an organic yard....

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by woodycrest, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    This is my yard, the last time it had any chemicals applied was 10 years ago.

    It looked really bad for years and heavily infested with dandelions etc.
    Last season i applied a total of approx 50lbs/1000sqft 'rolled corn' over the season. THe result last year was a consisitent deep green over the whole yard, but theturf was not thickening.

    This spring i applied a 20lbs/1000 mix of soybean meal, corn and compost. we have had abundant rains and cool temps so far this year. I mow at between 3.5 and 4'' about every ten days. Obviously it needs a cut in the picture.

    Personally i like the shaggy , 'natural' look of the tall grass, but thats me. My next door neighbours grass is cut at 2''(or lower) and neatly trimmed at all times...makes for an interesting contrast. :)

    my lawn still has plenty of various weeds, but the grass is thickening rapidy!!

    MY point here is that it has taken a full season to see the results of the 'organic approach'. MY grass has never looked better.


    ....most customers dont want to wait for results....

  2. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    from another angle..,

    note the very short lawn next door...
    one of the golf courses i look after is in the background....

  3. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Nice, a theoretical question you are more equipped than most to answer. If you just kept up you best management practices, minus all hand pulling and herbacides, how close to weed-free could you really get? Just by crowding them out, could you get as close as almost weed free. Or not really, and if its not really than we have to be open with people (customers in my case) about tolerance and threshold levels. And the new organics mainstream needs to be realistic about what is achievable. Better is quite different than the monocrop people have become accustomed to. Mind you if you were able within 2 yrs to get most of the weed grasses out and only have a couple of broadleafs than you could have that monocrop with a minimum amount of hand pulling. Like 1.5 hrs per season maybe.

    Anyhoo, nice lawn and thanks for keeping the organics forum active.
  4. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,179

    Woodycrest, do you attribute the thickening to the Soy, Compost or did you bump the N rate by applying more ibs per K?
  5. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    i attribute the thickening to optimum growing conditions...abundanat rain and cool temps, but due to generous applications of organic matter (soy, corn, compost, mulch clippings) the soil has improved and the turf is taking adavantage of the excellent growing conditions. There is no single factor that has much influence on its own, it is a combination of many...
    sunshine,rain and cool temps being at the top of the list.

    best management practices maintain the quality of the turf(good or bad).


    you mentioned tolerances and threshholds and tolerance is the key here.
    i could care less if my lawn is covered in dandelions for a few weeks in may, or the lawn going dormant in the summer and turning brown...but thats me. Customers need to understand the thier are no instant results from 'organics'.

    Will the turf crowd out existing weeds?, probably not. There are numerous dandelions in my lawn, but they are not prominent without the pretty yellow demonstrated by the pic below from late may. I am certain that thick turf prevents new weeds from germinating. Once the weeds are controlled, proper mowing , adding organic matter, and deep watering do the rest.

    i dont have the patience nor the time to hand pick weeds from an infested lawn, it is an exercise in futility.
    Maybe in three years my existing dandelions may get choked out, but that is unrealistic for the customer perspective.

  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Do they sell Lawn Mower and Hedge trimmer in Canada????? :D :D
  7. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435


    my scythe and manual hedge trimmers are in the shop...carbeurator problems i think...:p

    i getting a goat delivered in the meantime. :)

    ya know, this is only my summer home, in the winter we live in igloos up here in the great white north, eh.

  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I got a great deal on refrigerators. A true advantage when in comes to keeping your seal meat at the proper temperature. Yes No more freeze burn on your walrus hides before curing.

    I also have propane powered models for those out of the way places. Would like to buy two? one for each of your homes.
  9. cenlo

    cenlo LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 322

    I think this is a classic example of a "reno" project! (40-50% weeds) Please don't take it the wrong way. I'm thinking from an "average" client stand point. I think this lawn could be weed free organically, but in order to accomplish it within a reasonable time frame a total wipe-out is in order.
  10. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 424

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