Reduced Risk Herbicides

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JoJo1990, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    Before you go beating me up, hear me out. It goes without saying that trying to educate your customers that the natural/organic/organic based program they signed up for does not show the traditional 'synthetic' results as far as quick green-up and dandelions curling in hours. It baffles me how folks will pay a little more for an organic program but then don't want to spend any extra on aeration and especially overseeding.

    When dealing with a new customer or a yard that has been over run with a dense weed population, I like to give the customer several options. If there is over 50% weed cover, it's obvious that they need to be addressed before the aeration and seeding.

    Imprelis is out of the question. Other reduced risk herbicides like Tenacity and Quicksilver seem like options that have less of a footprint than say a more traditional 2,4-D product. Fiesta needs too many applications and is too inconsistent for me to use.

    Do any of you offer something similar to your customers to get the weeds under control first and then spring into your organic program? Which herbicides do you offer?
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,158

    As a supplier, we offer organic, natural and transitional programs. IMO if you are starting with thin turf & more than say 25% weeds, a transitional program is a good starting point for clients who will not tolerate slower results. Such a program may include an organic or organic based fertilizer with chemical pre-emergent followed up with organic and/or organic based fertilizers and/or soil inoculents with spot treatment post-emergents.

    Lawns on Organic and/or organic based fertilizers do out shine synthetic ferts and it doesn't take as much time as many believe to green up. Any program (synthetic or organic) which includes seeding & areation provides better results.

    We've seen good results with 2 spot treatments of Fiesta in spring. Ohio State
    University study with one blanket treatment of Fiesta at 1/2 rate followed with one spot treatment 4 weeks later provided very good results. Another university study rated Iron HEDTA equal to a 3 way product for weed control & turf quality.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    I often suggest a dense-type Kentucky bluegrass repeatedly seeded to increase thickness, probably an athletic field type.
    Anyone agree? If so what is the densest most weed-resistant type of bluegrass? Perhaps Langara:

    Or are better results and fewer weeds going to result from seeding Poa supina?

    Or is it best to go straight to a dense sod. (Like the Yankee Stadium blend).
  4. Ferris68

    Ferris68 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 44

    You could try Trimec 1000. A new formulation of Trimec with DEA as the main active ingredient instead of DMA to eliminate the typical 2,4-D odor. Diethanolamine salt (DEA) is extremely low odor and is known to be good for deep rooted perennial weeds.
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Recently I have been wondering about pushing the issue of reduced risk herbicides as part of a marketing....?

    Good idea or Bad idea...:confused:
  6. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    I'm not sure I see any benefit to this. The first thing your customers are going to ask is "reduced risk of what?"

    Then, you're going to have to answer all sorts of questions after that:

    Why were you using "high risk" things on my lawn last year?
    How safe are these things, anyway?

    What if there are some products you absolutely must use that aren't "reduced risk?" Do you use and pre-emergents? None of those fall under "reduced risk."

    It just seems like it opens up the door to a lot of questioning about what you're using when the customer result is still the same. When following label directions, everything we use carries minimal risk of injury or toxicity. Why instigate that fight?
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,793

    I think you are right. EPA "Reduced Risk" herbicide would be a great choice, such as Quicksilver. Passed all the government tests with flying colors. Almost non-toxic. You can't kill a rat with it. Probably a hundred times less risk than Weed B Gone.
    And if you wanted to be safer spray...that uses a lot less product per acre. Usually, spot spray uses 90 percent less product. Its all relative to the number of spots you spray, of course.

    Also check out Octane herbicide. (Pyraflufen).
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Spot spraying is definately the best way to go for broadleaf weeds... what can you possibly harm in the environment by spot spraying??? once in late Spring then again in late Fall... all the while overseeding all season long(only in the needed spots) and things will be the best ever in a couple of seasons...

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