January 20, 2009

Organic gardening methods

Most home owners take lot of pride in caring for their homes both inside and out, and try to make their home the best that it can be. Nice landscaping makes a person feel welcomed to the home.

Having the correct tools and lawn care products is essential to getting your garden and lawn looking its very best. Far too many people believe that the way to achieve this is through the use of pesticides and other chemicals to eliminate weeds and keep bugs under control. People do not realize that they can have a really beautiful lawn and garden using organic gardening methods, and they won’t be harming the environment in the process.

Fertilizers used on today’s lawns are full of chemicals the worst of these being nitrates and phosphates. Since it takes several pounds of fertilizer to treat one lawn, you are exposing your family and pets to a great deal of toxic products. Fertilizers are known to trigger asthma, are a known carcinogen, and cause neurological problems in young children and pets. Worse yet these chemicals get into the soil and into our drinking water supply.

So what can you do to make the switch to organic gardening? The first change you should make is to switch to using natural compost. Despite what people think, composting is not difficult. Simply purchasing a compost container where you dispose of food scraps, pet dropping, and your lawn and leaf litter is the first step. By its very nature, the amount of composting material generated, will be a lot less that the amount of material that you start out with. You want to save your materials all year long to make enough compost to serve your garden.

Having good soil will produce a much healthier and longer root system, which will in turn produce healthier plants and grass. Long roots require less water to keep it green. This will cut back on your water bill as well.

Many communities are under water restrictions, so having good soil and a good root system will allow you to have a lovely lawn and garden despite those water restrictions.

It is also important to know that watering should be done in the early morning hours to avoid loss of water to evaporation. Watering in the heat of the day will result in most of the water being evaporated before being used by the plants. Watering during the nighttime hours exposes your lawn to fungus.

Another way to preserve the water you use is by adding a layer of mulch over the top of the soil to reduce evaporation loss.

If you are the type that enjoys spending a lot of time on your lawn, use organic gardening methods. This will keep toxic chemicals from harming your family and pets.

The use of native plants is another good organic practice. To avoid disappointment, choose the proper plants and grass that grow in your area. Not all plants grow in all area, and may need extra water and care to survive.

There is a benefit to choosing native grass and giving at a good root system. Those lawns hold up much better to foot traffic and child’s play. You certainly wouldn’t want a lawn that everyone has to stay off in order for it to look nice.

Far too many individuals immediately reach for chemicals to kill off weeds. It is important to first find out what type of weed is growing to indentify the problem you are having. Overwatering may produce weeds that thrive in a wet environment. Simply cutting down on the amount of water you are using will eliminate the problem.

Some weeds can actually be beneficial to your lawn, and you may want to leave them alone. They can serve as a natural fertilizer for your yard. The rest of the weeds should be either pulled out by hand or to use tools to remove them. Just make sure you pull them from the roots up so they can’t re-grow as easily.

Many people just run weeds over with their lawnmowers. This is not a good idea as there are seeds in the weeds. Cutting them with the lawnmower will result in the weeds spreading all over the place. This will result in your having more weeds in more areas than when you began.

One final change you need to make before you go organic is to choose the proper lawn mower. A reel type mower puts no pollutants into the air and does not produce noise pollution. You also get the benefit of exercise using a reel lawn mower.

The next best choice is an electric mower. This type mower has improved over the years. They are now battery operated and do not require a long electric cord to operate. Last is the gas powered lawn mower. These are probably the most polluting device used by homeowners. One hour of using a lawn mower is equivalent to driving 1300 miles in an automobile. To truly go organic, ditch the gas lawn mower.

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