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All is quiet on the inner city front!

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by dishboy, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    Things are sure dead around here, looks like all the folks interested in Organics have moved on, including the moderator, too bad.................. :sleeping:
  2. pema

    pema LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I wouldn't say dead, just dormant! There seems to be only a few topics related to organics that can be discussed exclusively and those have been regergitated over and over, i.e. GCM, Nematodes etc....Also, the topic seems to be quite polar: You either Love organics or hate them which limits the reponses.

    I use organic fertilizers and have been for the last several years. Knowing the limitations and the advantages I set the tone right up front with customers regarding their expectations and never have had a service problem that I wouldn't have also had if I was a chemical spray applicator. This includes customers who OVER WATER and grow weeds faster than I can kill them.

    I've also turned down business because I cannot transform a yard that has been negleted for 10 years, is 89% weeds, compacted soil and home to a large dog, and turn into a show piece in 1 or 2 years. I just dont' want that kind of exposure. Let Nukem Lawns disappoint these customers.

    I would say less than 10% of my customer base are "dyed in the wool" environmentalists who want no part of pesticide use on their lawns.
    Most of my customers have full size his and hers SUV's in their driveway. Clearly, the concerns of those customers is less about "Environment" and more about safety concerns regarding small children or pets, or both. So I offer customers 2 choices: They can go 100% pesticide free, or opt for a "Limited use" pesticide program where I use pesticides ONLY when they are needed and in spot treatment applications. I tracked my consumption last year for these new customers who had previously been with other chemical applicators. These customers represented about 2 Million square ft of treated turf throughout the year. I used 70gal of mixed weed control, 12 ounces of insecticide, and 0 oz of fungicide. These numbers were included in my late fall newsletter along side a comparison chart of what a "Typical" chemical blanket application would have applied. I had no complaints and several commented that their yards never looked better.

    There is a small % of the chunk of customers willing to pay for lawn care that are also willing to pay much more for the services I provide. To the cost shoppers I simply say, "At the end of 3 or 4 or 5 years a lawn treated organically will have some marked improvement in soil quality that would othwise not be provided with chemical applications." This gets them thinking about the value more than the costs.

    Well, I've rambled on long enough. Hope this gets the ball rolling again.
  3. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Sorry about my delinquency. When I took the moderator job I was totally retired, but retirement isn't working for me so I'm working again off and on. When I'm working it's 12 hour days and I don't get much keyboard time. Right now I'm off again, so here I am.
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    Glad to see your back , your presence adds much to this forum.

    While I have your attention , I saw some interesting writings you had eluded to about Ramial Chipped Wood. Since it does not seem viable to incorporate RCW into existing turf do you feel that using a topdressing of compost made from RCW and grass clippings would or could achieve any long term effects in increasing soil quality. I understand we are limited to the amount of compost that can be applied at any one time, so with that in mind do you think a compost tea using the above compost might be as effective.

    Any thoughts on RCW in relation to turf would be appeciated.For anybody else wondering what the heck are Ramial Wood Chips, a google search will yield some interesting reading.
  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Yeah, Google it. The universe of Ramial chipped wood is small.

    I think your idea is a great one. The only application of ramial chipped wood on turf would be for a renovation that you're in no hurry to complete (like your own yard).

    I'd like to see someone like Woodycrest try some experiments with RCW on his golf course. These would be long term experiments because the wood does not decay very fast. Now if the RCW was sprayed with compost tea it should decompose faster, so...

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