Soil Structure

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Please read my posts in this thread. I already stated if a thatch layer is significant it needs to be dealt with mechanically by either core aerating or verti-mowing .... verti-mowing being the preferred method obviously. My comment on the molasses was merely to offer up a possible reason as to why it works, not a suggestion or recommendation that it be used to mitigate a significant thatch problem.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    OK, this is where it is good to distinguish the different between 'real thatch', and the dead grass that most people think of as being 'thatch'...

    Dead grass is an excellent source of nutrient and humus that every plant in creation thrives in... This dead, dry stuff as you call it needs to be digested for the purpose of nutirent cycling... That is just the beginning... :)

    'Real Thatch' in the context of Turf... is the layer of living and dead grass roots and stems that grass succumbs to when too much N and H2O is applied Too Often...

    From this Jumping off point, there is sensible way of turning this chaos into a properly managed lawn...

    If you are expecting income from 5-7 apps per year, that grows grass from the basis of 'real thatch', no one will ever see what soil has to do with it... :)
  3. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    i know exactly what real thatch is. it's not lush, supple growth. we are specifically discussing problematic thatch issues, not a little bit of surface root growth. when it gets serious, that crap is relatively dry, dead and tangled into a mess, mixed in with dead/dormant grass on the surface. (fine, some of the root systems might be living, but they are generally going to be under severe stress)

    also, just to nitpick, thatch isn't a symptom of "too much water too often". rather it is too LITTLE water, too often....if you're giving too much water, it is going to seep into the soil and the roots will chase deeper in chase of it. of course, watering too much too often is going to cause it's own separate problems, but that's besides the point.

    i am not sure what exactly you are trying to say here. perhaps if you restate, maybe it is lost in translation as can happen on web forums.

    i agree there is a sensible way for turning the chaos into a proper lawn--i mentioned my methods in my previous post. i am asking you or someone else to give me a specific program that beats it, both in providing the quick turnaround that a customer will demand/expect, and in terms of reasonable cost to them, and reasonable profitability to me as the contractor. maybe you have a better plan than me, but until you lay it out for me, i'm convinced that i am dealing with the problem "sensibly", afford-ably, profitably, quickly....
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

  5. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,583

    Agreed!! Part of their motivation may be the ability to upsell another service.
  6. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    i agreed with everything in the article. and everything i'v ever posted on this forum (this thread and any other) is consistent with the information laid out on that page.
  7. SXSW Services

    SXSW Services LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Just my two cents:

    Whether anyone here doubts if this conversation is good or not, for outsiders like me who are researching the viability of organics vs. restricted chems, and who are trying to broaden their knowledge base for offering these is extremely valuable. So, thanks for all of your inputs, as (even if it doesn't seem so to you) it is all pertinent discussion.
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,753

    Wow, there's somebody out there who can see through our bickering and find some valuable information! :)
  9. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    30 to 50 for a power rake on 3,000 square feet? I could never work that cheap! Are you leaving the grass there? If done properly a power rake will produce enough waste to haul off site that $30 to $50 is WAY WAY WAY too cheap imho.
  10. ParadiseLS

    ParadiseLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    for me, dethatching 3000 sq. ft. is 30 minutes. i'm going to charge $60, but i would take as low as $30 to do it. and that just includes the raking. so yes, i am just leaving the grass there for $50.

    if they want it bagged and put at the curb, it's going to be a whole other story. my clean up is the aerating (which i'm charging extra) and the mowing (which i'm charging extra). and if i have to pick up a bag of extra crap from driveways, sidewalks, roads, etc. in the clean-up, that isn't an issue.

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