Growing a healthy garden takes patience, work and lots of care. Oftentimes gardeners use fertilizers and lawn care products in order to improve their grass, plants and garden, not knowing that they may actually be doing more harm than good.
Lawn Products That Can Compromise Your Garden
To have a lush, green yard and robust plants you don’t need to use chemical warfare on weeds and bugs. Non-organic, commercial lawn care products have been shown to cause health as well as environmental problems, yet don’t offer truly better benefits than their organic counterparts.
Fertilizers – When you hear fertilizer you probably think of more natural products added to soil to help plants grow. However, many fertilizers are synthetic and petroleum-based. The synthetic nitrates are often processed with ammonia and then mixed with formaldehyde and urea. The EPA has deemed fertilizers safe to use, when they are used properly. However, in pursuit of greener pastures people tend to overdo it putting the health of the earth and others at risk. These unnatural elements will sink into the soil and also runoff into water systems contaminating them.
Pesticides – Many pesticides are comprised of abrasive chemicals that are good at getting rid of bugs but can leech into garden plants that will ultimately be consumed. In fact, pesticides have been known to runoff into waterways and infect fish that are then eaten by people who in turn can become ill. Numerous studies show that many common pesticides have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems. Farmers have begun moving away from using pesticides in recent years, but use on personal lawns hasn’t slowed yet.
Herbicides – Herbicides are also chemicals that can have adverse effects on the health of pets, plants and people. Overuse of herbicides is a common occurrence, especially when fertilizers that already contain herbicides are used. Like Pesticides and non-organic fertilizers, herbicides have been linked to cancer.
Protecting Your Garden from Accidental Exposure
If you plan to use non-organic fertilizers and weed killers on flowerbeds and lawns you’ll have to take a few extra precautions to ensure your garden is safe.
Don’t use chemicals on plants that are upstream from your garden. The runoff from a good rain can run the products down to your fruits and vegetables.
- Clean gardening and yard tools that have come in contact with chemicals and harsh lawn products.
- A truly sustainable and independent garden uses natural alternatives in for fertilizing, and controlling pests and weeds. Compost and yard clippings make great fertilizers. Instead of preventing possible weeds dig them up if they occur and use ladybugs to get rid of pests.
- Going organic has been on the rise now that people are more aware of the effects that synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides have on plants and people. There are lots of organic products that can be found at chain home improvement stores and garden centers.
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