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Organic? Really?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ChuckNC, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. ChuckNC

    ChuckNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Howdy folks,
    I'm not trying to a wiseguy or
    P/O anybody, nor start a fight.

    But I see, LC companies bragging they are organic
    and they use 5% chicken manure and 95% chemical fert.
    Granular. I see people writing about microbial activity
    and not once have I seen anybody writing about Mycorrhiza.
    I started study Mycorrhiza about 25 years ago, and to be
    honest it didn't hake any difference if you use organic or chemical
    fert., but if your Mycorrhiza levels are low your grass will never take
    in the N-P-K values or micro nutrients. So I dug into the root
    zone to check for mycorrhiza. Have You?

    If you want to go back to basic chemistry anything that is Carbon
    based is organic. Such as Nitroform.

    But to answer any questions, I have run a Lawn care and tree care business. Growing fescue in the transition zone (big pain in the butt
    in the Charlotte area) Very hot, humid, but very dry all at the same time.
    Most fescue will die w/o irrigation, any warm season grass will thrive
    and becomes a weed.

    When the smoke clears, I don't see any benefit from organic
    lawn care. I do think there is a clear market for people who will pay extra
    for an organic program to create their personal green peace while they drive their prius to starbucks.

    Anybody have other thoughts?
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Mycorriza is said to spread naturally, as it had b4, which gave us something to 'study' in the first place... So my question has been for a long time, If a population is low, what cultural practices should be engaged in to help them to increase their numbers...

    In fact most beneficials must have a particular environment in which they would do better than the pathogens... Is that true??? :)
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    when a meteor slammed into the earth, i forget how many millions of years ago, and the earth had decades of darkness, the plants that had a fungal association lived and the ones that did not...........well did not

    The fungal association or symbiotic relationship is something that should be always be nudges in the right direction

    organic matter, no Phos, raw foods are always a good idea
  4. ChuckNC

    ChuckNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    You are 100% correct, it is naturally occurring.
    I know companies try to sell it in a bag or liquid,
    but for turf I always mulched the clippings back into
    the turf. Even if we had to cut it twice, (cross cut)
    back then we had the Greatdane's 72" decks
    and priced the xtra time for the jobs (super great striping look). Think about this every week tall fescue cut at 4" grew to 8" in week.
    We controlled the irrigation, fertilizer and everything else.
    I only pounded the N in 2 apps in the winter, the other
    apps were 1/4 pound N. P & K sources were 1 pound.
    So as I saw it all those grass clippings were a fertilizer
    application. So I see it as the clippings for turf,
    leaves and wood chips for trees, palm fronds & husk
    for palms. The results are great.

    (Please forgive any spelling, not feeling too well
    stomach bug)

    Thanks everybody.
  5. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Mycorrhiza associations will naturally develop if we just manage the environment the right way. Think about the saying "if you build it, they will come." So focus on developing a healthy soil.
  6. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Before Scotts started selling 'natural organic' fert, their website contained pro's & con's regarding the 3 main types of fertilizer.

    natural organic (fair)
    inorganic (good)
    synthetic organic (latest technology) (best)

    Scotts has since removed this page from their site, but here's what they had to say about "natural" organic fertilizer:

    1) Can contain unsafe pathogens (mammals)
    2) Requires more product to do the job
    3) Offensive odor
    4) High cost per acre

    Keep in mind this is BEFORE Scotts started selling "natural" organic fert. It was a good business decision on Scotts' part to remove their previous observations, cuz they saw a nitch, and they are taking advantage of it.

    my 2 cents
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Don't forget Larry .... if it ain't in a bag .... you can't make a profit.
  8. ChuckNC

    ChuckNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    I attended a semiar by the NC Extension service
    and a Phd in pollution gave a talk about how NC
    has the most polluted well water then any
    other state in the US.

    So I had to talk to him after his slide show
    I told him I live in NC and worried about the
    drinking water. He said, don't worry about
    those test results. In N.C., farmers use a lot of
    raw chicken fertilizer and the run off ends up in
    streams, ground water run off, then to wells.
    The salt level was off the chart. The test was taken
    right after the application was completed.
    If things are that hot, mycorrhizae and other symbiotic
    relationships are lost.

    Thanks to everybody replying.
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Thanks Kiril and ChuckNC -- I just emailed Scotts asking if they could forward their original "fert-type comparisons" (pro's & con's). I'm not holding my breath, but if I receive the info from Scotts, I'll post it on lawnsite.com. I figure lots of guys would like to see it too.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It is still ad unanswered question:

    What cultural practices would encourage the spread of AM fungi throughout a root system??

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