What's NEEDED on this newsgroup are answers to the questions that have been
asked instead of maniacal responses about the dangers of fertilizers and
chemicals. I think most adults on this newsgroup are aware that all
substances may be hazardous if used improperly. That includes the organic as
well as the inorganic ones.
Besides, I have not FLAMED anyone. I have only responded in kind to those
who have attacked me.
Reread the posts.
Getting back to the original question:
my nemisis as far as lawn weeds go is 'ground ivy'. Great looking
flowers in the spring but takes over the lawn afterwards. I have tried
various lawn fertilizers with weed control and home remedies spraying at
certain times of the year but nothing seems to work as well as taking an
hour every evening in warm weather and getting down on the grass and
pulling it out by hand (sort of meditative too)....
Ummm, 1,100,000 actually is equal to 1.1 million, and if you multiply
that by 1,000 you get 1,100,000,000 which is 1 billion 100 million.
You stated that 1,100,000 x 1,000 = 1,100,000.
Her math is not so fuzzy. I cannot vouch for the source of her
As noted, it is always a good idea to actually READ the posts before jumping
in to attack. And it helps one's credibility to counter an argument with
some facts of your own. "Hound Dog" fails on both counts.
HD, if you bother to reread what I wrote, I said the estimate (yes, an EPA
"estimate" based on sales figures of the products) of 1.1 million pounds
annually was for MY immediate area only. I furthered that statement with
statistics provided by the EPA (do your own search to confirm or refute) for
1997, which provided a total of 4.6 billion pounds of pesticides (didn't
include fertilizers) consumed that year in the US, of which only 3/4's was
attributed to agricultural uses - the rest to homeowners. So explain to me
where the fuzzy math is - 1.1 million x 1000 = 1+ billion in my book and 25%
of 4.6 billion = 1.15 billion, but perhaps your math is different.
Regardless of how many billion, it is still an astronomically higher figure
than the 'few" pounds you attribute (without anything to support it, I might
Yes, I believe you are uninformed - your initial statement certainly
supports that contention. And I doubt you have bothered to do any personal
research to either support your view or counter mine. If you want a site to
verify figures and data, check the EPA
This is only one of many.
FWIW, I am not a fanatic but I do make it a point to be well informed about
issues which affect my livelihood (professional horticulturist) and my
environment and to dispute the veracity of wild ass claims made by folks who
don't have a clue what they are talking about.
I did my share of the work on my grandfathers farm when I was a young boy,
including helping to harvest the crops.
I have recently retired and my health is still excellent. My grandfather was
approaching 100 when he died and he was still planting and harvesting crops
the day he passes away. So, what's your point, if you have one?
I guess you eat only organically grown food and have a bicycle to ride on so
you don't pollute the air.
What do these chemicals you are referring to degrade into?
What is the filtration capacity of a typical lawn?
What happens when the lawn becomes saturated? (if I read some current
post correctly, extremely little soil particulate is incorporated into
What is the mechanism whereby these new chemicals decompose? I assume
they are not inherently unstable (or else they would lose efficacy in
transit or sitting on the store shelves)
What are some representative products and the university your are
Start out with a good soil test. Your local extension service
will either be able to provide you with a soil test, or provide
addresses of labs that offer soil testing. You'll need to take
a proper sample from several areas of the yard and then mix them
together if the soils appear pretty much the same, or do several
samples if the soils appear different.
While you're at it, cut a chunk of sod out and take a good look
at it.. are the roots all in the top inch of soil? Is there
a heavy layer of thatch? Is there something different about
soil in the top inch than down a bit further? These are all
cues that you've got work to do on a lawn.
Tell the people doing the soil test that it's a lawn sample, and
you'll probably need recommendations for potassium and phosphorous
and lime for lawns in your area, along with an estimation of soil
texture (my guess is, given lots of dandelions, your soil is probably
pretty compacted and low in organic matter).
Follow the recommendations you'll get back for fertilizing and for
lime (which will require repeated applications, most likely).
Read up on lawn grasses that are useful in your area (again, Extension
Service probably has good pamphlets on this) and with your sun and shade
Based on your reading, on the soil analysis, and on how much work you
want to do and when, you may want to zorch the entire lawn, work in
organic matter and/or sand to a goodly depth (and install underground
watering lines, change the drainage around your house, install french
drains, etc.) and start from scratch, or you may want to renovate the
lawn over time. Or you may choose to reduce or eliminate the lawn entirely.
If you do choose lawn, learn to mow properly. You can't let it get
up to the eaves, and then scalp it down to the ground so you only
have to do it once a month or so... for most lawn grasses, you need
to mow fairly high (2-3"), and never remove more than 1/3 of the height
at each mowing. Trust me, mowing more often is much easier than fighting
the battle of the lawn weeds constantly.
The real secret to weed control is "canopy closure"... weeds grow
in open soil. Give your lawn grasses the soil and water and mowing
they need, and they'll crowd out the weeds.
IMHO, a really good book for beginning lawn and garden renovaters is
Anna Carr's Rodale Press book, "Rodale's Chemical-Free Yard and Garden".
They do a nice job of starting with soil and amending it as needed,
then choosing plants suited to your soil and climate - which means a
whole lot less work and expense in the long run. I'm not an organic
gardener (I garden on the LISA model (low-input, sustainable
agriculture)), but the information in this book is pretty solid and
there's nothing in it that can really hurt your community, in contrast
to many of the other lawn care books. And it's readable and doable.
Kay Lancaster firstname.lastname@example.org
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