1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

October 12, 2008

:286 Beneficial Nematodes

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:286 EcoTip: Beneficial nematodes are microscopic roundworms that are used as an organic grub control for soil in lawns and gardens. The nematode enters the grub’s body releasing a bacteria that attacks and kills the grub. The nematodes then use their host to feed and breed. The fall is a great time to use beneficial nematodes while grubs are active and preparing for winter. Two applications 7 spaced days apart is best for breaking the cycle.

Credit: ARBICO-Organics

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

It is important to use the right nematode for the job. Some nematodes work best for mobile pests (see :241 about flea control) For soil grubs, beetles, weevils and borers you want to use a stationary nematode like Heterohabditis bacteriophora. They are available from ARBICO Organics.

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August 7, 2008

:220 Lead in Artificial Turf

Filed under: :220 Lead in Artificial Turf — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:50 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet environment.

1:5:10:220 EcoTip: I’m beginning to hear more about people choosing to replace their lawns with artificial turf. According to studies conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health and Safety Services many of the artificial turfs they have tested contain lead which may be released and cause an exposure risk. Instead of using artificial turf consider xeriscape (:166).

August 27 Update note: The lead in artificial turf controversy has taken some interesting turns. The CPSC has removed their recommendation to ban artificial turf containing lead, but one company (TenCate Thiolon Artificial Grass) has announced it has take steps to removing lead from it’s products. TenCate states:

The use of artificial turf increases the performance of athletes and reduces the risk of injuries to the player. The installation of TenCate artificial turf eliminates the use of harmful pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides. Artificial turf requires no mowing, fertilizing, reseeding or watering.

For more information see the second comment below with information from “The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers”.

The locked gate of an artificial turf soccer field at Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken, N.J., is seen Thursday, April 17, 2008. This field and one at The College of New Jersey were closed because New Jersey Health Department research showed they contained up to 10 times the amount of lead allowed in soil on contaminated sites that are being redeveloped as residences.  (AP Photo/Mike Derer)

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review: :166 

Information provided by NJDHSS to CDC and ATSDR indicates that some of the fields with elevated lead in either dust and/or turf fiber samples were weathered and visibly dusty. Fields that are old, that are used frequently, and that are exposed to the weather break down into dust as the turf fibers are worn or demonstrate progressive signs of weathering, including fibers that are abraded, faded or broken. These factors should be considered when evaluating the potential for harmful lead exposures from a given field.

 General Recommendations on the Use of Fields with Artificial Turf

At this time, CDC does not yet understand the potential risks associated with exposure to dust from worn artificial turf. The following precautions can be taken to minimize any potential risk.

· Field managers should consider implementing dust-suppression measures. Suggestions for dust-suppression methods can be found at NJDHSS’s website, which is provided in the additional information section.

· Children ages 6 and younger are most susceptible to lead’s harmful health effects. To protect the public, in particular young children, consider posting signs indicating that:

1. After playing on the field, individuals are encouraged to perform aggressive hand and body washing for at least 20 seconds using soap and warm water.

2. Clothes worn on the field should be taken off and turned inside out as soon as possible after using the field to avoid tracking contaminated dust to other places. In vehicles, people can sit on a large towel or blanket if it is not feasible to remove their clothes. These clothes, towels, and blankets should be washed separately and shoes worn on the field should be kept outside of the home.

3. Eating while on the field or turf product is discouraged.

4. Avoid contaminating drinking containers with dust and fibers from the field. When not drinking, close them and keep them in a bag, cooler, or other covered container on the side of the field.

For additional information about testing, dust suppression measures, and other topics related to NJDHSS’s work to address lead in artificial turf visit NJDHSS’s artificial turf website at <http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml> http://www.state.nj.us/health/artificialturf/index.shtml.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates consumer products, including artificial turf. Additional information about CPSC and artificial turf can be found at <http://www.cpsc.gov/> http://www.cpsc.gov.

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June 18, 2008

:170 Water Deep

Filed under: :170 Water Deeply — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:16 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:170 EcoTip: Most lawn experts recommend watering less often but deeply so the water reaches a depth of 12 inches. Sandy soil needs to be watered more frequently than loam because it drains off faster.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

To check how much water is needed to saturate your lawn to a depth of one foot – fill a tall pickle jar with one foot of soil from your yard – then measure how many inches of water you need to add from a similar jar to have the soil in the jar be saturated. This will typically require 1 to 2 inches of water for every 12 inches of soil. Now you know how much water needs to be added to your yard when you water. Now use the same pans I talked about yesterday to check how long it takes to add that amount of water evenly to your lawn.

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June 17, 2008

:169 Water Evenly

Filed under: :169 Water Evenly — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:15 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:169 EcoTip: Most people are overwatering some of their lawn to keep other areas from browning from not getting enough water. Use a bunch of 2 inch deep tubs or pans spaced out over your lawn while you water to look for areas that are getting overwatered. Adjust the sprinklers to provide as even a watering as possible.

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 Additional Information:

Suggested Review:

You can

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June 16, 2008

:168 Check your Sprinklers

Filed under: :168 Check Your Sprinklers — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:10 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:168 EcoTip: Watch what you water. Streets, driveways and sidewalks provide run off paths that waste water, so adjust your sprinklers to hit the intended areas.

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June 15, 2008

:167 Water Early

Filed under: :167 Water Early — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:07 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:167 EcoTip: Watering lawns early in the morning when temperatures and winds are less likely to cause rapid evaporation gets more water to the root zone so that less water is needed.

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 Additional Information:

If you do use your automatic sprinklers to water early or late it is important to check the system to be sure you don’t have a broken sprinkler head or other malfunction that will waste water. Tomorrow’s post will have information about another way to check your sprinkler system.

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April 3, 2008

:094 Push Mower

Filed under: :094 Push Mower — Tags: , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

lawnmow.jpg

Suggested Review – :092, :093

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:094 Tip: The ultimate in ecological lawn mowers is the push mower. No fuel, no fumes, and no excess carbon production. Just some heart healthy exercise as you manicure your lawn.

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Additional Information

According to www.peoplepoweredmachines.comUsing a push mower instead of a power mower helps to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by 80lbs a year”.

They rate and sell a variety of reel type lawn high performance lawn mowers with great information on choosing a lawn mower right for you.

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March 22, 2008

:082 Community Yard Waste

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Suggested Review – :069, :080, :081

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:082 Tip: Even if you mulch mow, you will probably have some form of yard wastes that should go in the compost pile. Many communities have yard waste recycling programs that turn grass clippings, leaves, and other organic materials from your yard into composted mulch – which is frequently available to residents at low or no cost.

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Additional Information

Turning your own yard wastes into compost is the best for the environment, but a quick reality check is that most people will never make their own compost. For this reason community yard waste recycling programs are going to be best for the environment.

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March 20, 2008

:080 Pull Weeds

Filed under: :080 Pull Weeds — Tags: , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am
weed_photo2.jpg Weed Puller - source Hound Dog

Suggested Review – none

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:080 Tip: Pulling weeds is a good way to reduce your families herbicide exposure. I spent about ten minutes a week for about a month, pulling weeds by hand and was getting pretty good at getting many of them up by the roots (you grab them by the base and apply gentle pressure until you feel a little give, then increase the pressure until it comes out). But I was not having any luck with dandelions, which would break off at ground level. Then I tried the Weed Hound. It works great!

After two months I’m down to pulling about 3-5 weeds a week.

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Additional Information

The Weed hound has a number of spikes arranged in a circle that must be placed directly over the weed. Get your fingers down into the grass and find the exact point where the plant joins the root. Center the Weed Hound spikes over the root then step down on it to drive the spikes into the ground around the root of the weed.

weed_hound_jpg.jpg

With most roots I give the tool a quarter to half turn then lift it weed and all out of the ground.

http://www.hound-dog.com/weed_hound.htm

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March 10, 2008

:070 Clip 1/3

Filed under: :070 Clip 1/3 — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am
4020_2.jpg Credit: OSU Extension

Suggested Review – :068, :069

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:070 Tip: When cutting your lawn, never clip more than 1/3 the length of the grass at one time. If you let it get too long, clip it at no more than the 1/3 length, let the cut dry a short while then clip it again. Clipping no more than 1/3 will help promote a lush thick lawn that helps eliminate chemicals for weed control.

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Additional Information

Ohio State University has on-line information on cutting your lawn at: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/4000/4020.html

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