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Does anyone run an organic lawn service?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by jmartmel, Jul 28, 2001.

  1. jmartmel

    jmartmel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Just want to know if anyone runs an organic lawn service and 100% pesticide free program. Seeing how It's going here in Toronto with laws and such, maybe everyone will have to be sooner or later. If you are how is it working out?
  2. Dochere

    Dochere LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    We are located in northern Illinois and hence, do not and probably will not ever have to worry about not being able to use chemicals. We do however offer a totally organic program for our customers. About thirty percent of our customers are on this program, and to be honest, I could care less one way or another. The applications and time do not differ that much. The main difference is cost, as using certain organic products can be 3-4 times as expensive as some of the chemical products. (You can be sure though that the major players in the chemical market in Toronto will find ways of making the organic products as affordable and comparable to there predecessors). We do not push these products, rather, the customers that we do their property in this manner, have requested it. They are all in wealthy areas. I do my personal property in this manner, but every once in a while use a chemical weed control. I find that organic ferts and such are great but other organic products tend to be un effective. I personally aerated my property a few times, over seeded with a dominate grass, and fert about 3 times a year, 1 weed app in the spring and I have to admit, it's not bad. Good Luck!
  3. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    We've been organic for many years. The Organic Landscape Alliance is a group of organic companies amking great bucks offering an alternative to chemicals.

    That being said, we'll never have a ban on chemicals in Ontario. The idea that Toronto or Ottawa will follow Hudson's lead is a myth. The laws here in Ontario do not allow municipalities to mess in provincial matters, which is where pesticide use is regulated . The post to the contrary is FALSE and is scare mongering.

    By the way, having lived in Hudson for twenty odd years, I know the people who fought for the ban on chemicals. One of them is now on Toronto council, Jack Layton, whose dad was a federal member of parliment under (boo) Brian Mulroney. These people are better educated and armed with info than the chemical sprayers so they had better watch out. Hudson is also known for it's fabulous gardens and golf course so it is possible to have these without the use of pesticides.

    educate yourself and your customers as to the possible problems with chemicals and you just might find a profitable niche market for yourself!
  4. jmartmel

    jmartmel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Thanks, dochere, kermit, it sounds like something worth getting into. I'm glad to see it's working well for you all. I think even if bans never come, It's still the best route to go.
  5. hustlers

    hustlers LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 257

    i am in the process of starting a total organic
    lawn service and also want to be a dealer
    of organic products to do yourselfers.
    I do not believe in chemicals for lawns , foods, etc.
    I have always used chems, but I decided
    not even to offer because I think our world
    would be better and have less cancer w/o
    it , I fine the organics do a better job for
    droughts because they help soil
    to retain water. let me know how yours
    goes and I hope you do for the benefit
    our future generations

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    Here in OHIO, no one seems to care.No one seems to be afraid of "chemicals" I think it is because they are educated, in part. They use chemicals much more potent than mine everyday. I would do it if it was requested. When I worked at TG, we sold about .03% of the customer base (who wanted it) Organic. The funny thing was, we sprayed 3-way weed control right after the organic fert! :angel:
  7. jmartmel

    jmartmel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    You may be right but there is a pretty big shift going on for anything organic, from food to lawn care and I think it is only going to get bigger year after year. Especially since you can get a great looking lawn through organics. It just takes a little longer.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    I agree that a landscape environment will be in best health when organic products are used as natural micronutrients aid in assimilation. But my question was about the weed control. Do you have an organic weed control that will kill clover,dandies, oxalis,voilets and ground ivy? I have heard of one brew. One gallon of white vinegar-2 cups of salt-and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. But you don't expect to blanket a lawn with that, do you?
  9. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Mathew... you took the words right out of my mouth! organic programs are all fine and dandy untill the customer wanders why hes got dadylions and clover all over his lawn!
  10. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    On the organic front there was a big campaign this spring to overseed lawns with 'white dutch' clover. It was very successful.

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