Hello! I am working on an initiative to promote the use of organic and/or...

Asked August 20, 2017, 10:26 PM EDT

Hello! I am working on an initiative to promote the use of organic and/or natural lawn care practices in New Albany, Ohio. We will be sharing information with our community via the community table at our farmer's market this Thursday. Studies, data or any additional information discussing the pros of green alternatives or the dangers/risks of continued pesticide usage (for humans, animals and/or the environment) would be EXTREMELY helpful. University backed research from OSU would be respected and welcomed by community members. Again, any information would be very helpful. We will only have this one opportunity to share information this summer and it would be wonderful to have the most impact possible. Sincerely, Rebecca Malik 202-744-5258

Franklin County Ohio

2 Responses

Unfortunately, limited scientific research has been done on exclusively natural organic lawn care programs. However, well-documented research has been done on many practices that are an integral part of organic lawn care such as core aeration, mowing height and top-dressing with compost. Recommendations for a completely natural organic approach are therefore based on years of collective experience.

There are many reasons why research is limited. The driving force behind much scientific research is about funding, and large corporations that produce traditional chemicals for turf maintenance are often a funding source for university based research.

I am sending you a document from OSU, and notice it was reviewed by Dr. David Gardner, Associate Professor, Turfgrass Science, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Note the authors of the Fact Sheet are Master Gardeners and the Franklin county Horticulture Agent.

There are other universities colleges doing research on turf management, but most seem to be interested in managing golf courses, athletic fields, large expanses of turf, rather than neighborhood lawns. (Tufts, Oberlin, UMASS, etc.) There is an awareness among experts and people who have some awareness that continuing to pour BILLIONS of tons of chemicals on turf every year cannot be sustainable.

This is an excellent Fact Sheet from ohioline.edu and I was delighted to find it. https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-4031

Also, this article by Pam Sherratt https://franklin.osu.edu/sites/franklin/files/imce/Program_Pages/ANR/Ch%207%20Organic%20lawn%20Care%...

I hope you will find these useful for your project. Thank you for working on this!

Thank you Sheila. I really appreciate your response. I agree, it is frustrating that more research hasn't been done because of corporate funding from the chemical manufacturers themselves.

I will review these documents. Thank you again!
rebeccs