Detailed Recommendations for Landscape Maintenance
Use integrated pest management (IPM) to eliminate or minimize the use of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and other pesticides. (See recommendations for Pest Control).
Maintain lawn and gardens organically.
Maintain soil health.
Avoid the use of synthetic fertilizer.
Do not use fertilizer products that contain herbicides (e.g., "weed and feed" products).
Maintain healthy lawns and landscape vegetation to increase resistance to pests.
To maximize health of lawns, develop healthy soils, mow often and with sharp blades, reduce thatch, and water deeply but not too often.
Pull, mow, or use mechanical weed cutter to control weeds. Vinegar can be used to kill weeds along fence lines or other hard to reach areas.
Avoid dust-blowing equipment, such as leaf blowers. Sweeping, raking, and use of a vacuum are the preferred methods for removing debris.
If string or other mechanical weed cutter is used, attempt to minimize dispersal of dust, dirt, and debris.
Avoid diesel-powered or 2-cycle engine equipment, use electric lawn equipment instead.
Close windows during grass cutting, or prior to pesticide, fertilizer, or lime applications, or use of gas-powered equipment or vehicles on building grounds.
Use least toxic low-VOC paints, stains and finishes on outside equipment, including benches, poles, decks, and porches, as is recommended for interior and exterior of buildings (See recommendations in Building Products & Materials report).
Use rock, gravel, flat stones, or pavers for mulch and/or use typar landscape barrier to suppress weeds. Avoid organic mulches (e.g., cocoa beans, peat moss, wood chips, bark), especially near windows and doors of buildings. These mulches emit volatile fumes and may harbor mold.
Avoid the use of CCA wood or wood chips because they contain arsenic and other toxic chemicals which can leach into the environment.
Do not use railroad ties because they contain creosote.
Remove plants that are chronically ill and/or frequently attract insect pests.
When replacing plants or redesigning landscape, follow recommendations in Building Construction & Design report.
Apply pesticide, fertilizers, and lime only when there is little or no wind present and in a manner that prevents drift.
Provide prenotification by posting signs prior to pesticide, synthetic fertilizer, or lime applications.
Allergy-Free Gardening, Thomas Leo Ogren, www.allergyfree-gardening.com