Friday, April 26, 2013

How Commercial Fertilizers and Lawn Products Can Affect Your Garden’s Health



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.

About My Patriot Supply 
My Patriot Supply's Online Survival Store features a wide range of the best emergency preparedness supplies and gear.  Best known for their Survival Seed Vault, they are North America's authority on heritage heirloom seeds and farming.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring and Summer Storm Preparedness




In Spring and Summer we can expect a steady rise in temperatures, as well as the likelihood of extreme weather.   There are three top weather hazards every family should watch out for during warmer months.  This blog highlight those possible threats and how to prepare for them.

Tornadoes

Regions – All of the U.S., particularly the Midwest states and the panhandle of Texas. Florida also experiences a high number of tornadoes each year.

Tornado Emergency Kit Supplies – The best way to be prepared for a tornado is by having a home emergency kit already put together. Your kit should include the following:

·         Battery powered or hand crank flashlight
·         Batteries
·         Hand crank or battery operated radio
·         First Aid Kit
·         Glow Sticks
·         Whistle
·         Cell phone with chargers, preferably solar chargers
·         Bottled water
·         Cycle helmets or hard hats
·         Heavy blankets and pillows
·         Extra pair of glasses
·         A few days’ worth of long shelf life food for each family member
·         Tool kit with the basics or at least a pocket multi-tool

Safety Steps – When a tornado hits you may only have minutes or less to make critical decisions. It’s extremely important that you and your family have tornado practice drills regularly so that every family member knows what to do in case of an emergency.

A tornado can produce winds up to 300 miles per hour making even small, light objects dangerous projectiles. During a tornado, get in a structure whenever possible. The best places include:

·         Storm shelters
·         Basements
·         Cellars
·         Interior room on the lowest level of the building

If you are in a mobile home or vehicle get to a structure as quickly as possible. Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.

Hurricanes

Regions – Gulf coast and east coast states are the most vulnerable, but as hurricane Sandy showed us last year even the northern most eastern seaboard states can be ravaged by a hurricane. It’s critical for all people in states along these coasts and just inland to be prepared for hurricanes.

Emergency Kit Supplies – Be better prepared with the following:

·         3 day supply of water for you and each family member
·         3 days of non-perishable foods for each family member
·         Can opener
·         Hand-crank or battery operated flashligh
·         Hand-crank or battery operated radio
·         Batteries
·         First aid kit
·         Waterproof matches
·         Candles
·         Sanitation supplies such as toilet paper and garbage bags
·         Cell phone with charger and any other communication devices
·         Sturdy shoes
·         Rain gear
·         Blankets

Safety Steps – First and foremost, if an evacuation order has been given, evacuate as early as possible particularly if you live in a mobile home, high-rise or coastal property. If you are unable do evacuate keep yourself as safe as possible by:

·         Boarding up windows
·         Bringing outdoor objects indoors
·         Fill the bathtub and jugs with water for use in the toilet, etc.
·         Stay indoors away from windows and doors
·         Take shelter in an interior room on the lowest level
·         Secure the exterior door

Remember, hurricanes can spawn tornadoes so prepare accordingly using the above information.


Wild Fires

Regions – Entire U.S., particularly the southwestern states of California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Emergency Kit Supplies – Your fire safety kit should include the following:

·         Face masks
·         Gloves
·         Fire extinguisher
·         First Aid Kit
·         Sturdy pair of shoes
·         Fire tools – shovel, rake, bucket, axe
·         3 days’ worth of clean drinking water for you and each family member
·         Cell phone with charger
·         Maps of the local area
·         Copies of important documents and I.D.s

Safety Steps – No matter where you live you should prepare for fires by doing fire safety drills with your entire family. That way everyone knows exactly what to do in the event of a fire and your home has the best possibility of surviving. Fires can consume a home in minutes so preparation is critical.

If you have been ordered to evacuate do so immediately. Don’t delay leaving to pack bags. Grab your emergency kit if there isn’t one already in your car, take only important documents, lock your home and leave. As a part of your preparation map out evacuation routes that can be used in emergencies and take the one that leads you furthest away from the fire.


Being prepared for storms and fires can be life saving. Take precautions today to ensure you and your family can evacuate and react quickly by preparing an emergency kit, practicing safety drills and plotting out escape routes.