Monthly Archives January 2015

Transitioning to an Organic Lawn Care Program is Simple if You Follow These 3 Steps

  “What are the steps to take when transitioning turf to natural management practices?” I have found this is the one question that most people ask me when beginning to consider a natural turf management program. Before answering this question it is important to understand that managing a residential lawn is very different from managing a public park or a playing field, but the principles are the same. It is the principles of a system based approach to natural land management that dictate the first steps to take as well as the proper sequence of those steps for every program. “Managing residential lawn is different from managing a public park or playing field but the principles are the same.” The protocols and cultural intensity is where the differences occur on properties that have different usage needs. Cultural intensity is simply the total amount of resources (product and labor) that goes into management. In either case we are beginning at the same starting point. There are 3 considerations or steps that must be addressed upfront, and applied across the board, for all lawn and turf management professionals to be successful.   1.  The Soil Must be Tested [Because we have to know current soil health.] 2.  There Needs to Be a Commitment to the Use of Organics [This one is vital.] 3.  Adoption of Revised Horticultural Practices [It’s easier than you think.]   When we follow these 3 steps we are on our way towards the beginning of a successful program. Lets look at each of the steps in more depth.   1.  Testing The Soil One of the fundamental differences between a natural program and conventional turf grass management is the thought process regarding soil. Most of the products that are used in conventional management work directly with the plant and essentially bypass the living portion of the soil. In natural management the soil is integral to the way nutrition and disease management function and this is why we first focus on the creation of good soil health. Soil testing guides us in this process. When we look at the nutrient, textural, and biological aspects of the soil together, we begin to get a snapshot of what is going on. It becomes the job of the turf manager to begin to assess current situations and then move properly in the right direction. As long as the initial move involves addressing
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