Why An Organic Landscape?

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Living Resources Company - BUGS Parent Company
Providing organic horticultural services for the greater Sacramento California area.

Questions commonly asked about lawn and landscape care:

Josephs CoatWhy maintain your landscape organically?

It saves you money, protects the environment and creates a beautiful landscape you, your family, friends and neighbors can safely enjoy. Organic methods create an environmentally balanced landscape greatly reducing pest problems. Naturally managed landscapes are also more drought tolerant.

Why not use chemical fertilizers?

There are millions of highly beneficial organisms living in the soil. They play a critical role in assisting plants obtain moisture and nutrients while helping to combat insect and disease pests. Chemical fertilizers harm or destroy these vital beneficial organisms. Chemical fertilizers do not take into account the natural soil fertility. This usually results in the use of inappropriate fertilizer ingredients creating nutrient toxicities and deficiencies.

Most chemical fertilizers are fast acting which can burn plant roots and sometimes kill them. Fast release chemical fertilizers generate rapid, deep green leaf growth that may look very attractive. However, the fast growth results in weak imperfectly formed leaves that are very susceptible to pest attack. This often results in pest damage and the need for costly pest control treatments.

LRC's organic fertilization program uses the proper combination and amounts of natural fertilizer materials custom designed to improve and enhance the fertility of your soil. The result is a more fertile soil and healthier pest resistant plants. Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly. They are not harmful to plant roots. The growth of beneficial soil organisms is stimulated and plant growth is at a normal rate assisting in natural pest resistance.

Are lawn and landscape pesticides safe?

The health and environmental safety of pesticides is unknown. Agricultural chemicals (in particular pesticides) have not been adequately tested. Ninety percent of the pesticides registered for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are missing safety tests required for registration. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) claimed that 32 out of the 34 most widely used products on turf are lacking health and safety data required for registration. Anne Bloom of Public Citizen stated at a U.S. Congressional inquiry, "Of the 40 pesticides that compromise over 95% of the chemicals used by commercial lawn care firms, 12 are suspected carcinogens, 21 have been shown to cause long-term health effects in lab animals or humans, and 20 have been shown to cause short-range damage to human central nervous systems."

Chemical lawn care firms claim the materials they use are safe. Are these claims justified?

No! The U.S. General Accounting Office believes the chemical lawn care industry makes inappropriate safety claims in advertisements and verbal communications with the public. (i.e., "Practically non-toxic," "Safe to use", "Our products are practically non-toxic"). At a congressional hearing associate director for GAO, Peter F. Guerrero, testified, "We believe that the public should be protected from pesticide advertisements that convey the impression of safety... The (lawn care) industry continues to make advertising claims that its products are safe or non-toxic while federal enforcement actions against such claims remain limited."

Many landscape care companies state the chemicals they use are approved by EPA. That is deceptive and untrue. EPA does not approve any chemicals but only registers them. Registration is by no means a statement of approval or of safety.

Are pesticides necessary to maintain a healthy, green lawn and landscape?

No! A properly managed, totally organic landscape maintenance systems typically do not require the use of pesticides! Increasing numbers of university studies from around the country are confirming that a properly designed organic fertilization and management program can prevent many lawn and landscape diseases while choking out weeds. Healthy plants living in a soil with an abundance of beneficial organisms are better able to resist insect pests.