Chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers all contain known or suspected carcinogens that can be absorbed through the skin, by mouth, or by breathing sprays, dusts, or vapors. They are especially dangerous to children and pets, and they also damage the environment.
Some gardeners now specialize in organic lawn and landscape care. You can hire someone or you can do it yourself.
- Start by testing your soil so you know exactly which organic nutrients to add and how much.
- Plant the correct grass and other plants for your soil and climate, so they don’t require a lot of help to grow.
- Buy organic fertilizer or use composted kitchen and garden waste.
- Instead of using herbicides, you can often figure out what is causing your weeds. Different weeds reflect different soil problems that can be corrected, so you can often prevent the weeds instead of having to get rid of them. You can also use mulch.
- If you need pesticides, use ones that are safe around children and pets. Chemical pesticides contain neurotoxins, but you can buy nontoxic insecticides that kill bugs using soaps, oils, and powders. There is a whole program called Integrated Pest Management (IPM) that is becoming very popular. You can read about it on the website at UC Davis, one of the leading agricultural schools
To make it easier, you can transition to organic lawns and gardens gradually, a little at a time. The website at Landscape America gives you some guidelines