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The Risks of Synthetic Lawn Care

Wondering Why Go Organic?

Beautiful lawns are to be envied. Lush, green grass, free from weeds and pests, is the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun, or playing with family and friends.

Unfortunately many of the beautiful lawns seen today are the result of years of chemical applications of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Today, organic lawn care products and practices produce lawns just as beautiful that are also safe for the environment, people and pets.

Why organic lawn care is important

Healthy, well-maintained lawns are important to the environment. Grasses remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen. It is believed that grasses remove up to five percent of the carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere.

Trapping dirt and dust, grasses help reduce allergens in the air. It filters rainwater and prevents soil erosion. Grasses also harbor helpful insects and other wildlife important to maintain balance in their ecosystem.

A safe lawn, free from harmful chemicals, allergen-laden weeds and disease carrying insects, is ideal for promoting exercise through play and a healthy exposure to sunlight for vitamin D production. In a world where many hours are spent behind a desk, a safe place outdoors is important to a person’s overall well being.

Proof That Conventional Lawn Care Harms the Environment

Yes it is true that the synthetic chemicals used in conventional lawn care products do provide a service. By enriching the soil in the immediate area and warding off pests, these chemicals allow people greater control over their lawns and gardens.

But, these synthetic chemicals, most of which are petroleum-based, do have a major drawback.

They are polluting the environment.

Continued use of these chemical has had a devastating effect on streams, lakes and rivers. Water runoff often carries these pollutants to the waterways. This disrupts the local ecosystem, causing algae blooms, which starves fish and other aquatic life of oxygen. This creates dead zones where aquatic life can no longer be sustained.

Synthetic lawn care products also have the disadvantage of promoting disease in the lawns they are used on. The turf is stressed by improperly balanced fertilizers and compacted soil, due to the elimination of worms and insects that help keep it loose. This turf is then susceptible to disease that is often treated with more chemicals, creating a cycle that is not easily broken and further promotes disease and results in more pollution.

Don’t Risk Harm to Your Loved Ones & Pets 

Even if you could care less about the health of the planet, it can be assumed that the health of your loved ones is important.

A well-maintained lawn is inviting to both people and pets. What is put on the lawn, such as fertilizers and pesticides, may have a significant impact on the health of those around it.

This is especially true of young children and young pets. Many conventional lawn care products have links to cancers, are attributed to asthma and other respiratory illnesses, and even some digestive complaints.

Traditional versus Organic Lawn Care

The difference in the cost between traditional and organic lawn care is minimal, and sometimes even non-existent.

The main difference is while organic lawn care uses natural treatments to promote health, synthetic or traditional practices over treat (since much of the fast acting treatments will wash away with runoff- into your water table) and don’t promote health over the long term.

While nitrogen is necessary for plant growth, an organic fertilizer would provide a natural source, and an organic lawn care company would apply this in a way to minimize run off and maximize results on less treatment. A synthetic fertilizer also will contain nitrogen, but in a completely different form.

This excerpt from planetnatural.com describes the difference perfectly:

“While nitrogen, as all gardeners know, is necessary for plant growth (as are phosphorous, potassium, sulfur and other minerals), the nitrogen used in synthetic fertilizers is commonly processed from ammonia. Often, to facilitate slow-release lawn fertilizers, ammonia is mixed with urea and formaldehyde, or it’s encased in sulfur or a synthesized polymer, some of them suspected endocrine disruptors. Think your kids don’t track something bad in from the yard every time they come indoors? Think again.”

Ready to Switch to Organic Lawn Care?

All of the lawn care services provided by The Gardener are fully organic.

Curious to know how much starting an environmentally friendly program will be? Find your local owner to get a no-obligation quote.

bird photo credit to cuatrok77 under CC2.0
dog photo credit to Gregory Garnich under Cc2.0

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