Tag Archives: lawn care

changing the worldOne of the best things—a healthy planet is THE best—is when a customer is happy with our services, which is what Heidelberg Farms is all about. What is even better is when a customer shares his/her experiences with us.

Recently, we had a chance to connect with Peter from Dover, NH—and he was happy to provide us with a snapshot of his experience.

In Peter’s words

“I have been particular about the look of my lawn for some time, always using a national company. The frustration came when I would watch them roll up and finish their $45 treatment in world class sprinter time often finishing my 1/2 acre lawn in a few minutes.  Then, when there were issues it was always more chemicals.  They never sampled my lawn to see what was going on under the ground.  It was just a quick look, nod and more chemicals.  

Enter my 5 grandchildren over the past 3 years and I wanted them to be able to sit safely on the back lawn without me worrying about the effects of all those chemicals.  Steve is passionate about the lawn, but even more so about the science behind how it all works together. The passion translates to a careful analysis of where the lawn is and a program that is actually designed to decrease in cost over time.  

Already, I have noticed that while there is not a ‘feel good’ almost immediate color change the next morning, there is a steady more long term health I can see coming to the lawn with his program. Besides passion, which is obvious once you meet Steve, he is a hard worker. No more quick laps around the lawn.  When he shows up, he is there for as long as it takes.  

He is very responsive to email questions with well thought out explanations. I can endorse him based on our short experience and my time speaking to Steve and those who work with him, something the green guys never were around long enough to do unless they were up-selling me on treating my shrubs or nuking my mosquito’s.”

Contact us

Have questions about our lawn care program? Click here to learn more! Or call us at (603) 501-9919.

A Trip to the Doctor

Chances are you’ve never thought of organic lawn care and the human body in the same breath, but the similarities are more striking than one might think.

Say you’ve come down with some mysterious bacterial bug—sick enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. When he or she prescribes you medication, it’s likely not designed to target some area or organ of the body in particular. Instead, the medicine addresses the systemic issue underlying the symptoms.

That is, it treats and strengthens the whole body, rather than any one specific area.

In some ways, treating your lawn or yard is no different. While the temptation might be to mask the blights or problem areas (call it “the cough syrup solution”), a healthy “body” begins with the treating the system—the soil, in this case.

Supporting the System

At Heidelberg Farms—one of over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program—we start by taking stock of what makes your lawn tick.

The ground contains millions of microorganisms, all of which play a role in making sure the soil is healthy enough to support the botanicals above. Once we know how your yard works, we use a combination of plants, composts, and other organic methods to encourage the soil’s inner (and often hidden) potential.

Just as bad eating habits lead to health issues in humans, using harsh chemicals and fertilizers can take your lawn years to recover from. The good news is it’s never too late for a health kick—for you or your yard!

New Yard’s Resolution

We New Englanders are lucky to have some of the most diverse plants and botanicals anywhere in the country. Rather than making your yard look like everyone else’s in the neighborhood, try something different, and let the lawn be what it’s always wanted to be: healthy, happy, and teeming with life!

Heidelberg Farms serves Southern Maine, New Hampshire, and Northern Massachusetts.
Have questions about the organic lawncare?
Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919

Your Lawn Isn’t Dead; It’s Just Sleeping!

It won’t be long before the first sheaths of frost appear on the grass, but just because winter is coming (shoutout to all your GoT fans) doesn’t mean your lawn is going into hibernation.

winterEven after the frost sets in, your grass isn’t dead; it’s merely dormant, lying in wait to spring once more. Which makes it all the more important that you have a lawn care program that prepares your yard for the long haul—not in months, but years—and why it’s never too early to plan ahead.

You can read some of our fall lawn-care tips here. Once you’ve tackled all the DIY you can handle, give Heidelberg Farms a call. We’ll help you get a jumpstart on next year by testing your soil and finding out what makes it tick.

The Heidelberg Method

How, you ask? We fully examine your soil’s one-of-a-kind biodiversity, from which we’re able to build unique compost mixtures to help your lawn grow and thrive.

Once the ground is thawed, we’ll work with your lawn to help it achieve its full potential. Our aim is to repopulate, feed and stimulate diverse soil organisms. These organisms help regulate every aspect of plant health, including soil structure and fertility, residue decomposition, nutrient cycling, and even disease suppression.

New England winters might be long and harsh, but we also enjoy some of the most uniquely beautiful plant life anywhere. Encouraging that biodiversity not only makes your lawn look great; it strengthens it. That means fewer visits from us, and more green in your pocket.

Reading the Fine Print

Using an organic lawn care approach is about more than just eliminating harsh chemicals (although those are definitely very, very bad). What the conventional companies don’t want you to know is that even the more “benign” ingredients in pesticides, like metabolites, can become harmful once they interact with water, air, or soil.

Next to your home, your yard is one of your most important investments. The healthier it is, the more it’s allowed to thrive, the easier you’ll sleep—and so will your lawn!

Have questions about the benefits of organic lawn care? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts.

Even if you have no clue what constitutes green lawn care, if you’re reading this, chances are you have a pretty good idea what “organic” means.

organicNo pesticides or harsh chemicals; hormone-free; USDA-certified: You know the basics. But while buying organic has never been easier (or more cost-effective), adopting a truly green lifestyle can feel daunting—especially when it comes to bigger investments like, say, turning your yard into a haven of organic goodness.

Never fear! Heidelberg Farms is here to help, with the five biggest reasons why you, wonderful blog-reader, should switch to a better, greener lawn care approach:

1. It’s a great way to lower your carbon footprint—Heidelberg Farms uses a plethora of plants, microorganisms, and organic products to strengthen your yard’s biodiversity and trap more carbon. Even when you’re asleep, your yard is doing its part to heal the planet. If that doesn’t help you rest easier, what will?

2. No more harmful chemicals and pesticides—They say you are what you eat, but you’re also the land you live on. So what would you rather be exposed to: nasty chemicals that are known to cause wide-ranging health problems, or organic materials taken straight from Mother Nature herself? Exactly!

3. Sharing the gift of green—Once you see just how lovely your yard can be, you can take pride in sharing your experience with friends and family. It doesn’t get more “Think Globally, Act Locally” than that! Heck, you can even send them this link! 

4. Your wallet will thank you—While cheaper up front, traditional lawn care techniques require regular maintenance, not to mention more watering. We set your yard up for long-term success, which actually reduces overall costs.

5. It looks beautiful—Plastic green lawns are soooo 1980s! At Heidelberg Farms, we work with your yard’s unique biochemical profile to strengthen and detoxify the soil. Stronger roots and better water-holding capacity mean healthier, more robust grass and plants. You live in New England; let your lawn live there, too!

Heidelberg Farms is committed to helping your lawn be healthier, happier, and greener—in more ways than one. Have questions about the benefits of organic lawn care? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts.

As summer begins to wind down and we move into fall, the topic of chemical lawns is still a critical one for our families and environment.

Everything we do to our lawns and gardens comes at a cost. Some of us might overlook the fact that the chemical agents used to “green thumb” your lawn affect the delicate ecosystem.

chemical lawnWhen an ecosystem is damaged or thrown out of whack, though, it can take years to rectify. The damage done affects more than just micro organisms in your soil that you don’t see, it also impacts plants, bees, flowers, birds, trees, and much more. Take this into consideration when you are about to unload a new round of chemicals onto your lawn.

Working with an organic landscaper

If we work with the all-natural checks and balances system nature has generously established, then we can begin to reverse the negative effects done to our ecosystem and environment. Once we replace the chemical substances with an organic method, the entire mini-ecosystem of your yard will be much more sustainable.

Invest in the land. Richer soil producers much healthier fruit and crops, which will ultimately result in us being healthier and feeling more energized. What we do to our lawns and gardens speaks volumes about our values and commitment to creating a better, healthier earth.

The impact goes far beyond only affecting you. Chemicals in our environment that start from our lawns and gardens will have an adverse affect on your family’s future generations. The change starts with you to make a healthier, smarter choice today. Do something the future earth will thank you for tomorrow!

Can’t afford an organic lawn care program? Are you sure? Is it ever too late to start reversing the harm? It is not as expensive as you think–And besides, can any of us really afford to not make an investment in the earth around us? What about our kids? Click HERE to learn more about our organic lawn care program.

Call us

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts. We are among over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals throughout the Northeast and beyond that are accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

We take our role as land stewards very seriously and appreciate your consideration. We care not just about your lawn, but you! Call us at (603) 501 9919!

organic lawn careGet started today with an organic lawn care program from Heidelberg Farms. Why? Well, it all starts from the roots up, which is the concept behind our organic lawn care program, From the Roots Up!

We believe in the power of the soil and the science that supports the responsible management of its use.

Soil is not just inert matter. It is alive with all kinds of biological organisms and systems that depend on one another.

These systems do not operate in a silo either. They connect with our food, the ecosystem itself. Birds, butterflies, humans, wildlife—we all depend on the soil!

When companies or people use chemicals to treat their lawns, the damage that is done to the soil will take years to repair. Yes, you have a green lawn, but you also have chemicals that get onto your clothes, your hands and in the mouths of your children. Yes, kids sticks their fingers in their mouths all the time, so when they are rolling around that beautiful green lawn, they are picking up those chemicals, too.

Organic lawn care does not mean that you cannot have a wonderful yard. It just means it will take a little time. Think about your return on your investment, though. You will get a green, lush yard and garden—and you will have worked with nature to achieve that sustainable result.

You will not need to water your yard and garden all the time either, as a well-functioning lawn and garden is self-sustaining. It is using biology to feed itself. Water is of course important, but you won’t need to run around with your sprinkler like you would for a chemically treated lawn.

Have questions? Call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919.

Heidelberg Farms serves southern NH, Maine and northern Massachusetts. We are among over 500 Organic Land Care Professionals throughout the Northeast and beyond that are accredited by the NOFA Organic Land Care Program.

One in 6 children in the United States have a developmental disability, including learning disabilities, ADHD, autism, and other developmental delays. Cancer is the leading cause of disease related death in children. New Hampshire House Bill 399 restricts the types of pesticides allowed where kids play, thereby significantly reducing exposure to chemicals that can harm our children’s development, chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, or disrupt the delicate endocrine system even at tiny levels. It is imperative that we move ahead in eliminating as much of these types of exposures as we can. 

Below is my testimony I have submitted to the members of the House in support of it. 

I am Steve Phillips, the owner of Heidelberg Farms, a New Hampshire small business started in 2013 to provide Organic solutions to our state’s families and businesses. I have worked in all parts of the horticultural industry and have found a good home in Organics.

I started my land care career mowing lawns, trimming shrubbery, and practicing the application of pesticides. I went on to attend the Pennsylvania College of Technology, and in the course of studying NH’s famed tree biologist, Dr. Alex Shigo, I began to pursue my own intense interest in the how and why of plant care.

Through Dr. Shigo’s tree autopsies, he was able to show us how trees responded to their environments and growing conditions. He then applied this knowledge to change our management of trees to better reflect their natural responses to the world around them. His work modernized tree health care and the arboriculture industry. It is in his spirit that I continue to examine how plants respond, and adapt my management practices accordingly, in order to provide my customers with the best care for their lawns and gardens. I now follow solely Organic practices, and formed Heidelberg Farms to promote the most effective Organic plant care strategies throughout New Hampshire.

Organic works on every scale. Large national projects all across our country – including the George W. Bush Presidential Library, NYC’s High Line, and St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, as well as numerous college campuses, parks, athletic fields, and golf courses – have all moved toward Organic Management. I believe they made their decisions for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, because Organic offers better long-term solutions at a competitive price.

As with any new technology, there is always more to learn. However, by applying better cultural practices, and incorporating a more complete understanding of how plants respond and grow best, Organic simply makes the most sense. Fortunately, information, training, materials, and experience are all very easily obtainable to help in the logical transition to Organic land care.

Fall Leaves

It is officially fall and leaves are starting to make their way to the ground. Here are three things to consider this season and you look to clean up and prepare for the winter.

  1. Mulch your fall leaves and leave them on your lawn.
  2. Build a leaf pile now for compost next spring. If leaves are mixed in with your discarded produce, it will help to balance the carbon and nitrogen for next spring as well as control insects and cut down on odor.
  3. Leaf piles placed toward a wood line or property line (away from the house) will provide a habitat for wildlife.

FALL LEAVESOkay, so you may be wondering about the first bit of advice. Well, honestly, there really is no scientific reason to rake all your leaves off your lawn. If you mow over them with a mower each week while your leaves are falling, they’ll break down over the winter and provide your soil with critical nutrients. The leaves will also shade the soil, which will result in fewer lawn weeds next year. Just be sure to set your wheels at the highest setting.

According to some experts, fallen leaves carry 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a tree extracts from the soil and air, including carbon, potassium, and phosphorus. For garden plots, this means that a two- to three-inch layer of fall leaves spread over them will not only hold down weed growth and add organic matter, but protect garden soil from compaction caused by rainfall.

The takeaway here is that everything in your yard can serve a purpose—and fall leaves are no different. With a little bit of planning (and patience), using your leaves for compost or just leaving them in your yard after going over them with a mower can provide an important building block for a healthier lawn in the future.

Have questions about fall leaves? Call us at (603) 501-9919.

XeriscapingFrom an environmental standpoint, we invest an incredible amount of resources into our lawns. This investment yields a return that goes well beyond our (unnaturally) green lawns.

Here are some stats that will surprise you:

• Lawnmowers account for about 5 percent of the nation’s air pollution.
More than 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled annually refilling lawn and garden equipment—more than the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez.
• Homeowners typically use 10 times the amount of pesticide and fertilizers per acre on their lawns as farmers do on crops.
• Thirty to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns.

To make matters worse, most of the chemicals that are used are wasted due to inappropriate timing and application. These chemicals consequently become a major source of water pollution. Lastly, most of this water is also wasted due to poor timing and application.

How much is too much?

This question is more than rhetorical. It is a battle cry that should involve all Americans. How badly do we want our green lawns—and must it be right now?

Sure, building an organic program for your lawn and/or garden takes time. Frankly, it might take an entire year before you see a noticeable difference in the appearance of either. However, what is taking place beneath what you see—the soil—will make a difference for years and years to come.

Alternative to traditional lawn care

It is sometimes referred to as “revolutionary,” but your approach to lawn care can in fact require very little maintenance. From beautiful, low-maintenance groundcovers like creeping thyme to native trees, shrubs and grasses, your lawn does not need constant tweaking or work.

Xeriscaping is another way to rethink and reinterpret your lawn. Promoted in regions that do not have easy access to water, xeriscaping is landscaping that reduces or even removes the need to irrigate from supplemental water sources altogether.

If you have questions, call Heidelberg Farms at (603) 501-9919. Together, we can make a difference.

Using Chemical Fertilizers?

As a society, we’ve been indoctrinated with ‘instant satisfaction.’ This isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s just where we’re at. Drones delivering packages to your house, streaming TV shows, virtual reality headsets — it’s madness! Some folks want to take this approach to their yards, because it’s quick and easy. But just like those diet pill infomercials you see at 3 a.m., instant gratification isn’t always what it seems.

The same goes for your yard. Sure, you can go to (insert big box store here) and buy chemical-laden lawn products that make your grass an unhealthy shade of nuclear green overnight. But that’s the quick fix, folks, and Heidelberg Farms is not about that. Natural lawn care is our program. Here are some of the things that can happen when you use chemical fertilizers.

It kills the soil.

Sure, chemical fertilizers are great for quick plant growth (although not much else), but when using them you’re slowly killing your soil. These types of fertilizers contain sulphuric and hydrochloric acids, which slowly break down the integrity of the soil. Your yard’s soil relies on natural microorganisms and particles to hold the soil together. When chemicals are used, your soil doesn’t get replenished. And over time, it will start to not be able to grow anything. Not to mention, a lot of chemical fertilizers are made with fossil fuels (you wouldn’t water your garden with oil, would you?) which breaks down the soil even more. When the soil isn’t replenished properly, the acidity of your lawn keeps growing, adding poisonous elements that you definitely don’t want making their way into your fruits, vegetables, or interaction with your kids/pets.

It’s got a short life span.

Most store-bought chemical fertilizers last only a few weeks before you have to go back to the store to buy some more. The usage in fertilizers like Miracle Gro varies on the type you buy, but typically, you can’t expect it to help sustain your lawn, plants or soil. The main drive behind organic lawn care is that it actually improves the living environment around your yard, like supplementing the soil with the naturally reoccurring microorganisms, bacteria and nutrients it needs to survive. Chemical fertilizers are the quick fix by ‘filling in the blanks’ around what your soil needs — but then rapidly depletes it, meaning you have to start over.

It’s hazardous to your health!

This one is too obvious! Chemical fertilizers are just that — chemicals. As we start to learn more about the dangers that chemical products have on our bodies, we’re adapting to it quickly. The same goes for using chemical fertilizers in your yard. The same nasty things that help your plants grow quickly are the same ones that will kill them in the end. And have you ever opened a bag of Miracle Gro to find hundreds of ants or fruit flies storm out? *Shudders*.

This is a pretty short list, folks, but it can go on and on. Using chemical fertilizers on your yard doesn’t always make the grass greener.