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Organic lawn care works, but many still don't utilize it

Thursday, December 30, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: organic, lawn care, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recent report published in the journal HortTechnology has revealed that, despite literally being green, grass and lawn care management techniques are far from being "green" in the environmental sense. Even though organic lawn care techniques exist and work just as well, if not better than, conventional methods, most homeowners and professional lawn care companies continue to use toxic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers instead.

Researchers from Purdue University in Indiana compared four different lawn care techniques to see which ones fared best in terms of overall lawn health and aesthetic appearance. They found that organic methods typically work just as well as conventional ones, but many people are either unaware of this, or falsely believe that organic methods are somehow inferior.

Victoria A. Caceres, Cale A. Bigelow and Douglas S. Richmond, authors of the study, explained that the reason organic methods have not been more widely adopted involves "a combination of high aesthetic standards and a perceived lack of reliability or cost effectiveness associated with biologically based alternatives." But in reality the team found that "the natural organic program produced lawns of similar quality on the majority of rating dates."

Besides aesthetics and effectiveness, the team also measured the economic differences in terms of overall costs among the management methods. They found that the organic method cost more than the competing conventional methods, indicating that many consumers are likely still using conventional methods simply because they are cheaper.

However, a 2008 study conducted by the National Gardening Association found that interest in organic lawn care methods is growing. Between 2004 and 2008, there was a seven percent increase in the use of organic lawn management techniques. One such technique is adding clover to grass seed to naturally provide soil with needed nutrients like nitrogen (http://www.naturalnews.com/029722_lawn_care_...).

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