I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while, but just haven’t sat down to do it. A while back I talked about some common herbicides (Glyphosate, 2,4-D) and why you should steer clear of them.
Well…steering clear of them pretty much eliminates almost all common weed killers that most people have sitting in their garage. It also eliminates most lawn care service providers. Most of them won’t publish what they use…of course they will let you know it is their “exclusive” product, but really…it’s chock full of chemicals.
I even tried calling TruGreen not that long ago. A number of people in my small subdivision use TruGreen (including my neighbor…and every time I see them spraying I make sure my windows are closed and we are inside…and then I avoid coming close to their lawn for a couple days). I asked the representative what the name of the chemicals they use are – he told me they were exclusive to TruGreen, but he didn’t know the names. So I asked what the active ingredients in the products are. I was put on hold…for a while. Finally he came back saying he didn’t know and maybe I should try to call the local franchise (since the number online just goes to the national headquarters or call center or whatever it is) and maybe they could tell me.
Online research didn’t turn up much – apparently they keep things pretty tight lipped. However I did find the name of one herbicide they use – at least in some parts of the country as it can differ. This one is called Quincept – you can see the product information label here. It includes 2,4-D (13.24%!!) and Dicamba (another herbicide shown to cause acute toxicity in humans, chromosomal abnormalities and in test animals it has caused reproductive problems along with dead and abnormal cells in the liver ). If this is used some places, it makes sense that something similar is likely used all over.
You should really read the user safety information – handling and the laundering of the clothing a person wears and such that is on the label…and we put this on our lawns?
So what is a person to do?
Full disclosure and honesty here: I’m a complete newbie when it comes to natural lawn care. We have only owned a lawn for two years and I was pretty ignorant to lawn care issues for a while.
The good news – in all my reading I found a FANTASTIC article on natural/organic lawn care and maintenance. So I’ll let someone who is far more knowledgeable that I give you the 4-1-1 on how to care for your lawn. He titles the article “Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy” – that’s my kind of lawn care!
Seriously…it is so full of awesome information. I’m looking forward to working on a lot of the things he suggests.
I know my lawn will be massively helped when my other neighbor eliminates his dandelion field. He just bought the house in the fall and is planning on completely starting from scratch. However, if you find your lawn overrun with dandelions…you can make good use of them! You can make dandelion jelly!! Seriously…and it is good! I should have done it before all of them went to seed next door. Here is a site that give you instructions on how…I’m not sure if it is the way we made it growing up, but it must be pretty similar. I do remember it being a consistency between honey and jelly. But oh so delicious. And remember that fancy or crunchy restaurants will throw dandelion greens in your salad…so pick ’em and eat ’em! Might as well make the best of the situation until you can remedy it.