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Old 04-18-2012, 04:24 PM
Fine Gardens Landscaping Fine Gardens Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakland CA
Posts: 109
Brainstorming Organic Landscape Maintenance Methods

I currently offer traditional landscape maintenance programs using herbicides and traditional fertilizers.

I would like to provide an option for customers who are interested in organic landscape maintenance (no pesticides). If they want an organic LMP it is going to require a commitment from them. In other words, they need to be willing to spend some money in landscape re-design projects if needed. The reason for this is because a properly designed landscape that has plants appropriate to the climate, good soil, irrigation, mulch, etc. will not be plagued by the problems that require pesticide usage in the first place.

EXAMPLES OF THAT MIGHT BE:
Re-designing landscape beds: Weed block fabric, plants on drip system instead of sprinklers, thick layer of mulch, topping off mulch layer annually
Repairing or replacing damaged lawns: A thick healthy lawn provides enough of a barrier to prevent most weeds from taking root.
Replacing problematic plants with native varieties, or varieties that do well in this area.

METHODS
Once the landscape is set up properly there will still obviously be some weeding duties, plants and turf requiring nutrition, etc. So I need to come up with some good methods of doing that stuff. So far Iíve mostly looked into weed control and I came across the flaming method, as well as the boiling method. From what I gather the flaming method only works on very small weeds and not very well on grass (have not actually tried it). Iíve had good success with boiling but itís time consuming. I have plug in tea kettle that holds about Ĺ a gallon. It boils water in about two minutes, then I pour the water into a watering pale with a shower spout because that is more efficient then just pouring it straight out of the tea kettle. It works well for killing weeds in driveway cracks, sidewalks, brick, open areas, etc.

THATíS ALL I HAVE SO FAR,

If you can add anything to what I said thatíd be great. Feel free to correct me if Iím off base on anything, Iím just brainstorming here. Once I get enough information I will write up a detailed organic LMP and share it with the lawnsite community.

I have not looked into organic pre-emergents (lawns, and planting beds), or organic plant nutrition (lawn and plants) so itíd be great if you can share any tips on that stuff. Iím also open to different strategies on organic weed control.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:16 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Central Wisconsin
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Fabric is useless in landscapes under mulch... fabric under stone is more appropriate... a well amintained landscape means weeds are not an issue... too much water in the landscape creates most of the modern day problems with weeds and disease... fertilizer is almost always unnecessary in perennial beds and never necessary with trees/shrubs unless a deficeincy disease is proven... fertilizing trees/shrub invites insects and disease...

With lawns use a bridge program instead of providing less satisfaction for more money, as is typical for most "organic programs"... learn how grass grows naturally in various environments and grow quality turfgrass, rather than "replace" synthetics with the same ol', same ol' program,,, using "organic products"...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:43 PM
Fine Gardens Landscaping Fine Gardens Landscaping is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Oakland CA
Posts: 109
By weed block, I meant permeable weed block. I've found that works better for preventing weeds than mulch alone.

Appreciate your tips, especially about the turfgrass.
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