hey guys, any "organic" nuts left out there?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,860

    We used to have three organic lawn services here, but now I see only one outfit remaining. In fact, I never see their trucks anymore -- only one of their lawn flags every two months or so.

    Seems the public has been educated on the actual truths behind so- called "natural organics".

    I'm talkin' "natural organics", cuz many of us use synthetic organic products which have been scientificly designed to be more safely used around people, pets, and wildlife than "organics". Corporate research also creates new products every year (thank God).

    The term "natural" or "organic" has nothing whatsoever to do with safety or effectiveness. I know our slow-release granular fertilizers are mined out of "Mother Earth". So it's "natural" but not organic cuz they're mineral.

    How many of these Natural guys use Dylox, Merit, 2,4D, etc. (I've seen 'em use it).

    I could go on & on, but I'd like to hear your experiences regarding this type of lawn outfit. Also how many customers you have picked up because of their deceit.:usflag:
     
  2. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    "Organic" means carbon based..........................................
     
  3. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,860

    Yep, but it could be natural or synthetic.
     
  4. LonniesLawns

    LonniesLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from KS
    Posts: 317

    I use primarily natural organic fertilizers. My base fertrilizer is a 10-2-8 natural organic. i also use a 21-3-7 orcanic"based" fertilizer when I need a higher nitrogen fertilizer.

    I do spray weeds with limiter herbicides and use Merit on lawns that call for it.

    I use the organics primarily because of the superior lawns that Ic an get from their use -- not for safety concerns.
     
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Most companies out there aren't 100% organic, but do use organic fertilizers to build the soil rather than feed the plant. That's the fundamental difference. We do offer 100% organic programs, but also offer herbicides and synthetic grub control because most customers do want a mix, or best of both worlds. You keep talking about this "deceit", but as for me personally I don't sell safety because nothing is 100% safe. I sell building the soil, and if customers call us (we don't advertise) they already know a little about what we do.

    Organic grub control is not feasible on a large scale because the products have to be applied when the ground is wet, and then watered in on top of that. We can't promise rain in the summer months for the materials to be effective.

    Honestly, your outfit looks like a glorified TGCL with cheap ass prices and better customer service. Go sell your 6 step program, liming without soil tests and aeration on the depleted soils every fall. There, I can make assumptions and generalizations about your business too without knowing what you do. I know the "I'm attacking you" reply is coming, but some of your posts are made to get people mad at you.
     
  6. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    Well said. I'd have all of our fert customers on organic-based if they would pay for it.....
     
  7. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    I'd love to use organic FERT for everyone also. It's a hard sell because it's so expensive.

    People don't realize that most (all?) pesticides are organic too. Organic just means carbon-hydrogen bonds. I can't think of a pesticide that's not organic chemistry.

    merit, 2,4-D, bifenthrin, are all organic. The list goes on.. and I'm sure most are on the list. Lime is not organic. (but lime isn't a pesticide)

    So I guess I can advertise that I use "organic" pesticides. Is it wrong, deceiving?

    The problem lies with how the public view the term "organic". If it's organic, it must be good for the environment. Gee, maybe I should call my company "Organicare"... wait a minute.. that's already taken. darn.
     
  8. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 724

    You're right, that's the chemical (as defined by a chemist) definition of organic, but there is also a legal definition of organic federally, as well as state to state that is primarily oriented (currently anyway) towards food production.

    From what I was told by an attorney one time was that there is a grey area there. In food production, you aren't legally allowed to advertise as organic unless you are certified by the state as such. Ornamental companies aren't explicitly regulated so they can get away with claiming, within reason, whatever they want. From what I understand the farm inspections are quite thorough. A farmer told me once that he had to swap out his chemically treated fence posts for something that was acceptable in order to pass his inspection.

    Since they aren't regulated, some companies claim they are organic and use comparable fertilizers and pesticides that are organically legal in agriculture. Some don't use any pesticides. Some just basically lie and do whatever they want. As the demand increases I'm sure legislation will start for ornamental companies as well if it hasn't started in some places already.

    Like a lot of people I don't feel the need to go totally overboard with the organic stuff, I just try to run my business using basic IPM principles to minimize my impact.

    FWIW, copper and sulfur are two fungicides that aren't chemically organic but are legal for organic agriculture.
     
  9. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    In the past, I've lost sales to customers that went with Organicare just because of their name. I tried to explain what organic means and what it is. But they would still go with Organicare. I think they feel better about having a posting sign with the word "organic" on it. Is it embarrassing to their neighbors to have chemicals on their lawn? Then I have the customers that don't care and want the "nasty chemicals" because they know it'll work fast and well. "What? I have bugs on my lawn? KILL THEM NOW!!" The word "organic" is branded to mean healthy and environment-friendly. But do they know TNT (tri-nitro-toluene) is an organic based explosive?

    I think i'd rather eat a teaspoon of inorganic table salt, than a teaspoon of organic compost with dead fish and cow crap in it. But my lawn would prefer the latter :)
     
  10. ampeg76

    ampeg76 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 297


    you stole my post:)


    totally agree on organic fertilizers and price, the majority of people are just not going to jump on the higher priced applications
     

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