Organic Lawn Care
A report in Grist Magazine tells us that the United States adds over 2
million acres of residential property each year. The lawns resulting from
this addition are an increasing concern for environmentalists. A disturbing
fact is that many lawn care companies, which formerly touted the chemical
fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that pollute the soil and endanger
our families, are now creating ?Organic? lines of lawn care products.
Although the Lawn and Environment Coalition, formed last March, has
formulated guidelines for ecologically friendly lawn care, there are no
established or enforced standards for what counts as ?organic?. ?Hybrid
mowers, water-conserving sprinklers, and organic fertilizers are all
potential gold mines for industry players,? wrote industry analyst Don
Recent organic lawn care product advertisements contain claims like
?advanced organic fertilizer? and ?98% natural ingredients?, Depending on
which of the multiple definitions of ?organic? you choose to believe, claims
like this are oxy-moronic. The simplest definition of organic for gardening
related activities, such as organic lawn care is, ?involving the use of
fertilizers or pesticides that are STRICTLY of animal or vegetable origin.?
Organic lawn care begins by providing your turf with healthy topsoil.
Healthy topsoil contains natural nutrients maintained and enhanced by a
living microbiological colony. These colonies are composed of animal life
like earthworms and beneficial nematodes that live on the natural nutrients
in the soil, die and decompose returning nutrition to the soil. They are
found in decayed matter like composted yard waste and produce clippings.
Lawn care fertilization products typically feed the plant and not the soil.
While they make your grass look good for the short term, they generally
don?t improve the soil, which is what needs to be done for long-term organic
While water conservation is a genuine issue, water-conserving sprinklers are
not good organic lawn care products. Healthy lawns need to be watered deeply
and infrequently to force grass to grow roots and encourage it to propagate
through rhizome growth.
While developing and promoting ?organic? lawn care product lines may be a
?gold mine? for lawn care companies and new upstarts, remember the gold is
in your pocket! Buyer beware!
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