Web Extra: Lambert’s commitment to organics

September 10, 2014 -  By
A Lambert's newsletter announcing the company's shift to organic lawn care.

A Lambert’s newsletter announcing the company’s shift to organic lawn care.

The September 2014 cover story, “Full circle,” profiles Lambert Landscape Co. Here, we detail how its organic lawn care program came about and how it’s advanced over time. 

Paul Fields sums up Lambert Landscape Co.’s switch to organic lawn care as “going cold turkey.”

It happened over the course of a weekend in 1989, recollects the president of Lambert’s.

“Anything we had that was synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers in the warehouse or on trucks was removed and properly disposed of,” he says, adding it was replaced with organic products. “Back then, it wasn’t the fad or trend that it is today at all. I would credit Stan (Wetzel, the company’s second owner) with the foresight to really see we were potentially doing great harm to the environment.”

Fast forward to 2014 and Lambert’s has strengthened its organic lawn care program with the addition of a 20,000-gallon rainwater cistern that it uses to create compost tea fertilizer.

The notion for the cistern came to Fields on a rainy day as he was watching water rush off the facility’s 6.5-acre roof. At the time, the company was using potable water to create its compost tea. Fields saw using rainwater to create the fertilizer not only as a way to cut down on costs, but as a means to create a healthier fertilizer, given rainwater is untreated and potable water is not.

Lambert's houses a 20,000-gallon rainwater cistern on its property.

Lambert’s houses a 20,000-gallon rainwater cistern on its property.

Using nil chemicals also means Lambert’s leans toward growing multicultural lawns, a lawn comprising many grass species, as opposed to monoculture lawns.

“It’s really Mother Nature’s way of saying, ‘This grass is better in shade, this grass I better in sun, (etc.),’” Fields says. He also said the firm recently implemented microclover seeding as a means to naturally re-establish or add nitrogen into soils, a concept similar to that of ecolawns.

Still, Lambert’s does care for and grow monoculture lawns and will subcontract other lawn care companies to spray a customer’s lawn, per a client’s request.

“I’m not an environmentalist at all,” Fields says. “But I really do consider myself a conservationist. The vast majority of what we do can be done organically.”

Moreover, Fields says sticking to organic lawn care goes hand-in-hand with his vision for the company.

“It’s another one of those things where we’re coming full circle,” he says. “It’s the way it was done until 50, 60 years ago. Why all of a sudden is there this mindset we have to spray everything with chemicals to keep it healthy?”

Photos: Lambert’s; Landscape Management

About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

1 Comment on "Web Extra: Lambert’s commitment to organics"

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  1. Jody Shilan says:

    Sarah, this is a great piece on Lambert Landscape and Paul Fields. It is wonderful to hear from one of the top and most respected companies in the country that they are succeeding without synthetics and have been for over 25 years. As the original green industry, not just in color, we have an obligation to our customers, our employees, our families and the planet to follow Lambert’s example on how to grow our industry responsibly and organically.