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Old 06-30-2009, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lawn chemicals bad! How can we fix that?

One thing that always makes me cringe when I see it is the invasion of little yellow flags on people's lawns warning to keep off the grass due to pesticide applications.

The small yellow flags usually have a symbol of children playing, and the universal "don't do this" of a circle and crossbar.

Hmmmm. I don't know about you, but I thought lawns were for playing on!

To make it even worse, I live within eyeshot of a lake. It seems that as you get closer to the lake, property values go up, and so does the likelihood of the homeowner to use a lawn service, complete with pesticide application. That means the places closest to the lake, are also the ones most likely to pollute it!

Meanwhile, I have a few more weeds on my lawn (or bio-diversity as I like to call it) and I always leave the lawn a bit longer, so it's root system can stay long and healthy and survive droughts better. (Houses closest to the lake seem to water their lawns more as well!)

I propose that we come up with some sort of a sign indicating that our lawns are INTENTIONALLY all-natural, drought-resistant, & pesticide-free. This could be a bit of a parody of those "keep off the grass" signs. Instead, the logo might show happy children and animals on a lawn, "PLAY ON THE GRASS, IT'S ALL-NATURAL" or simply indicate that "THIS IS A PESTICIDE-FREE YARD"

I imagine this sign being just a bit larger than the "keep off the grass" ones so that it is easily readable by walkers and cyclists. It would also be made from durable, recycled/recyclable outdoor materials.

Does anyone agree with this whole concept? What would you imagine to point out an "eco-friendly" yard vs the typical chemical lawn?

I could see this as having the potential to become a national campaign. We all have to start somewhere. Why not at home?

-Ben

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Old 06-30-2009, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Real yard pros don't need no freakin' poison for lawns! My time landscaping, I used 0 pesticides, and very little fertilizer, because pesticides are not the answer! Go Ben GO! Came up with this in GIMP because I had half an idea...lol Not my best work, but it's what came to mind while reading your micro-rant, which is totally justified.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe "Safe, Organic Land - no overspray, please." I hope your dandelions are still safe to eat.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Has anybody else noticed that there are no bodies of water in suburbia that are NOT covered in green scum?

We are killing everything in these ponds, and I'm sure our ground water is contaminated with fertilizer, as well as pesticides.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cosmetic "weed and feed" use has been banned in ontario. You can only get weed sprays that kill whatever they hit (roundup). I THINK that pesticides are also banned, but i may be crazy.

The totally unknown-to-the-public factor in lawn care is that fertilizers and pesticides kill all the stuff that would naturally help your lawn. So if you've been using it for years, your lawn is helpless without it. But, a simple organic re-vamp on your lawn kicks it back into shape.

I just moved into a house last october. Had I known better, i would have done a fall treatment. The previous owner used no chemicals and barely used a lawn mower, so it isn't poisoned, it is just heavily "bio-diversified" (thanks, Ben). Our front lawn has taken about 5 hours of labour to remove all but a few weeds and the back lawn that was totally fubarred with weeds and half brown-caked earth is starting to be more grassy without even pulling any weeds, just by cutting it long and spreading new seed every few weeks. The dead patches we've raked some compost over and are sprouting well. I've spent 13 dollars so far, plus about 1 liter of gas.

This fall I will give it the Corn Meal Gluten treatment and next summer I'll be enjoying a weed free yard with good bugs that like to eat the bad bugs. I could use an aeration, too.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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oh... if i put up a non-pesticide sign right now, it would send everyone running for pesticides... I need some work before i can join the revolution
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Timely subject for me Ben...

I woke up early this morning for a round of 18 holes before work...6am tee time and I'm used to the grounds crew still being on the course doing their work when I golf that early...

Much to my dismay it was "pesticide and fertilizer morning" at the course. The entire course was covered with a murky white layer of scum. It was all over my clubs, shoes, hands, etc. The ponds had a milky white film on them and all of the ducks were sitting out of the water.

And to top it off, now that I'm at work my hands feel like they have been soaking in bleach all morning. I had not golfed in two weeks (due to rain and work) and should not have this morning but it had been so long since I swung the sticks. I should have chosen differently, especially after I saw the grounds crew guy driving the pesticide tractor while wearing a full white suit with respirator mask.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's nasty... Call them and demand a free round of golf... be sure to cough a weeze while speaking to them. Just a note about the Ontario chemical ban, golf courses can still use them.
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Old 06-30-2009, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Well they post a sign on the first tee that tells you what is being done on the course that day and where it's being done (tees, fairways, greens) so I knew what I was getting into...just didn't know it was that severe today.

We've had 12 out of 13 days of rain and I'm sure it washed their course clean of all their chemicals so they were reapplying today. I just have never seen it that thick on the course because I was the first one on today and the traffic had not worn it off yet. It was sad to see all the ducks just sitting by the ponds and not in them...red flag for sure!
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Old 07-01-2009, 01:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You think the chemicals are bad? Around here, there are companies that will spray-paint your lawn if it's not green enough.

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