New to Organic Lawn Care

mes08February 23, 2007

I am trying to go from chemicals to organic lawn care and I had found a service that "claims" to be 100% organic, but I noticed they use weed killers and pre-emergent crabgrass products, is anyone familiar with HappyLawn?

I really don't want to use any chemicals at all. Any advice would be great! Thanks!

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

There are organic weed killers and preemergent crabgrass products.

Did you read the Organic Lawn Care FAQ at the Organic Gardening forum? It's one of the last ones on the FAQ list. If you are going to hire someone to do it for you, the FAQ may not help, but it does present a low cost way to convert to organic.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 4:29PM
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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

I've never heard of them (no Happy Lawn places down here in Oklahoma,) but if you'd like to know what they're using just ask them. If you're talking for example about pre-emergents, and they mention corn gluten meal, then they're really attempting to be "organic" or all natural. If they mention something like Balan or Surflan or Dithiopyr granules then they're using chemicals.

I was able to find their (Happy Lawn) website, where they are particularly ambiguous as to exactly what they put on your lawn. But they do mention slow release granules, which makes me think of coated urea fertilizer, for which with a simple search in this forum, you can find many a debate over whether it's really organic, synthetic or a cross between. After looking at their website, I'd be surprised if they were to really be 100% organic. I think they likely use chemical pre and post emergent weed controls.

My 2 cents

Good day, Dan

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:33PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

"I think they likely use chemical pre and post emergent weed controls."

I agree. Broadleaf weed killer is mentioned in the FAQ. I am not aware of any organic selective broadleaf weed killer.

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 3:52AM
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mes08

Thanks for the feedback, I did get the list of products and it looks like they are "organic based", but not 100%. I think I am going to try to do it on my own and see what happens.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 9:23AM
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mes08

Sorry for the multiple messages - just wanted to know if anyone has some recommended reading materials (books, magazines, etc) to help me get started? Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 9:38AM
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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

Really, the best place to start is where David mentioned before, with the Organic Lawn Care FAQ's. I'll put a link below.

Also, do a couple simple searches in the lawn care forum (This Organic lawn care forum is brand new, so not that much stuff is in here yet) & you'll be able to find a multitude of threads covering everything from fertilization to weed control to pest control to cultural practices.

It's my opinion that the information available to you right here in the GardenWeb lawn care forum is more complete, diverse and thorough than any book you can buy, however, that being said, I very highly recommend that you read "Teaming With Microbes, A Gardeners Guide To The Soil Food Web" by Edward Malin, Jeff Lowenfels & Wayne Lewis.

Here's that link:

Good day, Dan

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 10:42AM
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ntbio

See Nature Turf's prgrams...I think they will send yiou the spec pages of the products they use...they use all National Orgainc Compliant products with labels...pre/post emergent, soil inoculants, humates, fertilizers (all allowed), fungicides, bacteriacides etc...I think they have a new moss product that was recently OMRI listed...

Here is a link that might be useful: Nature Turf

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 12:13PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

Based on their website, Nature Turf has both nonsynthetic fertilizer and synthetic pest management programs. From their website:

* TopChoice Fireant with NTI Guarantee
* Merit Grub Control
* Armada Fungicide Cool Season Grasses
* Insignia Fungicide Warm & Cool Season Grasses
* Barricade Pre Emergent Weed Control
* Acclaim for control of Bermuda in Fescue
* Drive Post Emergent Weed Control
* Image Post Emergent Weed Control
* Revolver Post Emergent Control

-Deerslayer

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 2:04PM
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ntbio

yes, they have the synthetic/chemical programs available to protect the customers investment in case of a major issue that cannot addressed immediately with orgaincs...also, fireants are a major issue here...

Yet, all their orgainic programs are using NOP labeled products (orgainc)...including insect/pest control and carry OMRI labels...

However, they do not use chemical products in their orgainic programs. The approach is that they are qualified both as orgainic and chemical...they know th e differences and similarities. Incidently, they were the only applicator in GA that supported the EPA ban on MSMA, MCPA, CATA etc...and went up against UGA

As they work closely with the GA dept of AG, they carry both organic certifications/license as a Orgainc processor handler and all the contractor licenses for chemical applications.

They purchase products from us...we have mutual audits performed by the USDA, GA dept of AG, US Dept of Forestry to name a few...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 10:59AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

fireants are a major issue here...

Not to hijack the thread, but...ntbio: have you tried using sugar or molasses against the fireants? The technique is to drench the mound with a gallon of sugar water and spray another half gallon in a 10-foot circle around the mound. The theory is that the fire ants collect protein sources from around the garden (and house) and bring them to their mound. If you drench the food source with sugar, their food source will "go bad" on them and they will die or leave. If you spray around the mound, too, they will keep walking to find a more hospitable place to live. Mix 2 ounces of molasses or table sugar to a gallon of water.

I've also heard of adding a couple ounces of pure orange oil to the drench. Orange oil is something I'm familiar with from my old Air Force days. I was an engineer working next to the chemist who did the study to approve orange oil for cleaning jet engine parts. That stuff dissolves nearly any organic oil or wax, like the waxy covering that many insects have on their bodies. So the oil should weaken the ants' bodies making them susceptible to microbial attack.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 7:35PM
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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

Posted by ntbio (My Page) on Sat, Feb 24, 07 at 12:13

See Nature Turf's prgrams...I think they will send yiou the spec pages of the products they use.........

Frankly I really don't see how posting this info & link to this Atlanta area based service company can really be of any benefit to the original poster who resides up in PA.

Hmmmm, maybe there's something I missed or maybe I just don't get it

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:44AM
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mes08

Thanks all for the feedback, I appreciate the help. Nature Turf doesn't seem to service PA, however, that's not a huge deal. I am going to use these forums to help get started doing it on my own. I'll learn as I go - this site has already been helpful and once I get started I'll probably be posting a lot more messages.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 12:33PM
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