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Question bout organics...

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Gmgbo, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Hi, How do you guys get middle income houses to pay for organic fert programs? I am asking because i was just looking at the price of say corn gluten meal and it was like $50 to cover 2,500 sq/ft. You can get a bag of pre m from lesco for $40 that covers +/- 12,000 sq/ft and i know that will work.

    I was interested in getting into the organics after listening to a lecture from a company, Growing Solutions, talking about how they are trying to go all organic, but i just dont think I can get people around here to pay that much
  2. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    Its not direct replacement, you don't just switch from a synthetic chemical to a organic one. It's about working with the environment, helping nature. It doesn't change overnight, a chemically treated lawn has been stripped of most of its natural resources, you need to replace them and get them working for you. No, they will not come in a bottle of magic formula, a lot of times they will return on their own, once chemical use stops. You need to feed the soil and in turn it will feed the plants. Use cultural practices and educate the customers about what your doing. Customers that want the perfect organic lawn right away after having chemical service for several years will be disappointed, however if you encourage them to stick with it and explain whats happening to the lawn, it will improve.
    You need a certain customer, it doesn't work for everyone. Just learn everything you can, there's tons of info out there, look at things from several directions, experiment and form your own opinion. Remember that a chemical application is an event, and organics are a process.
  3. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382


    is there a high demand for organic lawn in your area? There is nobody around me that does it, I dont know if they have tried or not. Also, have you ever used compost teas or sprayed kelp? How has that worked?

  4. Maybe if you select one customer that has a higher profile property and begin the conversion there, with signage that this is an organically maintained lawn, etc., you will begin to spread the word. You may want to look at fertilizers by companies that add a small amount of natural urea to the mix - it will help bridge from chem to natural. Check out dirtdoctor.com or the guys down in Austin - links from howards site I'm sure. His is easier to remember for me cuz I'm in dallas, too.
    I'm opening a nursery in a small town thinking area right now and that is what we'll do with xeriscape plantings. Get them to re-think by showing them examples of pretty yards, that don't require a lot of water or fertilizers - so organic and water savvy. Good luck!
  5. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 115

    Hey whats goin on?
    Up here in Maine, we offer organic programs and fortunatley we get it from a supplier at a low cost. Of course best pricing is by the truckload, but if you are large enough to use that amount, then it works very nice. We have switched over from lesco, and other conventional fert sources and really lie the results. We are also a distributor of the products, which is why I haven't mentioned the name, but i wanted to let you guys know that organics including Corn Gluten don't have to be expensive alternatives.

  6. I remember one time I was conversing with some landscapers who seemed to think organics would put them out of biz because the healthier your soil gets, the less of the product you need to apply - or less frequently. But if you are also mowing and planting, you should never lose a customer, and as the neighbors see the sucess, you should be picking up new ones. I have never been in the maint. biz, per se. But have applied CGM w/molasses to customer's yards before. It is still very fast and economical for you and the customer. $25 bag covers about 2500 sq. ft. Now maybe in the larger comm. biz, it gets harder as the coverage for acreage is costly. But, if you'll work to improve the soil, a pre emergent won't be as needed in the long run.

    It works - keep talking to other organic service providers in your area or here on these forums. Don't give up!
  7. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    1 No there is not a high demand, I basically built my own market, I don't like having myself or my employees around chemicals every day.
    2. There are more people around you that do it, then around me. They may not market that they are organic, but they still provide organic service.
    3. Compost tea and kelp work excellent as part of a care program.
  8. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,234

    ok just because you guys are located no where around me i will let you in on alittle secret about CGM, go to your local feed elevator! i can get a 50lb bag for $4 at mine and its pretty good quality stuff
  9. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 612

    I live in the suburbs, there are very few feed supply establishments within 60 miles of me, 2 I think, and there is no place in New Jersey (that I know of, and I've looked, allot) that sells CGM for anything close $4 a bag unless its on clearance.
  10. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 115

    We are using and rep'ing a nice CGM product at agood price, around $18 for a 50lb. bag.

    Our lawn care service is organic, but like you said we don't necessarily maket it as organic. We are sensitive to chemicals and only use them as a last resort.

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