Sunday, February 28, 2010

Plans for Spring - Chores

The winter certainly has been a doozy! I’m anxious to get out into the garden, but I have to wait a few more days. So in the meantime, I’m getting ready to place my order for my organic lawn care products.

I have mentioned that organic solutions for our yards and gardens are going to be my focus.This gardening method is fun and healthy at the same time. Let me explain why I feel organic products are soooo much better than chemicals.

Chemical lawn and garden products come as fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. The chemical products are generally water soluble. Organic fertilizers  are turned into nutrients for plant materials by the micro organisms. The chemicals wash away within days of application and leave no residual nutrients in the soil. In fact, they reduce the microbes and leave the soil ‘dead’. So we are tempted to reapply more products, again and again.

The focus for organic gardening is to feed the soil. This whole under-world needs us to feed it and support it with organic materials. Healthy soil has more living organisms in two handfuls of dirt than there are people on this planet. The soil grows our food, and supports trees that filter our air. Without plants, erosion and contaminated water become issues. The soil is the source of life on this earth and I feel we must be committed to keep it healthy.

If you have used chemicals on your lawn in the past, either through a lawn care company or do-it-yourself, the organic products  will be give you superb results and bring your soil back to a healthy ecosystem that will benefit the whole planet.

Plan to use organic products on your lawn and garden. Corn Gluten is an organic pre-emergent for various annual grasses and broadleaf weeds. Crabgrass and foxtail seeds will be germinating soon, so corn gluten should be put down before the forsythia blooms. Corn gluten is a grain and can be put down with a drop spreader or whirly type applicator.Other organic supplier have corn gluten in a liquid and comes in a hose-end sprayer bottle. The full benefit of corn gluten may take a few seasons. Expect 60% control the first year, and 80% the second year. Believe me, early treatment this spring will save you frustration later as you are trying to sit back and enjoy your lawn.

I know the chemical treatments have a better control rate, initially. However these chemicals have been linked to various diseases in children and pets. Heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, lead, and dioxin have been incorporated into some of these chemical products. Asthma, cancer, and autism have been linked to some of these chemicals.

Homeowners use 10X  more pesticides per acre than farmers. They spend $67 Million a year on lawns. 60-70 million birds are poisoned each year. We are subjected to all of this exposure to toxic chemicals just to deal with less than 1% of half a million plants and insects that are considered pests. Organic products are cost effective and don't cause costly clean-ups of soil and water.

Planning now to begin this growing season with organic products will go a long way to ensure the health of our children, our pets, and our neighborhoods.

To see more information on organic fertilizer, see my article here.

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