The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn Hardcover – Jan 30 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
For homeowners tired of their chemical-saturated lawns, this book provides step-by-step guidance for "get[ting] your lawn off drugs." Tukey, a lifelong lawn lover, started mowing as a teenager, and as the owner of a successful lawn care company, he was well entrenched in the "weed 'n' feed" method prevalent since the 1940s: "With one pass of a lawn spreader, we could feed the grass" (with chemical fertilizers), "kill the weeds" (with pesticides) "and still have time for a round of golf at the course we so envied"). When, after years on the job, he began to experience nosebleeds and shortness of breath, his doctor ordered him to stop using lawn chemicals, and that was the beginning of his commitment to organic lawn care. His lively and passionate instruction—on soil structure and how to improve it; grass varieties; "starting a lawn from scratch"; natural lawn foods; "watering dews and don'ts"; and how to deal with moles, voles, grubs and bugs—are interspersed with inspirational tales of natural-lawn activists. With an appendix on lawn games, from croquet to badminton, this book will delight lawn fanatics and provide sound advice for those who simply want to maintain their yard. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Tukey, the editor and publisher of People, Places & Plants magazine, offers gardeners what he calls "how-to methods for safe, effective lawn care" and avoiding the use of chemicals. He explains how to evaluate lawn-care needs, how grass grows (what he labels grass anatomy), how to create healthy soil, and how to select grass that is drought tolerant and disease and pest resistant. There are chapters on starting a lawn from scratch or refurbishing an existing lawn, making the transition from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, watering, weeding, dealing with pests and diseases, and mowing and maintenance. Included is a helpful glossary, a list of ground covers, and many color photographs. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It was frustrating that, when I needed a solution to a real problem, all the book told me was: if you plant your lawn the way we've told you, you won't have this problem. Not much help!
On the plus side, I did learn about some good techniques like dethatching.
It should also be noted that the author is not a crunchy hippy who is happy with a weed-filled patch of land. He is/was a professional landscaper who understands the appeal of a beautiful green lawn. He also understands that it can be created, and created better, without the application of synthetic chemicals. I think this gives the book credibility, as the reader can start from the assumption that a beautiful, healthy yard is the goal...an organic lawn is not assumed or allowed to be a substandard lawn.
However, in reading this book, I've become downright enthusiastic about, not just helping the environment, but having a great yard *while* helping the environment. As other reviewers noted, the author does not ask us to settle for inferior lawns in order to help the environment. He is passionate about having a great lawn -- and doing it the right way.
There are essentially two ways to get great looking lawns: treat it with chemicals, or follow the organic route described in this book. They can both produce great looking lawns, but there is a difference. I liken the comparison to making a person look better through either plastic surgery or exercise. Plastic surgery is fast and can have some incredible results, though it does nothing to improve the actual health of the person. Whereas exercising can probably get to the same end, though with a bit more effort, especially at the beginning. However, even though the results may look similar, underneath the person who has been exercising is stronger, fitter, and more able to cope with the physical stresses of life. Similarly, with a bit more effort (at least, at the beginning), an organically cared-for lawn can look great and be healthier and stronger than a chemically cared-for lawn.
I'm ditching the remainder of my Scott's Four-step weed-and-feed lawn care process and embarking on *really* caring for my lawn. Thank you Paul Tukey for opening my eyes!
PS - as an added bonus, I *can* care for my lawn organically without endangering my pool water.