Cost and Expectation Questions
Pest Control Questions
Product and Performance Questions
Health Related Questions
Question: When do you apply your products?
Each program has its own unique schedule. Generally, Turf Shield 9-1-3™ is applied in early Spring and early Fall to prevent new weed germination. Vibrant Plus 10-2-5™ is applied in late Spring and late Fall. Liquid Gold is applied during moderate temperatures. For specific dates, see our application schedule, or download an application schedule in PDF format.
Question: How much does the average yard cost to treat?
We base the cost of our services upon the square footage of the area to be treated. The average yard we treat is about 10,000 square feet. Please download and review an average quote for such a yard. Click here to download in PDF format.
Dollar per dollar, on an average yard, the initial cost of organic lawn care is 20%-30% more than chemical applications. After a few seasons, its about the same:
We are happy to do a FREE lawn evaluation to measure your yard and provide an accurate estimate.
Question: Where did you get the idea for organic lawn care?
Childs Play Organic Lawns was started in February of 2001, but the idea for Childs Play was spawned more than 16 years earlier. Lori Fritts (co-owner with her husband Craig) was poisoned in 1984 by pesticides that were regularly used in Craig and Loris apartment for bugs. Ever since that time Lori has been unable to tolerate any exposure to synthetic pesticides. Even small amounts cause symptoms similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis, which has forced them to live in areas that are not susceptible to pesticide use. This eliminated their ability to live in close knit neighborhoods, areas near golf courses, and areas around farms.
Question: What does Organic Treatment do for my Lawn that is better than chemicals?
Question: Why do your granular fertilizers last so long?
The lawn nutrients are built into the proteins of the fertilizer ingredients. The nutrients are released when the beneficial bacteria and microbes in the soil break down these proteins. A single application of our granular Turf Shield 9-1-3™ and Vibrant Plus 10-2-5™ can last over 3 months!
Question: How do you achieve weed control?
Pre-emergent weed control: Turf Shield 9-1-3™ is made from Corn Gluten Meal and other food grade ingredients. According to studies done at Iowa State University (www.iastate.edu) corn gluten meal is a natural pre-emergent, meaning that it will prevent seeds from germinating. We apply this in the early spring and early fall to suppress weeds from growing from seeds, such as crabgrass.
Post-emergent weed control (weeds that are already existing): There are a variety of methods available to control weeds that already exist. Dandelions are easily controlled with salt, vinegar (will kill grass also, so be careful!), and proper manual picking. Did you know that 9 out of 10 properly picked dandelions will not come back? Our Liquid Gold can also help control some broad leaf weeds such as clover. However, this is somewhat limited in its capabilities.
There is nothing currently in the organic industry that can be applied to a yard that will kill weeds and leave the grass unharmed. Weed development is often the result of poor lawn management. When turf grass is the dominant, thriving form of plant life it: is more competitive for nutrients, space, sunlight and water. It shades the soil surface, which prevents new weeds from germinating and fills in thin, bare areas where weeds could start. A properly maintained yard will choke out weeds and eliminate the perceived need to apply toxic pesticides. Childs Play lawn care programs and services are designed to naturally grow turf grass tall and healthy with deep, thick roots.
The toughest weeds to control using natural products are the creeping, vine type weeds such as Creeping Charlie, Ground Ivy, and Wild Violets. In most cases these can be killed using natural non-selective (kills all vegetation) weed killers such as ammoniated fatty-acid, sold under a variety of names. This would be considered a natural alternative to products like Roundup®.
Through a program of regular applications of Turf Shield 9-1-3™ and Liquid Gold™, and periodic aeration and over seeding, good weed control can be achieved over the course of 2 to 3 seasons.
See our discussion on weed control.
Question: How do I control grubs without using chemicals?
Answer: Please our grub page.
Question: How do pesticides and chemicals enter our bodies?
Chemicals and Pesticides become airborne when sprayed on lawns, and can be inhaled into our lungs. Being inside your home doesn't help much. Think about this: A chemical spill can occur in India, and 7 days later that same chemical can be detected INSIDE houses in Florida!
Ingested into the digestive system. Small children playing in the yard will put stuff into their mouths, and dogs are constantly licking their paws.
Absorbed through the skin. Consider how many people stop smoking using a dermal patch of nicotine. The nicotine is easily absorbed by the skin and into the blood stream. The same thing can occur with lawn chemicals and pesticides.
See our discussion on pesticide handling.
Question: What are some of the health and environmental problems chemical pesticides and fertilizers can cause?
A complete review of pesticide issues can be found in this document.
Question: Are your weed control products registered with the EPA?
The weed control products are of such a low threat to anything that they are exempt from EPA registration under the FIFRA act section 25(b).
Question: How do I deal with weeds that are in the yard now?
We have several solutions for removing existing weeds. Specialized tools like the Weed Hound are designed to pull weeds such as dandelions and plantain. Vinegar mixed with dish soap is a natural non-selective herbicide. Annual weeds, like purslane, crabgrass, and knotweed, will die off in the winter and can be prevented with Turf Shield 9-1-3™ the following spring. Ultimately, if an area has more than 50% weeds, it may need to be rototilled, raked and reseeded. See our discussion on weed control.
Question: I'm using chemicals now. What can I expect in my first year?
The first year is transitional. Typically a chemically treated yard has sterile soil, thin roots and marginal blade development. Since our products depend upon microbes and bacteria to release the nutrients, it takes some time for them to start working. Indiscriminate, routine use of post emergent herbicides has prevented and/or killed most weeds. However, at any given time, there are billions of weed seeds waiting for the right opportunity to sprout. Our products introduce a new level of nutrients to the soil and do not contain the toxins that kill weeds. As the grass is not yet fully competitive, some new weeds get the opportunity to grow. It is in the second season, when the grass has regained its vitality, that it becomes competitive and prevents weed development. Along the way you should notice a deeper green and accelerated growth rate.
Question: How long do I have to wait before I can use the lawn after an application?
You don't! That's one of the best reasons to use Childs Play. Our products use no toxins or unsafe chemicals. You can feel safe about playing or walking on the yard immediately after an application. We do ask that you water them in thoroughly to get the most bang for your fertilizer buck. Our Liquid Gold™, while completely safe, is a little sticky. Dogs may track it into the house, so you should water it in prior to turning Fido loose.
Question: Why do you fertilize so late into the season? The yard looks fine.
Fall is the most critical time to fertilize. The grass is building up root mass (storing energy) to survive the winter and create new blades in the spring. As long as there is no snow, and the ground isn't frozen, the grass is growing (even if it is growing down, not up). Heavy fertilization in the fall ensures survival the following summer, even though the lawn looks like it doesn't need it.