I Have an Issue With That!
Posted on Wednesday August 13, 2008 at 02:21PM
Do you have an issue keeping you up at night? Your prayers for a blatant solution remain unanswered? No one in your family or circle of friends sees the problem as you do? I find the internet and library great resources for tackling issues for which I'm being called to help myself.
The issue of pesticides, especially for cosmetic use, has been getting a lot of attention lately. The Canadian Cancer Society has called for "precautionary action" on their use, and Ontario is looking to join Quebec on a cosmetic ban. Where does this leave a person surrounded by the late-May golden hue on their lawn? (Easy to forget in mid-summer, but in the back of my mind nonetheless….) This is my dilemma, and I hope I can find a reasonable solution.
A quick search on TRAC for "organic gardening" brings up 267 hits! After reading a selection of these books, it seems that a common goal for all organic farmers, when it comes to weeds, is managing, rather than eradicating, them. Interestingly, a review of comparison studies from around the world (Stanhill, 1989) showed that average organic yields were 91% of their conventional counterparts! Farmers were noted to be actively involved in managing fertility and pests, but isn’t this part of the job description of any farmer?
But getting back to the issue of dandelions, in The Organic Lawn Care Manual, author Paul Tukey uses what he calls the RILE approach to weeds: relax before you act, identify your weed, listen to your weed, and, if necessary, eradicate your weed. As it turns out, dandelions can be "managed" in many ways, including flaming, spot weeding, applying calcium to the soil, over-seeding with new grass seed, mowing, or by adding corn gluten meal to prevent new seeds from germinating. (This book is a great new addition to our library!)
So after some enjoyable armchair planning, I think I am now more prepared to deal with my issue. But what’s your beef? A trip to the library may help you ‘cook up’ some new ideas.