Saturday, April 9, 2011

Organic Pool and Lawn Care

Spring time and the season to shock and chlorinate the pool.

How hard is it to switch a lined pool to a natural oasis in the suburbs of the Cape? With all my research on pesticides, I am constantly thinking of all chemicals and the potential hazards of each. Not only to us, but our pets, neighbors and the earth.

The beautiful photo above is courtesy of Clear Water Revival and I highly suggest you visit this site, if not just to look at the nice gallery of pool ideas and the neat flash button and background animation!

Research on Chlorine and swimming pools has found links between chlorine and respiratory distress, including asthma, wheezing and bronchitis.

"Infant swimming may not be such a good idea: swimming under the age of 2 years favours bronchiolitis" by the European Respitory Society

Sustainable pool care may be just as important as natural lawn care.

At our dragonfly and newt loving, homestead pond, which was lovingly carved out of the earth by yours truly… I’m thinking about wild sage. For the dragonflies of course. Also wild rice, sunflower, millets and other sorghum for upcoming ducks. I am pondering upon why my driveway is dirt and not deep rooted native grasses.

Think I need some bushes too. Possibly high bush and low bush blueberry cover.

Spring time and the season to... run over each other with lawnmowers ! ?

"Each year, approximately 75,000 Americans are seriously injured in lawn mower accidents and 10,000 of those accidents involve children."

"More than 30% (of)these injuries result in an amputation of some sort, meaning more than 22,000 limbs and digits are lost to lawn care each year solely considering mowing accidents."

"A conventional lawn mower pollutes as much in an hour as 40 late model cars (or as much air pollution as driving a car for 100 miles)."

"Over 17 million gallons of fuel, mostly gasoline, are spilled in North America every summer while lawn equipment is being refueled, which can lead to contamination of groundwater. (This is more than all the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, in the Gulf of Alaska.) "

"Gas lawn mowers emit 10 to 12 times more hydrocarbons than a typical automobile per hour of operation. Weed-eaters emit 21 times more and leaf blowers emit 34 times more."

Prior information is from an EPA .PDF labeled LawnCare

Why is the EPA so important? Because they tell us what's real. Here in the US, EPA funding is threatened, even while other United Nation EPA's are banning pesticides left and right! Can I say industry bought?

The Late Great American Lawn Care Way: Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers

An unreleased study I read, which polled 5 cities, one in each of the northeastern states, ended with the authors stating “The results are encouraging” responding to the willingness and common sense approach of lawn abiding residents to change their activities the least while still engaging “in environmentally responsible lawn care” to lesson their impact on water quality.

Glad to read the majority of pollees either replied it was ‘Not Important’ or they were ‘Neutral’ on the issue of a clover free lawn. I’m glad you are with us clover lovers of the northeast!

This study Data also found that product packaging is the most common source of information and the most trusted sources are Master Gardeners and University Extensions. So, here's a list of...

University Extensions' Lawn Care Centers, Research and Advice

    What's On the Full Specimin Label of a Pesticide Product?

    Products containing 2,4-D, Mecoprop and Dicamba are some of the most common ingredients in conprehensive pesticide "Weed and Feed" systems. Products containing these ingredients include: “Killex”, “Weed B Gone MAX", "PAR III", "Trillion", "Tri-Kil", "Weedaway Premium 3-Way XP Turf Herbicide", "Trimec" and “Riverdale Triplet SF SELECTIVE HERBICIDE”.

    The specimen label for Riverdale's “Triplet” strictly states “Corrosive, causes irreversible eye damage. Do not get in eyes, or on skin or clothing. Avoid inhalation of spray mists. Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Remove saturated clothing as soon as possible and shower.”

    If this container is between 1 and 5 gallons, “then persons engaged in open pouring of this product must also wear coveralls or a chemical-resistant apron.” “Applicators and other handlers who handle this pesticide for any use NOT covered by the Worker Protection Standard (40 CFR Part 170)—in general only agricultural plant uses are covered by the WPS--” (so that’s us yard gardeners) “must wear face shield, goggles, or safety glasses and long pants, long-sleeved shirt, socks, shoes and rubber gloves when mixing, loading or applying this product.”

    For cool season grasses including: Bluegrass, Fescue and Rye, which pertains to us in the Northeast,—“Use this product at the rate of 3 to 4 pints per acre” That is merely 6-8 cups per acre, showing just how poisonous the product is. That’s a lot of concerns and protective gear for killing some pesky crab grasses and weeds.


    Let's keep in mind all things that are affected by our lawn care, whether it's an environment for our pleasure and growth or maintained for the purpose of supporting the food and water needs of us and our communities.

    Thorton, NH

    If we are going to make a change in our lawn care impact let’s start with quality native grass.

    Pearls Premium boasts a 12inch root system in merely one year. As well as, a need to mow only once per month and applying compost twice a year. So for us, that enjoy visiting our lawn just to take care of it: Let's save energy and reduce run-off, water less and feed more, cut less and relish in it's natural beauty more. Time to take the croquet set out!


    Houston Mowing Services said...

    The very best is to going back to good old days. The natural way, the organic way. That can be the best option for getting healthier lawns. Which I recommend.

    Kaija said...

    I agree, organic and natural ways are the most effective and healthiest. It is so difficult to convince the people who believe chemicals are easier and more effective, when really they are damaging the things they are trying to grow and ruining soil for long periods of time. *sigh*

    Annie Monie said...

    When caring for your lawn, you should in no way ignore the effects that it may have on your immediate environment. You should see to it that the quality of water in your local watershed is not adversely affected by your lawn care methods. Are you wondering how this is possible? What happens is that the superfluous water from your lawn ends up in the lakes, ponds or rivers through various drains. If your lawn water is affected by organic matter or pesticides, it will also seep into the lakes or rivers in the surroundings.

    Lawn Care Vacaville CA

    Kaija said...

    Great point Annie!