Where's the professional part?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by GroundKprs, Sep 12, 2003.

  1. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    People can jawbone about organics on dozens of other internet sites. Canadians have a professional trade group: <a href="http://www.organiclandscape.org/">Organic Landscape Alliance</a>. Nothing at all here yet about practical business conversion to organics. Anyone know of a USA trade group?
     
  2. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 493

    gotta crawl before you can walk. Can't have an organization until you've got people interested in joining.
     
  3. mower_babe

    mower_babe LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    That was a good question, GroundKprs. I dont think you are alone on that one.
     
  4. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 435

  5. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,969

    Yes, organic food has needed to be defined, so an "organic" item at the grocery store can be assured to be a certain standard. But as Dave has stated, organic lawn care means different things to different people. If a professional is selling "organic lawn care," how does anyone know what he is really selling then?

    The current state of organic lawn care in this country seems to be an amalgum of individual ideas, with the overriding idea that organics is anti-synthetic. So far it appears that organic lawn care is more a religion than a business, and most of us here are in business.

    For example, is a contractor with 10 acres to fertilize going to fling his 1000 tons of cornmeal by hand? Seems cracked corn would be better to use to go thru a spreader, but then there would have to be a standard particle size for the cracked corn. Can't calibrate every lot of corn you get, if particle size varies.

    There was a distributor promoting organic lawn care at the GIE a few years ago, but I can't remember the name. Might have been a franchise outfit.
     
  6. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 435

    it would actually be more in the range of two tons if my calculations are correct...:)

    Yes, that is alot of material, but from a residential perspective on an 'average' sized homeowner's yard it is not such a huge job. If you try to think in terms of acreage all the time it would be overwhelming. Suppose you have 50 average lawns to maintain, well, i would doubt every one would want the organic approach. So the five ton truck and the forklift arent really necessary.

    you are right about the cracked corn going thru a spreader. But as long as the corn is spread fairly evenly, a little bit more or less here or there isnt going to make a huge difference.

    ''The current state of organic lawn care in this country seems to be an amalgum of individual ideas, with the overriding idea that organics is anti-synthetic. So far it appears that organic lawn care is more a religion than a business, and most of us here are in business.''

    I dont think it is anti-synthetic, its just a different approach.

    Of course we are in business, that is why i started a bunch of experiments so if someone is interested in organic lawn care i can show them actual results. Actual, tangible results will sell it a lot better than a bunch of talk.And i have had numerous people approach me about the organic approach including the local township. Can i sell it to them??...time will tell.

    You bring up some very important points that are not to be overlooked, but i dont think anybody has all the answers.

    There are a few organic lawn care businesses around here, but none are selling just corn meal/cracked corn, they sell corn gluten meal fertilizers which are substantially more expensive. If i can get the same results at a lower price that puts me one step ahead of the competition.

    maybe i'm wrong, but i doubt it.
     
  7. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Offering organic turf care on acreage may involve using different equipment than is used for synthetic fertilizers. For one, as has been mentioned many times, the organic fertilizers are heavier. Another difference not mentioned much is that the raw organic fertilizers that I like, corn meal and alfalfa pellets, do not go through the "normal" spreaders/droppers. Maybe I should say they don't go through the typical homeowner's versions of spreader/droppers. However, they easily go through a farm version of a spreader, so a pro in this business maybe should look into what equipment is available for distributing organic fertilizers on larger areas. Check to see if the equipment you own will spread it first, duh!
     
  8. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    Why wont alfalfa in pellet form sold as rabbit food go through a broadcast spreader, I was going to test that, maybe you can save me an afternoon. ? ty.
    There are many lawn care companies in Canada who offer traditional and organic and some that are just organic. Canadian municipalities are getting close to having the gumption and the will to ban, if you can belive it, "cosmetic use pesticides". So even the bigger players in the industry are preparing for that possibility by reasearching organics and in some cases even creating new products.
     
  9. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 339

    I applied a bag of alfalfa pellets (horse food) successfully with a broadcast spreader. If its in pellet form, should be no problem, as long as the holes in the spreader are big enough.

    Later, someone told me that horse food alfalfa is loaded with a certain insecticide used to kill a certain bug that kills horses. Apparently this bug is often all over alfalfa and a horse can die from ingesting this bug, even a dead bug. Hopefully rabbit food is safer.....
     
  10. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    ty very much and something like that is exactly what I am afraid of. for now ill apply brand name alfalfa and corn meal mix at triple the price which really sucks.
    anymore info out there on what wierd scary stuff might be in alfalfa used for rabbit food? cause the main ingredients for my veg based organic fert and rabbit food are otherwise exactly the same.
     

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