PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Lawns"

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The word lawn comes from the Old English for an “open space." Both European and American aristocracy had estates with lawns, but working class people used their land to grow food. 

A big change came for the American “lawnscape” in the 1950s in response to the trauma of WWII. In new, orderly housing developments such as Levittown, the first neighborhood lawn standards were adopted. Military uniformity prevailed with ready access to cheap, war-surplus chemicals that had been rebranded as lawn fertilizers and pesticides. Now a $60 billion per year industry, lawn grass is the cheapest landscape to plant and the most expensive to maintain.        

In order to thrive, American lawns consume 20 trillion gallons of water, 90 million pounds of fertilizer, 78 million pounds of pesticides and 600 million gallons of fossil fuels per year. We now know so much more about how dangerous and unnecessary these chemicals are, and how many resources are drained maintaining on our yards. 

The next generation of lawns will be less toxic and more environmentally friendly: smaller (think area rug instead of wall-to-wall), more biodiverse and chemical free.

Paul At Bridge

Green Thumb Guru

June 08, 2018

Get the Dirt on Lawns from our Expert

The growing season is finally underway and you can forget endlessly searching Google and YouTube or trying to get the right information out of your garden store associate...

Our PRFCT expert Paul Wagner will be on site at Bridge Gardens every Tuesday from 3-5PM to answer all of your lawn and land care questions and provide sustainable, organic and chemical-free solutions for every landscape need.

From now through October, take advantage of this incredible free resource and learn how to have a beautiful, safe and healthy lawn that supports biodiversity as well as your needs. Let our soil expert guide you in the creation of your own PRFCT personal nature preserve!

36 Mitchell Lane, Bridgehampton NY 11932

This opportunity is brought to you by Perfect Earth Project, Peconic Land Trust and Greener Pastures Organics.

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Wait to Irrigate

April 06, 2018

April showers provide plenty of water for May flowers, and lawns. So why irrigate now? This is the time when the weather is cool, your soil is moist way down deep and roots are happily growing and establishing themselves.

When your irrigation system is opened, don’t start the clock! Watering too much too early makes for lazy, shallow roots which will quickly dry out in the hot summer sun.

Wait to irrigate until your lawn and landscape really need water – generally not until mid-June. If you can see your footprints in the grass, it is wilted and could use a drink. More to follow on that when the time comes.

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Pre-emergent are herbicides designed to kill weed seeds BEFORE they sprout. They are usually granular and are applied to lawns and flower beds in the spring, but they persist for three months – that means prolonged time for human exposure. 

Below we have gathered important information about some typical active ingredients and their effects:

Prodiamine – carcinogen, neurotoxicity
Pendimethalin – extremely toxic to fish and aquatic organisms
Isoxaben – possible carcinogen, kidney/liver damage, toxic to birds
Oxyfluorfen – possible carcinogen, reproductive, birth and development effects, kidney/liver damage, skin irritant, toxic to fish and aquatic organisms
Oryzalin – kidney/liver damage, skin irritant, birth and developmental effects, toxic to fish and aquatic organisms
Trifluralin – extremely toxic to fish and aquatic organisms

Also, since the active ingredient is usually only 1% ... what are the 99% "other ingredients" ? They are often a blend of equally toxic ingredients that amplify the deadly effectiveness, which means they are even more toxic for you too.

Safe alternative? Although corn-gluten is often recommended as an organic pre-emergent for lawns, it is expensive, and timing is too critical to be effective, so we don’t recommend it. The PRFCT nature-based approach to weed control is to outcompete weeds in lawns. Overseed lawns in the fall or early spring before weeds germinate. In shrub and flower beds plant many small plants close together, leaving little to no space or sun for weeds. More plants is always a better option for filling space than bark mulches from far away.

Neighborhood

Firstest Greenest Lawns

March 23, 2018

If a green lawn is a sign of health, then the first brightest, greenest lawn in the spring has to be good, right? If you knew that what it takes to make a lawn jump the season, you might think differently.

Nature has its own schedule, worked out over millenia. Greening up earlier than nature intends requires heavy doses of fast-acting nitrogen. Much of it ends up in runoff and pollutes your nearby beloved water bodies. Over-fertilization causes fast, weak growth, at the expense of deep, healthy roots. This chemical-fueled growth is more susceptible to fungal diseases and insect attacks, which means more chemicals will be needed later on to correct preventable issues. This is the beginning of a cycle of chemical dependence – your lawn on drugs.

Why do you need your lawn to be green before its time? Will you think differently? When you see early green lawns, will you give them the (green) thumbs down? Will you be proud that your lawn will not join the party until it is old enough to drink (natural nutrients) responsibly?

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