Spring is here, so we expect that many of our friends and clients will be heading out to do some lawn and garden work. If you have pets, you might find this article helpful!
Your home should be a sanctuary. It should be a place that is clean, safe and healthy for you, your family, your pets and any guests that you welcome into your home. Your lawn and garden is an extension of your home and how you maintain it can reflect your values. Most people use chemicals that might make your lawn look pretty in the short term, but those chemicals could harm your health and the environment overall in the long term. In many cases (not all) there are some easy non-toxic alternatives that can be used in place of these when caring for your lawn and garden.
1. Garlic Insecticide
You have a great ingredient for your lawn and garden right in your pantry. Combine a bulb of garlic with some water in a blender. Blend the two ingredients and then have it sit for one day. Strain out the pulp and then combine the concentrated garlic water with another gallon of water. Place the garlic water in a spray bottle and then spray your garden. The garlic aroma will keep insects that aren’t supposed to be there out of the area. Spray about once a week to keep your garden an insect free zone.
2. Lilacs and Shrubs for Soil Stabilization
If you’re looking for soil stabilization in and area that seems to be hit hard when you have rain, look to shrubs like lilacs. They make effective screens for privacy, provide nesting space for birds and help prevent erosion.
This one requires at rip to your local hardware or lawn care store: You can rent a device (called a Spike Aerator) that will gently dig into your lawn to create small holes so that fresh air and water can easily get to soil. This eliminates the need for buying a chemical that will artificially stimulate growth. This only needs to be done a few times in a year, so it’s often worth the time and rental money. You can also find push model versions or a hand held “lawn spike”.
Consider starting a compost pile to help naturally fertilize the soil in your garden. Therefore nothing that you use in your house goes to waste. One big one is using used up coffee grounds. All you need to do is sprinkle the coffee all over the soil of your garden. You can also use tea leaves if you don’t drink coffee, nut shells, old fruits and vegetables, wood chips and grass trimmings that weren’t treated with chemicals earlier. Be careful about what you choose to use to compost. Things that you should avoid is rotting meat, rotting dairy such as rancid butter, waste from pets, oils, lards and yard trimmings that were already treated with chemicals. If you’re not smart about what you compost, it can backfire and attract pests, insects and overall hinder the health of your garden. For pet safety, make sure you have your compost pile contained so that animals are less likely to get into it.
5. Boiling Water for Weeds and Pest Insects
There are times when you definitely need commercial insect control, but for other instances, you can use hot water (make sure to exercise caution and wear protective clothing to prevent any burns from splashing). Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently pour the hot water it over areas where you may have problems with insects. You can use it to take care of ant hills and even use it to kill off weeds. Pull the weeds out first as much as you can and then pour the water into the hole in the ground to kill off the seeds that may be left behind.
Treating your lawn and garden with non-toxic chemicals makes all the difference. Not only is it easier on the air you breathe and the fruits or vegetables you pick from your garden, but it’ll also be better for your pets. Exposing your pets to harsh chemicals can take a toll on their health, especially if you have active pets who like going outside. Pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers are irritants, which means it can cause diarrhea, excessive drooling or vomiting. Furthermore, they could also bring chemical residue into your house after playing in the yard.
If you have any questions on how chemical treatments could affect the health of your pet, be sure to contact Longview Animal Hospital for professional advice and assistance. We are happy to help you.