organic weed control

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by dgw, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. dgw

    dgw LawnSite Bronze Member
    from OH
    Messages: 1,008

    im doing a design at a house that the owner gets organic lawn care

    as i walked the property i noticed the lawn had weeds everywhere, and the easy ones (dandelions , clover, plantains)

    she said she has been with them for 5 years

    she wants organic because of dogs and kids, so when i was there i just stuck with what i was there to do and didnt try to sell a spray

    but my question is do organic guys control weeds or was this just an unexperienced company?

    i never got into organic so i honestly dont know
  2. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    I can see it (organic control) working.......................over a LONG period of time (and time invested by the LCO).


    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,319

    There's a product called Fiesta [not sure of the spelling ] might have some promise. Go to the organic form and check there.

    Charles Cue
  4. dgw

    dgw LawnSite Bronze Member
    from OH
    Messages: 1,008

    i was just curios if they did in general

    she seemed to like the company she was with, and i dont intend to attempt any type of organic weed treatment
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,449

    Experiments at Michigan State U. found that grass mowed tall and fertilized with nitrogen at around 6 pounds per year had very low levels of weeds.
    Also, if you can sod, seed or overseed with a tighter variety of Kentucky bluegrass--this will crowd out many weeds. You want an athletic field type, Sydsport and newer types that creep aggressively. They are thatch-formers, but resist weeds and poa better than most.
    And (if you don't have conifers like spruce and white pine) Imprelis is highly effective. You only need about an ounce for an average lawn. And the safety profile is excellent--it is an official federal "Reduced Risk" product. It is about 100 times safer than Ortho Weed B Gone. Probably on sale.
  6. HayBay

    HayBay LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 846

    Organics or even pretend organics like FIESTA

    If the stuff worked we would all be using it and showing off the pictures of customers lawns treated with the stuff.

    You don't see that much.
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,999

    A purely organic lawn care program relies mainly on good cultural methods to reduce weeds. Over seeding with quality seed matched to site conditions, proper irrigation and mowing are critical to crowding out weeds. These are the same methods used for successful conventional turf programs.

    Corn gluten can work as a pre-emergent for annual weeds. Fiesta is a mineral based bio-herbicide for post emergent broadleaf control however it is not classified as organic.

    It may be acceptable to use herbicides when starting a program where there is more than 25% weed cover. This is usually up to the client. Many organic clients will chose weeds over chemicals.

    The main difference between organic and traditional programs is learning how to grow healthy turf by improving soil heath rather than treating for pests and weeds. A good organic program implemented by someone with proper training will produce a thick healthy turf with a few weeds.

    I personally think there is nothing wrong with an organic program that allows for occasional spot treatments when required to control outbreaks and a few weeds. I also believe that far too many chemicals are being used unwisely.
  8. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,999

    This is an organic baseball field at the end of spring baseball season.

    Mahwah HS Mike 1.jpg
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I think both Riggles and Slow Dog make great points about TOTAL CULTURAL CONTROL along with Organics. Organics can work over a very long period of time, but require total attention paid to every detail. Even Chemical Yard care works 100% better when used in conjunction with proper Cultural practices.

    One of the biggest Mistakes I see every day is how 90% of those cutting grass don't know how to use a Weed Eater. The lack of Education in this industry is appalling. Not everyone is smart enough to cut grass. It is those who aren't smart enough to hold a real job, that end up cutting Grass.
  10. johnroscoe

    johnroscoe LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    While not "organic" per se, we have a couple properties that we have overseen from seed bed prep right up through mowing today. One in particular has such thick grass that in the last 5 years since it was planted, we've never applied any kind of weed control except to the curb area. It's about 5 acres, and there are currently fewer weeds in it than my 1/3 acre lot at home.

    It gets a strong dose of slow release N twice a year, but mostly good seed selection and informed mowing choices are the reason it looks so nice. We could easily substitute some sort of organic fert on it and it would look as nice, but at a higher cost.

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