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Organic Stuff
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Author:  JPMTURF [ October 20th, 2009, 7:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Organic Stuff

What are you using for Alternative Weed Control?

Corn Gluten Meal - Pre Emergence and fertilzier
Sarritor - Post Emergence
Horticultural Vinegar (EcoClear) Non Selective
Fatty Acids (TopGun) Non Selective
Compost Tea

Corn Gluten does reduce some crabgrass and a few other weeds if you get the timing right, the lawn looks great (deep green grass and weeds) with a couple applications.
It is very expensive, very heavy to carry job to job 20lb/1000ft square.
It stinks bad, can be dusty and the mice love this stuff (rural life)

EcoClear works ok but I find you cannot cut it with water, 100% product for good take down. Very expensive compared to Roundup. Smells like Fish and Chips.

Author:  thegreenguy [ October 20th, 2009, 9:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Organic Stuff

Welcome aboard JPMTURF

Alternate weed control used corn gluten meal as you mentioned worked well if put down at a high rate especially on crabgrass. Rest of time used Ecoclear ( diluted spot sprayed) found it worked really well in the Spring when weeds were small but as the year progressed it did not have much effect on larger weeds. Tested a pelletized compost on a few properties seemed to reduce and eliminate clover from some spots. Did not use any of the other products you mention ,have not heard to many good things about Sarritor from either customers or techs of the larger lawn care operators.

Author:  JPMTURF [ October 20th, 2009, 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Organic Stuff

Wow thanks for responding TheGreenGuy. You are a real trooper checking this site for updates. I do too.

I have used pelletized compost for 4 years now. It works great to add organic matter to the lawn. Especially when the soil test calls for it. Too expensive for most homeowners to want and it doesn't spread great. Three passes with the Lesco Hopper to get it at about 1/4 inch coverage on the lawn once it breaks down. About 20lb/1000ft

I heard the same thing from the local Weed*an. His pickup truck was full of dandelions, 2 Fiskar Hand Weeders and a Big Bucket. The Operator indicated that they were losing money doing this but wanted to hang onto as many customers as possible. They gave up on Sarritor because of its tight application requirements temperature wise and getting the customer to water for a week after a Sarritor App. seemed impossible.

I occasionally correspond with a big wig in the WeedM*n Corp. Toronto location. He says Sarritor in the Fall is the only way to go.

Author:  thegreenguy [ October 21st, 2009, 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Organic Stuff

I agree that soil testing and the use of organic matter will be one of the biggest things going forward in the lawn care industry. Paying more attention to the soil and what goes on there in the end will provide a superior lawn. Fertilizer will be the next target of the green movement as this is already happening in some places south of the border.

Did anyone you know try beet juice to control weeds I heard alot of mixed reviews with it?


Author:  JPMTURF [ October 21st, 2009, 3:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Organic Stuff

I have read about it and people who have used it. Didn't Nutril*awn promote it.

I heard that is spoils fast, gums up quickly and logistically its expensive to move.

I did hear it helps reduce weeds but I think it yellows the entire area even the grass when applied.

I don't think it was classified as a pesticide because it would need a PCP#.

BJE Distributions sold it I recall.

Alot of people talk about Compost Tea, most of the positive stuff I hear is from the suppliers. I would like to test it out, the idea makes sense. As for registering it as a pesticide I dunno.

The funniest thing about organics is you really do need a 5 Ton truck and a forklift just to get from job to job or load up.

We have a couple 2-3 acre accounts on organics. They have money of course.

Any lawn that is under 2000 sq ft a profit can be made. Anything larger and it gets cost prohibitive quickly.

Author:  thegreenguy [ October 21st, 2009, 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Organic Stuff

One of our biggest challenges will be using the organics and keeping the whole business profitable as costs are higher. The traditional lawn care business model will have to change as will the prices to compensate for the increase cost (labour and product). My understanding of compost tea is that just like compost it feeds the soil and by improving certain soil conditions you reduce the chance of a weed growing there. Supposely by looking at the weeds growing you can narrow down what the problems may be and correct that problem and the weed goes away ( knotweed usually compacted soil area). I spent alot of time crunching the numbers to make organics cost effect for customers and I figure I can deliver same result at the same price and maintain profit margins. As you stated the smaller sized properties more 3000 square feet and under this is achievable. Since we are all on the same playing field I feel marketing will determine who grows and who dies.

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