Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hold on. Help is on the way.

With the strangely mild weather we've had this Spring, the weeds have popped early and once again the collective murmur has begun about the ineffectiveness of organic weed controls under a bylaw.

Well, if it's any consolation, the powers that be, now say, they may have jumped the gun a wee bit by going cold turkey on banning pesticides instead of phasing in the ban.

Yet, I'm here to tell you, technology is catching up to legislation and new alternate organic controls are coming soon. Forget Sarritor, it's junk. There are so many variables, I could spend a few hours trying to explain why this product, for the most part has been ineffective, but that's a post for another day.

Certain larger companies who horded the product line over the past few years so small operators couldn't join the parade are doing some fancy dancing. Can you hear the sound of me laughing?

When you tell your customers that Sarritor is God's gift to weed control and will do everything including take out your garbage and drop your kids off at school, there's bound to be some repercussions, but that's a post for another day.

But I'm not here to tell you about products that don't work. I want to tell you of those that, hopefully will. I say hopefully, because I have not used these controls yet. I've only seen the information.

The one that really turns my crank is Phomamicrostoma, a mouthful indeed, but that's not going to reach the market until 2012 just beating the end of the Mayan Calendar. So you'll have a weed-free lawn for one year, then BOOM! Again, that's a post for another day.

Or you could convert your lawn to a self-sufficient one by using Eco-Lawn low maintenance grass seed. Eco-Lawn eventually becomes allelopathic, or in other words; emits a natural pre-emergent herbicide that prevents other plants from germinating within it. You guessed it...a post for another day.

The alternate organic weed control that will be out on May 1st of this year and available for use, officially May 8th 2010,is called....wait I can't tell you what it's called until it receives finally approval from the PMRA.

Anyhoo....this new product seems like a pretty cool control. It's an iron based liquid, I guess that's where they get the Fe in the name. This product is also target specific unlike Horticultural Vinegars, and will cause little or no damage to the grass. It boasts a 90% control after two applications. So, if this is true, it's the closet mimic to 2-4-D we've had yet.

And as for the the picture at the top of the page? Why that's the new FIESTA by Ford....I've said too much.

Perhaps that's a post for another day too?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

And they're off!

Although it may be Easter, they were actually out of the gate in mid March- the big boys that is.

It's easy to understand, after all the weather has been great and there's a huge market place to try and conquer, plus an equally high volume of current customers to service. So like being the first to the top of Everest to plant your flag, lawn company signs have been springing up faster than the dandelions that will soon infest lawns.

Yet, not all applications are created equal and education is the best defence for you the consumer, from finding yourself on the wrong end of the satisfaction quotient.

So here are a few things to remember at this time of the year:
An aeration can cause more damage than benefit if done too early. Usually It's a judgement call, but I feel the middle of April is a safer bet to start.

No matter what you are promised, your hundred dollar Nematode treatment before August is not going to get you 100% control. You'll be lucky to get 20% effectiveness.

Companies assuring you of $25 an application may seem wonderful at first glance, but is it? If they're giving you 5 fertilizations, aeration, 4 weed control, a couple soil stimulants, surface insect and grub over the course of a season it's suddenly not such a great deal. Do the math.

It's a numbers game and someone has to be first, but if you haven't had time to prepare your lawn, then that first fertilizer could be a wasted application. Many companies don't have the luxury of waiting for the right time and conditions to do your lawn. It's more cost effective for them to do the work and then send someone back, if you complain.

Don't be afraid, if you use a lawn company to demand a call the night prior to an application for your consent. This will help you in two ways. 1) You'll have the power to hold the application off if you feel it's too early, or you're just not ready. And 2) If you haven't signed for the year, it will stop those companies from just showing up without your consent and billing you for an unwanted application.

Remember, you as the home owner have the right to choose who you want on your lawn and when you want them.

Take back control of your lawn. It was yours in the first place.