Lawn Pesticides

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?
Average Joe
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Average Joe » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:01 pm

Ask any herbalist, dandelion is a miracle plant. But not when it's laced with chemicals.

LaughingGirl
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby LaughingGirl » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:25 pm

I'm a happy dandelion "farmer" with plenty of well fed bunnies in the backyard. I don't understand the perfect lawn mentality at all. Those freaky chemicals are gatorade neon yellow/green too--shouldn't that tip you off?! You want your kids to play on that cancer carpet?!?!? I am very grateful that my block, and most of my immediate neighborhood, is populated by like minded weed lovers.

Boshie
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Boshie » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:42 pm

My uptight neighbors feel their pristine green lawns are more important than the health of their families. Apparently they have all of their priorities in place. God Bless America, free enterprise and that all important bottom line.

Uncle_Leaver
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:55 am

doppel wrote:
Uncle_Leaver wrote:Boy do I love it when I'm walking my dog and she's going along sniffing in the grass only to come across one of those "Stay Off!" signs that's been tipped over by the wind and is only visible when you're right atop the damn thing.

Me too. Whenever I'm shitting my dog on my neighbors lawn, it really pisses me off when she practically shits right on one of those goddamn wind blown over signs. One time, it almost scared the shit out of me. Those assholes.

Per city ordinance, I curb my dog. She shits on the terrace, not in people's yards. I also pick up after her, unlike a lot of irresponsible pet owners who deserve to have their noses rubbed in the stuff, y'ask me.

So suck it, dog hater.

c02
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby c02 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:48 pm

If only the majority of dog owners did the same. In our neighborhood rover is often seen trampling through and urinating all over flowers, AC units and everywhere else they shouldn't be. Found crap just yesterday....lucky us. I'd love to fill my lawn with little high powered remote controlled water canons to blast the owners.

I love dogs...not so much with most owners.

Uncle_Leaver
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:59 pm

I've been known to pick up other people's dog shit (I mean it's something I've done ... not exactly something for which I've gained notoriety) both on walks and at the dog park, assuming I have a spare bag at the ready.

It's my estimation that maybe 15% of people who own dogs actually deserve them. The rest deserve to be eaten by a wild pack of them.

O.J.
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby O.J. » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:02 pm

Just like her daddy, my dog refuses to poop on leash.

Henry Vilas
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:25 pm

A few years back, I was sitting on my front porch having a beer when someone (who didn't see me) didn't pick up after their dog shit on my terrace. I shouted out: "Where do you live, as I am going to take a dump out in front of your house?" Musta been the beer talking.

ouroborus4
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby ouroborus4 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:14 pm

I agree that I dont understand the use of lawn chemicals. I'm curious to hear the perspective of somebody who does use them. What is your rationale or cost/'benefit analysis of the situation? It's one thing to bash the behavior, but I'd prefer to understand it.

jman111
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby jman111 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:38 pm

I've never used them, but I have (and have had at previous residences) many neighbors who use these "services" religiously. The only justification I've ever heard firsthand is the desire to have an expansive, homogeneous lawn. I guess it goes better with the white picket fences.

oranger
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby oranger » Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:46 pm

ouroborus4 wrote:I agree that I dont understand the use of lawn chemicals. I'm curious to hear the perspective of somebody who does use them. What is your rationale or cost/'benefit analysis of the situation? It's one thing to bash the behavior, but I'd prefer to understand it.

Some of the major selling points are
-Resale value. A home's landscaping and lawn account for 10-15 percent of the resale value of a home. If you buy a home with a well maintained lawn and landscaping for 200,000 and you do not keep it maintained you could lose up to 30,000 of your investment in as little as two years.
-Environmental reasons. A thick green lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of 4 per 5000 square feet.
-Reduction of phosphorous run off. There have been studies that have indicated that the higher concentration of grass on a lawn leads to a reduction in the amount of phosphorous run off.
-Safety. Green grass is fire retardant. Some weeds are hazardous to the point of eating small children. Madison School districts cannot afford to lose anymore students.

fennel
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby fennel » Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:20 pm

My understanding is that treated lawns are an especially significant source of phosphorus run-off. Compared to agricultural lands, lawns cover far less area, but farmers tend to closely monitor their application rates – both as a matter of economics and regulation. Joe homeowner, on the other hand ...

I don't think Kentucky Bluegrass is more fire-inhibiting than, say, dandelions or gravel. When dry, I expect it's particularly flammable, which would favor more drought-resistant plants ... or gravel.

Depending on the awareness of a potential buyer, or a well-crafted purchase proposal that requires disclosure of prior use of pesticides or herbicides, such use could significantly reduce resale value. Someone might want to put in a vegetable garden, for example.

I doubt typical lawn grasses have any particular advantage over other ground-cover plants when it comes to oxygen production. They tend to be over-bred for a narrow range of characteristics.

Clearly, concern for safety doesn't lead one to apply hazardous chemicals. Children are typically taught about common hazards: don't touch poison ivy, don't eat berries you can't clearly identify, etc. Not many are told to never let grass come in contact with their skin. And just try to teach a pet not to roll in the grass!

snoqueen
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby snoqueen » Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:30 pm

When I sold my old house, one of my selling points was the fact I had never used any lawn chemicals or indoor pesticides on the property in 30 years. The buyers (in a slow market) said this was a plus when they put in their offer, which I accepted. They have since put an organic vegetable garden in back, just as I hoped.

In my new neighborhood, pesticide users and non-users split about 50-50. The funny thing is, the lawns look about the same. During dandelion season you can kinda tell, but the only way to get rid of those is have 100% pesticide users on the street which will never happen. One guy actually soaked his entire lawn in Roundup not once but twice last year, believing he could get rid of all the weeds by literally killing everything on his property then starting over. The weeds came back anyway -- I think they're developing immunity.

This is a war that cannot be won.

But I do wonder if the totally prairie-looking, bushy yards would be a fire hazard during an extremely dry year. I've never heard of wildfires in Madison like they get out west, but wouldn't all those dry stalks burn like, well, fluffy straw? And I ask this as a proponent of natural planting. Not every summer will be as wet as 2010 was, unless we're moving into a totally rainy climate cycle.

I think during a drought I would mow prairie plants down within 20' of any flammable structures. They'll grow back.

ilikebeans
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby ilikebeans » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:07 am

My recent revelation: Amphibians are particularly susceptible to any kind of environmental poisons. They soak their world in through their skin.

Roundup your yard, and you're at least repelling, if not outright killing, your property's area of toads, frogs, and salamanders. All, of course, are beneficial in controlling the insects that really creep you out, and some are potentially endangered.

rabble
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Re: Lawn Pesticides

Postby rabble » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:31 am

snoqueen wrote:In my new neighborhood, pesticide users and non-users split about 50-50. The funny thing is, the lawns look about the same. During dandelion season you can kinda tell, but the only way to get rid of those is have 100% pesticide users on the street which will never happen.

Here's my dandelion management application:

Image
Takes a little longer than a spray and requires several applications the first year but after that, you have to hunt for the little devils. Almost no bending required. Also works on thistle and tree seedlings with stems smaller than your thumb. With a little care you can pull almost the entire taproot. First time the wife saw me pull a sapling with a 15-inch root (I measured it) that came up with a crisp snap she was impressed. "Wow. Sometimes those toys of yours actually do what they're supposed to."


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