PRFCT Tips

Aeration Plugs2

Let Your Lawn Breathe Again!

October 13, 2017

 Your lawn is crying out for core aeration when the ground becomes compacted due to shade or heavily trafficked areas. Compaction can occur in a variety of places……where children play, on a footpath or in post-construction areas.

Compaction usually causes bare/worn looking patches in the lawn. The ground can feel hard underfoot.
Aeration is done with an aerating machine that removes soil plugs approximately 2-3 inches deep, allowing nutrients, air and water to penetrate down to the grass roots. The machine is hard to manage and is usually best handled by a professional.

The soil should be moist to begin.

Mark the irrigation system so it isn’t punctured.

Directly after aerating, spread seed and compost (or compost tea).

Water well.

The plugs will dry and return to the soil. If you are in a rush, they can be raked in.

The best time for aeration is NOW -- Fall --to get the best root regrowth and seed germination.

Ahh, that felt good!  

If you're a landscape business owner and adhere to toxin-free practices, we invite you to register in our directory. Thanks!
https://perfectearthproject.org/professionals

C0201409 Ebb1 41ba 9576 4ad4866795e0

The PRFCT time

September 30, 2017
Fall is the time for seeding, feeding, and aerating your lawn. Weeds grow in warm weather, grass prefers cool…that means the best time to fix the lawn is… fall, right now.
If there are bare areas in your lawn, reseed now, the grass can fill in and weeds will have no place to grow in the spring!
For areas that are always a problem, look for the cause.
If compacted: break up or aerate the soil.
Replace or amend poor soil with organic, weed free compost or new soil.
Too much shade? Try a shade tolerant grass or consider a Long Island native groundcover like Pennsylvania sedge and mow it just once a year.
C3549f1f 4d12 410c B7ee 44e8eb13a293
In the Fall deer rub their antlers on younger trees and can damage, disfigure and even kill them! Larger deer go after the bigger trees. The bark is literally stripped away. They start just after Labor Day, i.e., now! In one night they can really mess up a tree.
These marks are easy to spot in areas with high deer populations.
Deer have a habit of returning to the same trees, so protect them as soon as you can.
Instead of difficult and unattractive protection like plastic or chicken wire, try twine! It’s cheap and easy and if you don’t get around to taking it off in spring, let it rot.
Pollinator on a flower

June 19-25 is National Pollinator Week. Why all the buzz?

• Bees pollinate 75% of the fruit, nuts, and vegetables grown in the United States.

• Native bees are responsible for pollinating many plants endemic to the Americas, including tomatoes and eggplant.

• Over 4,000 species of bees are native to the United States. Honeybees are not—they were brought to the Americas by European settlers.

Is your yard pollinator friendly? Here’s how it can be:

• Do not apply broadcast sprays for mosquitos and ticks, especially synthetic products. Broadcast sprays kill all insects, not just pests. Even organic sprays can be toxic to bees and butterflies.

• If you plan on having an event or are especially concerned about ticks or mosquitos, apply a plant-based essential oil-based spray using a pressurized pump sprayer with a long arm that can get into small spaces. Only spray in early morning or evening when pollinators are less active.

• Plant native plants to support native insect populations. Many insects are dependent on specific plants for shelter and food (think monarchs and milkweed), and many native crops (think tomatoes and eggplants) are dependent on native insects for pollination.

• Plant host plants, not just flowers. Before you can have a garden full of butterflies, you need to provide a food source for their caterpillars. Keep in mind that these plants will get munched, but you might not even notice the damage.

• Pollinators get dehydrated, so provide a water source for your bees and butterflies. To prevent your bug bath from becoming a mosquito breeding ground, change the water frequently.

Photo credit: Indra Widi / EyeEm / Getty Images

Atrazine molecule

Atrazine is the second most widely used pesticide in the US (after glyphosate), with over 73 million pounds applied each year. A common agricultural pesticide, atrazine also is used on turf for broadleaf and grassy weed control. Because atrazine kills cool-season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, it is primarily used on lawns in warmer climates (ie. the Southeastern United States).

In humans, atrazine has been linked to:
• Endocrine disruption (what does this mean, anyway?)
• Cancer
• Birth defects and reproductive disorders
• Neurological effects
• Kidney and liver damage
• Eye and skin irritation

How are people exposed to atrazine? Not just direct contact with treated lawns, fields, and food. Atrazine is found in 94% of drinking water tested by the USDA, usually spiking in spring and summer months when it's most heavily applied. Even at extremely low levels, atrazine can interfere with human hormones, fetal development, and fertility. The European Union banned its use in 2004 over concerns that it is a groundwater contaminant.

What is endocrine disruption?

Your endocrine system is the set of glands and hormones they produce (such as estrogen, testosterone, and adrenaline) that help guide your development, growth, and reproduction. Some chemicals—known as endocrine disruptors—mimic your hormones, block hormone absorption, or otherwise alter the concentration of hormones in your body. Endocrine disrupting chemicals have been linked to ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility, and other reproductive disorders.

Sources: Beyond Pesticides and Pesticide Action Network

Photo credit: Lacuna Design / Getty Images

More Tips