Where to begin?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by fga, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    We are on a schedule of about 4-5 applications a year. starting in march, ending in Nov
    Crabgrass prevention (march-april)
    Post emergent (may-june)
    Insect/Grub (summer)
    Post emergent or straight (September)
    winterizer(November, maybe, weather depending)

    what would be the first step in attempting a transition to organic. Due you maintain a schedule, or do you go by entirely the conditions at the time?

    i understand the philosophy of treating the cause. What would be the first step for the next season?

    i cut over 100 houses a week, and have only been approached regaurding organics a handful of times in over 8 years in business.
  2. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    there are transition products out there that can reduce the chemical needs of the lawn and help you on your way. however, any lawn that has been chemically fed for years is going to be a crapshoot. the customer is going to have to deal with some weeds and crabgrass through the transition and alot of people don't give a f**k about chemicals as long as their lawn looks better than their neighbor. this is especially true in areas like yours. being chemically treated for all that time makes the root system weak and susceptible to disease, fungus and drought etc. In that situation the lawn can't deal with stress well and a immediate switch to a fully organic program qualifies as stress. if the customer is aware of the process and what goes along with it, all will be fine. if not, people will ***** and moan. I think the key is educating the customer and being straight with them. I went around with a guy from this board last year and saw some of his customers. one lawn was a mess and full of weeds from what seemed like a bad batch of seed after aerating. he was very concerned and addressed it with the customer and assured them he was on the case and the customer was happy. so the bottom line is customer service and hand holding.
  3. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Messages: 554

    I Have Nothing To Say I Just Want To Read Who Said What!
  4. livingsoils

    livingsoils LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    One way to start is to cut down on the herbicides you put down. Instead of blanketing the entire lawn, spot spray the weeds you see. Next find a good organic fertilizer to use for the bulk of your fertilizations. I see great opportunities to use it in your fall app and your dormant feed application.
    Educate your customers is a key ingredient on a successful organic program.
  5. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I honestly think that doing a slow transition and use both chemical and organics will give you the best results. Organics dont work overnite like some of the chemical will. Therefore you need to apply the organics before stopping the chemical applications to give the organics time to breakdown. also microbial levels in the soil are going to be low and it takes time to build the complete micro biosphere. The microbial levels being low is one of the reasons it takes the organics longer to work. Of course you can do a complete innoculation, but this is usually very expensive at first, over time the cost should go down as less materilas are needed.
  6. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

  7. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    good advise mudstopper

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