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Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by dan deutekom, Sep 27, 2003.
GO to just starting in business forum... more helpful than here.
Be afraid, be very afraid.
I don't understand why folks visit forums to post points and opinions that are in direct conflict with the premise of the forum. The only folks I've seen doing this are tree huggers and animal rights advocates when they are protesting a site with their spam. If there are facts in question, then that's one thing, but this is pure opinion about clover in a lawn. What is the value of searching the Internet for arguments to support an anti organic opinion for presentation to an antagonistic audience?
This forum is a place to discuss ways to make organic programs work, not to change peoples' opinions.
As long as I'm looking to make lemonade out of this thread, that Edmonds lawncare site is wonderful! Too bad Dan didn't mention that the picture he started with with was an 'after' picture of a before and after set. The 'before' picture is posted on that Edmonds site. The point of the picture set is to show how clover can be integrated into a turf to give a uniform appearance rather than the typical clover clumping appearance. I had never seen anything like that before. And I too did not recognize the clover in the picture at the top of this thread. It is readily apparent as clumps in the 'before' picture. If Dan had posted both pictures, explained the differences to those who could not see the clover in the 'after' pic, and then asked which one you prefer, I think the poll would be different. Too late for that, now.
I agree with Dan that organic turf management will be a fringe element for quite a long while. And in the mean time, this forum will put a group of grounds keepers ahead of the learning curve as to how to use the products.
We are not trying to twist the arms of synthetic oriented clients to change to an organic program. That is not at all what I'm trying to help with. When I talk about educating the clients, I'm talking about giving them the basics of your company's organic program so they know what to expect and when. It can be disconcerting to a customer to see every single neighbor putting out insecticide on the same weekend and you're not. But you have a reason not to, so they need to know that what you're doing is being done on purpose. That's the education I'm talking about.
One of the purposes of this forum is to discover the way to make the cost more reasonable. I believe the cost of commercially labeled organic fertilizers is outrageous. In some states, it appears the definitions of fertilizers will necessitate the use of those expensive labeled ferts. In some other states, corn meal, alfalfa, and coffee grounds seem to fall outside the state fertilizer definition leaving those as options for use in an unregulated way. I believe there should be some control over using them properly, but I'm afraid to insist on it. I can see the use of ordinary corn meal falling into a regulated state and never getting out again.
I think that you miss my point. I did not show the clumps of clover because that was definitely unacceptable. But an even dispersal of clover is? Let us change the species clover in the first picture to plantain or dandelion or knot-weed. Would it then be acceptable to have it evenly dispersed throughout the lawn.
I manage my lawns using every tool that is available. I dethatch, aerate and top dress. I use organics where I find them practical. I use many beneficial insects for pest control on my ornamental plantings where it makes sense, and I use the least toxic material for the desired effects. Unfortunately it seems that organics are an either/or proposition and that includes this forum. In my neck of the woods synthetics are being made illegal in the next year. These laws are passed by people with absolutely no knowledge of horticulture. I find it frustrating that all of the research on synthetics is discredited by the organic fringe.
I agree one of the reasons for this forum is to make costs more reasonable but until someone can change existing laws and economics that probably won't happen.
I think the main thing that bothers me about the organic movement is that if it is synthetic it is "BAD". A lot of the organic solutions arn't great for the environment either and they arn't even tested in most cases.
I think we have discussed corn, corn meal and corn gluten meal in great length. I have also tried it. My non scientific opinion is that for me it is:
1: expensive and bulky to apply
2: timing is everything for it to have any sort of control of weeds (unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to apply this material in the right timing on my lawns)
3: does nothing to eliminate existing weeds
4: has not shown to me any noticeable decrease in fungus problems
5: as a fertilizer it is slow to react
I am not adverse to organics (heck I am right now in the process off spreading and mixing 40 yards of mushroom compost into my annual beds) but I will still use my Liquid 20-20-20 every two weeks in the summer to really make them grow.
Keep up the good discussions and I will probably keep being a thorn in your sides while I learn something new. My mind is open
Good post David.
Dan It is good to hear that you have an open mind,Keep it that way........As for the thorns......Use as few as possible please.
San this is not argue with your points but to point some things out that i notice, since I'm killing time before the news comes on.
I took over 2 crappy commercial lawns this year. The yahoo who was mowing it last year would show up when he felt like it, and scalp it. SO when we took it over it was thin, weedy, anemic.
Regular weekly mowing at 3.75 inches. THey have received no fert or chemicals at all this season. They now look healthy and thicker, with a few weeds...but not many.
I said sometime ago on this subject that some of the healthiest turf I see is on some public soccer fields and baseball fields where I walk my dog. These get ZERo chemicals and never have fungus, when many other lawns do. Stay greener in heat/drought. I still say that mother nature has a way of taking care of herself with a little help in the form of regular mulch mowing . Call me misinformed, but I know what I've observed over the past few years.
Everyone needs to read this...
Dchall_San_Antonio: "I can see the use of ordinary corn meal falling into a regulated state and never getting out again."
Sounds like vitamins and the FDA doesn't it?
Re: Overseeding clover... I was visiting my inlaws in Norway for a couple of weeks this past July and talking with my mother-in-law about their lawn. She showed me the bag of grass seed they used and it was a mix of Ryegrass and Red Clover. This is the common seed blend used on lawns in Norway as it turns out.
I like this thread.
Say, what do you guys think of this lawn?
The lawn looks great but the house looks like it had a little to much synthetic building material