Lawns can look beautiful without using pesticides and fertilizers that may contribute to water quality problems in our local waterways. |
An effective way to reduce reliance on pesticides is through the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM puts the emphasis on prevention, looks at all available information and considers all the management options. This is done before deciding on the most effective, economical and environmentally friendly means of managing a pest problem even applicable for lawns
A green and healthy lawn is relatively easy to achieve with a bit of work. A healthy lawn can be achieved by using proper maintenance practices.With a little bit of sweat and informed planning, lawns can be kept disease, weed and pest free without the use of inorganic fertilizers and toxic herbicides and pesticides.
Here are a few simple tips to reach that goal. Here's How:
1. Build a healthy soil as a base for your lawn by adding organic fertilizers and compost. Earthworms and microbes will break down the plant matter so that nutrients are slowly released to the grass roots which means that runoff of fertilizers is minimized, groundwater is not polluted and overgrowth of algae and bacteria in standing water is not promoted. Local organic garden centers or the county extension office can help with what additives to apply and when. 2. Aeration of the soil is important to maximize healthy root growth and can be accomplished simply by wearing golf shoes when mowing, using a manual fork or renting a power aerier to boost root aeration to about 4" deep. 3. De thatching, done once or twice a year, usually in the spring or fall, will remove any layers of roots, stems and leaves more than 1/2" thick so that roots will extend deeper into the soil and enhance the lawn's drought resistance. Like aeration, manual forks can be used or powered dethatchers rented to accomplish the task. Regardless of the method, remember to rake up the debris and add it to your compost pile. 4. During mowing season, mow often but leave the grass tall as very short grass is much more susceptible to pests, disease and drought. The optimum height will depend on the variety of grass, climate and any irrigation supplied. Consider trading a gasoline powered mower for an electric, corded or cordless as small gas engines are notoriously non-fuel efficient and their exhaust is highly polluting. If your lawn size, grass variety and motivation allow, switch to a manual reel type mower and skip the gym, daily jog or yoga class once a week. 5. Water the lawn deeply and infrequently to quench roots buried deeply in the soil, preferably in the early morning to minimize evaporation and to discourage fungal growth. Monitor the lawn closely for runoff in driveways, streets and sidewalks or from pooling due to lack of soil absorptivity. 6. If certain areas of the lawn are too shady, too wet or too dry to grow with the rest of the lawn, fill these spaces with a rock garden of succulents, a watering hole for birds and beneficial insects or xeriscaping with low maintenance native plants.
Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers can kill beneficial critters like earthworms, ladybugs, honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators; they pollute water supplies as well. There are many effective alternatives to using pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. You could refer to professional ppest controllers for reliable results
Don't use pesticides(herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc). -Cides suppress the soil's biological activity which in turn reduces it's ability to suppress pathogens (disease-causing microbes); -Cides also kill earthworms which build and aerate the soil. It takes a while for some soil microorganisms to get over a hit with pesticides; some species never recover-leaving your soil vulnerable to further disease and infestation. You may undo all your other good lawn practices by applying pesticides.
Go to main page Pest Control South Auckland for more information and assistance
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