Need advice

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by PT777, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. PT777

    PT777 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    So, my g/f lives a nice development and just met her last November. Well I started to pay attention to her lawn but didnt want to say anything negative to her, but I finally had to. Entire lawn is clover and weeds. I had the same problem, not nearly as bad, when I bought my house in 2004 and hired a lawn care company after many self attempts to knock out the weeds. After 1 full season with them, I was weed free and then have since had my landscaping friend aerate and overseed every fall and I have been using Milorganite 4-times a year myself since 2006 and have the best lawn in the neighborhood.
    So I called the same company I used, they were 2hrs late to look at her yard and put down a granular with crab grass control and liquid sprayed her entire yard for free which was nice. But then they call me to tell me what they did and asked why I stopped using them. I told the guy was because I like doing it myself and dont like they way my lawn way burnt out every summer and I like organics, which they dont offer, and he told me the benefits of synthetics vs organics. Now, I own a roofing company and am by no means in the lawn service business, but I do read up about lawns. He said they dont offer organics because the grass doesnt grow as fast and it will be fixed faster. Should I let them do a full season treatment, see what happens, then advise her to go organic? He also said her development doesnt have great soil but didnt do a soil test. However all her neighbors have great looking lawns (KBG). They put her on a 5 step treatment w/grub control I think. Also, IF this clover is knocked out, can I aerate and over seed this spring?

    Thanks!
     
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    The classic synthetics vs organic debate. In short form, organics feed the soil and are more interested establishing a good root system and healthy plants. Microbes break down the fertilizer and make the nutrients plant available. Synthetics are plant available only with a little moisture, which is why the turf grows faster, which also makes you mow more frequently.

    If crabgrass control was applied, it's probably best to wait until fall to seed. The crabgrass control material inhibits root growth of newly germinated seeds. Do you want to be outside watering the new grass all summer, or spend more time with your gf?
     
  3. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    Natty is 100% correct. Using organics in turf and landscape is about building the quality of soil.
    It sounds to me like this property has already been hit with synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. Because you said it was chuck full of clover and other weeds, I suggest that you 1st try to gain an upper hand on these weeds with IPM applications of selective broadleaf herbicide.

    Q) How do you keep weeds like clover from re-entering a lawn?
    A) Whether or not your lawn care preference is organic, the first line of defense against weeds in any lawn is to establish a stand of healthy, dense turf. Which leads to the next question...

    Q) Is May / June typically the best time to renovate / overseed thin lawns?
    A) NO. The best months of the year for seeding are usually Aug / Sep. The reason for this is warmer soil temperatures coming out of the summer months typically make for more efficient seed germination.

    In summary...
    1) Commence organic fertilizer program immediately.
    2) Focus on broadleaf control with limited use of synthetics (IPM).
    3) With seeding (preferably in fall) thicken the density of the turf to the point that the turf itself becomes its own primary weed control mechanism.
    4) Aeration 1x - 2x annually, spring / fall, never summer or winter
     
  4. marksj

    marksj LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Is organic feasible on a 2 acre yard.I would like to keep "green" if possible.I have a decent yard but would like better.Grass is KBG,have not done much other than some weed and feed 2 yrs ago.I do have some dandelions going dormant now.Any help or suggestions?I can give soil test results if needed.
     
  5. Natures Lawn

    Natures Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I agree with the two previous posts. Our company sells all natural lawn care products and it's important to get the weed situation under control before you focus on improving the health of your soil. Soil health is key to keeping your lawn looking healthy year after year and switching to organic methods to improve your soil will reduce the need for chemical weed control in the future. Your grass roots need to be able to be healthy enough to take over your soil so that there's no room left for weeds. This does involve seeding to make sure there's enough grass coverage as well as aerating and fertilizing. We recommend our product Aerify Plus (yes this is a plug, but it really works) for aeration. It's a liquid and covers more surface area than core areation and can be done year round. Impove soil condition, and you will reduce the need for chemicals.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    It seems that soil is like paint... you just keep adding things to it and magically you have the perfect structure with CE sites galore, water retention/drainage ratio in harmony,,, if once we aerate, fertilize and whatever else one might imagine...

    I would like to see the forum talk about real soil management... :)
     
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,567

    OK, start another one. But first define what you mean by real soil management.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I'll have to think about how it could be presented... a few years ago we talked about what is happening in the soil and to the soil quite a bit...

    Natures Lawn plug here talks about improving the soil, without any real explanation why the soil is improved, how it is improved and what could ruin or compromise it effectiveness... or... can I violate watering principles and this stuff will be just as effective as if I utilitzed proper watering principles...

    What are proper watering principles, how do they affect the soil and what can be done to correct... ??

    I'll have to think about a definition of soil discussions that are real, in that they offer more insight than just adding another product... :)
     

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