Homeowners in heavily populated suburbia feel pressure to attain the perfect lawn. They use three times more pesticide per acre than the average farmer. The release of lawn chemicals into the environment significantly impacts our air and water quality. Scientific studies1 are now linking lawn pesticides to several types of cancer, neurological disease and birth defects. Children, spending much of their time playing outdoors and playing on carpeting inside where lawn chemical residues have been brought in on our shoes, are particularly vulnerable.

This spring you can transition your lawn to organic:

  1. Start by letting your grass be mowed at a higher height. This will help to shade out crabgrass and will encourage longer roots. Grass plants with longer roots are able to grab more nutrients from the soil and can make it through hot, dry periods with less watering.
  2. Cut with sharp mower blades to reduce the risk of frayed edges that may be an entry point for disease.
  3. Recycle your grass clippings into the lawn where they will serve as free fertilizer.
  4. Find out what your soil needs. Contact www.soiltest.uconn.edu for more information.
  5. A balanced organic fertilizer application will keep fertility up while adding vital organic matter to the soil.
  6. If none of this appeals to you, contact a NOFA-accredited organic land care professional at www.organiclandcare.net !!

1For more information, visit: Pesticide Action Network and Beyond Pesticides.