Apr 24, 2024

Spring is for the bunnies and bugs, bees and beetles

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Rob Moir <rob@globalwarmingproblemsolvers.com>
Date: Wed, Apr 3, 2024, 2:05 PM
Subject: Spring is for the bunnies and bugs, bees and beetles


For decades, bright green lawns with perfectly mowed grass and no blade out of place, have been the norm in many American neighborhoods.

But the fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fossil fuels needed for that kind of upkeep are costing us. Our obsession with the perfect lawn has made them the #1 irrigated "crop" in the United States, beating out farmland that actually grows food that feeds millions of people.

Now that spring is officially here, don't let salesmen look under your turf to prepare your lawn for the growing season by killing everything else. Established lawns have got this covered. Stop using these products and educate your friends and neighbors, too. The grass will thank you. Here's why:

  • Fertilizers (except for 100% slow-release) contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which kill soil microbes and beneficial nematodes. This leaves grass root tips at the surface, pushing apart plants where the soil dries and bakes. Fed only by fertilizers, the grass blades are wimpy and easy for pests to munch.
  • Excess fertilizer causes harmful algal blooms that contribute to ocean dead zones.
  • Pesticides and herbicides are decimating the bee population. Watering lawns contributes to the problem because water droplets harm bees and flood pit nests. The American bumblebee is a vital pollinator, but its population has decreased by 90 percent in the last 20 years!
  • Set your lawn mower blade to four inches high and mow your lawn every two or three weeks during peak growing times. Surprisingly, in Springfield, MA, lawns mowed every two weeks had greater bee species diversity than those mowed every three weeks.
  • Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn is the equivalent of applying one pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet of lawn without the burn.
  • We must step up where hoofed grazing animals left off. Springtails could use a hand. We must return plant fiber to the soil, not leave it to rot on the ground, gas out carbon dioxide, and become tinder for fires.
  • Herbicides and pesticides wreak havoc on Monarch butterflies. Populations of Monarchs have declined by 85% in the last two decades.
  • Our manufactured chemicals create a terrible snowball effect, contaminating the soil and drinking water. A lack of soil depth accelerates chemical pollution, which is flushed by stormwater systems, harming birds, fish, insects, and humans.
  • Chemicals, including too much nitrogen, kill soil life, reduce wildlife biodiversity, and threaten to disassemble ecosystems. When an ecosystem is out of balance, it affects all the living creatures that depend on it, including us.

Pesticides, herbicides, quick-release fertilizers, and gas-guzzling lawn mowers and leaf blowers are bad for plant life, pollinating bees, foraging bunnies, probing robins, and rafters of turkeys.

To build healthier ecosystems in our backyards and neighborhoods, we need only say "no thank you" to all the advertisers. There's no need for someone to check under the turf or for you to spend money this spring on lawn care – nature's got this. Let it be.

Steady on,


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