Organic? Really?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ChuckNC, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,576

    Anerobic soil conditions limit the populations of most beneficial microbes including mycorrhizae. Reduce soil compaction. For turf; core aeration, apply compost and innoculate with mychorrhizae. For trees; vertical mulch with compost and mychorrhizae.
     
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,576

    Yes, it's evil to make a profit.
     
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Well Barry .... in some cases it is. If you want to maximize your profits, just apply synthetics. If profit comes first before all other considerations, we all lose.
     
  4. Greenery

    Greenery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    I din't see that as being entirely true. Our organic apps are marked up the same percentage as a synthetic, sometimes more. Additionally I have found that a person wanting to go the organic route are much more likely to use additional services to compliment the organic program areation topdressing etc. So in my opinion if you want to maximize profits organic is the way. Also whats the big deal about organics, N is N P is P and K is K no matter what its derived from. Yes the synthetic has some chelating salts to make available but who really cares, im not eating the grass and im sure my customers arent either.
    I am by no means an organis expert but that's the way I see it.
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Well, here's the way I see it.

    You maximize your profits using synthetics by creating an unstable system that requires frequent inputs of ferts and pesticides to keep the system aesthetically "acceptable". The more unstable the system becomes, the more inputs that are required, the more profit you make. If profit is the only motivation in the landscape service business, then it would be in the best interest, speaking from a maximizing profits point of view, to create the most unstable, heavy input system possible.

    Considering this forum is supposed to be about maximizing profits (per recent posts), and not about good land stewardship, or best management practices, or creating a sustainable system, or protecting our environment ..... then why even bother with organics at all? If profit is all you care about, then just use the damn synthetics.

    The "additional" service of aerating should be a part of any turf management program. Top dressing ... well that depends on the what and why you are top dressing.

    Managing soil fertility and plant nutrition is a bit more complex than breaking nutrients down on an elemental basis .... and I don't even know what you are talking about with chelating salts. :dizzy:
     
  6. Tim Wilson

    Tim Wilson LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 795

    The difference is in the mineralization. Synthetic fertilizers are in ionic (soluble) form when applied. Organics (matter) become ionic through mineralization, either by microorganisms or to a lesser degree by 'citric-like' acids exuded by roots. This means that the nutrients sequestered in organic matter are made available to the growing system on demand and over an extended period.
     
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,576

    In addition to how nutrients are absorbed, an organic program will improve soil conditions for the microbes that help strengthen plants' defense system, improve soil structure and reduce water usage. Oh yea, there is the concern of water contamination and health hazards with a synthetic program.

    It's not just about switching one product for another.
     
  8. Greenery

    Greenery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    What are the health hazards? Also it seems your suggesting that their is no chance of water contamination with organics? Only synthetics pose this problem? One other question I have is whether a synthetic product is detrimental to the population of microbeasties present in the soil? If so is it because of a particular ingredient, or is it just not supplying the neccesary ingredients for them to thrive and to do what they do naturally.
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    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011
  9. Greenery

    Greenery LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 512

    .I agree aeration should be whether organic or synthetic, I guess what I was saying is an organic customer has been more likely to use those services in turn making those customers more profitable overall. You'll have to forgive me as some of my limited organic knowledge comes from containerized gardening using liquid nutrients. So ya turf products are a little different
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  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,576

    These are all great questions.
    Health hazards due to exposure to pesticides are well documented. However few studies have been done on the cumulative effect of combinations of common pesticides. It is hard to draw direct conclusions, but if you can maintain healthy turf without them, why use pesticides?
    Water quality issues are becoming more important every year and more restrictive legislation is becoming the norm. While some current and proposed legislation are knee jerk reactions, we do need to protect our water. I am not suggesting organic matter will not contaminate water, in fact animal manures and waste-water treatment plants are some of the main sources for concern.
    Overuse of salt based fertilizers do inhibit beneficial microbes and weaken the plant enough that it requires more drugs, I mean pesticides. Many pesticides, especially fungicides will wipe out beneficials along with pathogens. The pathogens recover faster.
    But, what convinced me to change my prospective was seeing the results.
     

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