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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Dchall_San_Antonio, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    We recently underwent a minor purge of one particularly combative member on this list. I know from a couple discussions with some of the regulars here that they had abandoned this forum simply because this one member was not only not offering constructive help, he was badgering the other members. The moderators here can't "delete" a member by themselves, it takes a committee. I brought the issue to Sean's attention and the issue was quickly resolved. The problem member was banned from participation in this forum. So I hope those of you who have looked here for organic suggestions will come back a little more regularly now.

    On another thread someone mentioned that this forum has not had the participation from real organic professionals. I agree. There are issues from state to state revolving around the proper use of approved materials. I'm afraid the few organic turf care professionals I've personally met simply skirt the issue and hope to not get caught. Flying under the radar is NOT what I hope to promote here. I am looking for valid ways for true professionals to apply the organic materials and (hopefully) use the INEXPENSIVE materials so you can make some money and build your client base. That's the challenge for this forum.
  2. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Messages: 784

    do tell who got the knife?
  3. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    So, Dave, commercial organics is all run illegally? Hard to call it professional when you know it's illegal. I have never even gotten an answer about basic cornmeal for fertilizer. In my state, any fertilizer seller must certify the percentages of N, P, K, and/or any other nutrients claimed in the fertilizer product. Who sells cornmeal with such a gauranteed analysis printed on the bag? If there is no answer for this question, then those preaching about cornmeal are just blowing hot air from a commercial applicator's perspective.

    And the few products with approval as organic herbicides are generally much more hazardous than chemical herbicides.

    So, really, to be a commercial "organic" lawn business today means you are running illegally, or you are not truly organic and are conning the client.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    NPK of natural products

    Attached Files:

  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Having the NPK and having a bag with the NPK printed on the side are two different things. Typically the guaranteed analysis of a bag of corn meal states that the bag contains 100% corn meal and the protein value of the corn. It is feed after all.

    Some states allow organic materials to be used with certain labeling. Anyone know if any states allow you to use materials without an NPK on the side?

    All? Who said all? I'm sure there are commercial chemical guys running illegally, but I would never say all.
  6. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Sorry, Mudd, that has always been the attempted answer. Organics supporters always get vague and generalistic when they are asked for specifics. I asked, "Who sells cornmeal with such a gauranteed analysis printed on the bag".

    Another most necessary piece of information: How does one apply cornmeal to lawns? Hand strewing from a bucket will work fine for a homeowner, but how am I going to do acres a day? And what is the percentage increase in labor time for the storage, loading, and spreading of 2-5 times more weight of fertilizer (cornmeal vs. synthetics)?

    I am attracted to Dchall's enthusiasm, but where is the meat? If no one can supply a direct answer to either question, I will just go away and let the organics enthusiasts stroke each other. That is all this forum has produced in over a year so far, from the perspective of someone wanting to learn how to do it right commercially (culturally correct, financially feasable, and legal).
  7. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,842

    In Idaho the Department of Agriculture oversees Pesticide Applicators. I made a trip down to their headquarters this month. and in response to my questioning regarding the legality of applying "Feed" materials as a Organic fertilizer I was told "The Department of Agriculture does not regulate fertilizers" so I asked "so can I can apply feed materials as fertilizer legally" and again he answered "the Department of Agriculture does not regulate fertilizer!"
  8. Hamons

    Hamons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    I think you are soundly unfounded if you think "purging" one memebers comments from this board will make any positive difference in the particiipation. If it the memeber I am thinking of -- his comments were founded in expereince and research. More than I see most of the other homeowner posts in this board.

    I include more organics in my program than most people on this board -- yet I am a realist and appreciate hearing both sides of the argument.

    There has not been much activity on this par of the board because there is no meat to disuss. Radical viewpoints don't have a place to discuss -- they jsut keep repeating their mantra over and over.

    Plus it is winter time -- organics don't work in the winter :)
  9. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    In Canada corn meal would classify as a 'soil' amendment , and is therefore exmept from regulation.

    Corn meal can be applied with any spreader,just as easily as synthetic fertilizer. Granted, the amounts are higher than synthetic , so you adjust pricing accordingly.

    Seems we are back to square one again...the point of an organic program is to feed the soil.
  10. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,842

    So when you submit your invoice for payment do you bill as "soil amendment" application or fertilizer application?

    It would seem that for states that regulate fertilizers and require a NPK guarantee, that if advertising or billing for a Organic Lawn Program, if the language describing a "Feed" application said soil amendment, not fertilizer application you would not be in violation of state law.

    After all we are not fertilizing the plant directly like with synthetics, we are building healthy soil

    My new slogan "XYZ Organic Lawn Care..... we Build Better Soil. "

    Also if you would indulge me, what spreader are you passing straight Cornmeal through?

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