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  #1  
Old 02-07-2008, 07:30 PM
Newby08 Newby08 is offline
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cost comparison Organic Vs. Traditional

What is the cost comparison of organic chemicals compared to traditional chemicals? I was talking to a lesco dealer earlier today who obviously baulked at the idea of using only organics and he was saying that it would be alot more expensive and a lot more work involved, applying once a month rather than once every 6 weeks. I was wandering if any of you have any experience using this as a commercial application of only organic lawn care. Is it more expensive for me and is it more expensive for the customer? I live in Georgia and organics are just barely beginning to make their way down here if at all. I might be one of the first pioneers. I can't find any other organic companies around. Any help would be nice. I really like the idea of using only organics but if its not going to work then I am willing to do a hybrid and have it as an option if I have to.

Thanks
Adam
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:13 PM
ICT Bill ICT Bill is offline
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Do you really expect your fertilizer supplier to tell you "no, you don't need to come here anymore, just go down to southern states and buy some alfalfa meal"?
Cost justify all you would like, the fact of the matter is that you can grow better grass and it will cost you less money in the long run than "YOUR BUDDY'S" program.
Did he also ask you for your order, Oh and by the way ferilizer prices have gone up 64%

All kidding aside you will have to investigate the different types of programs out there and what you are comfortable with.

Some I have spoken too feel more comfortable using organic based products and with 5% of the customers using a meal or compost or some mixture of total organic, just so they can watch the results an a few and tweak if necessary
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:25 PM
Newby08 Newby08 is offline
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OK, at first I was lost, then I understood you were kidding, then I got lost again. Basically all I got from there was that it is cheaper in the long run and fertilizer has gone through the roof. I didn't quite catch on to what the last part was about and any idea where I might can find some of these programs to look at? Or is it the same as a traditional program just changing the chemicals around?

Thanks
Adam
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2008, 09:46 PM
ICT Bill ICT Bill is offline
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Look at Barry Draycotts company techterra they have some great performing organic based products, their products put a lot of organic matter in the soil which is a key

Read up on compost teas at the soil food web site

order the book by jeff lowenfels, teaming with microbes, and read it right away

go to the NOFA site www.organiclandcare.net and order the book on organic lawn care, they also have good books on organic pesticides and herbicides

buy Paul Tukeys book "the organic lawn care manual" and use it as a reference
I'm beat good night
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  #5  
Old 02-08-2008, 12:44 AM
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dtally dtally is offline
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Two great books, read then both and still refer to them. Another great book is "Soil Biology Primer", it's a great place to learn what the soil food web is all about and why organics are so important.

Mother Nature did a really good job all by her self, then we can along and started "improving things" and destroyed millions of years of hard work.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:58 AM
Newby08 Newby08 is offline
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dtally, your from SC? How is the organics market in your area? I can hardly find any here in GA and I'm unsure of how the market is here. Also some have said that it will be harder to control insects and stuff since it doesn't get cold enough here to kill them off in the winter. Just the other day I saw yellow jackets and a mosquito and it's the beginning of Feb.
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:02 AM
Newby08 Newby08 is offline
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sounds like I've got some -more- reading to do. thanks for the advice, I'll definitly track them down. I've already been talking to Tech Terra too, good to here that they are a good company.
Thanks for the help
Adam
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2008, 08:00 AM
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dtally dtally is offline
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I don't think NC or SC is not much different than anywhere else, as far as organics goes. Controlling pest is a problem with organics; I have not found much if anything that works very well. Sure wish someone could shed some light on this. As far as the market goes, SC and NC both are great, I have several competitors, some doing a bang up job and others, well… I don’t like to talk bad about people.

If you are looking for a supplier, we have a company in SC called Organic Plant Healthcare, www.organicplanthealthcare.com. They carry Nutrients Plus products as well as their own specialty products. I don’t know where in GA you are but Atlanta is not far from Charlotte.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2008, 11:18 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newby08 View Post
sounds like I've got some -more- reading to do.
That is the number one problem with anyone starting an organic program.
The fear that one needs to be an expert before even getting experience.
Replace a fertilizer application with a compost application and see if the fert. was missed.
Analyse what you see and gain from that experience. Then take another step

If you think that skipping a fert application will destroy the lawn. Don't worry about it. The other 5 apps will cover you. lol.

When I took over a Chemlawn lawn the grass was burning out , thinning, and the blower was picking it up in whole chunks like a rotting carpet. 6 apps per season with no irrigation.
The first thing I did was nothing. In the fall applied a winterizer and that was it, other than mowing.

I tried to reseed but the soil was so polluted nothing germinated that first year. Weeds niether. Don't be afraid to take a simple step of any kind. Following a "program" makes no more sense in organics than it does with synthetics.

Programs are for people who can't think on their feet. If the lawn is fine don't fix it. If there is a problem learn to treat the problem not the symptom.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2008, 11:33 AM
Newby08 Newby08 is offline
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so what do you do to keep the customer happy when you send them the bill if you do nothing? how are you suppose to make any money? I'm not saying I just want to make money, I want to do this right and treat my customers right but I also need to make money. Around here it is mostly bermuda grass, any takes on if that has much different effect than anything else or needs to be treated any differently. I'm pretty sure it doesn't other than the cutting height. Like I said I'm new at this so I have plenty of questions.
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