Advertise organics now?

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

  1. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    Dirt and hoops

    You can't do it wrong, you can only do it better (Kevin John Richardson)

    He also said "Organic matter is the gas that makes the engine run"

    If you are doing core aeration.........spray compost teas AFTER core aeration and BEFORE anything else
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I was going to add seed along with the first composting, near the time of the first mowing. [give or take as time permits]
    Depending on the color after the third mowing I might start with Milorganite then. Unless it's real sandy with a wet spring. Then it might be worth while to spread some heavy topsoil the same way you spread compost, hitting it with Milorganite at the same time.

    Does being an "Organic Professional", mean that you know how to prevent the common lawn problems?
     
  3. Itsthesoil

    Itsthesoil LawnSite Member
    from Racine
    Posts: 29

    "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?"

    As said, people can opt out of many programs. Given that, my 2 cents is in your marketing:

    1- Set customer expectations focusing on the long term switch to organic transition process. Here is a site for info: http://www.joe.org/joe/2008february/a4.php

    2- Look for cost effective organic products. In a University turfgrass management school I just completed, there was limited / no support for compost tea and other similar products. Buy bulk from chickitydoodoo.com or the biosolids like Milorganite. Offer your services at about mainstream service prices.

    3- Sell /market based on a long term process that decreases inputs and costs as the lawn and landscape become more organically and biologically active.

    Organic suppliers and services are often overpriced and less effective than the hype. Scare tactics about synthetically produced inputs are sometimes used. An example is the 'heavy metals' hype in biosolids.

    The fact is, there are no correlation studies that directly link lawn care chemicals with general health effects. (Allergic reactions aside) There are > 20 studies that have 'indications' of health issues.

    Often, the perceived end value of 'organics' is not there. Corn gluten is an example. Wow, is that stuff expensive. As a result, people resist jumping in, even if they have kids and are a mother between 20 and 45 years old. BTW, market to everyone. Mother's are not the only buyers.

    Last point. Cost of service in 2009 and 2010 will probably be a huge deal in our down economy. One way to be cost effective is to offer a 2 times per year organic 'maintenance level' fertilization program. Then build off that. Upsell and offer more 'value' services like deep tine aeration.
     
  4. Itsthesoil

    Itsthesoil LawnSite Member
    from Racine
    Posts: 29

    "The fact is, there are no correlation studies that directly link lawn care chemicals with general health effects. (Allergic reactions aside) There are > 20 studies that have 'indications' of health issues."

    This shoiuld read when applied to lawns. Of course there is evidence that DDT, for example, is evil stuff for human tissues.
     
  5. Itsthesoil

    Itsthesoil LawnSite Member
    from Racine
    Posts: 29

    2,4D - Not DDT. Maybe I'm having a chemical caused brain malfuntion.
     
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Point 3 -> Absolutely

    As far as health effect and chemicals, I'll leave that one for TG.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Here again we are talking about 'inputs' and their cost. Also I hear 'expensive' and 'lower expectations'.

    We used to beat the drum It's all about the soil". Now we talk just like the University of 'one size fits all' - only thing is: our side has a better product line. No we don't.

    Synthetic is easily shipped , measured, and applied with reliable results.
    Can CGM beat that?

    We need to offer better soil, less disease, and sensible water care. In other words: a Real Program. JMO.
     
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,298

    Dude .... one size does fit all .... COMPOST DOES A SOIL GOOD! :)
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    OK, you got me there. :)
     
  10. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    My advertisement advice would be to do it now, and don't get into toxicology with your customers unless they insist.

    Health:
    There have been more deaths caused by pathogens and spores from compost in recent years than synthetic fertilizers or 2,4-d

    Environment:
    Human composts and milorganite have toxins that were filtered out of the waste water supply. You are proposing to put this on their land.

    Try to focus on the plant and explain what your organic products can do for it.

    Leave the other stuff for scientists and the EPA to debate.
     

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