I want an organic lawn care service!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
In other cases I get lawn and ornamental calls wanting an organic program for there lawn and garden.
This one is much harder than it seams to the caller.
I remember when I was getting my certified horticultural specialist training and my professor took us on a field trip to an organic farm and I got see organic fruit I have to tell you if I saw that fruit in a supermarket I would complain to the manger about the quality.
The organic farmer explained that his fruit is only sold to the finest restaurants in Miami and that there was a waiting list for his fruit. You the chefs bough the fruit for its quality not its appearance. The quality and the flavor was far superior than from any supplier and the customers would never see the fruit in its peel.
He explained to us how it took over 7 years to get his farm certified organic because it could not be sprayed with any synthetic pesticide for 7 years and only after many soil analyses could it be certified.
I asked what did he spray it with to to control the insects and diseases, he said “compost tea” that’s it I asked, that’s it he said.
The reality is that most of the true organic products on the market could not be used in most residential neighborhoods because the smells would get you thrown out.
Products like kelp, fish emulation, and compost, have odors, compost while its composting and have you seen the flies. Real organic gardening is not what most people are signing up for.
Second the amount of weekly visits and applications to control pests and diseases will make it very expensive, I know what your thinking I just read a blog on organic gardening and they have all these natural products I can buy and apply then myself cheaper that the toxic products, you and you would be correct you can buy them and apply them yourself that is very different than having a professional company do it for you and it will not control all your problems.
The truth is you can apply them, you can. Not me, first you will have to assume that you can correctly identify the pest, disease, and deficiency issues with your plants and that the particular product you are buying will control that specific pathogen or insect and how many applications will be required per the label to control it, second how often will the pest return and you have to start the process all over again.
If you are going to compare a synthetically sprayed Apple with an organically sprayed Apple you need to calculate the real cost of control and not the cost of spraying. Spraying and control are not the same.
Second are there organic products on the market to control every issue such as weeds, I know what your going to say corn gluten meal, have you seen how many pounds per thousand square feet you need to apply of CGM, if you have an acre you’ll need a semi trailer applied 3 times per year good luck with that one.
You can’t use organics and switch back and fourth to synthetics when the organic solutions takes forever because you damage the soil biology or bacteria that you need to build up over time to get natural control.
The reality is that in a high speed internet world people don’t want to wait much for results so organics will take years of hard work to pay off.
Third you don’t even want to get into biologicals which the conversation scares the heck out of most people. When you say biological control the average person thinks of biological warfare and Freeks out. You start that we are going to use live agents forget it you lost me at biological.
If you live on large properties like acreage you could apply organic gardening but in the average person 7000 square foot lot home you could not have a real organic program because you would have to ensure no one was spraying a synthetic pesticide and wind drift did not fall on your property because synthetic pesticide will kill off soil bacteria that is vital to an organic program.
I’m not trying to be disparaging but I am trying to make a point the reality is that at this present moment a real natural or organic program for lawn and ornamental care seems far out until the market has a mind shift.
For more on organic gardening check out this link https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_organic_gardening