PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Water"

Irrigation running all spring!!….Your lawn needs deep roots; down where it is cool and damp when the heat of summer comes.  Best way to get them down there is to let them go looking for it now. Watering early in the season makes roots lazy. They stay on top, where they will be susceptible to insects and sun later on. Watering now can cause fungus and disease problems later. Watering now encourages weed seed germination.  Watering now breeds mosquitoes and ticks, so... 

WAIT TO IRRIGATE!  

Don’t run your system until the weather is hot and dry.  Lawn grass will need watering when it wilts. How will you know? Wilted grass shows your footprint. Generally, late June.

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Lobster is a summer time staple, especially along coastal areas but did you know that lobster populations have been declining in recent years?

Lobsters are arthropods, like spiders and all insects. Because of these biological similarities, lobsters, like insects, are susceptible to pesticides.

Almost anything that will kill an insect will kill a lobster. Laboratory testing has shown that lobsters are particularly sensitive to insecticides, even minuscule amounts.

While this is not the only factor in the decline of lobsters and other aquatic species, scientists, fishermen and the seafood industry have all voiced concern about the potential link between pesticides and the loss of a once healthy industry. Just another good reason to spray yourself, not your landscape.

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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.

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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.

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