Organic sports/golf turf seminar march 26

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ICT Bill, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    There is a sports/golf seminar, that is put on by Purely Organic Lawn Care and ICT Organics
    You will see many examples of golf courses using an organic approach, the owner of Purely was a golf course super for 20 years. There will be 3 folks in sports/golf turf there to speak to the trials and tribulations of moving from a synthetic program. some pro some con, it their experience that is key
    I can’t make it so Shep Ogden our marketing guy is doing the presentation for ICT Organics

    Nice breakfast (starting at 8:30 am) served as well

    Thursday, March 26th 2009 at:
    Best Western The Inn at Hampton
    Galley Hatch Conference Center
    815 Lafayette Road
    Hampton, NH 03842
    9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    Please call (207) 363-1200 or email to sign up.
  2. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Bill, if any of the literature from the presentations is available, please let me know. I'm obviously not going to make an east coast event, but............I would love to see any of the presentation material that could be shared.
  3. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    i also would love to read or better yet hear/watch this presentation. no way can i make it, but i think this type of information would be helpful to many LCOs out there. is there a possibility of this?

    a question for you bill. how do these supers that do organic lawn maintenance on golf courses deal with weeds? on residential lawns it isn't a big deal if there are few weeds, but on golf courses it is very important that there are few flaws or weeds on greens. what is their strategy or do they still spot treat weeds with herbicides?
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You have heard me say many time "less inputs"

    In most instances we are trying to transition sports/golf/lawn and landscape professionals to organic methods. it can be difficult to leave behind tools that they have used for years.

    actually it is more about putting new cultural practices in place, that is the hardest part

    Anyway, yes most often they use the herbicide they have been using but heading more towards IPM practices, diagnose and then apply.

    If we can reduce the inputs by 50% or more then we have done something. The most toxic product on the course is typically fungicides, we have an answer for that, I personally do not have an issue with spot treating with an herbicide

    I will head you toward the video when it is posted on Utube, we also have power point presentations but you almost have to be there to understand some of the slides
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,161

    I agree, this is also the most logically approach for the LCO who is interested eliminating the squirt & fert N-King's from their yards enabling mulching mowers and less inputs to be a realistic goal to be achieved. Once this is achieved a gradual adaption to a full on Organic program once knowledge and account base is up to speed would be be the natural progression for busy contractors who because of economic and time constraints can only make small operation changes at a time.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    You said it better than me
    It is near impossible to change cultural practice all at once and probably not a good idea either. This is one of the myths that is believed by most, that all tools are taken away all at once by moving to more sustainable and safer practices.

    The fact is that sometimes a chemical trigger has to be pulled in order to get a site back from the brink, then practices can be put in place to keep it under control

    The bottom line is that customers are paying for a nice stand of turf with little to no weeds. Over time fertile soil and crowding out weeds with a thick stand of turf works great, it just doesn't happen overnight. Often you inherit properties that in bad shape to begin with

    On the customer side it is about setting expectations, there may be an occasional mushroom, clover is not really that bad in fact it is a good thing and there some great recipes for dandelion wine. Telling folks that weeds are great indicators about what is going on in the soil and correcting the soil instead of INSTANTLY killing the weed
    Dandelions in your yard? the yard is probably compacted and low on calcium, lets put a program together to fix that rather than spraying something to mask the symptoms
  7. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Bill has the right of it in that fungicides are the biggie. Unless you have done it, your probably not going to believe that weed control on those beautiful greens is much easier than your average home lawn. Now, raise the HOC up to a collar, fairway, or tee height and we have a whole 'nother animal to deal with. The only real "weed" on putting surfaces either becomes the bentgrass so many are trying to grow in bermuda greens, or poa annua/poa trivialis in bentgrass. Removing the bent from a bermuda is again, a fairly easy undertaking. Removing Poa from bent is the opposite, but even the chemical triggers aren't reliable or accurate. If the greens are healthy and you've made a reasonable effort to keep the crab off of the course, your not going to see common yard weeds on a putting green. The HOC takes care of most of the potential "weeds".

    Now, fungicides....................
    You could be a card carrying, Audubon Certified, tree hugging, environmental activist, organic purist, etc, and your still going to have a fungicide or two on the shelf, "just in case", if your in an environment where pathogens are active and prolific. Here in the desert, I don't have to be quite so paranoid. Understand the average 5-6000'sq green is valued at around $10,000. IF you could find sod, you would be looking at $6-8,000 in sod to replace that turf, and you would still have non-revenue grow in while you brought the green back up to speed. The last time I priced any bentgrass seed, it was over $30/pound and the light rate for establishing a putting green would be in the 2#/m rate. Many would go 3#/m in hopes of a quicker, denser stand. Now, after saying all that, we still need to understand the "evil" of the preventative spray program coupled with the spray and pray mentality modern universities are preaching. When we didn't have a shed full of "silver bullets", the old timers managed to grow pretty nice turf by working just a bit harder and a lot smarter. We managed fertility and water to optimum levels for the turf. We avoid "luxury" consumptions of any controllable factors (hey, if moisture is your enemy and the rain won't stop.........). You walk that tightrope with the irrigation and you spend the man power to put a hose on those spots that need it. You do all these things "right", and your inputs can be cut way back. The inputs you don't skimp on are knowledge and effort! Sadly, you do this and the end result in the golf course industry seems to be a perception that "if the job is that simple", we don't need the professional that got us to that point. Quality isn't appreciated unless they can see where they physically paid for it in materials and products.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    I should have posted this before

    Attached Files:

  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Slacker :laugh:
  10. Prolawnservice

    Prolawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 612

    how about a webinar Bill, so travel isn't a problem and everyone could attend?

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