What is this?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by quadracer_13, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. quadracer_13

    quadracer_13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Im sure im gonna regret askin but what is organic lawn care?
     
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    One answer is: (I'm sue there are more}
    Where a company or individual tries to use sustainble practices to maintain healthy disease resistant turf.
    We are trying to build soil health to feed the plant not feed the plant directly with fertilizers

    We are trying to put things in place to get nutrient cycling going in the soil to reduce synthetic inputs, these thing do not happen in a couple of hours like applying a fertilizer
     
  3. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    I hope you never regret asking any question.. even with a little ridicule you are better off then if you didn't ask. :)

    Basically Organic Lawn Care is taking care of a lawn without using manufactured chemicals like synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, etc.

    The alternatives are pretty cool.

    For instance fertilizing. Instead of putting down a chemical fertilizer like Ammonium Sulphate, you can put down Blood meal. The lawn will get the nutrients it needs, but from more "eco friendly" ways. My favorite is compost... you take waste like old tree clippings and manure, and compost it right, and use it as fertilizer. The benefit of compost over traditional chemicals is that in addition to the plant nutrients, the compost also has soil building properties unlike synthetic fertilizers.

    Next is bug control. Nature has ways of controlling itself. In organic lawn care you magnify these systems to take car of the lawn. One way is to use tiny 'worms' called nematodes. They kill insects like grubs. So you breed them (or buy them), and instead of using a chemical insecticide you use a living nematode to kill the grubs. Natural practices in organic lawn care can pose less harm to humans...

    Another cool alternative insecticide is chitin. It is basically recycled crustation(sp?) shells. They take crustation shells that would otherwise find their way to the landfill and extract the chitin out. You apply it to the lawn, where bacteria 'eat' it and excrete an enzyme that melts grub exoskeletons! It also melts fungus, and can be used to combat many turf diseases.

    Then alternatives for weed control... well there's is always fire, then vinegars, hand pulling (which is actually pretty quick if you have the lawn growing correctly), organic oils that can be selective weed killers, and preventative measures like Corn Gluten Meal (A natural derived pre-emergent)

    The best organic programs not only utilize treatments like those listed above, but they magnify the best cultural practices, like proper watering and mow height, grass selection, etc.

    To me organics is a lot more interesting then traditional lawn care, and it is definitely more "earth sustainable". I love it, and I don't even offer the organic program yet, lol.
     
  4. quadracer_13

    quadracer_13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    so basically its like a safer more eco-friendly way of fertilizing. How popular is this where you guys do business and what do you usually charge?
     
  5. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Sorry, can't help on the price part yet. But I can tell you that the economic threshold is being set higher then traditional chemical care.. translation.. people are willing to pay more for organic lawn care.

    And i don't know of one company that offers it out here, so it should help to set me apart pretty well.

    I would also say that real organic lawn care is much more then using "safer" and more "sustainable" methods of fertilizing. It can include mowing a customers lawn and consulting them on their sprinkler system, etc.
     
  6. quadracer_13

    quadracer_13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Hmm thats somethin I can think about. There isn't really too much competition in my area but I dont know of one that offers this so ill have to think about that. you know of any website on this or anything that I can read about it?
     
  7. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Hey Quad

    Our company is in field trials with many national franchises and several are already using out products, some say "organic" other don't

    at $30 per acre we offer a very cost effect solution for starting out with your program.

    the point is that there are a lot of folks headed this direction quickly, many of the decisions are going on in the background but are going on right now
     
  8. quadracer_13

    quadracer_13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    Sorry but im not sure I understand what your say?
     
  9. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    It was in reference to this, there are a lot of companies headed towards organic lawn care that may be working in your area as a franchise. They may not be offering now but many across the country are moving quickly towards it.
    Using these practices make fertilizers, when needed, work very well so less is needed. With fert prices going through the roof, companies are looking for ways to offset the cost with different practices
     
  10. quadracer_13

    quadracer_13 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    O ok I gotcha. When do you do this? Like how many applications do you use? What are the basics?
     

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