Question: How does A-1 organic-based fertilizer products differ from chemically based fertilizers?
Answer: All or most of the ingredients found in a organic-based fertilizer are organic ingredients that are derived from natural sources – ingredients you will recognize when you read the label. These fertilizers do not contain herbicides, fungicides or insecticides – they are not weed and feed products. Neither do they use fast-acting nitrogen that quickly leaches through the soil and into the water table, or runs off the surface of soil into streams and lakes. The ingredients are time-released, so plants are nourished gradually over the growing season, eliminating the risk of fertilizer burn. Therefore, they present no negative health issues for humans or pets and require no special handling by licensed professionals. They are extremely effective at enhancing soil’s ability to support healthy plant life and microorganisms.
Question: I have been using chemically based fertilizers for the past several years and want to switch to an organic fertilizer. Which A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS product should I use, and what can I expect from my turf when making this change?
Answer: We recommend that you start using our A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS Soil Science product, as it contains organic soil microbes (microorganisms) that will begin to detoxify your soil and restore its health. When making this change, you will find that our products are released into your turf more slowly than a chemically based fertilizer. Therefore, your turf will take longer to achieve that early spring green look. However, rest assured, your grass is being nurtured properly and the application will last far longer than conventional synthetic fertilizers, with no chance of fertilizer burn. For an even healthier lawn, we also recommend that you mow your lawn at a higher mower setting (4 inches or higher). This does two important things. First, taller grass shades out weed seeds, making it very difficult for them to germinate. Second, a longer blade allows the grass to produce more food to store in the roots, which will help your lawn look better in hot weather. Finally, continue to water your lawn as you normally would.
Question: What type of equipment do I need to apply A-1 natural fertilizers?
Answer: All you need is a standard broadcast spreader to apply our products. No special masks, gloves, or other precautions need to be followed, since these are organic, time-released products that will not harm soil, humans, or pets.
Question: What are the recommended application rates for A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS Soil Conditioner and Soil Science Products?
Answer: A-1 Soil Conditioner is applied at a rate of 50-pounds per 3,000 - 6,000ft2. A-1 Soil Science is applied at a rate of 50-pounds per 6,000 ft2.
Question: How many times a year do I need to use an organic fertilizer vs. a synthetic-chemical-based fertilizer?
Answer: For the highest quality results, we recommend that for the first four (4) years, you apply product four (4) times annually. After that initial period, you can reduce feedings to three (3) times per year to maintain your turf, farm plot, or garden. If fewer feedings are used than are recommended, they will still be beneficial to the plants, soil, and microorganisms. However, you might simply not have as lush a lawn or as productive a garden.
Question: Does organic fertilizer do the same things as a chemically based weed & feed product?
Answer: No. While both products will feed your lawn, organic-based fertilizers are not formulated to kill weeds. The problem with indiscriminate use of weed & feed products is that it can accidentally kill broad-leaf plants you want to grow, such as trees. Some of the chemicals used in these products can also harm soil microorganisms, which are necessary for healthy soil. This can lead to outbreaks of disease and development of more resistant forms of weeds, just like abuse of antibiotics has done in humans.
Question: How do I control weeds from growing on my lawn if an organic fertilizer does not kill them?
Answer: To control weeds, you can over-seed your lawn twice a year (early spring & early fall) to help prevent weed growth. Mowing your lawn high (4-inches or more) shades out most weed seeds and prevents them from germinating, while also slowing growth (for less frequent mowing) and strengthening the immune system of the grass. Keeping your grass unstressed by providing proper light, water, and nutrients will produce a crop of very thick turf. Of course, if a few weeds do manage to survive, the old-fashion method of removing them by hand is the less expensive and invasive option that is also best for the environment.
If you have large patch of weeds to start with, you can make up a natural spray to kill them. Try a mixture comprised of 80% white vinegar, 20% lemon juice, and just a teaspoon (1t) of a non-germicidal dishwashing soap. Mix well and put in a regular spray bottle, then spray only on the plants you wish to kill. Best results are obtained if this is done in full sunlight. While this formula will kill non-woody weeds, please apply carefully as it will kill whatever it comes in contact with as well.
Question: What is the average cost to apply organic fertilizer vs. synthetic-chemical-based fertilizer?
Answer: Application costs are dependent on the size area to be fertilized for both organic and chemical fertilizers. For example, with our A-1 organic fertilizer products, if you have an area that is 100-ft x 100-ft in area, the product should be applied approximately 4 times per year at an average cost of $100.25(USD) per application. After four years, you should only need an application three times per year. The same area fed with a synthetic fertilizer would cost on average of $80 .00 (USD) per application and would require four applications per year. The same area could also require the additional cost of spring dethatching and fall aeration because the synthetic chemical products only feed, they do not also improve soil texture the way A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS products do. Even if fewer than recommended feedings of A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS products are used, plants, soil, and microorganisms will all still benefit. You just might not get the lushest results.
Question: Why is organic fertilizer more expensive to use than synthetic-chemical-based products?
Answer: Organic fertilizers are not produced using synthetic chemicals. Therefore, they can be slightly more expensive per pound than synthetic-chemical-based fertilizers. However, organic fertilizers are also usually more concentrated and are applied less frequently than their synthetic counterparts due to their slow, time-release format. Therefore, on an annual basis, they can be comparable or slightly lower in cost. They have the additional benefit of not harming humans, pets, or the environment.
Question: If I have lawn, garden, or turf pests such as moles, what organic methods can I use to eliminate this problem?
Answer: If you find the mole population has increased recently, it is usually because you have had an increase in the number of grubs at the base of plant roots. To eliminate the grubs, you can try using “milky spore.” You will need to apply it to your property three (3) times per year for two years. After that timeframe, the grub population in your yard should be under control for several years unless plants get stressed by a severe winter or a very dry summer.
Question: Can I use A-1 organic fertilizer products for my houseplants and gardens?
Answer: Absolutely! When you plant new flowers or garden plants, place 1 teaspoon of product into the soil for every 6 inches of width for your pot with your plantings and then water them. Then top-dress your plantings once a week with our products. If you already have potted plants, or your garden plants are already in the ground, just top-dress or side-dress once a month, work into the soil, and water as usual.
Question: Does A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS offer any help if I have questions on how to use their products once I’ve purchased them?
Answer: Yes we do! We are here to help you achieve the best results you can from your turf, garden, or farm. Our resident experts are available to answer any questions that you might have about our products and how best to use them. Call us at 248-889-7200 or send us an e-mail with your questions. We want to earn your business and be of service to you!
Question: How do I order product from A-1 ORGANIC LAWNS?
Answer: Please leave complete contact information including zip code on this web sight or call us at 248-889-7200.
If you are in the Oakland County / Metro-Detroit area and would like to come to our facilities to pick-up product and save on shipping costs, please call us at 248-889-7200 and we will be happy to give you directions.