1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

this true?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Turfrific, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Turfrific

    Turfrific LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    You are doing way too much labor on your lawn.
    It made me ache all over. I temember how it felt to work so hard and get mediocre results. Did it for what seemed like an eternity.
    Now, instead of working in my lawn, I sit and enjoy it. I have a MUCH better looking lawn, and NO WEEDS!!!
    I care about the enviornment, and hated to be putting all those poisons down, but I read all the organic articles, and it seemed like I would have to work harder, and have a lawn that lookd like a field.
    Organic is more about what you don't do than what you do.
    Scott's has a good advertising department, but in my opinion, their products just don't live up to the hype.
    I got better luch with Fertilome products.
    Now I don't use either.
    I had clover, crabgrass, johnson grass, chickweed, dandelions, a few i couldn't identify, and wild violets. In my alley, i started getting poison ivy.
    The only down side to my prigram is,the violets don't grow anymore. I LIKED them.
    Weeds like poor soil. Make good, rich soil, and the weeds won't thrive.
    The only way i could get rid of the vrabgrass and johnson grass was to get on my habds and knees, and dig them out with an asparagus cutter. Now they don't even come up in my yard.
    I read an article about using fry molasses. If you couldn't find that, sugar would work as well.
    I think it works better, and is a lt easier. I just buy it when I shop for groceries.
    The thing is, there are beneficial microbes in the soil, that work 24/7 enriching the soil. Fertilizers kill them. Putting dry molasses or sugar, keeps them alive.
    I read the article in early spring, and I had a yard full of weeds. I put down sugar, no fertilizer. In a couple of weeks, I could see about half as many weeds. A couple more mowings, and I could see none.
    I put down sugar again in the fall. The next spring, some weeds came up, but far less than the year before. I put down sugar in the spring and fall. the next spring very few weeds, and the 3rd year, no weeds came up.
    I still had nor put down fertilizer, and the grass greened up sooner in the spring, and stayed green longer in the fall.
    I use 1 pound sugar per 250 to 300 sq.ft of lawn.
    Now I just have thick lush St. Augustine grass in the front, and thick, lush Burmuda in the back.
    If you need to wean away slowly, put down the fertilizer, and then put down the sugar, and water them in together.
    No, it doesn't cause ants, you water the sugar in well.
    I dethtched 39 years ago, when we bought this house, and haven't had to since.
    Proper lawn care does away with the need to dethatch.
    I always water to a depth of at least 6 inches. this promotes a deep root system, that protects against heat, cold and drought damage.
    Shallow watering causes the roots to come to the surface to get water. They die when they are close enough to get too exposed, trap other debris, and that is thatch.
    Weed killers kill benficial bugs, and that helps cause a host of ither problems. I make a nice healthy enciornment for my lawn critters, toads, lizards, and grass snakes. they keep all the bad bugs eaten. Japanese beetles (June bugs) i don't see anymore. Grubs are the larvae of japanese beetles, so I don't have grub problems. I no longer get aphid damage on my roses. I used to spray once a month with insecticide, and still, almost every rose opened with aphid damage. now I use no insecticides, and the lizards eat all the aphids. Every rose opens full and damage free.
    I had good, loose soil when I started the organic program.
    Good drainage is a must for a healthy lawn. I started with hard pan clay, and tilled so mucg stuff in, it finally was nice and loose.
    When new growth starts in thew spring, I spray my roses and shrubs that are susseptible to molds and mildew with baking soda disolved in water. Spray underneath the leaves as well as on top. I use to spray once a month with fungicide, al srowing season. now, just the one spraying keeps the powdey mildew and black spot away.
    If we have an unusual amount of rain later in the spring, I spray again.
    I used to spend about an average of 10 to 12 hours per week working on my lawn, plus any pruning, this was just battling the bugs and weeds, and diseases. My husband spent almost as much time on it. Now, we spend a combined time of about 1 to 2 hours per week, average. That encludes everything we do on it, including pruning and planting flowers. veggies etc.
    I am averaginf over the whole 12 months.
    He mows, edges and does any tilling of the garden etc. I water, prune the roses etc. That's all we do.
    Did you get your soil tested ny the County Extension agent, or a scott's rep? the ectension agence annalyzes the soil, the Scott's rep is trying to sell products.
    Amonium sulphte will help thicken your grass, but i don't know what else it is good for.
    If your soil is too tight, there are things you can do to loosen it besides tilling it all up and tilling in materials, but it will take a few years.
    Granulated gypsum will loosen it up. Put down about 1 inch od it in the fall, and let the winter rains and snow disolve it and work it through the soil. Put down about 1 inch of it in the spring. It will loosen the soil about 2 inches down, per year that way. You want at least 8 inches of good. loose top soil. I have used the pelleted gypsum, and it just did not do what the snow white granulated did.
    You can just go to US Gypsum, and buy 100 pound bags of powdered gypsum and use that, but it tends to blow around a bit, whereas the granulated doesn't.
    This is our entire lawn and garden care program.
    Sugar down and watered in in the spring. mowing and edging and watering. Baking soda sprayed on the roses and sgrubs.
    Sugar down and watered in, in the fall.
    Water when there is not much rain in the winter.
    I think my husband has top dressed the front lawn with compost, twice in the last 6 years.
    Besides the benefit of a beautiful lawn and not much work, another plus to the organic program is, my asthma is about 90% better, and I don't have to worry about our grandchildren and pets getting somehing that will make them sick, or worse.
    If you feel you just have to fertilize, I recommend Fertilome Lawn Food with Iron, followed by sugar, and watered in to a depth of 6 inches.
    My neighbors hat have jumped on my organic bandwagon have weed free lawns that stay green longer, and sreen up soomner. the others are always working on their lawns battling weeds and bugs.
    Dumping a load of earthworms helps speed up the lawn health. But,,,, if you have cockroaches, pamper them. They are better aerators that even earthworms, because the dig bigger tunnels. they naturally live in the soil, and they tunnel through it, just like the worms do.
    I can't abide on in my house, aso I put a fresh sprig of rosemary on each cabinet shelf, under the fridge, washer etc, and in each place they can come in or hide. I never see one in my house.
    I don't spray for termites, fire ants or ANY of the pests. I deal with them organically, and never have a problem with them.Write if you would like a list of the natural repellants ui use.
    I don't use insecticides in the house either. I can't tell you haw good it is to breath without my nebulizer being close at hand. I haven't had a really hard asthma attack since I started this organic program.
    I threw some sugar out in the alley where the poison ivy had started coming up, in the fall, and not one sprig came up last year.
    As far as overseeding your lawn. If you have a grass that spreads by runners, like St. Augustine or Burmuda, it will spread and cover the bare spots, but if you have fescues or blue grass, it grows on an individual blade, and you will need to see or plug in some to fill it out.
    If you have a shaloow root system, you could add a couple of inches of good soil. That will put the roots down a little deeper, and stimulate the runners to send out more roots and spread.
    When we first bought this place, and put in the lawn, I would let it grow to about 4 inches high, and put a couple inches of good dirt down. Leaving just some of the grass sticking up to catch the sun. It would water down some, the grass would spread, and when that was pretty thick, I let it grow higher and put down some more soil. I had a deep root system, and a thick lawn by early summer.
    I tried using dertilizer spreaders, and would get a thin streak that was too much and burn the grass. Then I started broadcasting it by hand, like I used to feed my grandmother's chickens. I could get an even application that way. that is the way i apply the sugar. I just broadcast it ny hand.
    We have every lawn and gardening too you can imagine, and they stay in one corner of the garage. They are seldom used, some of them have not been moved out of their spot for 6 years.
    My husband uses his tiller to till up his vegetable garden. The hoe never gets used because we don't have weeds to chop. The shovel, when I want to plant another rose bush, and to turn over the compost pile. We don't use the yard rake, because we compost the leaves and let them feed to lawn.We use the mower, and sometimes the long tree limb pruner, that's about it.
    Write any time . I love sharing this organic program. Your lawn smells so much better and it is so much healthier with none of those poisons and pesticides.
  2. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Charlotte... YOU ROCK! :cool2:
  3. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    that was a nice post, great to hear things that a positive:waving:
  4. Turfrific

    Turfrific LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    thanks! just something i read, thought i would put it up here.
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    Oh, LOL, so your not charlotte?
  6. Turfrific

    Turfrific LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    haha no, just a guy starting a lawn care business.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Oh well in that case......
  8. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    yeah, that is true for the most part. I haven't reread it but it all sounded right. If you have any questions feel free to post.
  9. Turfrific

    Turfrific LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    thanks your really helpful.

Share This Page