Rethinking the use of meals.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by NattyLawn, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    quackgrass, you forgot to make note of the legions of compost delivery vans and semis that annually keep our nation's landscapers, garden centers & box stores satiated with that (so called) "sustainable" compost!
    No doubt there's a smokin' 18 wheeler chuck full o' compost blowing right by, or maybe into your locale this weekend. :waving:
     
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    All things considered with market pressure as it is + the relative remoteness of where you're located, those prices for CGM, SBM & AM are pretty darn good.
    Does that market have access to canola meal?

    See if a local vendor would be willing custom blend something for you, if you committed to X number of bags, skids, or tons.
    The more expensive non-plant meals you listed: feather meal, bone meal, blood meal....could all be included in a custom blend @ about 5% ea.
    Then to help keep the label from getting out of hand, the rest of the custom blend might be 1 plant-based meal.
    At a Canadian $11.50 / 44 U.S. pound bag, my vote is that the remaining 85% (+ or -) ought to be the easier-to-spread SBM.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I'll go you even one better... Build a mature lawn that grows perfectly and can turn color with very little input... Growing a mature lawn is not profitable...
     
  4. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    Some years ago the infield at Rockingham (the NASCAR track) had an enormous Japanese Beetle problem, till they quit using feather meal on it. It was attracting them by the thousands.

    Might not be an issue elsewhere, but here in NC we have a problem with them.
     
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,543

    This is a little off the original subject, but Jon, are you saying Rockingham's infield has been treated organically for years?
     
  6. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    No, sorry, I can't speak to that. I suspect that they were hauling in feather meal simply because the chicken industry is huge in the area and they got a deal on it.

    I was told the story last week during a discussion of Integrated Pest Management in general and Japanese Beetle management in particular with a professor from NC State, who was called in to help with their problem.

    Sorry to get off topic. On topic, for me personally, sure I want to be a good steward, but frankly I am in this because I saw a market niche and am trying to fill it.

    If I am helping people to develop a more sustainable, safer for their children, pets, and wells, lawn, then all the better.

    I seriously doubt that, if my client's lawns become so thick and lush that the lawn only requires minimal input, that they will fire me.

    But if so, then hey, I guess I did my job, and I'd be shocked if there weren't a dozen clients that scenario would produce for each "lost" client.

    While quackgrass raises some interesting points, personally I can only affect the various micro-environments under my control. I'm not so sure what effect my puny efforts have as far as the overall sustainability of Cropland or the Midwest or Planet Earth or whatever overarching system this discussion alludes to.

    At this point, I am merely trying to support my family in general and to keep from losing my house in particular.

    I do what I can with what I got in the time allotted.
     
  7. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    from Raleigh
    Posts: 520

    ps whenever I see your Avatar I think of Mad's Justin Bieber cover rofl:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,543

  9. quackgrass

    quackgrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    No doubt, I'm fully aware of how much fuel and iron it takes to make compost, and then apply it to a lawn.

    Imagine two neighbors with 10k lawns. One uses a few tons of compost to keep up his landscape, while the other uses a sack of urea.

    How much energy did each one consume from start to finish? which one actually caused more pollution?

    I've always used organics based on performance, not the theory its more sustainable.

    If the population was under control, and we made compost on site with man power it would be a different story, but I don't see that happening.
     
  10. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Great read - thanks for all the info everyone.
     

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