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Organic Lawn Care: I see that you are the only fully organic lawn care & landscape company in SE Connecticut. Exactly what is a fully organic lawn care company?

Answer

That's a great question. At Sprigs & Twigs, everything we do follows the strict organic procedures and principles of NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farmers Association. Seven of our employees are fully NOFA accredited, which means they have demonstrated their organic proficiency through a written exam and annual reaccreditation. Here are some of those organic principles from www.organiclandcare.net

1. Keep pesticides and herbicides off your lawn and gardens: Using only non-toxic materials on your property reduces the health risk to yourself, your family, your neighbors and your local environment. Sprigs & Twigs never uses toxic materials; there are safe organic alternatives available today.

2. Use non-synthetic fertilizers from natural sources: Synthetic fertilizers are made in a chemical process that uses fossil fuel. Use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers has a serious negative impact on the world's ecosystems. All fertilizers Sprigs & Twigs uses are non-synthetic and organic. I will be writing about organic lawn care in the future.

3. Remove invasive plants: Invasive plants grow quickly and spread easily and often reduce the biodiversity of whole ecosystems. Learn about invasive plants, how to avoid spreading them, and how to remove them from your own property.

4. Home gardening with native plants: Sprigs & Twigs emphasizes the use of native Plants in all of our landscape designs. Native plants are site adapted and usually require little to no watering, fertilizing or pesticides. Stunning gardens can be made from entirely native plants.

5. Make and use compost: Compost has many advantages as a soil amendment. Incorporating compost improves turf, shrub and shade tree performance in marginal or poor soils. Good quality compost improves soil structure, reduces runoff and compaction, enhances biodiversity and many other things.

6. Test your soil: To get your property to look its best, to save money, and to protect the environment even more, Sprigs & Twigs can perform the soil test and give you an explanation in plain English what is going on as well as recommendations on what should be done.

7. If you have a lawn: Mow high, 3" - 4"; leave grass clippings on lawn; water infrequently, if at all; encourage a bit of white clover; and fertilize with compost and over-seed bares spots in fall and early spring.

Consumers must educate themselves on organics. Just because a retailer sells a product, doesn't mean it is safe; just because the garden center sells a plant, doesn't mean that it's not invasive; just because a landscape company claims that "organic programs are available" doesn't mean that they are truly organic. Read labels and call us with questions. Buyer Beware!

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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