Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Coming soon to a lawn near you - even in Australia?

It is often said that trends in Australia follow the US with a lag period of 6-12 months. The material below launches an organic lawn system........will this be in Australia by next September 2007?

A few issues..........

  • Australia uses far less fertiliser and pesticides on lawns than the US consumer
  • Our seasons generally ensure green grass year round [water permitting], in comparison the US mostly has brown areas in winter, except for the south so Australians are less worried about lawns being "super green" in a short growing period
  • Australians are more tolerant of less than perfect looking lawns and will not put in the effort to improve them - there are better things to do!
  • turf varieties used in Australia are generally hardier and more heat tolerant, less soft and more functional and used more year round, and have less $$ both available or spent on them at all levels of government and the private sector
  • a change to slow release inorganic fertiliser usually means less is required - this is a good option, but uptake and use of the technology, especially at domestic level has been slow - it does cost more
  • most organic fertilisers are of low analysis and many smell awful
  • many areas in Australia would benefit from compost - not for the fertiliser, but for the organic and soil building properties which may mean better water holding soils over time, a major improvement that would also pay off with less need for any additives as soil health is improved
  • many Australians mulch the lawn clippings, hence build up soil organic matter anyway, which is a very useful option for many, but NOT all lawn species

BUT........watch this space for the same trend in Australia. It is probably an overdue correction in US lawn care management, where many $$ are overspent on fertiliser and then more mowing!!!. I am not so sure of the same widespread issue in Australia.


SafeLawns Launches Nationwide Consumer Program on National Mall April 04, 2007

By SafeLawns Foundation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — SafeLawns Foundation, headquartered in New Gloucester, Maine, initiates it national consumer education program on Wednesday, April 4 on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building starting at 1:00 p.m. High-profile doctors, scientists, activists and politicians will help kick off the campaign aimed at helping to initiate systematic and widespread change in Americans' lawn care practices.

Organizers will announce a challenge to Americans to convert over one million acres of grass to organic lawn care by 2010.

Components of the challenge include the following:
Safe Lawns Challenge - A challenge will be issued to universities and companies across the country to end the use of synthetic lawn chemicals and pesticides on their campuses and headquarters;
Safe Lawns Environmental Partnership - States across the U.S. will be urged to eliminate lawn care pesticides at day care facilities and school grounds - following the model of a law recently adopted in Connecticut; and
Safe Lawns Certification Program - A nationwide realty partnership program will be launched to inform home buyers of houses that have child- and pet-safe organic lawns.

In addition, the rally will offer details of a Safe Lawns Challenge for consumers who want to make the transition to organic lawn care in their own yards.

HGTV personality and SafeLawns Foundation founder and spokesperson, Paul Tukey states that, "We see the writing on the wall about the future of lawn care in North America. Americans are spreading millions of tons of toxic materials and wasting enormous amounts of fossil fuels, all in the name of having a beautiful lawn. Our mission is to show people that you can have a beautiful lawn without the toxic and wasteful side effects."

Shepherd Ogden, president of SafeLawns Foundation believes that, "If people want to have a major impact on the environment, they can literally start in their own backyard - an organic lawn also eliminates health risks for themselves, their children and pets. "Eliminating environmental and human threats from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers is now possible as many forward-thinking garden centres, home improvement stores and commercial lawn care companies offer organic products and information for consumers.

The SafeLawns.org Mission: To create a broad-based coalition of organizations committed to educating society about the benefits of organic lawn care and gardening and effect a quantum change in consumer and industry behaviour in grounds maintenance.

Website : SafeLawns Foundation

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