Survivability Success Stories

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We hear all the promises of better results for 'Organic Lawns' and I utilize a lot of natural healthy elements in my total care package...

    Do other any practitioners out there see healthier turf on the organic/semi-organic lawns,,, vs. the strict TGCL programs???

    I see browning and heat tracks on ALL the Lawns tended by the over-active Squirt&Fert guys... My naturally cared for lawns are looking green and vibrant with only a fraction of the irrigation, fertilization and cost... :)
  2. jcamizz

    jcamizz LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 14

    I have worked for an all organic lawn care company for many years. The turf seems to look better but the problem is all the weeds that come with the organic side of things. There are many properties that I am embarrassed to pull up to because the weeds are just terrible. My boss has got us hand weeding this one lawn that is 1 1/4 acre. It is absurd to me, and I only have the patience to go at it for an hour at a time.
    It is great for him that he has clients willing to pay 35$ per hour to hand weed their lawns. It just does not seem practical. Is there something you use for weeds besides corn gluten?
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I don't make a religion out of organics, rather time the fert apps according to the life cycle in which it is helpful rather than detrimental to root systems... Organic ferts I use are Milorganite and compost...
    I never use Pre-M on lawns,, but I do spot spray for broadleaf...
    To me the biggest issue with synfert programs is that they must apply something every 4 weeks in order to make money,,, therefore there is always something to stress the turf during the heat of Summer,,, for cool-season grasses... Nitrogen Burn is real,,, IMO... :)
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,160

    Have your boss read this article in the latest issue of Turf.
    While neither Fiesta nor ADIOS are technically "organic", both of these weed control products have minimal health or environmental concerns.

    Some fine tuning of cultural practises will also go a long way in reducing turf grass weeds.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I was comfortable enough with the cool weather, this early in the season that even just running sprinklers I went ahead and put down fertilizer... The color is starting to change into a deeper green after languishing during the Summer Semi-dormancy... Still not growing very fast, but looking like Fall grass 10 days later...
    A lot of thinning took place as a result of last year, but we have an extra month to turn this around... :)
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    This coming week I plan to do the non-organic,,, yet environmentally responsible act of spot spraying broadleaf weeds... I'm thinking also of adding more molasses, while the ground is still warm and will hopefully digest some of the raw OM, before it gets too thick...

    I am very pleased with the turf that received nothing but water since June as compared to the other neighborhood lawns that received their 'meds' throughout July and August... I am afraid that those brown spots and heat tracks are going to have more dead grass again,,, whereas the healthy naturally enhanced turf is getting fuller in the well irrigated areas...

    So there is no one out there doing the 'organic' thing even in small measure and seeing better results than their pre-m/6 step brothers???
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I don't use pre-ems on turf but am not organic either. No fertilizer in April unless it is my first year on the property and nothing was done the previous September or October. Usually no fertilizer after first week in June and prefer to finish before June 1. No fertilizers in July and if I feel forced to use any before August 15 (plus or minus a few days for weather), then I use organic and make it clear they are not getting off the hook for Labor Day week fertilizer and another sometime 4 to 6 weeks later. Three fertilizer applications a year is typical for my places, four would be high end. I am still figuring out what I think has happened to optimum results without P.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is pretty much the optimum timing for the cool-season grasses, so I'm not surprised you achieved optimum results w/out P... :)

    Are most of your lawns mulch-mowed???
  9. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Ha! That's not quite what I said but I appreciate it :) Athletic fields only, no clipping removal. Have to mow every 3rd day, stretch to 4 in some parts of the year. When a team is in season fields are mowed for every home game, even if it is somehow 3 days in a row, no matter what it does to the "regular" schedule.
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We have a week of intense heat/sun with no rain,, or even clouds,,, coming through CentroWisco this week...

    We'll have another comparison to proper fertilizing timing and the TGCL Wannabees...

    I think it boils down to healthy turf being able to handle the drought vs. Dependent Turf living off the thatch containing water and soluable N... Growing roots in the soil is definitely the way to go...
    We'll see if this creates a new round of browning that will be called brown patch... :)

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