What is Integrated Pest Management?
Picture a healthy green lawn......
... one that is well cared for, manicured, green and freshly mowed. A perfect place for lounging around cooking some burgers on the grill, listening to a Saturday afternoon Tiger basebll game as the kids practice there soccer moves. Wow, what a real asset to you home your lawn provides.
Although it would seem unnecessary to state the obvious... did you know that your lawn—and how you take care of it—can also help the environment?
Grass Reduces Greenhouse Gas:
Grass absorbs greenhouse gas and converts it into life-giving oxygen. Grass does this at a much higher rate than native plants because grass has higher leaf density and a faster growth rate. A 2500 square foot lawn converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen to sustain a family of four!
Grass Is Nature's Air Conditioner:
Trees seem to get all the credit for naturally cooling the air because they provide shade, but grass lowers surface temperatures through "evapotranspiration" which is a process similar to that used by old-fashioned evaporative coolers ("swamp coolers") for home air conditioning. On a hot summer day, lawns will typically be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt, 14 degrees cooler than bare soil and a huge 35 degrees cooler than artificial turf! Aside from just creating a comfortable setting, grass also reduces energy demand by lowering the ambient temperature around a home.
Grass Purifies Water
Turf (grass) roots act as a natural environmental filter, and in combination with soil biology make lawn root zones an ideal medium for the biodegradation of contaminants that are carried in runoff water.
Grass Purifies the Air
Grass absorbs particulates and some of the worst atmospheric pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and ozone.
Grass Provides Urban Habitat
We think of cities as places where people live, but they are also places where native birds and animals reside. Landscapes provide the habitat and forage areas for our wildlife co-inhabitants. Turf is a highly productive forage area for birds and small mammals.
Caring for your lawn properly can both enhance its appearance and contribute to its environmental benefits.
Emerald Outdoor can help you reach those goals of having a great looking lawn, all while being a responsible steward to our environment. An important aspect of our techniques relies on what is known as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach.
What is Integrated Pest Management?
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest & weed management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM
programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests & weeds and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control
methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
On the other hand,lawn mis-management, whether a result of a homeowners actions, or the practices of an untrained & carless lawn care firm often do more harm than good. The use of pesticides and insecticides as a cure all “Band-Aid” as a problem solver can not be tollerated. Other impoper actions resulting in poor turf quality can include incorrect mowing heights, over or under fertilizion, using the wrong control products at the wrong times & rates, and even over or under watering.
This is not to say that pesticide & weed control products are irresponsible to use, if used correctly within an IPM system, by trained responsible users, with proper equipment and correct application rates as directed by label.
We furthermore support anyone’s desire to be a responsible end user, but we are also careful not to criticize others choices before investigating the actual facts first. As our nation and world evolves, we have inherently became a smarter and more conscious consumer, and we should understand that there is a world of difference between some of the persistent bio accumulative toxic chemicals often used in early insecticides for example, and some of the newer products more prevalent today.
We are a strong advocate of the use of the Integrated Pest Management approach, which emphasizes prevention of pests through cultural and other means first; with pesticides being used only where they make sense within a holistic approach after a complete understanding of the situation is gained. Decisions to use pesticides should only be made when their use is part of this overall approach and not just a knee jerk reaction without thought. I also believe that a greater emphasis should be placed on education of those using pesticides, especially homeowners.
Another example of our dedication to only provide proper products can be found in our fertilization regimen. To find out more read "When, Why and How to Fertilize My Lawn."
To find out more about our lawn treatment and fertilization schedules and products applied throught the growing season, CLICK HERE.