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Charging too little for organic?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by lawncuttinfoo, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Glad I still have my dictionary. What they call rain around here comes sometime between Aug and Oct, and it MIGHT look like 4-5" w/ another 1" "sprinkled" here and there during the non "winter" months. Add another 2" for snow melt and you get the 7-8" that is historical here (weather service says we should get almost 12" ROFLMAO). Do you think 16-24" of snow melt would "rain in" the product?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Rain in vs washing away is what we keep an eye on around here. Once the grass is warm and growing we rely on it to hold the soil as well as the topdressings.
    IMO, everything needs to be in the soil profile b4 the ground freezes. Especially compost.

    Right now as the snow is melting we can see, clay, silt, and OM sitting on top of the snow. Moreso in the valleys where the water is running under and through the snow , but there it is. All these things floating up to the top of snow. In places where it busts free it can pollute somewhere else.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    In your area I would say the irrigation is your "rain" more than anything. If water is moving through the profile, then it is moving the product as well. If the potential for runoff is high then any product application is probably not a good idea. Given your soils, I would bet getting compost into the profile is far easier than it is here, where I am dealing with clay contents of 45-55%.

    My area, winter = rain ..... no snow, and no freezing. The more applied compost that moves into the profile before spring, the better, especially with the tight soils. Beyond that, for turf, the compost application is part of the yearly over seed + aeration (when needed), so the timing of it works well.
  4. lawncuttinfoo

    lawncuttinfoo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,010

    Thanks for that, I agree customer confidence is a major factor, but I also want to increase my current 15% penetration rate.

    Even with increased labor costs figured in, pricing would be ~$10 less per app (5-7 apps/year)on the averare size lawn this year with my supplier.

    I'm now considering splitting the difference and knocking off ~$5 per app.
    To maintain confidence in the application and also increase confidence that I am passing down the savings.
  5. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    Another question if you dont mind
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    I keep seeing everyone talk about 4#'s of N/m. Where does this number come from besides a synthetic guide from a text book? I am reading about a lot of golf courses who are backing KB down to 2#'s in rough areas that are being maintained at 2-3" HOC. That is w/o the benefit of an "organic" program. The trend is to reduce the inputs across the board and it is working! My bentgrass mowed at <.250" HOC still needs between .5 and 1 #of N/m per month during the growing season, but that is an extreme case and still isn't 6#/m per year with a 8-9 month growing season.

    My point would be that many should be seeing VERY healthy lawns with 2#N/m from organic inputs in short growing seasons and even the year round southern contractors might get by on that 4#N/m.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Probably the same place 1" of water/week comes from. :nono:

    This is the reason why I have always advocated fertilization based on need, not a generic program. Plant response is a pretty clear indicator of what is needed .... fertilize based on what the plant asks for, not what your local Lesco tells you it needs.

    I agree, which is the reason why I can get away with a compost only program with no additional inputs. The N that comes with my compost is sufficient to maintain a thick, healthy stand of turf at low-moderate growth rates for the entire growing season (9-10 months).
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    It is not 6 dollars and 70 cents, it is sixty seven cents per 1000

    We do not play the NPK game, the NPK is listed because it is a labeling requirement in every state. We are trying, over a time period, to inoculate the soil and plants with beneficials that supply nutrients and fight pathogens allowing much less inputs for long term health

    You are correct on the granular/bagged CGM calculation, roughly 2# of N per 1000 at that rate

    Our liquid CGM (Gluten-8) is 1.5% N. We reduced the N in order to be compliant to many states that do not allow more than 1# of N per application
  9. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 846

    Ya Bill i meant $.67 cents not 6bucks. That was a typo on my part.

    Reducing N would save lots of money.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Glad to see reduced inputs becoming a fad.

    Only as long as it is a fad that works. :)

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