Saturday, July 28, 2007

Day Thirty-One - Psssst, Want Some Weed?

Stop Using Weed Killers on the Lawn

HaHaHa! Got your attention with that title, didn't I? The old' bait and switch.

Weed killers, not suprisingly, are full of all sorts of nasty chemicals. Chemicals that are designed to, well, kill stuff. Now get ready for the really shocking news - these chemicals are bad for the environment. Too sarcastic? Sorry, it's been one of those days.... Anyhow, back to the post.

I know, I know, a lot of you don't care if you're growing Kentucky blue, a nice fescue, or a clover patch, just so long as it's green. I know, because that's how I felt when I lived in the country with 5 acres to mow. In fact, I was generally happier if it didn't grow, as it cut down on the work. Now that I'm a true-blue suburbanite, though, I take my quarter acre of greenery pretty seriously, as do all my neighbors. No longer content to grow a mishmosh of crabgrass, plantain and poison ivy, I have resorted to "lethal measures" in an attempt to keep up with Lars, Bob and -- the envy of all neighbors' lawns -- Earl aka the YardMan.

Well consider me out of the race folks. That's right, I give. I have reached my breaking point and I can't go any further. I am simply not willing to pollute our soil and water supply, for the sake of Gillette Stadium quality turf. I do, however, have some tips on how to keep the weeds at bay, the natural way and I'll share them with you now.

  1. Stop mowing your lawn. - Not entirely, but give it some time to "seed". If you wait long enough between mowings, you'll see little sprouty things that are grass seeds. Let's these puppies do their thing, or at least sprout seeds before you mow. More grass = less space for weeds.
  2. Seed. Seed. Seed. - Same science involved in number one, but this requires more participation on your part. Head over to Lowe's and pick up a big bag of seed. Seed any bare areas or spots that are weedy.
  3. Pluck 'em. - Remember the days of "weed pulling". They're back baby. Cuz if your lawn is small enough to care about the weeds, it's small enough to weed by hand. If you do this, though, put all the pulled weeds in a bag and relocate them to the compost pile or toss them in the woods. If you pull them and lay them on the lawn, guess what they'll do? That's right, they'll take root and grow more!

All of these suggestions will help. although in the end, you may just need to get over your vanity and take pride in a new kind of "Green Lawn". Maybe you'll start a new trend on your block. I'll let you know if I do.


Previously, I had the "lawn people" come once a month to treat the lawn. I have since switched from ChemLawn (the name kind of says it all, don't you think?) to Natural Lawn of America they use all natural products and minimal weed killers. If you ask them, they will skip use of ALL weed killers on your lawn. Good folks. Of course, every garage has at least one spray bottle of Round-Up or other toxic potion for killing weeds and ours is no exception. This week I will be taking it to the hazardous waste disposal unit in our county. And I vow to never buy it again. Even if I am about to be eaten alive by an out-of-control dandelion monster.

Difficulty Level - 1 out of 5

Like so many of my posts, this task isn't so much about DOING something good as it is about NOT DOING something bad. Day after day, we habitually pollute our environment, without a second thought as to how it affects our water supply, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the children we produce. However, if you do take just a moment to think before you act -- to look at how your actions, purchases, activities affect the environment -- you'll find it's usually pretty easy to do the right thing.

Keep on keepin on, friends.

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