types of organic

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by elliefert, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    I highly recommend registering for this webinar if you would like to learn from Chip Osborne, one of the most respected people involved in teaching organic lawn care. https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/448953022

    Chip is a great educator who has hands on experience with a sound turf science background. We are sponsoring his 2 day course at the NJLCA Headquarters in Elmwood Park, NJ on Dec. 12&13.
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    Organic programs do work, but they are not as easy as conventional programs. But then again conventional programs fail when the applicators do not understand what they are doing.

    You would think the term "organic lawn care" would be self explanatory, but this is the first question I ask LCO's. As you say, the different answers I get are mind boggling. I prefer to find out what they mean what their goals are before getting into details.
  3. Joshuakwhit

    Joshuakwhit LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    Yeah know that's what I want to find out. My goals are to build a lawn that is not waiting for a handout each month. LOL kinda like a lot of people in America. I've asked the question before are synthetic ferts bad. Can I build soil/ be organic and run synthetics together. But still able to operate an efficient and practical fert and squirt lawn company.
    Does anybody have any sympathy for me. If you don't know yet I have no idea what him talking about I need a good picture book, LOL!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    Yes, you can use some organic products and synthetic products together. Just do not call it an organic program and be upfront with your advertising and your clients. If you set up this program correctly you can reduce the amount of pesticides and conventional fertilizer while providing good results.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    That is very doable accomplishment... I call it a 'mature lawn'... more has to do with 'timing' than it does with monthly applications... if you are really interested in developing a mature stand of turf, then there should be some discussion about actual cultural practices...
    This will require thoughtful consideration of cultural practices and NOT just 3-7 step programs...
  6. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,229

    Some will disagree but if you are going organic you better be ready to get on your hands and knees and pull weeds. Cutting high will help but weeds will take off quick. Or just except that there will be weeds.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I spot spray broadleaf and have no use for pre-m becuz I'm seeding more often than killing,,, my version of "The Bridge Program"... various subtleties of any given strategy should be investigated before blindly reacting to a minute assumption... IMO,,, it is foolhardy and non-professional for an LCO to go out and about pulling weeds instead of just spot spraying them... the extremists who believe that spot spraying weeds is killing the planet are irrelevant to commercial lawncare...

    The error of the synfert generation was the constant blanket application of fertilizers and pesticides that eventually leach into the water table or get taken up it the food... wise usage makes all the difference in the world...

    That is why I wish the extension offices would talk about the N apps @4 pound per season on sandy soil near the water tables in a wiser fashion... the academics in those positions really never address soils at all so how would they have a clue how to relate to the general public of its importance??? :)
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    In NJ, Rutgers has done a good job on this subject.
  9. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,074

    I would say this statement is entirely untrue.

    If you read the academic literature, attend the university turfgrass field days, attend your state's turfgrass association's annual meeting, and read the golf and sports turf trade magazines, you'll see that differentiating fertility programs based on soil type is very heavily researched and recommended.

    Most LCO guys only read the homeowner-targeted extension publications available at local extension offices or online. Those publications are written for the broad homeowner audience. They are written very simply and aim to do three things:

    1) Be easily understandable. If you put in too many "ifs" for options, most homeowners won't read it.

    2) Be broadly applicable. Getting too in-depth or having too much specificity means that some segment of the public will be left out of the publication. Because we can't write a different publication for each property in the state, we need to write something that will apply broadly to as many situations as possible. We also don't want to include something that, while it may work great for one set of conditions, will not work for another or will damage another property.

    3) Cover important basics. We also want to be sure the homeowners are being responsible in using this information. Any extension publication about lawn fertilization should include things like "be careful not to overapply nutrients", "keep fertilizer granules off of driveways, streets, and sidewalks", and things of that nature. Not only are these publications a way to educate homeowners about their lawns, it is also a way to educate them about proper application.


    With that said, the publications that are geared for more educated, more specific audiences that know how to use (and are not overwhelmed by) such differentiated information are generally not popular among LCOs. LCO guys seem to like reading homeowner-level material more than golf course superintendent or athletic field manager-level material.
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    Very well said, Skipster.

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