Adding organics from a newbie

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by grassmasterswilson, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,468

    Anyone got some good links on learning the advantages of organics? What have you found gave the best results?

    I'm a complete traditional app company and have thought about adding some organics. I'm one of the few companies who advertise and business has picked up, so developing a program that would improve soil stucture would benefit my long term results.

    I treat all the turf types.

    Fescue- we stop from June-August on apps since temps are well into the 90s and humidity is up. Lime goes down in August but maybe am opportunity for a micro app or something?

    Warm - we pretty much treat every 2 months year round. Some years the apps are loser in the summer when things are growing. Maybe a winter organic app or replacing a Fert app. With organics?

    I'm interested and try to do what is best for the lawn. I Spot spray when necessary and only fertilize as recommended. I'm just getting mixed reviews on the effective ness of organic apps.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Organics is pretty simple and 100 years ago even the city people understood how life cycles work ,,, they could grow Victory Gardens with ease...
    The problem with modern day organics is that we always need instant results and try to manipulate the natural cycling of nutrients w/out regard to consuming microbes...
    Compost gives you your best results ,,, right now,,, whereas other organic apps have to rot down and the nutrients have to then get into the plant from there... If the microbes are not that active, due to heat, cold , moisture stresses then the process could take quite a while, therefore a "Bridge Program" is recommended for the business world...
    If you go 100% "Organics" your customers will soon grow weary of the whole idea... Spot Spraying is earth friendly compared to annual blanket apps and maturing the lawn may very well eliminate it completely...

    Just don't get drawn into all the mythology that goes with 'new age organics'... Keep It Simple and you'll do fine... :)
     
  3. Victorsaur

    Victorsaur LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    There are organic herbicides and fertilizers. Among those there are organic post emergents which are either selective or non selective. The organic pre emergents don't work well (corn gluten meal). Organic use of herbicide will have a much bigger impact than organic fertilizers in my opinion and I'm still learning about them. Whatever herbicide you use you really want systemic herbicides that work. I personally use flame engineering products as a non selective and am going to try out but have heard great things about ADIOS as a selective herbicide. Both are of course systemic. There is also the Frostbite weed system but they want to rip you off. They're selling the backpack systems for 3,000 dollars, no thanks. PM phasthound about ADIOS.
     
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,779

    No apps on fescue in the summer? (For reduced brown patch?) Wouldn't that be a good time for an organic slow-release fertilizer? Or for fescue, a good time to do the lime--since you have decided on no fert?

    You might consider an ap of a low toxicity herbicide--spot or blanket as needed. Try to find a product that is less toxic than Weed b Gone. Of course, you may need specialty aps like crabgrass, and nutsedge.

    And I agree--nothing wrong with an ap of micronutrients with high iron content. Its hot--and probably humid--but you still want to help the lawn thrive, and you still need income for those months. Consider aps of grub control or incesct (I mean insect) control. Consider aps of fungicide. Different plan for irrigated grass?

    Its a bit complicated when your fescue needs a different program than the Bermuda. And zoysia? Centipede?

    I am not sure if others have found a way to treat two different grass types with one truck and one trip.

    --two tanks?
    --tank and spreader?
    --two spreaders?
    --Spreader and backpack?
    --Three spreaders, (and three products, for three grass species)? Big companies cannot do this. And neither can small companies--unless they have unusually talented people.
    Of course, you want to use the 50 pound stainless steel spreaders; they take up less room on the truck.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  5. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,468

    Good advice. I treat warm season throughout the year. This year I've scheduled fescue apps in feb, April, aug, sept, oct, nov.

    From June-August our temps are in the 90s and humid. I don't have the guts to try and spray quinclorac or 3way in that weather due to potential burn. Most fescue is covered in brown patch but people just won't pay for 2-3 apps of hear irate or headway fungicide.

    I was just thinking I might find an app that wouldn't harm the them and could e applied in the summer. Maybe propiconozole in June? Would need to price it out but might only last 30 days.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    So this ISN'T about organics...
     
  7. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,468

    I was thinking an organic app in the summer of micros, Fert, or something to benefit the soil structure

    From what I've read an organic product is safer in hot conditions than synthetic.
     
  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 978

    Dare I bring up Milorganite for summer? I hear and read all different remarks good and bad. I tried some 10 days ago on a lawn. So far not very green but more like a lime color green showing up. Maybe needs more time to work. However, it rained really really hard a few hours after I applied which p'd me off cause weather report said small chance of rain and not thunder boomers that occurred.
     
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,779

    This requires a bit of experimentation. Find a place to experiment. Try your favorite herbicide at double and triple strength when the temp is over 90. Same for Drive, (quinclorac). Ideally you should try it on all types of grass you regularly treat.

    See my results in recent weeks.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    What would be bad about fertilizer being washed in after it was applied? Did you apply at the recommended, 1 bag per 2500 sq.ft.??
     

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