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Organica 4 Step Lawn Care Program

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by 4-Seasons, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    You are misspeaking. That lawn in question is not my lawn but a clients , and I have done compost trials in controlled settings.
  2. Rayholio

    Rayholio LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,461

    anyone who pays the money, and does the minimum required work gets a degree... 'higher' education isn't what it once was... now it's nothing more than big business... American Universitys don't care if their students are smart.. all they care about is raking in cash.. just sayin'
  3. WannaBeOrganic

    WannaBeOrganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    You're right, sorry about that. In one of the pics it looked like you took it from your truck parked in the driveway so I assumed it was your lawn.
  4. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    It means I have a degree in Soil and Water Science and enough units for a degree in Applied Plant Biology, just not the right courses (hence a couple courses short). I custom tailored my degree for Plant-Soil-Water Relationships and it wasn't until right before I graduated that I realized I had nearly completed a 2nd degree in plant biology. Total units acquired in my college/university experience is around 260, perhaps even more. How many people who hold a masters degree or possibly even a PhD have that many units WBO? Don't think my other half has more units than I do, and she has a PhD.

    Grad work is very specific, and more times than not is studying what has already been done, just perhaps in a different light. You basically take a very narrow subject and study the hell out of it. It helps you to understand in great detail one small part of the big picture. I am curious how you think it provides a better understanding of the entire big picture? I spent a lot of time educating myself to not only understand the big picture, but how each part works and relates with the other. And to be quite honest, there is a lot more that I could learn. Due to continuing education in these and related fields, I also now have a pretty massive pdf archive of mostly peer reviewed publications and published information from reputable sources.

    FYI, I also took some grad level courses and participated in several research projects, but of course you would rather make insulting assumptions about me rather than simply asking.

    Oh, and just so we are clear post grad = post PhD, not post bachelors.

    So how about you? All I see you doing is questioning my education, so what is yours as it relates to this field?

    There is a TON of good information on this forum, and it doesn't come from a bunch of homeowners "experimenting" with their lawns. So I guess it depends on what you are looking for .... home owner 'experimentation" or years of professional success, much of which is backed by peer reviewed research.

    And once again, you have done nothing more than demonstrate your inability to understand the thrust of the bulletin. Furthermore, you have yet to present even one valid argument showing how to relate "optimum yield" of vegetables to managing turf. If you are so convinced that compost cannot serve as the sole source of fertility in turf management, then why didn't you comment on the docs I postedin Ray's thread?

    Since you want to be the master here, go ahead and impress us with a logical argument backed with references refuting these two docs.



    And believe me, I have many more to throw at you.

    And you again assume myself and others that contribute to this forum don't do the same? Dude, you are a real piece of work. Do you even read your insulting posts? You claim to have no intent to belittle, but then you go out of your way to belittle me in this post and continuously in this thread, and now have belittled everyone else who contributes to this forum.

    Really ....

    So again, this makes you a what? Funny thing about it, you remind me a lot of another guy from IL who used to frequent this forum, doing much the same thing as you are doing. He also pretended to be an expert, presented much "information" without a clear understanding of what he was presenting, and in the process more times than not only got it half right. And like you, he also took offense and resorted to personal attack and insults when someone corrected him instead of just saying thanks ..... or at least engage in intelligent discussion.

    So I'm curious WBO, since it seems you want to pass yourself off as an expert in this field based on your posts, and you like to question other peoples qualifications, what are your qualifications and experience outside of your yard?
  5. WannaBeOrganic

    WannaBeOrganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Because I have no interest in cluttering up other threads and I only respond to you if as I'm scrolling down the page I see my username mentioned and feel inclined to.

    Since I enjoy reading what DCHall writes I thought I'd look at some of what else he wrote on here and I ran across another instance where you talk about sustainability and you try and get people to get rid of their lawns.

    I don't know if you noticed, but the title of this site is Lawn Site and the tag line is "The Landscaping Professional's Original & Largest Online Community"

    When it comes to sustainability in this context I'd guess most people here care about sustaining their revenue, sustaining the roof over their family's heads, sustaining a well stocked refrigerator so they don't go hunger and things of that nature.

    Why not come up with a business plan using the sustainable practices you keep talking about so that people who make a living out of lawn care can follow that and maintain a profitable business that is as good as or better than their current business model. Put it into practice. Show your revenue, expenses, profit margins, marketing, etc. That will go a long way instead of badgering people into following your ideals.

    Ideals which you claimed you don't put into practice as a lawn care operator except a little bit here and there.

    Don't tell people it can be done. Show them you are doing it. You want people to go all sustainable and organic in their line of work, show them how it's done by doing it.

    I never claimed to be an expert and I no longer have interest in even seeing this thread go to 200.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You are unbelievable dude. What the hell do you think I have been doing here advising you to build your SOM with compost? And who have I been badgering? Have you or anyone here shown that compost is not the best way (both economically and environmentally) to build a sustainable/organic system? This is the organics forum ... no? Would you prefer to continue to use high priced "organics" in an attempt to replace synthetic ferts, or would you rather build a long term, sustainable solution? Don't know about you, but the answer seems pretty clear to me.

    No comments on the paper showing high quality turf can be maintain with only compost? That is interesting considering your comments in this thread.

    So what part of building sustainable systems don't you understand? Do I actually have to do all the labor too in order for a plan I design to be implemented? Really dude, your arguments are illogical at best. Do engineers build what they design?

    Thanks for your incorrect assumptions about me once again and for avoiding my questions.

    Also let me know when you read all the information I have presented on this site doing exactly what you claim I haven't done (with exception to the silly suggestion I present a business plan/model on a public forum) FOC.
  7. WannaBeOrganic

    WannaBeOrganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Good morning Kiril, I had a feeling you'd leave me some presents this morning. You want my comments here they are.

    The study only weakens your argument. First of all it was "low maintenance" turf not "high quality turf". The fertilizers they tested against were applied only once a year except for the ammonium sulfate which was applied 4x a year. That's not a typical fertilization schedule for high quality turf. Applying one treatment of 34-0-7 or 4 treatments of 21-0-0 sound doesn't sound like what a typical residential lawn receives?

    The compost they used was 50% green waste and 50% biosolids. There is much debate on whether biosolids should be considered organic or not and nobody who gives any type of organic seal of approval considers biosolids organic. So for many people, this study is not applicable to organic lawn care but I'll go on.

    Any application rate they tested for compost greater than 1/4" smothered the grass for months. No way a client would want their lawn unsightly for months.

    1/4" of compost once a year did about the same as the fertilizer program which I already mentioned seems pretty crappy. For the 1/4" of compost they needed to spread 1,110 lbs of compost compared to 12 lbs of SRF and 20 lbs of AS but somehow it cost almost 5x more to apply 12 lbs of fertilizer than it did to apply 1,110 lbs of compost. That doesn't make any sense so I'm not even going to look at those numbers. There isn't even a figure for delivery. Even if they picked it up themselves, theres the added cost for gas. You can pick up a 12 lb bag of fertilizer on a bicycle. Cost of SRF $10.08, cost of AS $2.80, cost of 1,110 lbs of compost $13.04.

    By applying 1/4" of the compost/biosolid 4 times a year they got better results than the fertilizer which shouldn't come as surprise. At that application rate, they were delivering 8 lbs of N per 1,000 sq ft each year. That's twice the 4 lbs applied with the fertilizers. In addition you're spending more than 5x for material, and spreading 2.22 tons of material.

    The cost of compost seems very low and it doesn't factor in either renting or owning a vehicle to transport it, the gas associated with transporting that much material or the delivery charges.

    Spreading 1,110 lbs per 1k sq ft may not be so bad if you are just doing one lawn, but what if you have dozens of clients. It's easy to say "suck it up and spread compost" since you said you only have one lawn you still manage but someone doing this for all their clients, how many tons are they supposed to suck up? Now multiply that 4 times a year and it sounds even less pleasant.

    Compare that to applying compost just once a year or every other year and using organic fertilizers to keep the lawn green and healthy. You'll get better results by just using one application of compost and it will be a lot easier and cheaper.

    Compost looks great on paper but if you're the one out there doing the work, or have to pay guys enough to do the work for dozens of properties and manage to fit them all in a certain schedule, it doesn't look so good.

    Running a business like this isn't what you do. Marcos apparently does this and he has clients that get just compost, clients that get compost and organic fertilizers and clients that just get organic fertilizers and he's been doing this for years. His opinion obviously means more because he has real world experience with all three applications as well as the experience he's had marketing them to his clients. You don't and all the research and test you do don't compare to him doing it as a business.

    How sustainable is compost anyway? You have to build trucks to haul it around short distances. These trucks aren't built locally. They aren't as fuel efficent as long haul trucks and trains. All that gas, machinery and compost could probably be used to plant enough soybean or corn to fertilize the same area. Let the farmers have .75" of my compost, I'll keep .25" and buy some meal from them.

    I'm also more with DCHall on this one. Compost is good, especially if you're low on organic matter but there are other ways to get organic matter that are cheaper and easier. The addition of fresh sources of food for your soil biology seems like a good idea.

    I see it like this. They say you should recycle your grass clippings. In addition to adding organic matter you recycle nitrogen and water. If you bagged your clippings, let them dry out and brown out on the deck and then put them back into your law, all you are adding is organic matter.

    There's nothing you've shown me that has swayed me. Sure you can fertilize your lawn with only compost but it doesn't seem cheap, easy or practical. I could keep my lawn green just by taking a wizz into my hose end sprayer once a week and spreading it around but I don't think the neighbors would like that too much. Talk about sustainable.

    When someone like marcos can get all his clients over to only compost and his business is still doing as well I might change my mind. Until then I'm done with this discussion.

    It's all clear now. You want to come up with the plan that saves the planet and then expect these guys to do the hard work of spreading compost as well as figuring out how to make a living doing it while you watch and pat yourself on the back. You think these guys don't know about compost? You think if it was an easy sell people like Marcos wouldn't have much more clients on a mostly compost plan?

    Anyone can come up with a plan on paper. Turning it into a sustainable business throughout the country is quite different.

    Now go ahead and pick the one or two things you think I got wrong and pretend that makes everything I said wrong.
  8. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    You mean your post trying to avoid admitting compost CAN meet the fertility needs of turf with more excuses and unsound arguments? That by the way was my problem with you in this thread. You keep insisting compost cannot meet the nutrient needs of turf and have gone to great lengths to avoid admitting it can.
  9. WannaBeOrganic

    WannaBeOrganic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    For what feels like the 1000th time. Saying I think compost + organic fertilizers is better than just using compost doesn't mean compost can't meet the needs. You can apply the weakest compost every week to meet the needs it's just not practical.
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    And there you go again, avoiding the issue that started this. Why do you continue to go to great lengths to avoid the issue?

    So which is it WBO? Are you going to continue to maintain that compost cannot be used in place of your preferred bagged products?

    I suggest compost as an alternative to bagged products and you drag this thread out over how many pages in a failing attempt to show it cannot.

    1) compost can be used to meet the fertility needs of turf

    2) the goal of "organic" program with respect to the system is building and maintaining SOM.

    And still you have not shown the above two statements are not true. Instead you continue to avoid doing so with irrelevant arguments.

    Just in case you didn't know, most of the people who contribute to this forum actually do care about the environment and could care less about your childish reasons for wanting a unnaturally green lawn.

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