In the recent years, potential hazards associated with lawn and garden chemicals have been on a steady rise. With extensive scientific studies it has been proved that several pesticides and chemicals used in lawns and gardens are tracked into our home and can be found in carpets, on tables or other surfaces. Many municipalities have banned certain chemicals to bring an end to the dangers caused by their use.
Why Natural Alternatives?
Many lawn and garden chemicals not only pollute water and environment but are also hazardous for children and pets. Since the internal organs of the children are in the developmental stage, it is difficult for them to detoxify toxins. The pesticides used commonly in our homes consists of several carcinogens, some chemicals could even cause birth defects, damage to liver, kidney and disrupt the endocrine system.
Refuse Lawn and Garden Chemicals
This is the high time to prevent your family and environment free from harmful chemicals by adopting natural and safer alternatives to these chemicals. Here is the list of six natural alternatives to lawn and garden chemicals.
1. Lawn Care: The first and foremost step is to know about your garden. Have your soil tested and determine its pH and nutrient needs. Accordingly, choose the right grass; mow it to the right height and water wisely. This will keep your lawn free from weeds and healthy.
2. Companion Planting: It is a planting in which different crops are planted in proximity so that they could help each other in pollination, nutrient uptake and pest control. When a certain crop is planted in a garden for a long time it becomes a permanent target of a particular pest. This could be avoided by growing certain plants which repel a variety of pests. These plants include asters, marigold, garlic, petunias etc. This method hence cuts down the use several lawn chemicals.
3. Composting: This method effectively reduces the dependence on fertilizers. It provides free soil amendment as it increases the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients. It also protects the plants by providing mulch (a protective covering of organic matter to prevent evaporation of moisture, growth of weeds etc.).
4. Biocontrol: It is a method to control weeds and pests in your garden. Select the plants which can attract the insects and animals that destroy the weeds and bugs in your garden. You can purchase beneficial insects such as ladybugs, ground beetles and praying mantis which eat the harmful insects. Loose them in your garden. Certain plants such as garlic, petunias, chives etc. also repel aphids.
5. Aerate and Dethatch your garden: It is very important to aerate the soil in order to reduce the dependence on fertilizers. Remove the plugs of soil by using aerating machine. Dethatching involves removing the woody parts of the grass on the surface of lawn. For this dethatching rake could be employed. These methods will keep your lawn healthy in a greener way.
6. Hot water: Hot water could be effectively used for weed control. Pour the boiling water directly on the weeds. This will stop the growth of the weeds. Pull out the weeds from the surface and then pour boiling water where the weeds were in order to destroy the roots completely. Hot water could also be employed for killing pests. Pour hot water on the ant nests to destroy them completely.
The Bottom Line
In addition to the above methods, there are certain chemicals which are non-toxic and can effectively be used as an alternative to lawn and garden chemicals. These include hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, epsom salt etc. Certain natural and organic chemicals are also available in the market if you don’t want to make your own garden chemicals; for example: bone meal and blood meal.
Going for natural alternatives is worth it as it will not only make your lawn and gardens healthy and free from toxic and hazardous chemicals but is also safe for your family and environment