Pesticides or No Pesticides – That is the Question?
You’ve probably noticed in the news in recent years the debate over whether people should be able to freely purchase and apply pesticides on their lawns, especially in urban environments. Nobody wants a dandelion polluted lawn I’m sure, and for those of us who maintain a weed free lawn, by whatever means, we get a little annoyed at the neighbour who seemingly doesn’t give a damn. Particularly frustrating is when they conveniently use an “I’m a greeny & don’t believe in spraying”, when the reality is they’re just bone lazy. There are other methods of keeping the weeds down!
Dandelion seeds are easily spread in the gentlest of breezes, and have no problem blowing in from the neighbours!
But before anybody can make an intelligent decision on whether to use a pesticide is, you first need to understand a little about them.
Pesticides is a word that encompasses three sub groups:
- Herbicides – The “herb” part denotes for herbage, so these are what is generally used for spraying weeds, in other words they act on plants and are selective to certain species – hence you can spray a lawn & never affect the lawn grass, but annihilate the weeds.
- Fungicides – The “fungi” part denotes for fungi, or fungus. So a fungicide is a spray or powder that controls a fungus that may be present on a plant or your lawn.
- Insecticide – yep, you guessed it, the “insect” part gives it away doesn’t it, and yes they target insect life, and are usually selective to certain species.
Generally speaking insecticides and fungicides are rarely used in our lawns, and when people say they’re opposed to using a pesticide, they are actually meaning a herbicide. There is a difference!
Though I have used herbicides for many years, and have no qualms about doing so in the future, I hesitate to enter into a debate as to whether they’re a method that should be used by everyone. I’d rather see people have a choice, and for those of us that choose to continue using herbicides, ensure that we are exposed to adequate training on how to use them effectively and safely.
Keeping Lawns Weed Free – The Alternative Way
I do recognize that there are many other methods of keeping weeds at bay. Probably one of the better methods is to simply maintain a healthy lawn, as the thicker and healthier the lawn, the more difficult it is for weeds to take hold. Understanding the right lawn fertilizer will go a long way to getting that lawn weed free naturally.
Adequate watering is also key. If your lawn is watered with the right amount at the right intervals, and with an effective device such as the Nelson 1865 Raintrain Traveling Sprinkler, then of course you’ll have a healthier cover and it’ll be more difficult for the neighbour’s dandelion seeds to germinate and establish themselves.
Good old Care and Attention.
Granted this takes a bit of work, but simply taking the time to hand weed the dandelions from your lawn is extremely effective. Yes, it can be back breaking if you are uprooting individual weeds with a hand tool, but there are long handled devices on the market now that make it a lot easier on the back.
Key to all three methods is consistency. Consistent fertility, consistent watering & consistent weeding.
Or you could do like I do, simply understand how to safely use the appropriate herbicide, and apply it properly & respectfully of the neighbours opinions.
See how I accomplish this without ticking off the neighbours at How To Spray Lawns Safely and Effectively