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Lawn Pesticides

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby oranger » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:27 am

fennel wrote:My understanding is that treated lawns are an especially significant source of phosphorus run-off. Compared to agricultural lands, lawns cover far less area, but farmers tend to closely monitor their application rates – both as a matter of economics and regulation. Joe homeowner, on the other hand ...


It really depends on who you listen to. UW Soil Science Dr. Wayne Kussow is convinced that phosphorous run off is a consequence of erosion and that since turf grass reduce erosion, a well maintained, treated lawn paradoxically reduces run off.

[url]
http://www.heartland.org/publications/e ... auses.html
[/url]

There is substantial evidence that most phosphorous runoff is caused by roads, malls and anywhere there is not grass.
[url]
http://www.turf.rutgers.edu/newsandeven ... soldat.pdf[/url]
Some of the folks that the county board took the recommendations from to ban phosphorous were not soil science experts but were limnologists. .
[url]
http://www.danewaters.com/pdf/20031124_ ... nopsis.pdf[/url]
snoqueen wrote: One guy actually soaked his entire lawn in Roundup not once but twice last year, believing he could get rid of all the weeds by literally killing everything on his property then starting over. The weeds came back anyway -- I think they're developing immunity.

The deal with lawns is that they are monocultures sucking out the same nutrition year after year. If the lawn is not replenished with the right balance of the Nitrogen and Potassium, other species that enjoy Nitrogen depleted soils (clover, dandilions, oxalis, chickweed) will grow until the amount of round up in the soil is so high nothing will.
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby DCB » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:07 pm

oranger wrote:
fennel wrote:My understanding is that treated lawns are an especially significant source of phosphorus run-off.


It really depends on who you listen to. UW Soil Science Dr. Wayne Kussow is convinced that phosphorous run off is a consequence of erosion and that since turf grass reduce erosion, a well maintained, treated lawn paradoxically reduces run off.

I find that argument specious.

WIth respect to fertilizers, you might minimize runoff, IF you add exactly the correct amout of NPK that your lawn needs, in a format that will be absorbed and not be washed off. That seems like more work than most people will invest.

Repeated applications of pesticides, which was the original topic, will give you a monoculture, but I doubt that a monoculture of Kentucky bluegram is any better at reducing erosion than a diversity of 'weeds'.

Of course, if you never add fertilizers or pesticides, then none of those things will be washed into the lakes. Duh.

The better solution to erosion is having a rain garden.
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Boshie » Sun Sep 26, 2010 2:15 pm

Part of the problem is with the perception of what is 'necessary' to have an attractive yard. The idea that a nice yard is equated with a 'perfect lawn' is somewhat false when you consider all of the other possibilities. If you have a lot of shade, why bother trying to grow grass? There are many great-looking shade loving plants and ground-covers available, not just hostas either. If you have sun, go for some perennial beds with flowers and shrubs that look great all year round. I have a third of my yard planted in curving beds that have no grass, just great looking plants. I get tons of comments and questions, all favorable. I don't use any pesticides, but I guarantee, the value of my home isn't compromised because of a few weeds in the lawn. It's a heck of a lot more interesting and beautiful than a monoculture of lawn. The wildlife my yard attracts adds another dimension too. If more of us planted with intent to create habitat rather than lawn we might offset some of the destruction of critical habitat that over-development has wrought. When's the last time you saw a salamander in your yard?
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Abdul » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:22 pm

Canada has a ban on the "cosmetic" use of chemicals, both besticides and herbicides. This covers their use on lawns, flower gardens, etc. They can still be used on food gardens and in agriculture.

This has led to an increased use in compost because it can supress weed growth and helps plants resist pests.

I think this is an interesting approach that we ought to consider here.

LET'S APPOINT A COMMITTEE!!!!
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Madsci » Thu Sep 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Boshie wrote: When's the last time you saw a salamander in your yard?


I have yet to see a salamander in my yard but I saw a toad an hour ago.
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Boshie » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:14 pm

There is a group in Madison called Greater Madison Healthy Lawn Team which works to educate and encourage people to use safe alternative lawn care practices. The group has a number of members, and the website is a good place to obtain info and statistics. GMHLT.org Are there more like-minded people out there? Along those same lines, if Brett Hulsey gets elected he would be an asset to the 'no pesticide' movement,
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