A well manicured lawn looks great…but the costs are steep in health and the environment.  Yes, we all love to be in the sunshine and grass…think about the future generations…are the cost too high? Some things we can do…

Water…save water by using a rain barrel, soaker hoses, and turf grasses native to your area.  Avoid watering during the hottest, windiest time of day.  Early morning is usually best.  Water deeply and less frequently…water slowly to prevent pooling and erosion…use “cycle” irrigation.  This means watering just to the point of seeing runoff, then pausing to allow the turf to absorb the water…resume watering when needed.

Chemicals…We tend to overuse fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides on our lawns and gardens. Reduce your need by having healthy soil…well aerated, with a balane of clay, silt, sand, and organic matter like compost and grass clippings…look for natural fertilizers…

Chemical fertilizers rely on an assumption that plants only need three elements to survive and thrive… nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While there maybe a need for these elements, they do nothing to supply the vitamins, minerals, and diverse supply of bacteria and fungi in our diets.

 

Soil microbes need sugar and protein to thrive. When you apply synthetic fertilizers, the natural process for healthy soil is compromised. Microbes normally get sugar from plant rootsand protein in nature comes from dead insects, plants, and animals. The organic gardener applies protein artificially in the form or organic fertilizers. It is usually in the form of a ground up meal made from plants and animals to try to replicate the natural process.”

NOTE: Read the fine print to see how safe a product is before using…no lawn treatment is entirely without risk….look for rich nutrient blends of alfalfa and other natural ingredients in various formulas…Get a soil test to determine the amendments needed.

Soil Testing Lab, Rm. 135 Crops Research Bldg., 1902 Dudley Ave, St Paul,  MN  55108-6089
Email: soiltest@umn.edu, Phone: 612 625-3101

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2011 at 5:38 pm and is filed under Annuals, Gardening Tips, Healthy Hearts at Gentle Gardens, Wild Life. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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