Why We Became an Organic Lawn Care Company

Why We Became an Organic Lawn Care CompanyOne question that I am always asked when meeting new customers is, how did we get into organic lawn care. It is not the prettiest or most flattering of stories, but it is what’s true. Hopefully it can be a cautionary tale that doesn’t happen to anyone else.

My passion for organics started in my 20’s with vegetable gardens. I was tired of my tomatoes tasting like miracle grow, so I started learning about organic vegetable gardens. Later in my 30’s I was a typical, naïve homeowner that thought I needed the “perfect” lawn. So I ventured into the local home improvement store and figured if they sold it, then it was safe. But man was I wrong.

I purchased what the man in the orange vest told me to. Went home and connected the sprayer to my hose and proceeded to spray the dandelions in my yard. After using up what was in the initial sprayer bottle I then opened the second bottle of concentrate and poured it into the sprayer bottle. In the process of pouring, some of the concentrate spilled onto my right hand. Without concern I finished spraying my lawn. An hour later I finished up and went into the house and washed my hands where I spilled the concentrate on.

After a few hours, the muscles in my right hand began twitching violently. This continued throughout the next day. By the end of the following day, I had lost all fine motor control in my right hand. Only through physical therapy was I able to regain the ability to open and close my right hand, but the fine motor never returned.

I didn’t realize at the time that this was pesticide poisoning. As a result, I vowed to not only keep chemicals far away from my family but to also educate others on their dangers. My hopes, by starting Billy Goat Lawn Care, is to provide people with alternatives to chemicals on their lawn. Every lawn that we can help convert from chemical to organic is a victory for us and the environment.

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The Hidden Dangers of Mulch

organicSpring is the time of year that people like to add fresh mulch to their flower beds. It makes the landscape pop and gives a nice fresh look. It also helps to prevent weeds from growing in the beds. But beware, mulch can also harbor hidden dangers!

Died mulch contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and heavy metals like arsenic and lead. These poisons are added to help slow the rate at which the mulch breaks down as well as to obtain its color. The most dangerous of all mulch colors is red.

Not only can these poisons be toxic to your plants living in the beds but also to members of your family. Both kids and dogs are especially at risk as dogs have a tendency to chew on and eat mulch and young children will put anything in their mouths.

However, by choosing wisely, you can still have a beautiful landscape that is safe for your family and the environment. Just make sure the mulch is natural in color and in its processing. You want to look for mulch that is as close to its natural form as possible. Our favorite mulch to use is called Eco Mulch. It is ecologically friendly for two reasons, it is made from the grindings of tree limbs that are harvested by utility crews and it is not died. It also has a rich dark brown color that our customers really like.

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Benefits of Core Aeration

healthy lawnCompaction is the number one enemy of turf grass, particularly on heavy traffic areas. Compacted soil prevents grass roots from penetrating deep within the soil profile (grass roots grow in the air spaces between soil particles). If the soil is compacted, aeration is required.

What is Core Aeration?

Core aeration is a mechanical process by which small cores/plugs of soil are removed from the lawn. Core aeration reduces compaction of the soil by creating channels which allow oxygen, nutrients and water to get to the root system of the lawn.

Benefits of Core Aeration

  • Loosening of compacted soilcore aeration
  • Enhancing root growth of turf grass
  • Improved water uptake to turf root systems
  • Easier nutrient delivery to turf root system
  • Better oxygenation of soil

All of the above benefits will result in a stronger root system and thicker and more resilient turf grass.

Best Time to Aerate

The best time to aerate is in the spring and/or early fall. During these seasons, weather conditions are milder and lawns are not as stressed. This is also the ideal time to over-seed. By over-seeding after aerating, grass seed will readily collect in the pocks of the soil created by the aerator.  The grass seed will now have a firm hold within the turf allowing better conditions for germination.

 

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