NOFA graduate questions

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by adforester, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. adforester

    adforester LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    So I have taken the NOFA organic land care course up here in MA. Northeastern organic land care. Anyway they really emphasize only using compost tea, never use roundup etc. Anyways,
    heres the thing - one of my clients has a lawn that takes me 4 hours to mow, its a big lawn, last year it was a great lawn, i wasnt mowing or fertilizing. then this year i started mowing and someone started fertilizing using compost tea. And well the lawn looks like ^&*(!. I mean its completely overburdened by weeds, crabgrass, bermuda grass, its an awfull looking lawn now and im imbarrassed. Anyways, how do you all control weeds from taking over? Pre-emergents work well! ...but you dont use them???
    how are they toxic?
    So you only top dress? much does that cost?..and how do you apply it?
    I just throw it with a shovel and hate it.
    I mean a GREEN LAWN IS A HEALTHY LAWN--chemicals or not my friends
    looks healthy probably because it is! the green industry is a scam...I got a degree in environmental studies and took a organic land care program, I keep exposing myself to alot of "organic" ideas but to tell you the truth I don't think any of the ideas are worthwhile.
  2. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    Thanks for posting that information.

    I could have saved you the $500 or so for the NOFA exam and told you it was bogus.

    If anyone wants to know how to have a beautiful lawn just read the Pesticide SubForum, the guys in there know their stuff.

    When the golf superintendent at a Golf course like Marthas Vineyard (almost organic) says compost tea doesn't work, its hard to not listen.

    You won't believe how many certified organic companies are losing their registration status when audited.
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Compost teas work very well.......when they are needed. I spent 16 years doing lawn applications in an area with good soil......compost would only improve drought tolerance in heat and earlier greenup in spring...other than that...judging on a purely visual basis......almost no effect.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Apples and oranges type comparison, is what you are dealing with here... Compost/AACT does things for the soil that no synthetic can do...

    Pesticide/herbicide/pre-m does what no other product can do...

    Real thatch, i.e. a layer of living and dead roots and stems above the surface of the soil is not a healthy lawn...

    Any hort student/practicioner should understand when a plant is in a healthy environment and when it is not... Bashing the organic earth worshippers is one thing... growing plants naturally is completely different, so it is good to understand the difference and produce a healthy lawn... :)
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    a couple of things
    where are you located and what type of turf is generally used where you are

    what are the soils like generally in your area? sandy, heavy clay

    how many applications of compost tea have been done and how often

    has the site been on a chemical diet for many years or just left to be what chip osbourne calls "organic by default"

    the last 2 summers in the mid atlantic and NE have been difficult at best on both the organic and chemically treated lawns, when you have several days of 100+ heat in May it tends to smoke cool season grasses for the year and promote heat loving plants like bermuda and CG

    One of the sponsors on here compostwerks has several models of top dressers
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    There's no silver bullet to organics. If someone touts one method of getting things done over others, I would take what they say with a grain of salt. It's your job as a company to research and experiment with what works best for your customers and properties. It also helps if customers will help out too, because they're paying you and helping ouit at the same time. While I do think compost tea is a great tool, I wouldn't expect it to be my only weapon on turf. Meals, chicken manure, seaweed, humic acid, and worm castings are just a few other tools I use as well. I want to add diversity while also giving the customer a green, healthy lawn.
    It's just sad that some on this board haven't taken the time to try and understand organics and soils but have the time to bash them. Organics aren't for dummies or the stubborn. If you were forced into organics by the government or whomever, maybe it's time you moved or need to take up a new profession.
  7. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    My new profession is to dispute the bull Sh*t being fed. Its just as rewarding as watching weeds grow.

    Nofa, OMRI, Chip Osborne, Paul Tukey

    I know for a fact when your organic program is not working your pulling out the pesticides. Oh it was only one time right.

    I hope they ban it in your neck of the woods, you will have a change of heart.

    By the way look back in the archives, Ive been on this site quite a while trying anything new for a so called healthier lawn. I even purchased a microscope with camera to watch soil activity.

    We still offer organic products with our Dump truck , fork lift, skid steer and Power spreaders. I mean that literally. Oh ya Im a rat trap expert too now because of it.

    Many USA Golf Couse superintendents, USA municipalities all have a similar view now that they have been using these organic products for the past 5 or so years.

    I dont need to show the links althought I could, you show me the proof organics work without cheating using the occasional pesticide.

    Why did Frank Rossi at Cornell University fail at the Bethpage Black Organic Program, because he is stubborn or a dummy, which is it?
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Still equating organics with no herbicides for weedfree lawns... Whassup with that???
  9. OrganicsMaine

    OrganicsMaine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    So Hay, what you are saying is that organics is a total crock of Sh*t? I would love for you to put a sample program of yours down on paper or here in the forum. I know that you can't use synthetics, so I just want to see what it is that you are doing to create a great lawn.
  10. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    OrganicsMaine, that is a great question.

    Our lawns are failing. Customers are picking weeds by hand once the lawn care operator leaves. We deal with grubs by reseeding, we deal with chinch bugs by reseeding, crabgrass is the new green. Im talking about all the companies here.

    Do you really think that if organics or lets say alterative options worked I would be saying this stuff, do you not think that some of the less dumb or stubborn people in Ontario would be adapting and braging if this stuff was true?

    Do you wonder why a guy like ECOGUY would start a thread titles "am i a sellout"?
    Do you wonder why the OP started this thread?

    I want to see the guys in this forum show me the solution. But you can't, its always an excuse or story.

    How about the line "it takes 3 years to get your lawn off drugs."
    "You can get cancer using pesticides"

    The suppliers in this forum have a new revolutionary Organic replacement product to promote every month, why?

    Show me an organic Sod producer and I will believe.

    Chip osborne wants more than $100,000 per year to control weeds in a municipal setting

    He resorts to Goats and bugs that eat thistle.

    Many here know more than the Univeristy Extensions in this Sub Forum when it comes to Organic results for lawns. Explain that to me.

    You want Green, it is possible with Organic Products, they are great in drought conditions when synthetics are not. But weed control is not likely, Weed reduction may be.

    You want to know what the activists in Ontario say now that weeds are an every day fact of life here, "whats wrong with edible dandelion, they are pretty and means the soil is healthier". "Clover is nice in the lawn"

    Like I said, SHOW ME ORGANIC SOD.

    The best option for an organic lawn is to move away from grass seed.
    "why would you waste your time growing grass"

    This is something guys that know about soil health will tell you.

    Apart from the detrators of possible soil health and microbial activity, I do think that a Bridge type program would be a great option if your client wants a weed free lawn.

    OrganicsMaine Now lets hear your 100% Organic program, I want to try it.
    But I am calling BS. If it works I will come back and admit it.

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