- EPA permits over 200 different pesticides to be used for lawn care, and these are often mixed together and sold as chemical combinations.
- Nearly 80 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients are used on U.S. lawns annually.
- Approximately 35 pesticides are used in over 90 percent of lawn treatments.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that “homeowners use up to 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on their lawns than farmers use on crops."
- Pesticides are intentionally toxic substances. Some chemicals commonly used on lawns and gardens have been associated with birth defects, mutations, adverse reproductive effects, and cancer in laboratory animals.
- Lawn-care pesticides are not tested for their chronic health effects, unless they are also licensed for food uses. The third most heavily used herbicide in the U. S., MCPP, has not been fully tested for chronic health effects since it is not allowed for use on foods. MCPP is commonly found in weed and feed products.
- Nearly 100,000 accidental pesticide exposures are reported to poison control centers each year. Many of these exposures involve children, and pets.
Here's how we do it, in 3 Easy Steps (feel like your about to buy a slap chop?):
1) We De-Thatch the lawn. Thatch is a layer of cut grass, plant stems, roots, leaves and other debris that collects on the soil, below the live blades of grass. Basically it looks like dead grass hanging around the roots of new grass. The thatch acts as a barrier on top of the soil. It blocks fertilizer from getting into the soil and down to the roots.
The picture on the right is how much thatch we pulled out of a small patch of our front yard (about 10 square feet of lawn). I was Shocked at how much, we ended up with almost 4 full yard waste bags FULL. Be prepared though, your lawn is going to look a bit "rough" for a few weeks while the new grass grows in.
If you have a mature lawn you should aerate it too (Punch holes in lawn) it helps bring nutrients and air down to the roots. Our lawn isn't old enough yet.
2) Re-Seed. The thicker your lawn is the less room there is for weeds to grow. We use a seed dispenser so that we get a really even coverage.
3) Lastly, in place of traditional fertilizers we spread corn gluten evenly over the lawn. Corn Gluten is an all natural lawn fertilizer, it's 9-0-0 you can find it at most plant nurseries.
- When Mowing your lawn, never cut off more then 1/3 of the blade. The grass needs it's length to soak up the sun and stay green. Cutting more then 1/3 of the blade off, traumatizes the grass.
- When watering (if you have to) water deep, watering for short periods of time, forces the roots to stay near the surface, you want strong roots. But also keeping in mind that grass is suppose to have a dormant season, it will and should brown a bit for some of the summer. But if you must water doing it early in the morning is best. Then the water has time to soak in and isn't evaporated by the sun. Watering late at night can cause and excess of moisture to sit on the soil, and may help the growth of fungus.