Does Omaha Organics offer services or retail products?

Both! We started off as a service provider and quickly grew to having our own fertilizer products that are sold to homeowners, as a Do It Yourself program, and commercial companies in the Omaha and Lincoln area.

What is Organic Fertilizer?

Organic fertilizer is derived from natural materials such as plants, animals and/or mineral material that undergo little or no processing.

Why should I use Organic Fertilizer?

The most obvious reason to use an Organic Fertilizer Program is that it is 100% safe for people, pets and the environment. There are also less known benefits such as it’s much harder to over-fertilize a lawn, and a lawn gets more of an even feeding over its lifetime.

Why is Organic better then Synthetic?

Organic fertilizers, unlike many chemical fertilizers, continually build the soil and promote better structure as well as nourish soil life.

The growth or yield attained by using either chemical or organic fertilizers is about the same. However, in the long run, many organic fertilizers are much more productive than chemical ones because they improve soil structure and increase the soil’s ability to hold moisture and nutrients. The chemical fertilizers do not build soil and can build up to toxic proportions after continued use. Organic fertilizers on the other hand, continually build the soil, promote better structure, and foster soil organism growth. The addition of organic fertilizers over a long period enhances the soil life, another plus for the great majority of garden plants.

My lawn care company says that they are “organic based.” What does that mean?

Well, it usually means that they are trying to make you think that they are safer than chemical lawn care companies. It’s unfortunate, because it may be false advertising and attempting to lead you to believe that they don’t use synthetic chemical fertilizers and dangerous pesticides. Many lawn care companies use “Bridge” products that contain chemical sources of nitrogen and phosphorus combined with reconstituted sewer sludge (Biosolids) and call it “organic based.” Most of the time these companies also continue to use pesticides freely and with no concern for reduction.

In addition, just using a “organic” product like chicken manure, without the added beneficial microbes and nutrients that our products provide, will simply not work very well.

Liquid Fertilizer vs. Granular Fertilizer?

There are benefits to both of them but a full granular or a mix of granular and liquids should be used.  A full liquid program is not recommended. Liquids wear off faster and need more applications per year while granular last longer and are slow release feeding your lawn with less applications. A liquid product is substantially water so when one seeks long term soil fertility building, liquids would take more applications then granular and take a lot longer to get a measurable change in the soil. Liquids contain very little soil building organic matter. Liquids can be mixed wrong which in the long run can provide an inconsistency with products since they rely on human technique, which leads to errors, while granular is the same in every bag.  You can also visibly see a granular application has been made which is good for the customer.

Does it take longer for your products to work?

It does take a little bit longer, but not a great deal longer. The reason synthetic chemical fertilizers, that are applied by chemical lawn care companies, work so quickly is because they are water-soluble and dissolve and leach immediately. The downside to this is that according to the USDA up to 80% of the product ends up “off target” by leaching through the soil, getting washed off from rainwater, or vaporized into the air.

Are your products safe to use around children and pets?

Yes. Our products are made from natural products and are non-toxic. There is no re-entry time after application of our products. Your children and pets can go on the lawn immediately after the treatment is done.

Why does my yard have weeds?

Tolerating a few weeds in your lawn is part of organic land care. Some plants that are considered “weeds” such as clover are actually beneficial. They add valuable nutrients to help sustain a healthy lawn. As a general rule, if you have less than 10% weeds in your lawn, you don’t have a weed problem!

Why don’t you bag the grass when you mow?

Grass clippings are beneficial to your lawn because they recycle the fertilizer you have already applied to your yard, and its nutrients act as a natural fertilizer. Grass clippings can supply about 30% of the nitrogen your lawn needs to stay healthy and green.

Should I water my yard after you apply fertilizer?

All fertilizer should be watered. It is a good idea to wait one day because we might spray for weeds too and you might wash the weed spray off the weed itself.

Do you use pesticides?

Technically, yes. Not all pesticides are toxic and harmful. For example we use corn gluten which is considered a pesticide only because it is preventing crabgrass and weeds which are considered pest. Corn gluten is completely safe.

Do all of your Lawn Technicians have an applicators license?

Yes, all of our Lawn Technicians are registered with the State of Nebraska and carry an applicators license at all times.

Do you do soil testing?

Yes, every lawn we treat gets an advanced soil test. Healthy grass begins with healthy soil. Healthy soil has a proper nutrient balance consisting of major macronutrients, minor macronutrients, secondary nutrients, and micronutrients.

Is gray water good for my grass?

Yes, recycled water from clothes washing, bathtubs, showers and sinks can be used to irrigate lawns.

What causes thatch?

Excess nitrogen fertilizers can cause thick layers of thatch, which then block moisture and nutrients from getting to the grass roots.

Is organic matter Important?

Organic matter is important in achieving a healthy green lawn. Whether you use organic or chemicals to fertilize your lawn, an organic matter level around 5% will make your efforts a lot easier.  Boosting the organic matter by 1% can increase drought tolerance by 50%

How long does it take to raise organic matter in my soil?

Building organic matter is a slow process. First, the amount of residue and active organic matter will increase. Gradually, the species and diversity of organisms in the soil will change, and amounts of stabilized organic matter will rise. It may take a decade or more for total organic matter levels to significantly increase after a management change. Fortunately, the beneficial effects of the changes appear long before organic matter levels rise, usually with in a few years or less. These improvements, however, can be reversed in a year or two by returning to previous practices.

What is OMRI?

The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a national nonprofit organization that determines which input products are allowed for use in organic production and processing. OMRI Listed—or approved—products may be used on operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program.

How soon can I see results with an organic program?

Most lawns can take up to three years to see a noticeable difference, but every yard is different so it could take more or less time depending on your soil structure, condition, and how much you are willing to invest in improvements.

When is the best time to renovate a lawn?

Early fall is the best time of year for lawn renovations because environmental conditions are favorable and weed competition is much lower than in spring.

When is the best time to seed my lawn?

For optimum establishment, seeding should be done in late August or early September. Waiting as long as  Oct. can severely reduce establishment before winter. Do not seed when soil temperatures are warm enough for germination, but when there is not enough time left before winter for good establishment. It is be better to seed after soil temperatures cool so germination will not occur until the following spring. This is defined as dormant seeding and it is usually more effective than spring seeding and only slightly less effective than Sep. seeding.

What is CQA Certification?

CQA stands for Compost Quality Assurance. It’s a designation or seal of approval given to bulk compost in North America from an independent organization called the Compost Council. CQA compost is the best of the best. The compost must be made from plant matter only, it has to go through a proper 12-18 month composting process, be turned at proper intervals and the core temperature of the piles must be maintained at all times. Random samples of the bulk compost are tested to ensure that they are free of weed seeds, insect eggs, any pathogens, any pesticides or any heavy metal contamination. Only after passing all of these tests is the compost given that CQA designation.

What is a Pesticide?

Substances intended to repel, kill, or control any species designated a “pest” including weeds, insects, rodents, fungi, bacteria, or other organisms. The family… of pesticides includes herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides, and bactericides.

How important is Calcium?

Calcium plays a major role in the physiology of the plant, strengthening its physical structure, increasing nutrient uptake and protecting it from disease.

What is Dormant Seeding

Dormant seeding is the process of applying seed when the grass has gone dormant for the year.  It can be done any time after soil temperatures are about 40F in order to guarantee no germination until next spring. Seeding between Thanksgiving and St. Patricks’ Day is a good rule of thumb. Timing, soil preparation, species and seeding rate are all very important for dormant seeding.