting to a customer to see every single neighbor putting out insecticide on the same weekend and you're not. But you have a reason not to, so they need to know that what you're doing is being done on purpose. That's the education I'm talking about.

One of the purposes of this forum is to discover the way to make the cost more reasonable. I believe the cost of commercially labeled organic fertilizers is outrageous. In some states, it appears the definitions of fertilizers will necessitate the use of those expensive labeled ferts. In some other states, corn meal, alfalfa, and coffee grounds seem to fall outside the state fertilizer definition leaving those as options for use in an unregulated way. I believe there should be some control over using them properly, but I'm afraid to insist on it. I can see the use of ordinary corn meal falling into a regulated state and never getting out again.

dan deutekom
10-14-2003, 06:55 PM
I think that you miss my point. I did not show the clumps of clover because that was definitely unacceptable. But an even dispersal of clover is? Let us change the species clover in the first picture to plantain or dandelion or knot-weed. Would it then be acceptable to have it evenly dispersed throughout the lawn.

I manage my lawns using every tool that is available. I dethatch, aerate and top dress. I use organics where I find them practical. I use many beneficial insects for pest control on my ornamental plantings where it makes sense, and I use the least toxic material for the desired effects. Unfortunately it seems that organics are an either/or proposition and that includes this forum. In my neck of the woods synthetics are being made illegal in the next year. These laws are passed by people with absolutely no knowledge of horticulture. I find it frustrating that all of the research on synthetics is discredited by the organic fringe.

I agree one of the reasons for this forum is to make costs more reasonable but until someone can change existing laws and economics that probably won't happen.

I think the main thing that bothers me about the organic movement is that if it is synthetic it is "BAD". A lot of the organic solutions arn't great for the environment either and they arn't even tested in most cases.

I think we have discussed corn, corn meal and corn gluten meal in great length. I have also tried it. My non scientific opinion is that for me it is:

1: expensive and bulky to apply
2: timing is everything for it to have any sort of control of weeds (unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to apply this material in the right timing on my lawns)
3: does nothing to eliminate existing weeds
4: has not shown to me any noticeable decrease in fungus problems
5: as a fertilizer it is slow to react

I am not adverse to organics (heck I am right now in the process off spreading and mixing 40 yards of mushroom compost into my annual beds) but I will still use my Liquid 20-20-20 every two weeks in the summer to really make them grow.

Keep up the good discussions and I will probably keep being a thorn in your sides while I learn something new. My mind is open;)

Dan

dvmcmrhp52
10-14-2003, 08:08 PM
Good post David.
Dan It is good to hear that you have an open mind,Keep it that way........As for the thorns......Use as few as possible please.

Green in Idaho
10-14-2003, 08:15 PM
San this is not argue with your points but to point some things out that i notice, since I'm killing time before the news comes on.


[QUOTE]Originally posted by dan deutekom
[B]I think that you miss my point. I did not show the clumps of clover because that was definitely unacceptable. But an even dispersal of clover is?

1) One man's weed is another flower. What is unacceptable to you and others IS acceptable to some. It's even more acceptable to more when they learn clover puts nitrogen back into the soil and it's easy to keep green. Personally the main thing I don't like about clover is the bees and the potential of stepping on one. A full lawn of clover and even in bloom makes me think of a meadow of flowers. Part of organics is accpeting inperfection and getting away from homogenous stands.



Let us change the species clover in the first picture to plantain or dandelion or knot-weed.
2) I would not mind an area of full of dandelions for the profuse yellow flowers. I don't have one, but if my yard was big enough I might. But more importantly the clover IS a desirable for the nitrogen aspect of it.



I manage my lawns using every tool that is available. I dethatch, aerate and top dress. I use organics where I find them practical. I use many beneficial insects for pest control on my ornamental plantings where it makes sense, and I use the least toxic material for the desired effects. Unfortunately it seems that organics are an either/or proposition and that includes this forum.
3) Intergrated Pest Management.
4) There have already been several threads discussing a hybrid of organics and chemicals when necessary.


In my neck of the woods synthetics are being made illegal in the next year. ....but until someone can change existing laws

5) Your OWN post says laws are changing. Everywhere, and in every state there is a trend of a flow against "commercial lawn care".
-Florida bans yard waste in landfills-
-California cities ban noisy backpack blowers
and the list goes on.

The changing laws are simply FORCING operators to change their ways. Just like laws are forcing corporate CEOs to change their ways. When an industry does not govern and direct themselves, the legislators find it necessary to do so.

As the laws continue to force lawn biz to change the economy of scale will change and the economics will continue to make it feasible and profitable.


I think the main thing that bothers me about the organic movement is that if it is synthetic it is "BAD". A lot of the organic solutions arn't great for the environment either and they arn't even tested in most cases.
6) Such as....



I think we have discussed corn, corn meal and corn gluten meal in great length. I have also tried it. My non scientific opinion is that for me it is:

: expensive and bulky to apply
: timing is everything for it to have any sort of control of weeds (unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to apply this material in the right timing on my lawns)

7) SAME as any preemerent
: does nothing to eliminate existing weeds
8) SAME as other prem

: has not shown to me any noticeable decrease in fungus problems
: as a fertilizer it is slow to react
9) that is a GOOD thing for many and how could you notice anti-fungul qualities IF you don't have fungus in your lawns?

I am not adverse to organics (heck I am right now in the process off spreading and mixing 40 yards of mushroom compost into my annual beds) but I will still use my Liquid 20-20-20 every two weeks in the summer to really make them grow.
10) Miracle Grow???? :p

How about using a test plot for your annuals?
While mixing in the compost add some rock phosphate to one bed and then use it as test for organics and then at the end of next year you will have more first-hand results.

It's a progression and working towards a goal. It's certainly not black and white....

GarPA
10-14-2003, 08:30 PM
Woodycrest...I agree.
I took over 2 crappy commercial lawns this year. The yahoo who was mowing it last year would show up when he felt like it, and scalp it. SO when we took it over it was thin, weedy, anemic.

Regular weekly mowing at 3.75 inches. THey have received no fert or chemicals at all this season. They now look healthy and thicker, with a few weeds...but not many.

I said sometime ago on this subject that some of the healthiest turf I see is on some public soccer fields and baseball fields where I walk my dog. These get ZERo chemicals and never have fungus, when many other lawns do. Stay greener in heat/drought. I still say that mother nature has a way of taking care of herself with a little help in the form of regular mulch mowing . Call me misinformed, but I know what I've observed over the past few years.

Johnny
10-15-2003, 12:42 AM
Everyone needs to read this...

http://www.richsoil.com//lawn/

lost mountain
10-17-2003, 07:56 PM
Dchall_San_Antonio: "I can see the use of ordinary corn meal falling into a regulated state and never getting out again."

Sounds like vitamins and the FDA doesn't it?

Re: Overseeding clover... I was visiting my inlaws in Norway for a couple of weeks this past July and talking with my mother-in-law about their lawn. She showed me the bag of grass seed they used and it was a mix of Ryegrass and Red Clover. This is the common seed blend used on lawns in Norway as it turns out.

A1 Grass
10-22-2003, 08:18 PM
I like this thread.

Say, what do you guys think of this lawn?

dan deutekom
10-22-2003, 08:41 PM
The lawn looks great but the house looks like it had a little to much synthetic building material:D

dvmcmrhp52
10-22-2003, 11:18 PM
:laugh:

Dchall_San_Antonio
10-23-2003, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by dan deutekom
I think we have discussed corn, corn meal and corn gluten meal in great length. I have also tried it. My non scientific opinion is that for me it is:

1: expensive and bulky to apply
2: timing is everything for it to have any sort of control of weeds (unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to apply this material in the right timing on my lawns)
3: does nothing to eliminate existing weeds
4: has not shown to me any noticeable decrease in fungus problems
5: as a fertilizer it is slow to react1: Agreed that commercial branded organic fertilizers are expensive. If your state limits you to applying only the commercial branded and tested fertilizers, you're stuck. If you are allowed by state rules to apply pure corn meal or alfalfa as soil amendments, you should be okay to save a considerable amount on materials. I also agree that organic materials are bulky. It takes 50 pounds of organics to cover 5,000 square feet versus 15 pounds of Lesco synthetic.
2: Agreed, as with all preemergents, timing is everything.
3: Agreed as with other preemegents.
4: It works for me and is working for many, many others. One factor in the application that will prevent it from working is the prior application of fungicides. If there is no living Trichoderma fungus in the soil, the corn meal will have nothing to draw on.
5: Agreed. The work around for that is to apply 3 weeks earlier than you might have otherwise.

Thanks y'all for not turning this into a free for all. My last post was antagonistic but nobody lowered themselves to rebut. Thanks!!