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  #1  
Old 01-27-2012, 06:22 PM
jf69 jf69 is offline
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new to organic lawn care

I am very interested in the organic way. I want to offer it to my customers. Can anyone give any insight as to what to use for lawn care..i.e. crabgrass control/insect/fungus/weed/spot weed/fertilizer. And what kind of schedule are you using? Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2012, 07:56 PM
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phasthound phasthound is online now
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"Can anyone give any insight as to what to use for lawn care..i.e. crabgrass control/insect/fungus/weed/spot weed/fertilizer."

It doesn't work that way for organics. Start with understanding soil health.

You have some good resources available in Long Island.

http://www.grassrootsinfo.org/
http://longislandnn.org/pesticides/index.htm
http://thenaturelyceum.com/Jeff_Fran...re_Lyceum.html
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The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2012, 07:35 PM
Cronkshorticulture Cronkshorticulture is offline
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We mow a little shorter than usual before we aerate. Then we dethatch the lawn. Then rake or vacuum the debris up. After you have cleaned up, aerate. Then run the slice seeder behind it. You can also topdress with compost or peat.Be sure to keep the seed moist.These are just basic cultural practices that will help insure any lawns health. Always just go back to the basic cultural practices
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:24 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cronkshorticulture View Post
We mow a little shorter than usual before we aerate. Then we dethatch the lawn. Then rake or vacuum the debris up. After you have cleaned up, aerate. Then run the slice seeder behind it. You can also topdress with compost or peat.Be sure to keep the seed moist.These are just basic cultural practices that will help insure any lawns health. Always just go back to the basic cultural practices
This is a prime example of psuedo-organic systems, becuz it has no sense of reality that is any different than synthetics.

Especially the part about removing the natural organic matter from the turf so that other organic material can be brought in.

That is my most irritating pet-peeve, even in the synfert world
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:34 PM
Cronkshorticulture Cronkshorticulture is offline
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please explain how removing thatch from the turf to allow water into the soil profile is not an "organic" practice. This allows water to penetrate into the soil profile. If thatch is thicker than an inch it impedes water, nutrients and organic matter from entering the soil profile. Top dressing with an organic material improves drainage, evens out rough terrain, etc. As organic matter breaks down it filters through the existing soil to improve texture and overall health. Im confused with how these are not organic turf practices.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:51 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Originally Posted by Cronkshorticulture View Post
please explain how removing thatch from the turf to allow water into the soil profile is not an "organic" practice. This allows water to penetrate into the soil profile. If thatch is thicker than an inch it impedes water, nutrients and organic matter from entering the soil profile. Top dressing with an organic material improves drainage, evens out rough terrain, etc. As organic matter breaks down it filters through the existing soil to improve texture and overall health. Im confused with how these are not organic turf practices.
This particular aspect of lawn care really goes to the heart of the differences between natural and artificial practices.
Thatch is a symptom of an artificial practice, rather than being a naturally occuring phenomena in healthy turf.

Once that problems are detected and corrected it is a simple matter to return the turf to healthy levels of 'thatch' as well. This happens as the decay of dead plant material equals or exceeds its build up.

This is a basic or fundamental principle, that guides the specific detailed scenario of each lawn, climate, soil and type of grass. Once this principle is firmly in the mind of the professional, the rest comes easy.

Tell me about your soil, ferts, water practices, and as long as it is 'cool season' grasses I can lay out specific ideas that should turn a hydrophobic thatch layer into a nicely structured soil in less than one season.
This is one case in which 'organic' practies are way cheaper than conventional...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2012, 02:15 PM
JCResources JCResources is offline
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Originally Posted by Smallaxe View Post
Thatch is a symptom of an artificial practice, rather than being a naturally occuring phenomena in healthy turf.
Correct, but what's wrong with mechanically removing it and getting on with life.

I'd be interested in hearing your methods because I have a property I took over late last season and will be converting it to organic care. Heavy clay soil, irrigated and cared for by synthetic fert company. Pulled a soil sample, have not sent it in yet, will post pics of plugs. Has thatch and poor root penetration.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Legacy...C/256225321177
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2012, 10:51 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Originally Posted by JCResources View Post
Correct, but what's wrong with mechanically removing it and getting on with life.

I'd be interested in hearing your methods because I have a property I took over late last season and will be converting it to organic care. Heavy clay soil, irrigated and cared for by synthetic fert company. Pulled a soil sample, have not sent it in yet, will post pics of plugs. Has thatch and poor root penetration.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Legacy...C/256225321177
It is not really a set of methods, that we impose upon the grass, but rather enhancing their environment, that they may reach their full potential...

We know that tilth and soil structure are of primary importance, so that the roots are able to quickly and easily grow into it for food and water.
We know that root hairs are the extensions that do all the work.
We know there is an entire entourage of microbrials that do everything from exchanging carbon molecules to gathering specific minerals, as needed, at the tip of every hair.

A lot of tilth and structure is reliant on the amount of OM as well as, How the OM is added... Imagine:
If you shrunk down to the size of a bug and walked throught the forest of grass plants as though they were trees; what do you think that forest floor would look like?
Have you investigated much in the way of forest floors?
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:39 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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So, with all those things in mind, the point is, Turn the thatch into SOM(Soil Organic Matter) and let the watering system perfect the habitat of the fungi/bacteria that feeds and waters the grasses.
It is not strange that the same watering practices that optimize beneficial microbial growth provides excellent moisture/air ratio for the rhizosphere as well...

You want the thatch to disintegrate at the same time you want the root hairs to recycle that disintegrated material.
This is the most efficient and mutually beneficial system observed in healthy turf growth as anything else one may expect.

Hydroponics is very intensive, but fails to produce essential sugars for 'flavor'.
Herbicides eliminate competition, but not w/out side effects.
Fertilizers can produce rapid growth , but operate on a feast or famine cycle of artificiality...

Our best judgement involves,

*1...augmenting natural soil fertility w/out *2...creating a chemical dependancy... These are 2 very different and opposites systems of soil building.
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
*
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2012, 02:59 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Certain METHODS to be observed in cool season grasses might be:

* to NOT apply N, before the 2nd or 3rd mowing...
* to NOT irrigate until the surface layer of the turf is sufficiently dry.

* DO apply various quick acting foods for decomposers w/out encouraging above ground root growth... (or excessive top growth, for that matter)

* Over the course of the season, add more complex foods to the microherd... i.e., Start with molasses, then do corn meal and try to get soybean meal down by fall, to accomplish the most complete array of microbes possible. (Compost may very well fulfill the entire spectrum, all by itself)...

We must always remember that any given system or "METHOD" is only a general concept and will not apply in a "One Size Fits All" world...

An interesting point to remember is that, one does not buy into one philosophy or another, in regards, to lawncare and horticultural practices, so that one may be considered "ORGANIC" vs. "SYNTHETIC"...
Rather one understands the growth of plants, then works to OPTIMIZE the growth habits of the entire Landscape...
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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