Advertise organics now?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by starry night, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,539

    Looking for some opinions: Will it do any good to advertise organic treatments now with most of the big companies (e.g. TruGreen, Scotts) normally renewing customers (non-organic) last Fall?
     
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    Absolutely, just because someone has signed up does not mean they have to stay on the program, they can call up and say "no thanks" at any time

    Stand on the sidewalk downtown and hand out flyers, go to watershed association meetings or other meetings that folks that lean towards organics. Got to the local grocery stores that may lean towards organics and leave brochures behind

    Go talk to McDonalds, Marriott, property managers, county managers. I have seen several hotels in my travels that have a sign where you check in "your children are safe to play on our property, it is maintained organically" or something to that effect

    All of those folks love to market themselves as helpful and harmless, DO NOT underestimate the marketing potential for other companies for your services

    If you are doing your own marketing it should be focused squarely at 18 to 45 year old mothers and no one else.
     
  3. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    and get a woman to to it and its like a duck shoot!!!! trust me on this one get to the real heads of house!!!!
     
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,539

    Thanks Bill and treegal. I am a niche landscape contractor. I don't do everything but what I do, I do the best. I've been studying the organic approach to lawn care through this winter. I thought I knew a fair amount about soil but now I've learned a whole lot more (and more to come.) I always thought of the organic folks as kind of "kooky" because I don't share a fear of harm to humans from synthetic fertilizers and herbicides when used with care and as directed. But I want to do what is most healthy for the soil and turf. After studying, it sounds like organics will make for long-term health of turf because the soil is healthier.

    As for marketing, thanks for the ideas Bill. And treegal, I know who the decision makers are in a household! I influence her but when it comes right down to it, my wife makes the decisions in our house.

    I will be looking forward to other posts on this thread.
     
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    I do not subscribe completely to the no chemical story either. Even the most organic of organic (NOFA) have an emergency form that they use when they have to pull a chemical trigger.

    The form is filled out as to the product being used, app rate and any warnings, often they will supply a copy of the label as well. The homeowner then has to sign off on the treatment

    I believe it is about less inputs, if you can have a great looking stand of turf and you are using 75% less chemicals than you were before, that is success in my book. You could also call it an IPM approach if you like, diagnose before application
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    I'll add that my goal is to return the landscape to a "natural" habitat, or at least as close as one can get on developed property. Is my goal realized on every property I work with .... no, but that doesn't stop me from trying to get there. :)
     
  7. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    now that's the wisest thing I have seen in a while, even from a purist of sorts its still in the last resort category, if its a high value plant or crop and the danger factor is low, then go the way of the chemical and do what you need to do, but only as a last resort, maybe think about letting it die or just replace it with something more native or resistant??
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Agriculture != Landscapes.

    This is a very important distinction to make, especially given much of the information/research out there is generated by the agricultural industry. That doesn't mean the information is invalid with respect to landscapes, but one needs to keep the end game in mind.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    What do you plan to do for a "Program"? 4-6 apps perseason or on an 'as needed basis'?
     
  10. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,539

    What I have in mind is: soil test first; then core aeration with compost application; and 4 to 5 apps. I would customize it all according to results. One thing I would like advice on is the timing of the first application in relation to the compost. I have a good source for yard-waste compost. I would prefer to use plant-derived ferts. I also need to study a little more about compost tea. (Yes, I expect to hear from Bill.)
     

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