Organic Lawn Care vs. Traditional Lawn Care
If the number one goal of your lawn fertilization service this year is to be completely weed free, we want to share some information that may change your mind. The number one herbicide used for killing weeds is 2,4-D, or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. Agent Orange, the notorious defoliant used in Vietnam, is a close chemical compound cousin of 2,4-D. It was developed during World War II, mostly as a weapon to destroy an enemy’s rice crops. Despite its history, 2,4-D has long been seen as safe for consumer use. 2,4-D is the main ingredient found in virtually all “Weed + Feed” products. We have removed 2,4-D from all our our organic lawn programs.
2,4-D also appears to affect human hormones, and The National Institute of Health Sciences lists it as a suspected endocrine disrupter. Several studies point to its possible contribution to reproductive-health problems and genetic mutations. More than 170 municipalities in Canada have banned lawn pesticides, especially on public spaces like school yards and sports fields. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have banned 2,4-D. In 2009, the European Parliament passed laws banning 22 pesticides that can cause cancer or disrupt human hormones or reproduction.
The Problem With 2,4-D
In 1986, The National Cancer Institute (NCI) study found that farmers exposed to 2,4-D for 20 or more days a year had a sixfold higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Another NCI study showed that dogs were twice as likely to contract lymphoma if their owners used 2,4-D on their lawns. As an owner of a Pitbull who had lymphoma, (I use to put 2,4-D on my lawn) I will never put down harmful chemicals like that again.
Possibly the worst part of 2,4-D is the fact that it kills clover. Clover lawns were highly sought after just a few decades ago. Homeowners in the 50’s and 60’s would actually plant clover seeds instead of grass seeds. Clover pulls nitrogen out of the air and fixes it in the soil. Without clover, soil becomes nitrogen poor and fails to support plant life. Lawn care companies now replace the depleted nitrogen, which homeowners used to get for free from clover, with synthetic nitrogen.
In a study out of Denver, kids whose yards were treated with pesticides were found to be four times more likely to have soft-tissue cancers than kids whose yards were not. Elsewhere, links had been found between brain tumors in children and the use of weed killers, pest strips, and flea collars.
While mowing your lawn is extremely important to the health of your lawn, so is hiring a lawn fertilization service. At Bolton Lawn Care, we do not believe in using pesticides or herbicides for lawn care applications. We only apply organic based Espoma fertilizer for our organic lawn care program, or Lesco synthetic fertilizer for those who want an added boost to the lawn. Neither or these products contains 2,4,D or other post-emergent chemicals.
Our Organic Lawn Program Schedule
- Pre-Emergent Crabgrass Control And Lawn Fertilizer
2. Fertilizer Application #2 (Late Spring)
3. Fertilizer Application #3 (Summer)
4. Fertilizer Application #4 and Lime (Fall)
Aeration And Overseeding can be added on with Application #4
5. Fertilizer Application #5 (Late Fall)