Boomers love to garden
A new way to think about lawns

Green gardening, lawn care promotes good health

Growing up in Central Washington’s apple country, I saw massive amounts of pesticides being used on the orchards there. As a child, I was sprayed with pesticides from airplanes. As a teenager, I thinned apples in trees that were dripping with pesticide residues.

My father, an apple farmer, died at age 80 from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is linked to pesticide exposure.

Rhodie Red IMG_0833 When I bought my house in 1995, I decide to have a pesticide-free yard.

I started by getting brochures from the Washington Toxics Coalition. The brochure on pesticide-free lawns said it would take one to two years to rid a lawn of dandelions pulling them by hand. I was lucky. The dandelions were mostly gone after about one year of hand weeding.

My yard came with 40 rhododendrons. I received help from Washington State University Extension on how to deal with pests and diseases without pesticides and herbicides.

I learned how to have an organic lawn. Cut the grass high, leave the clippings on the lawn for fertilizer, and water the lawn adequately during the summer so weeds don’t choke out the grass.

When I grow vegetables, I grow them organically.

I buy any fertilizer I need for my lawn and gardens from a local organic gardening store.

If you’re interested in having a green lawn and garden, here are resources to help you:

“Lawn and Garden Chemicals Why Be Concerned?” – Washington Toxics Coalition

“PAN Pesticides Database” – Pesticide Action Network North America

“Growing Techniques” – Organic Gardening

"Affiliates" – Native Plant Conservation Campaign

Tomorrow’s post on The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide will discuss A New Way to Think About Lawns.

Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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