General question about organic lawn care and synthetics.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by TMGL&L, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    What do you guys say when a client says something like "well that guy's lawn looks great and his isn't organic." How do you sell this to the customer?

    I usually get a little frustrated and go on about people and animal health issues and about chemical run off that screws with the watershed. I also go on about the maintenance issue...ya'know how a natural eco system cares for itself.

    Seriously though... Why is it that my ignorant step dad who has a shed full of carcinogens and liquid death have a lawn that looks so thick? Synthetics are supposed to kill soil microbes and the soil food chain. Then why is my driveway loaded with worms when it rains? It seriously doesn't seem like his dumping of chemicals has that much of an effect on what lives in the ground.

    (by the way he loves taking care of the lawn and we don't get along very well so I don't service it or touch the property in anyway so please don't associate me with my parents lawn. I will deal with that situation sometime next year.)

    Trying to sell organic lawn care (or hybrid...I don't want to agitate any hot heads hard cores out there) is hard when people are so dependant on chemicals.

    My professor for botany says the key is to educate the client. I'm curious what you guys' strategy is.
  2. GreenthumbGA

    GreenthumbGA LawnSite Member
    Posts: 191

    I have been telling them to get there lawn off of drugs. Let's get some life in that soil and build up the health of the grass. Less money to maintain in the long run, with the reduction in inputs once things balance out and less watering. Most folks just don't care, they just want it green and don't want it to cost to much more that chemlawn....I can do that.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    PRICE is the factor for many and no weeds now i mean yesterday.
    i cant tell u how many want organic till they see the price and go the chem route.
  4. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Price is definetely an issue for me and my clients. CGM is pricey stuff. I have a client that live along a pond. I'm trying to convince them to maintain at least some riparian buffer and to start going organic.

    I don't think its really that realistic to expect people and their lawns to just quit synthetics cold turkey. I feel like I need to start spot spraying weeds.

    What am I supposed to do with a lawn that has been fertilized synthetically for years and has tons of weeds from day 1 I get there?

    Bill and TG were joking about the fact that organics grow things and synthetics kill them. Is there ever a time to kill?
  5. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    The main thing I stress is the drought tolerance of the grass and water retention of the soil. That is most important to me when so many of my properties aren't irrigated.

    But seriously...I have no ammo when they are like "what about the weeds now?" I wanna say well ya shouldn't have waited so long.
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    price, has any one heard about china and the 100% tariff thats been put on urea? and how is organic more expensive, beat the dayligths out of the chem guys(they hate me with every bone in there body)and my yards look better than there's, hands down,no two ways about it the pictures and references don't lie, we are happy to show of our yards. don't talk about the dangers of pest. chem. death, just get some free info on-line and leave it with them or just give them the web sites and they will look at it and gasp for air(on there own time not mine).and again the price, we have been doing it cheaper faster safer better than the chem guys can imagine. try less cmg and more left and right. one guy at 10 dollars an hour can hand weed 5000 sqft in 3 hours thats $30 for 5000 can cmg beat that and no FOOD gets diverted, next some of us have figured out how to grow weeds and some can grow grass,figure out what you want to grow and how. personally no cmg here, some soymeal gluten, thats another story.
  7. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    and a time to kill yes there is, we should be killing stupid people by the tens of thousands. oh wait thats what the chems are doing!!! no work for me and bill there the market is already flooded. yes we do kill some times but we get right on them till we see the whites of there eyes and then get get the torch out and the weed weasel(a customer bought the thing for me as a joke, and it works great so we now have 10 of them with battery drills)

    does any one know where the saying "your the salt of the earth" came from??????
    please reply
  8. TMGL&L

    TMGL&L LawnSite Member
    Posts: 243

    Ha nice one... I want to kill employees that don't come to work:hammerhead: I could have them pull weeds but they don't want to come. I'm figuring that if I use cg a lot this year and seed where I don't, then I'll haev better control over the weeds for next year. The problem is that its around $1/lb.

    I read that using teas that are fungally dominated hinders the growth of weeds like chickweed, dandelions, and clover.<---- (I know its not really a weed but its not grass so still don't like it much) Is this true?

    If this is true won't that hurt the pH of the soil by making it more acidic in the long run? Not to mention the fact that grass fairs better in soil with more bacteria.

    Does anyone know of any kind of pamphlets or handouts that I can just buy and send to my clients for educational purposes for my customers?
  9. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    good tea will only help not hurt, your talking about herbicide
  10. Organic a go go

    Organic a go go LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    Some customers you just aren't going to be able to sell and that's fine. If someone thinks the world ends at their property line then wish them well and go hustle up another account.

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