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Natural lawn of america?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by hobbsd, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 207

    I use tons of biosolids - probably quite literally! I frequently use organic fert similar to milorganite, but out of New York and the mulch that I use almost exclusively if a blend of aged bark and compost the is made primarily from biosolids. It is sold through a company called New England Organics and I can tell you, the stuff is awesome! It has a nice fine texture that spreads nicely and it adds a boost of nutrients to the garden beds. I will admit, when I dig into the pile with the tractor, that burst of steam has a distinctive scent, although not offensive, but once its spread in the beds, you can't smell it.
  2. dmcenery

    dmcenery LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16


    The fertilizer that the franchises in NW Illinois uses comes from Spring Valley out of your home state of WI. No more than 20% slow release from milorganite. Nauturalawn#1 your comments about everything are right on the money.

  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    The organic movement started big as a reaction to overuse of pesticides and fertilizers by farmers. By the 70s we had both in the well water here. The big question IMHO, is not how high an N number there is, but how much N is needed and when? What is the requirements for this individual lawn? Use synthetic as the winterizer and milorganite all through the summer?
    It didn't sound like NaturalLawn is that 'natural' and duplicating them is not worthwile, but is it possible to out perform them and build a better more respected company yourself?

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    they sure have a great marketing plan and when i had a friend swear by them i told her to ask for msds sheets on everything they put down.
    they never did show up in the mail???
  5. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    1. Malorgnite (spelling?) is awesome! I have been on fine turf..golf..residential for many years and when you start to get wierd fungus's...It can be the way to go. keep in mind that it takes about 40 lbs per 2500sqft to equal a decent feeding, so using it across the board is very labor/cost prohibitive. It has natural fungicied qualities that can last for years.

    2. The Naturlawn thing is all marketing. Take Tru -Green for example. They are the largest lawn co in america. Yet they lose 85% of their customer base within 5 years. Cold calling...scare tactics..advertising...commision based sales.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Is it still considered true that the nutrient in organic material stays in the ground longer, in a more readily available form, and therefore with much less leaching?
    If that is the case I'm thinking a person would be able to get by with less NPK per feeding. Therefore not have to spend as much per feeding and spread the cost out to a more frequent monthly routine rather than every 6-8 weeks.
    Also without irrigation this summer, anyone who put down fertilizer after the first week in June, has put their lawn at risk. Is it true that, organic fertilizers would have been safe for monthly applications even in this summer?
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Sort of......I'm not an expert in the science of it, but I can tell you that a healthy and balanced turf will withstand a lot more than you might think. We had a severe drought here a few years back. Through proper watering (prior to the drought), mowing, and a well balanced turf....my lawn stayed green and mowable all season. Keep in mind I don't know how bad your drought is and I feed heavily in the fall...never in the spring. In my experiance spring feeding is one of the single biggest mistakes regarding turf durability throughout a stressfull season. Sure the lawns that are spring fed will beat mine for a little while, but it's more important to win the war than to win any one battle.
  8. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Good way to look at it. If you want to build soil biology, the fall is the best time to do it.

  9. Since your talking about milorganite, I see no problem applying 5 lbs/m of it in early june, but would add about 1/2lbs of sop. Sop and fe in milorganite will help with the stress. Milorganite is 90% slow release, and will take 6-8 weeks to total release their in the summer
  10. pema

    pema LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    I owned a NLA Franchise and lost my "Sack". My startup Cost ended up being 100x more than what is stated on their Franchise Information. I spent 15K on Literature before I earned a dollar. How they manage to get away with this is their Iron Clad Franchise agreement. It is like selling your soul to the devil.

    During training they insisted they used Corn Gluten for pre-emergent control. I couldn't't't understand how they could treat a 10K lawn with one 50lb bag of fertilizer knowing as I did on the rate corn gluten has to be spread to be effective. I found out when my material arrived, it was Team Pro, not organic Corn Gluten.

    The same year I bought a Franchise a young man in Portland OR bought one. We trained together. This young man's dad passed away and left him enough money to start his own NLA business. It sickens me to announce that this young guy lost his money with his NLA Franchise too. His location closed a year or two after mine.

    In another example, A New Jersey Franchisee who had been doing lawn care years before buying a NLA Franchise decided to end his association with NaturaLawn of America and go back to being an independent lawn care company. NLA went after him in the courts and because of a Non Compete clause in the franchise agreement he was forced to close his doors.

    They treat you like kings until you buy the franchise. After they get you, your treated like red headed step kids while the owner and his minions set off to find the next years batch of suckers.

    Hope I don't sound too bitter.... HA HA

    Best advice I can give anyone looking at franchises is "DON'T". For the money you end up shelling out, you're better off putting the cash into marketing a company of your own.

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