Organic Pessamist

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Fred B, May 25, 2008.

  1. Fred B

    Fred B LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    This post if for all you commercial LCO's.

    I think in today's society it is just a matter of time where spraying for dandelions and other broadleaf weeds for cosmetic reasons will be outlawed.

    Do you honestly think that organic methods can be used commercially and still be reasonably cost effective? Or do you think people will have to look at dandelions in a different perspective? Or will they have to put there money where their mouths are if they want to go "green"

    I know some will say Corn Gluten. But this is expensive and has to be put down at very specific times and is also rain sensitive. I mow 400 acres per week and @ 20 pounds per 1000 square feet that is alot of meal.

    Over seeding @ $124 per 50 kilo bag of grass seed is also very expensive plus labor to put it down.

    The reason I say commercial is because we do shopping centres, business parks, Schools... ALot of times there is irrigation but it is limited or cannot be on city property that the mall owners are responsible for.

    What about the city land beside you that is covered with dandelions or thistle can organic practices be effective when that is beside you?

    We are certified pesticide applicators but only do our own commercial accounts. I got a quote from a company to do some organic weed control here are the figures that they quoted.

    Spring spaying of liquid corn gluten $2700
    Summer spraying of beet extract $2700
    Fall spraying of beet extract $2700
    Total $8100

    This was for 4.3 acres and all three spraying must be completed to maintain a 75% effective weed control compared to conventional spraying.

    Same area same company for conventional spraying was one application @ $728.

    I know that organic methods can be effective residential lawns just because I feel there can be more control and you also have an owner who will be more involved if they want organic.

    My question for you is " Do you think going organic is realistic commercially? Or are the Costs going to be so high that there are going to be weeds every where?
  2. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,966

    I think organic generally contains 50%+ dishonesty. BS to the customer, then slip in something that works. To some operators that I've spoken to, it seems like a religion, they're emotionally committed. But you really have to BELIEVE, or you won't notice how poor the results are.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is why I brought out the 'dandelion' thread again. There is nothing so far that does broadleaf kill and leaves the grass. If we let our gov't outlaw broadleaf sprays lawns will change into weed patches, if not properly established to out compete.

    I BELIEVE... is a funny statement because we do all see that religious tree hugging mentality all the time. We had 3 tree guys come out on a large project and 1 actually explained why it would take him 5 years to dead limb red pine 15 feet up. "Every cut is a wound!" On dead limbs!!! He thot he was 'educating' the client.
    Religion or science?

    He failed the audition. :laugh:
  4. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    The idea is get a truly healthy thick lawn. I know "we" always say that but it really does work, I didnt put a pre-m of any sort on my neighbors or mine this year and she had 3 weeds in her front yard. Two were grassy. It really works, mine had just a few patches of annual bluegrass and once I got that pulled it hasnt been back. Again, no pre-m whatsoever. And my lawn is truly the best looking lawn in the neighborhood, my other neighbors yard is a DEEP green but... you can tell he is struggling to keep up with the cutting, and it just doesn't look healthy. I have one other customer that is about 9000 sq ft, and I was able to hand pull the few pigweed i found in the thinner but still thick areas.

    It works, just takes time, and a different way of looking at things. With bermuda I can take an ok lawn and have it organic in a max of two years. I am a hybrid company and I do use weed killers and pre-ms but only when ABSOLUTELY necessary.
  5. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    DuallyVette, 50% + dishonest for organics? If someone would put down chemicals on a sold organic program, just to get results, then they know nothing about a real organic program. These would be the same guys that do ghost apps on their customers too.I do 100% Organic for those who want it, and yes cost are more initially but will level off after a couple years. Right now my organic lawns are greener than my chem lawns and about half of the top growth= easier mowing.
  6. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    just to clarify, I only use traditional chems for weed control, not to get a quick greening.
  7. Elden

    Elden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137


    PSUTURFGEEK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    All of the organic companies who are only selling organic lawncare programs to thier customers, are you letting them know that it may take ten years to actually make any change in the soil itself??
  9. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    You don't have to have a perfect soil to be organic. By the way... how long will it take to fix the soil with traditional products? Even if it did take 10 years with straight organic that's better than making the soil worse. If I can have a lawn that requires zero inputs in 10 years then I would be happy. My lawn is doing pretty good right now and I have only had it for 2 years.
  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    50 % dishonest??? "{expletive deleted" how dare you, every Wednesday nite we open up our shop to EVERYONE. we also have a very long start up package with all the info on what why where and when. we use almost no pre packaged materials, and the ones we use are natural and organic. why don't you buy a plane ticket and fly down here to see a real organic operation that has won awards for the way our yards look!!!!!! that and i can help you pull your head.......

    we are not small buy any means 350 + acres full service, and we hug trees to, with a forestry degree 2 certified arborist a botany degree combined with almost 75 years combined experience in my current staff. we even have an entomologist on tap!!!!

    want some icing!! we compost all indoors and run on bio fuels. our worm farm is able to consume almost 35 tons per month, and we are able to make or own charcoal, for a carbon negative yard.

    WE GET NO BREAKS HERE EITHER, 28+ CUTS PER YEAR, ANDS THE LAST TIME IT SNOWED WAS 1977, THE LAST FREEZE WAS 1984. and please show me one northern tree that is almost an acre wide and 80 feet tall with a trunk 10 feet across= dbh 35 feet. that is only 40 years old. we have to cut lawns and hedges at Xmas.

    please don't smear the real organist or someone that has a hybrid and is honest enough to call it what it is, a less input yard.we have worked long and hard to get to where we are at.

    when you get some proper learning then you will understand the way we are able to kill you guys with an organic program. waste =$$$$$ in my book. look through my old posts, book you flight,pay me( pis me off and pay, every one else is free) then you can start your own program. till then, keep my name out your mouth, and we can keep it the same!

    I'm back

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