Eco Friendly Lawn Care

Your devotion to being ecologically-friendly doesn’t need to stop at your front door.  There are plenty of Earth-conscious solutions that you can implement while caring for your garden and lawn as well.  More traditional lawn and garden care options can be downright toxic to the environment, especially harmful pesticides and other chemicals. 

Easily the #1 problem of lawn and garden care for the environment is the chemical runoff that ends up in our streams, ponds, rivers and oceans.  Additionally, harsh chemicals used for lawn and gardens can be harmful to the yard that they are applied to as well.  So while some of these available chemical treatments may serve to help beautify your yard temporarily, they can have devastating long-term effects both in your lawn and the surrounding ecosystem.  Take pesticides for example; while they can work wonders in keeping unwanted bugs and pests out of your garden, if the insects come into contact with them and are then ingested by their natural enemies such as birds, it causes a chain reaction of poisoning up the food chain.  Furthermore, as the predatory birds die off from poison, the pest problem becomes much more dependant on poisonous chemical solutions, perpetuating the cycle.

Proper fertilization techniques can help a great deal against insect pests.  If the soil in your lawn and garden is ideally treated with organic, natural compounds you will likely yield much more healthy, resilient plants that are much more resistant to disease, drought, and – yes, even insects.  Fertilizers can be just as harmful to the environment as pesticides, however – especially if they are used indiscriminately.  Many people believe that certain fertilizer materials are not harmful when actually they are.  For instance, grass clippings and leaves can contain phosphorous and nitrogen, which is transferred to lakes and streams causing unsightly and unhealthy effects such as rampant aquatic weed growth and algae blooms, toxic ammonia, and lowered dissolved oxygen levels.

Use these tips to keep your lawn and garden looking great without putting a strain on the environment.  First, always test the soil in your lawn and/or garden before you begin any fertilization regimen.  For optimal results, fertilize your lawn during the fall to enable the deepest roots to grow.  Always use al-natural, organic materials for fertilization.  Contrary to many peoples’ beliefs, healthy shrubs and trees don’t need to be fertilized as often as once a year.  After you have finished fertilizing, remove all soil, vegetation, and fertilizers from any paved surfaces around your home to prevent any phosphorous or nitrogen from entering the storm sewers.  Finally, obtain applicable soil testing information and recommendations for fertilizer types for your area from your county extension office.


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