1. Can’t make it to the GIE+EXPO 2017?
    LawnSite brings the trade show floor to your fingertips with our new GIE+EXPO 2017 Sneak Peek video series debuting now in the Lawn Mowing forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Organic Fertilizers

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by TBLC, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. TBLC

    TBLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Hi. Do any of you guys use organic fertilizers or organic pesticides? If you do, can you tell me how you like them and where you bought them?
  2. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    try posting this in the organic lawncare forum.

    I do use salt and baking soda to kill crabgrass and other weeds, but this is ONLY for a seashore paspalum lawn.

    I've heard that corn meal can be used as a fertilizer, but have never tried it.
  3. mastercare

    mastercare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    By Department of Agriculture definitions anything which is called organic must contain nitrogen. All of my fertilizer is slow-release organic fertilizer, but its created in a factory synthetically. The Mich AG dept specifically says that it doesn't have to be naturally harvested to be organic....it can be factory/synthetically made, as long as it contains Nitrogen!!!

    As far as oganic pesticides, I haven't heard of them or used them. Also by definition, anything used to control a pest is considered a pesticide, and therefore still requires that you are licensed to apply pesticides....even if its baking soda and salt. I would be leary of using "home remedies" to control turf problems. Because there is no regulations, testing, or pest. registration, I think you'd be looking at some huge fines and possibly lawsuits if you did any damage to a customers lawn.. I would run from any suggestoins like that unless you're using it on your own lawn.....
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,279

    Repost in the organic section..but this website is very weak in organic stuff. They spent all their time in arguments about the need to have liscense and the need for labels on bags. In our part of the country the customers are very knowledgeable about organics and what they want so you don't need to sell but only apply. The big chemical guys(Scotts/TG) are getting left behind by small local companies that are taking advantage of the opportunity.
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,867

    Sythetic Nitrogen, I assume you are refering to Urea? Although technicaly Organic, I do not UREA believe is recognized by USDA as a accepted organic fertilzer, at or as a exception for use in a Certified Organic Program in production of food. In my opinion using such fertilizers and calling them ORGANIC in the least would be IMO, deceptive in a Turf program marketed as being organic.

    FYI a pesticide using Soduim Bicarbonate[baking soda] is in fact patented and has EPA approval for use as a pesticide labeled for turfgrass.
  6. A chemist definition of an organic is anything that contains carbon!

    I have never read in print that an organic must contain nitrogen, until this post!

    Please post the section that states this!
  7. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,554

    I have used organics before, and they do work, if used right. They feed the soil, which feeds the plant. If you have crappy soil to begin with, I wouldn't bother, unless the customer is loaded. Organic pesticides are good, but not as effective generally as synthetics. Soaps are very good at killing any bug out there, and there is no resistance. Good old Ivory liquid, 1 tbs/gallon will kill any and all bugs on your shrubs. Neem based products are good too, but can be hard to find and generally expensive. I have used Spinosads on caterpillars (sod webworm) with good results, and a prioduct called Ornazine, a Neem based EC which was excellent. But the Ornazine was hard to get, and had all of the problems of an EC (they burn grass if used improperly)There is no organic selective herbicide, to my knowledge. There are acid based non-selectives, but I don't like to use them. They will burn off skin (or eyes) The fertilizers are generally good. You need to try them and see how they do. I live 150 up hill from a pond, so I use organics on my lawn. Corn gluten will keep crabgrass from germinating. A good healthy organic lawn will also grow longer into the season and generally greens up sooner (I'm from CT) The main problem with them is cost. They cost about the same per bag as synthetics, but a 50 lb bag generally only covers 2-500 feelt, rather 12500 for good old Lesco 24-5-11. But they do work. Don't listen to what the anti-organics people tell you. Use them right and they work. Period.
  8. desertmtn

    desertmtn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    i thought this was an organics forum! Why does anyone even mention synthetics? Yes, organics don't usually cover the Sq. footage that synthetics do, and Yes, they usually cost more. But do we, the stewards of this fine earth let that sway us to be yet another contributor to the poisoning of our waterways and aquifers? If WE in the green industry don't start managing our " Green Spaces" (including our lawns) in an environmentally sensitive manner we'll suffer the consequences. We already are. Just look at the aquifer for N. and S. Dakota, you can't drink the H20 without serious health threats., All due to agricultural runoff. Here's the scary part, HOMEOWNERS supply way more toxins to the waterways than Ag. and Golf Courses. I live in the high desert in N.M. we have 6" of annual rainfall, and 40" of evaporation! Yet all my neighbors water their chemically dependant lawns like we have an unlimited supply of water.
    My lawn is not only lusher and healthier than theirs, but I water once a week, most folks water twice per day!! As far as cost goes I have 3000 sq.ft. of lawn and it costs me less than $100.00 per year to maintain it.so, being a Dad with a tight budget, it's worth the expense for alot of reasons, besides I save it in Water anyway.
  9. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    here we are back to the terminology argument...
    and the 'its too expensive' arguement...

    'organic food' and 'organic lawns' are not the same animal. i dont suspect many people have lawn salad for lunch. so, i dont think 'certified organic' would apply to lawns.

    'organic' and 'pesticide' do not belong together..."organic pesticide" does not make sense.

    forget the term 'organic'...it reeks of being overpriced and trendy...and starts the name calling, and arguments over whether it works or not.

    timely aeration, topdressing , timely overseeding, deep watering and proper mowing...
    good old fashioned best cultural practices. ..i'm not mentioning fertilizer here...that will just start another argument.

    and as desertmtn alluded to,

    why is it that in the organic forum we constantly compare synthetic to organic...do the pesticide and fetilizer forum threads do constant comparisons to organic.
    No, they dont.

    a non synthetic lawn care care program is effective, cheap and simple...and LEGAL.
  10. Cimarron Landscape

    Cimarron Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    oganic fertilizer...yes I use it. Down here in Texas we have Lady Bug Brand...another common national brand name is COMPOST!!!! :rolleyes:
    top dressing a lawn with quality, fine screened compost works wonders. I have had great results with both above mentioned things. As for organic pesticides....gimmie a break on the teminology guys :rolleyes: ya know what he means, now help him out!!!

    First, orange oil. Suffocates the buggers. Careful that you apply this on a cloudy day. If you have the solution too concentrated, or you do it on a sunny day, it'll burn the plant, just like synthetic fertilizers that are 'hot'.
    galic-pepper tea work well I've heard. Haven't tried any yet...no need. :cool:
    Diatomaceous earth. It also works as a soil amendment, providing silica, iron, and other trace elements. Apply at 10-50lbs per 1000 sq ft.
    Bacillus Thuringiensis. helps take care of the next generation of caterpillars
    dormant oil...used for scale and overwintering insects...don't know much about this one, it kills benificial insects too so be careful.
    Pyrethrum is pretty good, problem is it comes from ground up painted daisies. They are grown in africa, and DDT is sprayed on them...guess what you get!
    Sabadilla dust. It's toxic and hard to find...don't use it.
    soap. Nonphosphate liquid soaps and water mixed makes a good spray for aphids and other small insects. Careful, strong solutions can damage plants and kill microscopic beneficial insects.
    Vinegar works for Fire ants I hear. I haven't tried it.

    This is a pretty good list...yall have anything else to add, comments about these? And, cut it out on the teminology! Heck, don't matter how you say it, You just try to get the point across! :rolleyes:
    Good luck!
    ~Brian Sowell

Share This Page