Rutgers Field Day Training Review


I had a great experience this month at the Rutgers Organic Land Care Certification Program’s first Field Day Training.  About 20 lawn care providers attended the training which was hosted by Chris Paul, President of Genesis Landscape Contractors, Inc.


Chris began the training with a power point presentation outlining the principles, practices and business aspects of running an organic lawn care program. Bill Hlubik, Rutgers Agricultural and Resource Management Agent for Middlesex County, NJ spoke about some of the research that clarifies how important proper cultural methods and soil improvement are in maintaining healthy turf.

Crab Grass’s little secret

July 21, 2013


From Science Daily: June 26, 2013 

Contrary to popular belief, crabgrass does not thrive in lawns, gardens and farm fields by simply crowding out other plants. A new study in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has found that the much-despised weed actually produces its own herbicides that kill nearby plants. 

The study shows that crabgrass exudes three specific chemicals from their roots which interfere with soil microbes and have negative effects on plant growth. Information like this helps us appreciate how important soil health is for the properties we manage. Adding organic matter and microbial inoculants may be another tool in combating crabgrass.

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Secret Ingredient; Humate

July 14,2013

Secret Ingredient; Wild claims of a cure-all created skepticism. Now science is starting to support benefits of mysterious humic acid.


Humic Products in Landscape/Turfgrass

Humic products have been utilized for many years in turf and landscape applications as natural chelators, soil conditioners, and nutrient enhancers. Humic products are typically used in turf management to help retain soil moisture, stabilize nutrients, and to increase nutrient efficiency. Because of their effects on soil microbial activity, some of indirect effects of humic substances are:

Dealing with diseases on cool season turf

May 31, 2013

As summer approaches, lawn care companies are gearing up for calls on summer diseases. But before you reach for a pesticide, consider what Richard Buckley, Plant Diagnostic Laboratory Director at Rutgers University, has to say about turfgrass diseases: "Poor turf is not the result of disease, disease is a result of poor turf. Be a good turf disease manager by becoming a competent agronomist. Then you can grow turf that tolerates, resists, or quickly recovers from pathogen attack."

Prevention is the key to disease management in turf.

Holy Cow, we've got grubs!

April 19, 2013

I’m getting calls from professional landscapers in several areas of the country who are seeing grubs and wanting to know what they can do about grub control now.  The best advice I have is to read White Grub Control; An IPM / Agronomic Perspective” before you reach for the spray gun.

This is excellent information on how to reduce grub damage and make your clients love you for the results you’re landscaping business is providing. I would add that there are new effective biological controls for grubs available now.


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