Lawn Care Goes Green! What does that mean?
What does “green” mean?
The answer is (obviously) stated what “green” means to us, GreenHow, Inc. “Green” is a vague or ambiguous term. The term “greenwashing” is a response by consumers to a perceived or real misuse of the term “green.” Generally speaking “green” means environmentally-friendly products and services. Usually it is self imposed by a business, but it can be part of a certification or accreditation process. The term organic is often misused. Organic really means contains carbon, but materials called organic or used in organic production may not always contain carbon. Low impact and more specifically reduced risk materials are great ways to augment organic programs.
In our business lines, which are lawn care, pest control and termite control, the term “green” refers to different aspects. A brief description can help people determine if this fits into what they are looking for from a service provider. Starting with Lawn Care: The four main types of service programs are organic, organic based, low impact and hybrid.
First, organic service uses materials listed on the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) list. This service includes no chemical herbicides or insecticides. Broadleaf weed control and grub control may be added as needed or requested by a customer, but that will make the program not organic any longer.
Second, the organic based service uses blended or bridge materials. These materials are mostly (as a percent of weight) organic and contain synthetic forms of nitrogen. The purpose of the synthetic nitrogen is to 1) provide a more rapid nitrogen or fertility and 2) to allow greater coverage per 1,000 square feet which decreases material and labor costs (and consumer price). This service may be a better option for some customers who are transitioning to organic, and may opt for organic based for one intermediate year from traditional lawn care programs. Broadleaf weed control and grub control may be added as needed or requested.
The low impact lawn care service utilizes more traditional types of materials including synthetic nitrogen with options for herbicide and insecticides as needed depending on the site. This service normally includes preemergent weed control and post emergent weed control. A grub application is normally added to this service.
Finally, the hybrid program starts the year as a low impact program with preemergent and grub control, but finishes as organic based or organic program. The benefit is for customers with heavy weed and insect pressure is protection against summer annual weeds and summer grubs combined with the long term benefits of organic water insoluble nitrogen.
To learn about these programs in further detail, please call and we can walk you through them over the phone or in person at your property. As always, any lawn care program needs the foundation of a soil test, aeration and overseeding and leave the clippings.
-Lauren Greenhow, General Manager, GreenHow, Inc.
www.GreenHow.com. Effective Organic & Low Impact Solutions, Lawn Care, Pest Control & Termite Control in Newton and Metro Boston.