Common Questions About Organic Lawn Care
What is Organic Soil Solutions and how does it work?
Organic Soil Solutions is an organic lawn care program designed to correct the chemical, physical, and biological imbalances in the soil to provide a healthy environment for grass. We feed the soil and let the soil feed the plant. Although our products contain nitrogen and other nutrients required by the grass plants, they generally have to be processed by the soil biology to be available. This provides a steady and slow release form of food for the plants. Deeper roots help the plants through periods of stress and drought.
What products and services do you provide?
We apply organic fertilizers and soil amendments five times a year. These granular products include corn gluten, humates, various organic fertilizers, and limestone. We supplement these applications with compost tea, which provides biology for our depleted soils. We also over-seed in the spring and the fall and top dress with compost. This year we offer mowing services to make sure the plants have the leaf surface to perform photosynthesis and thrive. We leave the clippings on the lawn to act as mulch, while providing nitrogen and organic matter.
What is wrong with conventional lawn care products?
Quick fix, petroleum based fertilizers make lawns grow fast and green, but exhaust grass roots and kill beneficial bacteria and fungi, thereby promoting unbalanced insect populations. Broadleaf weed controls kill weeds, but they also kill beneficial micro-organisms that work to keep soil nurturing and alive. Thatch build-up occurs when there is no microbial life to decompose it. Toxic pesticides also harm trees and woody plants and stay around a lot longer without a healthy microbial population to decompose them. In addition, the toxins contaminate the soil, seep into the water table, and threaten our irreplaceable water supply.
Is Organic Soil Solutions more expensive than conventional lawn care?
It may be at first. Sometimes people tell us that our quotes are competitive, sometimes more expensive. Organic lawn care products, like organic food usually cost a little more, but they help provide a healthy, hardy, self sustaining lawn that will thrive and grow without costly inputs and become less expensive over time. We hope to provide our customers the peace of mind to let their kids and pets roll around and chew on the grass. With our over seeding and compost tea applications, we provide a good value for the money. We also promote deep root development, which means more drought resistance and less watering. Mechanical de-thatching and aerating are unnecessary because the soil biology breaks down the thatch and aerates naturally. Trees, plants, and shrubs have a healthier foundation and are more pest, disease and drought resistant. In addition, because organics do not contaminate the soil, water, and air, there are tremendous savings to the environment and long term health.
What exactly does organic mean?
Basically, organic products are grown without the use of toxic, synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are grown in a way to replenish and maintain soil fertility. Our products are not isolated chemical compounds, but organic substances still in the form that nature made them. Nutrients are taken up and processed by soil biology to be stored until the plant needs them. A slow release chemical fertilizer is often encased in plastic that breaks down slowly in the soil.
Can I walk on my lawn after a treatment?
Absolutely! There is nothing we apply that is harmful. My six year old helps me spread our products and we get a sense that we are doing something good for the environment. What we are putting down is nothing to fear.
Will Organic Soil Solutions eliminate the weeds in my yard?
Weeds are a symptom of poor soil. Once the pH is corrected and a deeper root system develops to encourage thicker turf, weeds are crowded out. Mowing high and leaving the clippings prevents annual weeds from getting a foothold. Stressed and compacted areas along walkways and driveways may need spot seeding. We over seed in the spring and the fall to fill in areas where weeds would like to grow. We encourage customers to accept a few weeds as a part of a more natural environment.
How did you get into the organic lawn care business?
Organic Soil Solutions was started by Boston Tree Preservation when they noticed the trees and shrubs on properties treated with lawn chemicals were less healthy than others. I hired the company to take care of the trees where I worked and the lawn at my house. When my wife and I were looking for a small business, we naturally gravitated toward organics, an interest we had shared for years in food and gardening. I ended up working for Boston Tree Preservation and managing Soil Solutions. In 2003, we bought the organic lawn care company.