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  #1  
Old 03-06-2007, 07:38 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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1st Year of Organic Program

Having been in my house for 5 years and not wanting to do the quick, and I believe dangerous, fix of chemical treatments on my lawn, I have located and hired a local Organic Lawn Care company. I was wondering if anyone could offer insight as to whether I should do an aeration and seeding before the first treatment. I live in PA and the gound is still frozen but is thawing. I did slit seed last fall but the lawn is a mess (lots of clover) and needs much attention. Thanks for any help.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:11 PM
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mrkosar mrkosar is offline
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First, let me tell you to be patient with the company. It will work, but will take time, some extra services, and possibly some manual weed pulling in the beginning. I would recommend aeration and overseeding this spring, then again in the fall for the first year. after that i would do it every fall. once you thicken the lawn up to where there are no bare spots you will rarely see weeds. you might have to pull 2-3 weeds per week by hand or with a weedhound.

Now if your lawn is more than 50% weeds, you might as well nuke it with Round Up and start over completely. Also, ask the company if they do any compost topdressings. This will help build up your soil life much quicker, and improve your soil structure. This is great following the aeration.

How much are they charging you for your lawn if you don't mind? How many square feet is it? How many applications? I just like to see what companies are charging for organic lawn care these days.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:36 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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Aeration, seed, top dress and then the 1st treatment?
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:37 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I have waited 5 years to sart the process so I can be patient. The company is called Naural Lawn of America. They are the only organic one I could find in my area. They are charging $62.00 per treatment for 7 treatments based on a treatment area of 15,000 sq. ft. I don't know if that is a good price because they are the only ones in my area. I think it is comparable to the chemical co. charges.
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:52 PM
Prolawnservice Prolawnservice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pundit View Post
Thanks for the reply. I have waited 5 years to sart the process so I can be patient. The company is called Naural Lawn of America. They are the only organic one I could find in my area. They are charging $62.00 per treatment for 7 treatments based on a treatment area of 15,000 sq. ft. I don't know if that is a good price because they are the only ones in my area. I think it is comparable to the chemical co. charges.
Thats way too cheap for a true orgainic program. I'm in NJ so I know the COL is a little higher, but my bridge program is twice that price, there is no way a TRUE organic program could cost that little.
After reviewing their website it seems they offer an "ORGANIC-BASED" lawn program, bunch of marketing BS, to people who don't know enough about how to shop for an organic provider. Do some research, ask what they will use, decide for yourself if that is what you want after reviewing the facts. True organic products are usually not more than 12% N that's the first # in analysis, they are selling blended products with 25% nitrogen, if that's what the put on your lawn, its not organic.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:25 PM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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I had and have some of the concerns you mentioned. The Company told me that they use an 18% Nitrogen Fertilizer. I did recognize the distinction in their advertising regarding "organic Based' and "safer" (not safe). However, even though I am just outside Philadelphia they are the only service I could find with even a pretense of being organic. I would welcome any info. regarding any true organic services in my area.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:14 AM
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mrkosar mrkosar is offline
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i do agree with prolawn that they are not offering a pure organic program if they are putting down organic based fertilizers with 18% nitrogen. however, from my research of this company they should be able to offer you a pure organic program (not sure about the PA franchise), and i'm sure it will be more expensive....but in the long run worth it.

i believe there is nothing wrong with a "bridge" type program, and feel it is better, and safer than the companies out there blanket treating lawns with unnecessary chemicals. so in this sense, i believe in "bridge" type programs because i feel the fertilizer is better than the normal pure synthetic ferts out there, plus the reduction of chemicals is significant. IT IS a good amount of marketing bs, but everything in business is about showing your positive side, while hiding the negatives. that is marketing. that is how you drive sales.

so, my advice...see if they offer another program that is completely organic. if not, look into ordering organic fert online, then putting it down yourself. or have them do a bridge type program and be happy with the fact that they are reducing the pesticides and that you are probably getting a much more complete fertilizer than some of those other companies offer, for example ones with dogs on the sides of their trucks.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:37 AM
NattyLawn NattyLawn is offline
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Pundit, where are you located? I'm in Lancaster County, but you said your right outside of Philly.

Anyway, I did have a short stint as a salesman at Naturalawn, and the branch I worked at (Kutztown) did have an organic program that put down their 6-2-2 (I think that was NPK) CGM blend 4 times per year. It will def. cost more than the 62 per app they quoted you at. That program was for the more established lawns, and yours sounds like it's not quite there yet. If you want to aerate, seed and topdress this spring make sure there not putting down a pre-emergent along with the fertilizer as this will inhibit new seed germination.
For best results, take a soil sample (send to a lab or ag extension), fix any nutrient deficiencies (with organics your building the soil), then kill and seed after Aug. 15th. I recommend seeding in the fall, unless you can water and keep up with the turf. Spring seeding will only get a short growing season before heat and summer stress hit, and the new seed will require attention. Seeding in the fall, will get 2 growing seasons before stress hits and gives the turf a much better chance of survival. This is all sight unseen of course. From the sound of it, you might be able to do all of this yourself.

Prolawn: Naturalawn has a DIY program and I never understood why they sell the products they do to the consumer. They don't use most of them in the service end, but from the way the company works, this varies from branch to branch.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:53 AM
Pundit Pundit is offline
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I am in Montgomery County. You would think there would be more choices around here. I will call the Co. again and see the exact programs they offer and the pricing. Thanks for the input.
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2007, 12:23 PM
scottreil scottreil is offline
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Prolawn, some of the chicken manure based products can be as high as 18 percent, and I see a lot of the guys in our area basing their "organic" programs on just that product. Urea IS more water soluable, so it is more like the chemical fertilizers in that 1) there is a quick release from the water soluable part and 2) unlike most organics you can burn a lawn but good if you aren't careful...

And that is where any disagreement ends. There is no real soil building going on here, and certainly no real understanding of the biology that IS being created or already exists. So simply applying a certain # of times per year without testing is a shotgun approach at best, and considering the chicken poop approach's downfalls, could well lead to a bacterial crash and anaroebic conditions in the right circumstances. Physician, heal thyself...

S
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