cost comparison Organic Vs. Traditional

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Newby08, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 277

    yeah, some people will put down rye during the winter for green lawn while the bermuda is dormant. Most people don't bother with it though. Bermuda grows so thick that it is hard to get a good thick lawn of it and it never seems to turn a dark green, it always seems to be a light green. I've been seeing more and more people actually painting their lawns. I didn't believe it at first but the closer I looked at it its obvious to tell. The first one I saw looked great... the second one though used a different tone of green and it looked painted. It was horrible.

    Do you think that this has any effect on the lawn itself? This guys yard looks great during the summer also, very healthy and green. The painted lawn looked so good that I even thought about painting mine too. I know that is the farthest thing from organic but bermuda is pretty tuff and a lot of its new growth comes from the roots, some comes from the old grass stalks. Another common practice is to "scalp" the lawn where you take it down to the soil almost and it will grow back fresh.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    When you spread the compost on the Bermuda it will wash into the soil and off the greenery correct? Sounds like a great thick grass. Yes eventually the compost on the clay will increase the water retention of both.

    I believe the typical pre-m is the corn gluten and should double as fert as well.
    Are surface roots a problem in Bermuda in the sense that deep roots are desirable for KBG or fescue? We can really create a thatch problem in a hurry with these grasses.

    What sort of pre-m or strategy would you use for rotten granite driveways and walkways through a landscape?

    Lawn paints with an organic foliar feed could be good :)
     
  3. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 277

    not sure what your asking as far as...
    Are surface roots a problem in Bermuda in the sense that deep roots are desirable for KBG or fescue?


    bermuda is a very thin blade so the compost should go right to the ground after a quick rinse...

    rotten granite driveways and walkways
    Must be a northern thing, never seen granite walkways or driveways around here, all concrete, if there is a stone or anything that would get in the way and I would be afraid of it staining or effecting any way I would just blow it off with my blower.
     
  4. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 277

    have you ever painted a lawn... i take it your lawns up there are mostly fescue so i would doubt it, just wandering.
     
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The idea of surface roots vs. deep roots in my last post was in reference to your description of Bermuda being a tangle of intertwined leaves and stems. Sometimes plants that have the growth pattern that came into my mind grow roots close to the surface as a natural course of action. Does Bermuda do better as the roots grow deeper?

    Yes, up here rotten granite is quite funtional in many different landscapes and corn gluten as a pre-m ,is adding OM to an area where OM is not a good thing. Vinegar is probably ok after the weeds start growing and hopefully the population has dwindled over time.

    I still think it is easier to contol weeds in a lawn that a rotten granite area. The weeds alway seem to return so an occasional synthetic pre-m may always be a necessity there when the spraying of vinegar becomes too frequently a burden.

    Never painted a lawn but would like to see one. Generally our landscapes are green until they turn white. Amazingly they're is still green under our current 2 feet of white.
     
  6. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    NEWBY08,
    LESCO will never tell u organics are better so don't ever worry about what that guy says,
    learn every thing you can and when you think you got it learn some more.

    you have to get to basics don't try to over complicate it( it's ok i do it all the time.lol )

    the bermudagrass you guys have down there, every one talks about how much n it needs and how much it grows....it probably grows to much cause of excessive n

    theres more to plant health then just npk, the other secondary macros and micros are just important, ( learn about these) if not more for proper health, you definitely need p k but n is way over used, a good organic soil the microbiology will provide alot of n by them selves.

    think about it this way. if you eat mcD's every day you will get some energy but in the long run your health will decline,

    also if you provide all the proper nutrition to the plants and the proper growing environment the grass will be very health and probably green too.
    and if your cutting with out the excessive n there won't be as many clippings

    im sort of new to organics my self but ive been landscaping for 11 years and ive seen it all as far as chems and the problems that go with them.
    thats why i got into organics cause i wanted to provide the best care for people and thats through the natural practices i found.

    being the only organic guy in your neighborhood is a good thing for you since your not cutting at all, there is a door open for you if you can provide a good service, thats up to you though.

    you can't look at it in terms like what are the differences in price cause it all depends on the property your on and how bad or good is it to start.
    depending on that you can guessed amate how much it's going to cost to put things in balance, like the soil, you need good soil for this to work
    and you also have to understand these are hi input landscapes and they will always need alot of attention to keep them productive.
    then once your soil is corrected you can then put them on a semi normal priced fert schedule to keep things going.

    look at this way to , what do your customers want? do they want a safe place for their children to play? do they want the healthiest landscape possible and that their property isn't hurting the environment at the same time.
    people will pay for those things some will not, thats life

    organic isn't rocket science but to be a good organics guy you will need to study many areas of horticulture, many, so you can provide the best service you can
    it's not going to happen over night and not even after you read 20 books.
    you need to get out in the field and see whats what. and then read some more. oh ya and talk to as many people in the sustainable field as possible and just keep asking questions, and learn

    as long as you have passion in your heart to do this you will be ok.
    but it sounds to me you need alot more experience witch is fine i do to but i can fall back on lawn maintenance and landscaping while i learn though, you might consider doing both also too, thats a good strategy to start

    go back to square one and learn about soilfoodweb/plants/soil/irrigation/ferts/pest control/decease control/business/ete/ete. do you want to be ok at what you do or the best? your customers expect the best. just keep that in mind,
    best wishes in biz.
     
  7. Newby08

    Newby08 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 277

    small, bermuda does have short roots. Here everything has short roots. Our red clay doesnt have any nutrients except for the first inch or two then its just that... red clay. Any grasses like fescue are rarely used anymore but in special occasions where a homeowner just likes the look or they just have a lot of open land and try to sow it every year. But with our soil it usually has a lot of problems and bare spots. I'm hoping that with the proper organic based care that it needs I will be able to get the grass growing like it should.

    growing, thanks for the advice, I've been in the landscape business before and I'm going to try to design the business around chems only but still leave a door open for maintenance. There are so many people around here doing maintenance that prices are being driven so low I don't know if I want to get back into it again. There is so much work and so little money after all the repairs and equipment. But like I said, I will definitely keep the door open just in case. If I did get back into it though I will definitely be charging for it... I'm too much of a perfectionist to just charge what the normal guys do. I found that out the hard way, spent way to much time on each lawn for way to little money.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    That is a correct assessment IMO that the adding of OM is going to create a better and deeper growing environment for roots in the clay environment.
    I would suggest topdressing with sand and OM if you have an access to both, just as an experiment for yourself. But if I were to suggest that there is likely to be a backlash about how that should not be done. So I am not even going to go there :)

    It only takes time. Just don't promise to kill weeds with corn gluten and then fail. The organic move into lawn care was tried 30 - 40 years ago but was soundly discredited and pushed under the rug because promises were made falsely.
    Chemlawn came to the rescue and has flourished ever since. Good luck and keep us abreast of real life occurances. It could be a very interesting summer.
     
  9. GaGolfSup

    GaGolfSup LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Bermuda is actually capable of producing very deep roots. I've actually seen 12 inch roots on bermuda. It all depends on soil. Feed it slowy. Water it sparingly and increase organic matter and the bermuda will go crazy.
     
  10. quiet

    quiet LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 720

    Yes, exactly. Bermuda is very DEEP rooted grass.
     

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