Killing the Unkillable

EcoMight’s Organic Weedkiller Successfully Takes Out Invasive Stinkwort Weed

Gachina Landscape Management, which manages some of the most prestigious Silicon Valley corporate campuses, had a problem. A tough-to-kill, invasive weed called stinkwort needed to be managed.

“It’s invasive and it’s everywhere,” explained Jackie Ishimaru-Gachina, President and CEO of Gachina Landscape Management.  “Two years ago during a career day at California Polytechnic State University, several pesticide companies told us they didn’t have an organic product that could kill the weed.   

 

Several months ago, Jackie discovered EcoMight was used by DeSantis Landscapes in Oregon.  “And after speaking with the owner, I decided to test it,” Ishimaru-Gachina said. “I was impressed with the results.”  Last month, the company tested EcoMight, a naturally organic and systemic herbicide, on stinkwort.

“We already knew that EcoMight is very effective on common weeds such as berries, poison oak, dandelion and chickweed,” said Cristina Prevarin, Gachina’s PHC and Sustainable Landscape Manager. “We wanted to see what effect it would have on stinkwort. We tried different concentrations on a test plot of stinkwort and coyote bush in September, and it’s all definitely dead. We are excited to share this solution with our customers.”

The invasive weed "Stinkwort"
The invasive weed “Stinkwort”

This is simply the next step of Gachina’s overall strategic plan to help create beauty with less of an impact to the environment.

Embracing Rescape California

During Gachina’s strategic planning session last year, the management team decided to embark on a partnership with Rescape California, an organization that educates and advocates a regenerative, whole-systems approach to landscaping.

“Thirty-eight managers are certified in the program’s eight regenerative landscape practices,” Ishimaru-Gachina said. “We’re doing things like using goat herds for weed abatement and installing owl and raptor perches for rodent control. These are leading-edge practices that no one else offers.”

Finding an Effective and Safe Herbicide

When Gachina discovered EcoMight,  she made some calls to learn more. “I called a few landscapers who had started using it, and were pleased with its performance,” Ishimaru-Gachina said. 

Gachina Landscape training with EcoMIGHT
Gachina Landscape training with EcoMight

“Then I asked my sustainability manager to investigate further.”

Prevarin explained that one of her ongoing goals is to find new safer, sustainable solutions for the landscapers in the field. 

“We’ve all heard the drama surrounding glyphosate in recent months, so we switched to Avenger, which is an organic contact herbicide,” Prevarin said. “There’s definitely a demand for a more organic approach. However, we still needed to follow regulations and report our usage for the organic herbicide.” According to Prevarin, the main issue with the contact herbicide was that weeds returned in 10 days.

 

“When we found EcoMight, we were excited because we were searching for  a truly organic and systemic herbicide.” 

 

Prevarin continued, “We tested it successfully and began training our crews on using EcoMight a few months ago. We are now using it on a corporate campus as well as with a local HOA that demanded no glyphosate on its properties.” 

Increasing Access to Information

Gachina Landscape Management is also moving away from gas-powered equipment and the noise and pollution of conventional blowers, opting instead for battery-powered tools.

“We’ve stepped away from mechanical and chemical solutions for pest control with our raptor program,” Prevarin said. When the company announced its goat weed abatement program, it received a great deal of support and interest within social media channels.

The company has focused on water conservation, installing smart controllers and taking advantage of irrigation technology. “One thing we’ve noticed is that our clients love to be able to log in and know what’s going on with the property,” Prevarin said. “They want to see what’s going on with their irrigation systems, when their trees were pruned, and updates on projects on their properties.  We plan to use cameras to monitor their owl nest boxes used for rodent control.”

Getting the Word Out

Although discovering unique and new ways to deliver premier landscaping with environmental sustainability in mind is a competitive advantage for Gachina Landscape Management, the company is working to share its success.

 

“I think landscapers tend to be a little behind when it comes to advanced technology,” Prevarin said. “They can be resistant to change. However, with social media now, we have more ways to connect, and that can help us accelerate positive changes. We are excited to share what has worked for us and to learn what has worked for others. We want to do the right thing for the environment, for people and for animals.”

 

 

Ishimaru-Gachina explained that she’s seeking partnerships with companies like EcoMight so she can continue to provide even more sustainable solutions into the future. “It’s a matter of educating clients on what’s available and what can be done,” she said. “We have one HOA client that’s been all organic with us for 20 years. We just began working with a large tech company in Cupertino on a new space that will be all organic, and we recently signed a contract with a San Francisco landmark company that also wants to be all organic. EcoMight will be used in all these locations as our organic, systemic solution.”

“Our company is known for quality and being on the leading edge of landscape management,” Ishimaru-Gachina said. “Our sustainability efforts will include EcoMight, which gives us another effective option in our toolbox.”

 

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