Compost Organic Lawncare vs. Organic Fertilizer L/C

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by c2weech, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I do not topdress. I have worked out a way to apply 50 to 75 lbs of compost per 1,000 square feet per application. I do not believe in the value of compost teas or extracts either.
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,321

    c2weech: I'm a little late coming to this discussion (been away).
    Concerning TruGreen et al: Yes they have dry organic apps available and have test-marketed them. But at this time, IMO, they have a good thing going with the synthetics and fungicides and herbicides, etc. So as a money-makin' corporation, they have no reason to push organics. They have them if some "idiot" (in TRUgreen's thinking) wants to pay them three times more than one of their synthetic apps.

    There are some of our group who have yet to post on this thread.
    Some, in fact, use the various ingredients in what you are calling "organic" fertilizers even though in the long-term those ingredients would be termed unsustainable. I occasionally use soybean meal which is readily available and cheap for me. Am I stealing from cattle or pigs? I don't think so. But my core application is compost (yard waste with some manures) and composted poultry manure and maybe a wet application of molasses during the season.
    There is also an ethanol plant nearby and I may look into what they do with their distillers grain.

    So, c2weech, these are some other things for you to think about.
  3. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    We switched to organic fertilizers 3 years ago(SoundGro) with one app of a synthetic fertilizer in late fall. I never mentioned it to our clients. They like the results and the reasonable cost. I don't think they care that its a biosolid and I figure its better then an all synthetic program. We recommend other services, aeration, overseed and top dressing but most customers will only go for the aeration. We plan on offering compost tea this year although when I mention it to people the reaction is always "what's that?".

    What's wrong with better? Not perfect. Less chemicals, more organic.
  4. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    Organics - fertilizers and pest control products that are produced from natural and non-chemical materials.
  5. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    That does not necessarily mean it is sustainable.
  6. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    How about using minimal chemicals first. Is it possible to be a moderate when considering an organic approach.
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Personally, I don't have a problem with limited use of chems as a means to an end. That doesn't mean continued use of them, just limited use to get a system to a point where they are not needed. Most of the time that I recommend this is when client already has chems on site so they can get rid of them. If they don't have any chems, then I will strive to build a soil management program without the use of chems right from the start.

    All that said, strictly speaking an "organic" program should not use chems of any kind.
    IMO you also should not use crops to feed plants (i.e. plant based meals) unless those products are destine for the landfill.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If the lawn is still dependant on Ferts... Very good question... \

    IMO, the goal should be a healthy, mature turf that requires no more inputs of any kind... We impose 'crutches' on lawns from day 1 , becuz that's where the money comes from...

    Choose a variety that fits the area, raise to maturity and it will outcompete weeds, overcome disease, survive drought and prevent erosion, better than any other planting... Once we quit messing with it... :)
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    ...... including water.
  10. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,321

    Let's hear it for Arizona pea gravel yards. :cool2: ;)

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