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Value Outshines Cost in Organic Lawn Care

The love affair with lawns comes at a cost. However, the move from chemically treated lawns to organic is becoming more common as many homeowners are becoming increasingly conscious of the hazards associated with pesticide use. Each year, more and more homeowners are switching to natural or organic lawn care treatments and methods that offer them a safer, more environmentally friendly choice. Consumer awareness about the health risks associated with exposure to pesticides has been the prime motivator behind why more and more municipalities have imposed tighter restrictions on the use of pesticides.

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In the long term, an organic lawn will actually cost less money. Once established, an organic lawn program can result in savings of more than 25% compared to a conventional lawn care program. An organic program is based on building soil biology, which will, over time sustain the grass with minimal inputs. Initial costs may be more than a conventional lawn care program as one transitions from using synthetic fertilizer and chemical herbicides, but an organic lawn uses less water and fertilizers, and requires less labor for mowing and maintenance.

That being said, there is a general consensus out in the marketplace that consumers are willing to pay a premium, regardless of the reason why organic services cost more, simply because when it comes to their family’s health, the cost factor is irrelevant and price is the last determinant in the decision-making process.

Your customers need to know the benefits of investing their money in more environmentally safe methods of lawn care and gardening. With endless competition in the industry, trust is what separates us from our competition and creates a fiercely loyal customer base that shops based on value, relationship and not on price. Education is one of the fastest ways to create reciprocity—people love to feel informed—and educating your new and existing customers about the transition to organic lawn care will do that for them. Through education, you create the trust that every business needs to thrive and excel. You give them what they want—for free—and you deepen and expand a relationship that will last for years.

 
Fall Seeding

Now is the time to seed for cool season turf. New varieties can save you money!


9/4/13


This year many lawns suffered from diseases, weeds and drought stress depending on where you are located. September is the optimum time to improve your clients’ lawns by over seeding with improved varieties of seeds. The soil is still warm and air temps are dropping providing optimum conditions for seed germination. An added bonus is there are fewer weed seeds for new turf to contend with.


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Rutgers Field Day Training Review

7/29/13


I had a great experience this month at the Rutgers Organic Land Care Certification Program’s first Field Day Training.  About 20 lawn care providers attended the training which was hosted by Chris Paul, President of Genesis Landscape Contractors, Inc.

 

Chris began the training with a power point presentation outlining the principles, practices and business aspects of running an organic lawn care program. Bill Hlubik, Rutgers Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Middlesex County, NJ spoke about some of the research that clarifies how important proper cultural methods and soil improvement are in maintaining healthy turf.

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Crab Grass’s little secret

July 21, 2013

 

From Science Daily: June 26, 2013 


Contrary to popular belief, crabgrass does not thrive in lawns, gardens and farm fields by simply crowding out other plants. A new study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that the much-despised weed actually produces its own herbicides that kill nearby plants. 


The study shows that crabgrass exudes three specific chemicals from their roots which interfere with soil microbes and have negative effects on plant growth. Information like this helps us appreciate how important soil health is for the properties we manage. Adding organic matter and microbial inoculants may be another tool in combating crabgrass.

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Secret Ingredient; Humate

July 14,2013


Secret Ingredient; Wild claims of a cure-all created skepticism. Now science is starting to support benefits of mysterious humic acid.

 

Humic Products in Landscape/Turfgrass

Humic products have been utilized for many years in turf and landscape applications as natural chelators, soil conditioners, and nutrient enhancers. Humic products are typically used in turf management to help retain soil moisture, stabilize nutrients, and to increase nutrient efficiency. Because of their effects on soil microbial activity, some of indirect effects of humic substances are:

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