Freedom From Lawn Pesticides
Apr 15, 2011 01:45PM
Homeowners in heavily populated suburbia feel pressure to attain the perfect lawn. They use three times more pesticide per acre than the average farmer. The release of lawn chemicals into the environment significantly impacts our air and water quality. Scientific studies are now linking lawn pesticides to several types of cancer, neurological disease and birth defects. Children, spending much of their time playing outdoors and playing on carpeting inside where lawn chemical residues have been brought in on our shoes, are particularly vulnerable.
Camilla Worden, NOFA-accredited organic land care professional, offers these tips to help transition to an organic lawn this spring:
- Start by letting the grass be mowed at a higher height. This will help to shade out crabgrass and will encourage longer roots. Grass plants with longer roots are able to grab more nutrients from the soil and can make it through hot, dry periods with less watering.
- Cut with sharp mower blades to reduce the risk of frayed edges that may be an entry point for disease.
- Recycle grass clippings into the lawn where they will serve as free fertilizer.
- Find out what the soil needs. Contact www.soiltest.uconn.edu for more information. A balanced organic fertilizer application will keep fertility up while adding vital organic matter to the soil.
- Contact a NOFA-accredited organic land care professional at www.organiclandcare.net for guidance.
Camilla Worden Garden Design, located in Danbury, offers design, installation, and maintenance of gardens and organic lawncare. Call 203.790.9809 or visit CamillaWorden.com for more information.