Saturday, February 9, 2013

Thinking about chemical use

Properly managing chemicals in your landscape is extremely important. Making a change here is the biggest single thing you can do to make your landscape a better place. Trying to maintain a golf course lawn is an effort in futility. First, it isn’t a naturally occurring thing which means you will waste lots of time and money and use lots of chemicals trying to maintain it. Sure it’s pretty, but is it a healthy landscape? There is no plant diversity; the chemical usage eliminates most of the insect diversity which in turn eliminates wildlife diversity. 

Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are horribly misused in most landscapes. Farmers use them and are required to take safety courses and get certified to use them. Home owners however can walk into just about any big box store and buy the same chemicals like it was toilet paper. Think about it this way, none of these chemicals are used in any forest on the planet, yet the forestes somehow manage to grow and flourish. It’s unfortunate that TV commercials make most people believe that in order for anything to grow in their yard, they must dump pounds of chemicals... and that all insects are bad and need to eradicate... and that every weed has to go. Ignorance is bliss. 

I can honestly say that I started out the same way. I believed what I was seeing on the commercials and I bought every chemical available and loaded my yard down. I soon realized that my yard was becoming dependent on these chemicals and none of them were healthy for me. Have you read the warning labels on this stuff?  As I educated myself, I quickly learned that most of this stuff isn’t needed and there is always a natural alternative.

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