1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Espoma? Anything better?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by BrandonG, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    So I'm thinking of using Espoma organic lawn feed products for my clients' lawns.

    I'm wondering if I can do that and still claim to my clients that this is indeed 100% organic fertilizer.

    If not, or even if so, are there better products to use? I want to be able to tell my clients that we're using some of the best product available.

    Michigan law requires no phosphorus in lawn fertilizer, and also I will not be able to use any kind of herbicide on the lawn either, that which requires licensing which is extensive and takes over 2 years to get.

    I just want to be able to say that the stuff I'm using is kid and pet friendly, and will still help lightly feed their lawn without nasty harmful chemicals.

    Thanks in advance for the replies!!
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    Espoma organic lawn fertilizers are indeed made with ingredients that meet the requirements for 100% organic. However, it is very expensive for professional use. Do not rely on granular corn gluten for effective weed control. In order to reduce weed pressure with a 100% organic program you must understand the importance of mowing high, proper irrigation and annual seeding with a slit seeder.

    Do not make claims to your clients that they will have no weeds. And they must understand that the organic process takes time and expertise to provide good results.
  3. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Yeah, I understand completely about the weeds thing. I've been reading a lot about organic lawn care.

    I've also learned that the best defense against lawns is a thick, healthy, dense lawn that can out-compete the weeds. A lawn that is healthy can take care of itself.

    And worms help aerate the soil.

    If you had any knowledge about worms, I think they call this "vermiculture"? Would it be a good idea to seed the lawn with earthworms? And if so, how many do you think would be good for a lawn about 8,000 sq ft? I know you can't have the same answer for every lawn, cuz they're all different, but all the same, would putting 20 of them in different parts of the lawn either hurt or help?

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    I would caution you about jumping into 100% organic programs on a professional level based on what you've read. Use that knowledge as a place to start, then chose a few clients who you have a good relationship with and who will tolerate failure. You will learn a great deal more about what actually works or doesn't work this way.

    There is no set organic system that will work for every lawn. It takes trial and error, more research, and finding an experienced mentor to begin putting all the pieces together.

    A healthy lawn does not just take care of itself. Lot's of things have to fall into place and be maintained to keep a lawn healthy.

    And you have to meet your customers' expectations, which in most cases go beyond having an eco-friendly lawn.
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Follow Barry's advice. On the subject of worms, you can't just put them on any lawn and have them thrive. They will leave if the environment is right. To quote Field of Dreams, "If you build it, they will come". Build the soil and the worms will come on their own.
  6. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    I'm just looking for ways to upsell my clients.

    I am looking at having a completely green lawn company, from electric mowers and trimmers to organic lawn food and such.

    People are really starting to get into this "green" thing and I'd like to capitalize on it.

    So I guess I should tell my clients "it takes time for your lawn to become strong and self-sustaining" then there's less of a chance they will complain when they get some weeds.

    I really don't care all that much about the green movement, I just want to differentiate myself from local competition, and make some money.

    Thanks for the replies.
  7. TTS

    TTS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    To be honest if its not something you're passionate about I don't see the value in it. It is going to be incredibly difficult to effectively sell something you don't care about and trust me when they see the price on an organic lawn care program you will definitely have to be a rock star salesman
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. BrandonG

    BrandonG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    lol...well I do like green lawns, and I do love being outside working. It beats sitting in a semi truck 12 hours a day.

    And I guess maybe I exaggerated a bit when I said "I don't really care about the green movement", I don't like to see chemicals in our water, that's for sure. I myself would enjoy a chemical-free lawn.

    I just am not going to be able to tell my clients that "I know everything there is to know about Organic".

    I'm going to sell the electric lawn mowing service and upsell the Espoma applications, which using Espoma's basic program, will cost about $250 in material and $150 labor to throw in for the 5 applications.
    And then I'm also going to add on a power washing service (which I would contract it out to my dad, who is very good and meticulous with it), and installing mulch.

    That's basically it. Basic lawn mowing service except battery mowers and organic feeding 5x a year.

    Espoma says their bags treat up to 5,000 sq ft. But seeing as all my clients will have a lot size of 12k or less, I'd just use one bag, not two - and part of that reasoning is that I don't think you really need all that much anyways. Mow the lawn high, water when it NEEDS it, keep the grubs out, keep the worms in, etc.

    I'd just really like to keep it simple, and as I get more into it, and advance my knowledge, maybe I could offer more service.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    Best of luck to you. I hope you succeed.
  10. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 757

    I'm a big fan of Sustane 4-6-4 and 8-2-4. They just recently passed Phosphorus restrictions in my area, but since these P in these 2 products is derived from a natural source, they are exempt from restriction.


Share This Page