Why are chemical fertilizers so bad?

There are many reasons chemical fertilizers are bad, but we will focus on some of the most important ones.  Pollution is the most important reason for why they are not a good product to use.  The chemicals in synthetic fertilizers leach or run off and pollute the ground water and surface water – about 60% of chemical fertilizers applied end up somewhere other than the target that they are being applied to.  Near the ocean these chemicals typically end up in rivers, bays and estuaries creating unnatural explosions of vegetation such as algae blooms.  The excessive vegetation depletes oxygen in the water, causing all aquatic life to either die or relocate.  Locally, these blooms have been a very serious issue and towns are starting to regulate chemicals used in residential lawn care.  When it comes to growing grass (or anything for that matter) synthetic fertilizers provide a short term solution – they create a dependency, the more you use the more you need to create the same look and rate of growth.  Over time your lawn will require more and more expensive products just to keep it green.

Why is organic fertilizer better for my lawn?

There are many reasons why organic products are the best choice in lawn care.  The most important is that natural-organic fertilizer is safer for you, your family, and your pets.  Synthetic products can render your lawn toxic for anywhere from an hour to a full day.  The natural-organic fertilizers or bio-nutrients that we use are made from natural components and are non-toxic so that you can use the lawn right after our product is applied.  It is also chemical free and won’t leach or run off so the entire approach is much safer for the environment.  Our bio-nutrient system for tree, shrub and lawn care is designed to build and sustain the quality of the soil and thereby generate healthy plants able to thrive without the use of chemicals or pesticides.

What exactly does organic mean?

In our modern world the word “organic” has many meanings.  Used alone and out of specific context it simply describes something having properties associated with living organisms.  However, society has come to define organic as something that is perhaps more simple, healthful, and close to nature.  Meaning – chemical free!

This definition may help you understand our view of what organic means when caring for landscapes.

“Organic agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.”

—International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

Is it more expensive?

If your lawn is currently chemically dependent, it may initially be more expensive.  In the long term, however, an organic lawn will actually cost you less money.  Once your lawn has been restored to its natural, healthy state, it will use less water and less fertilizer as well as less labor for mowing and maintenance.

How are the products applied?

All of the products are applied using typical lawn care application equipment – we will use a sprayer for liquid products and a spreader for the granular products.

Do the products actually work?

Yes they actually do work!  The products we use are part of a system that is designed to enrich the soil and improve the living environment for beautiful plants and turf.  We have been using natural-organic fertilizers and related product for over twenty years and have learned a great deal about them and how they work most effectively.

Does it take longer for organic products to work?

It may take more than one full year for a lawn with poor quality soil to produce great looking turf but most lawns will not look much different.  The reason for this is because the synthetic products create soil that is lacking a balance of nutrients and is depleted of soil microbes.  When switching to bio-nutrition, the system is completely changing the biological makeup of the lawn and balancing the nutrients in the soil.  This is not always a fast process but you will see great results and will have a better sense of safety for you, your family, and the environment.

Should I bag or mulch my clippings?  Will they contribute to thatch?

If you can, you should always recycle your clippings.  Grass clippings contain a storehouse of nutrients and moisture – they will not contribute to thatch.  In fact, when you switch to organic products, you will notice that the thatch layer in your lawn will decrease significantly.

Will my lawn have weeds?

Tolerating a few weeds in your lawn is part of organic land care.  Some plants are considered weeds, but they aren’t, such as clovers, which are actually beneficial to your lawn.  They add valuable nutrients to help sustain a healthy lawn.  As a general rule, if you have less than 10% weeds, you have a very healthy lawn.

Some lawn care companies say that they are “organic based.”  What does that mean?

Organic based is a marketing term designed to create a sense of well-being but it usually means that they are trying to make you think that they are safer than chemical lawn care companies.  The use of the word organic will hopefully make you think that they are not using synthetic chemical fertilizers and dangerous pesticides, when in reality they most likely are.  Products that contain both chemical sources of nitrogen and phosphorus combined with bio solids allowing them to call it “organic based.”

What is Plant Health Care?

The most common reason a home owner calls our arborists is a concern that something is wrong with a tree or shrub on their property. It may be that some of the leaves are discolored, a branch has died, or perhaps the entire tree has been dropping leaves. Sometimes the cause of concern is a minor problem that is easily explained or corrected. Other times the problem is more complex, with many underlying causes and a remedy that requires treatments extending over years. Sadly there are also times in which the problem has gone undetected for so long that the tree or shrub cannot be helped. If we had been called earlier, perhaps the tree or shrub could have been saved. Situations such as these led us to create our Plant Health Care (PHC) programs. The objective of PHC is to maintain or improve your landscape’s appearance, vitality and health, using the most cost-effective organic practices and treatments available. Plant Health Care involves monitoring, using preventive treatments, and adopting a strong commitment to working closely with you.

Why Plant Health Care, Not Tree Care?

While trees are dominant ornamental features in your home landscape, they share this area with turf grasses, shrubs, and bedding plants.  All these plants have one resource in common, the soil. The roots of trees, shrubs, turf grass, and bedding plants intermingle and compete for water and nutrients. In fact, the roots of a single mature tree may extend 60 feet or more out into your lawn or flower beds. Every treatment applied to the lawn can impact the appearance and vitality of a tree. Conversely, treatments applied to a tree, such as pruning and fertilizing, can influence the appearance and vitality of the underlying lawn. The care of each plant in your landscape can affect the health of all other plants in the landscape.

Why Contact us for Plant Health Care?

Trees and shrubs represent a considerable long-term investment in your landscape. With proper care, these plants can provide beautiful surroundings, cooling shade, and many other benefits for decades.  Our Arborists have the experience and training to detect potential tree and shrub problems before they become life threatening or hazardous. The potential size and longevity of trees and shrubs warrants special attention in your landscape. Bedding plants can be replaced in a few short weeks, a lawn in a single growing season, but it can take a lifetime or more to replace a mature tree or shrub.

What Does a Tree and Shrub PHC Program Cover?

Every home landscape is unique, so there is no standard PHC program. PHC involves monitoring tree and shrub health. This allows problems to be detected and managed before they become serious. The monitoring may be as simple as one or two annual visits to check on a few special trees in your landscape, or it may involve more frequent monthly inspections of all your trees and shrubs. The monitoring frequency and complexity of your PHC program depend on the size and diversity of your landscape, as well as your particular landscape goals.

What Will a PHC Program Cost?

Because each program is individually designed to fit the needs of a particular landscape, no standard price can be given without a site visit and assessment. You may want to develop a plan for a few special trees or shrubs in your landscape, or you may wish to have your entire landscape placed on a program. Individualized programs and flexibility are at the heart of our PHC program. You will find that our arborists can design a Plant Health Care program that fits your goals and budget.