Who Is Rick Orr?
When it comes to growing lawns, I'm a pragmatist, a practical sober approach to solving problems. I'm not sold out to any of the pop ideologies - like "organic gardening", "sustainable landscapes", "green solutions" or solving "global warming". I just want to find the best and most prudent method - green, organic, sustainable, chemical whatever - to grow a beautiful St Augustine turf grass lawn - or any lawn for that matter! The rest of the time, I'm just an average Joe, enjoying life!
Why a "Pragmatic View" about Lawns?
Well, the pragmatic view was easy for me to grasp. I wasn't part of Green Peace or involved in the ecology movements of the 70's - I was a raised on a farm and educated at an agricultural college - not some liberal arts program in ecology. When you combine a college degree from Va Tech in Turf Ecology (Agronomy), years as a Golf Course Superintendent and mix in 30+ years of lawn spraying - you end up with a very practical approach to growing a St Augustine turf grass lawn.
Why is Growing a St Augustine Lawn Important?
Not just St Augustine - any healthy lawn is good for the urban environment and good for people. We all have this survival instinct that is hard wired into human genes that makes us attracted to lush green anything - like parks, fields or forests. We instinctively know they are healthy and we all want to live near or on a lush green patch of land. And why is that so true? Because healthy lawns clean the air we breathe, eliminate carbon dioxide, recycle organic wastes, filter water, reduce dust and pollen and more - lawns make our life better! Given all that - who wouldn't want to live on or near a green patch of land? So, yea, growing a St Augustine turf grass lawn is important!
If that is all True, Why Not Promote Organic, Green or Sustainable Methods?
It's pretty simple - as standalone methods - they don't work! Each has successes but the failures are catastrophic. Organic insecticides are great for prevention - and I use organic methods for prevention - but organics fail when there is an infestation. End results of exclusive organic approach is a dead lawn. The best and most prudent method is to use organics until there is an acute problem, then solve it quickly with a modern pesticide. Then when it quiets down you can return to organic methods.
Organics are Safe?
The idea that organics are "better" for the environment is ideological and not scientific. Just because it says “Organic” doesn’t mean it is safe – uranium is organic. Insecticidal soaps and oils are harmful to the soil and pets. Yet, modern pesticides are not the “skull & crossbones” chemicals of the past. I use modern chemicals, engineered and created to have no impact on soils, plants, people or pets. Organics are fine until there is a failure and then it is modern science to the rescue.
So Why Build ILoveTurf.com
Education! When I started lawn spraying in Pinellas County 22 years ago, there was so much bad information brought in from all over the country that it was a wonder that any lawn survived. You had New Yorkers mowing St Augustine turf grass lawns at 1" in Largo and Californians watering their lawn once a month in Indian Rocks Beach. One thought mowing close promoted more shoots and the other thought holding back the water made the roots go deeper. The end results of both was a dead lawn! Even today some of the myths persists but I have written a lot of articles that debunk those myths.
What is in the Future for IloveTurf.com?
Iloveturf.com will always be an educational outreach of APL Lawn Spraying. I hope that in the future to expand the lawn section and add landscape design, plants and hardscape articles. All with the same pragmatic philosophy that has made iloveturf.com a Pinellas County favorite.
What is the Future For Rick Orr?
I am getting older and will need to spend more time writing and less time in the field. But after 30+ years of working with lawns and landscapes and being active with APL Lawn Spraying will ensure many articles in the future. I hope you find them helpful and most of all worthy of your time.