Yes, it is hard to think about the summer when we still have piles of snow on the gorund. Wish it was gone? Well, not so fast, folks, because snow serves a role in aiding the health of our soil, which is what determines the health of our yard. Snow as Mulch Snow helps moderate […]

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We hear it all the time. What does organic really mean? At Heidelberg Farms, it starts with basic principles, which have been codified by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) of which we are a part. Basic Principles of Organic Lawn Care Principle of health. Organic land care should sustain and enhance the health of […]

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We all want a green yard. It looks nice. It makes us feel happy during our brief New Hampshire growing season. However, what price are we willing to pay?  Lawn Chemicals When people use lawn chemicals to “green” their yard up, they are risking not only the health of the planet, but the health of their […]

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While our focus at Heidelberg Farms is organic lawncare, we are passionate about anything that helps the environment and take great interest whenever there’s a discussion about switching over from harmful chemicals to organic products. There is a growing conversation about road salt’s impact on the environment and the use of organic alternatives. Here in […]

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Are you considering organic care for your lawn or garden but are on the fence about it? A major factor to consider when making this decision is your own personal health. Synthetic pesticides have long posed a public health concern, but is it a concern that you’re taking seriously? It may be beneficial to take […]

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Each day, more leaves are falling, and the question you have is whether to bag your leaves. According to some studies, you really do not have to rake and bake your leaves. Just go over your yard with your lawnmower every once in a while. Why? Leaves have incredible organic matter in them. You really […]

Winter is definitely on its way, so here are some tips on how to prepare your lawnmower for winter.   Drain your gas   The ethanol in our gasoline attracts condensation, which causes gasoline to mix with water—especially during the winter when a mower sits for a long time. Ethanol is also corrosive and can […]

Fall leaves are beautiful. Yellow, orange—and my favorite, red. But what’s happening? Here is a very brief and fun lesson on the chemistry behind fall leaves. Pigments Pigments are chemicals in leaves that produce colors in leaves. Chlorophyll, for instance, appears green. Chlorophyll is critical in the process of photosynthesis, which is energy from sunlight […]

“Going organic” is an idea as old as human civilization From Produce to “Progress” It’s easy to take for granted, but “organic lawn care” has been around longer than human civilization itself. In fact, agriculture is the main reason human culture—art, science, government—even exists at all. Still, while learning to work the land may have […]

Life Partners Whatever your beliefs regarding the age of our planet, it’s abundantly clear that bacteria have been rooting around our lawns and gardens for a long, long time—since the very beginning, in fact. While these one-celled organisms have garnered a somewhat negative connotation, truth is that bacteria and animals (including humans) have always coexisted. […]

The Carbon Conundrum As the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey and Irma puts climate change back in the national conversation, the sheer magnitude of how to lower our collective carbon footprint makes it easy to feel overwhelmed. “Sure, I can buy more green and organic products, maybe drive a little less” the thinking goes. “But […]

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. Even after the frost sets in, your grass isn’t dead; it’s merely dormant, lying […]

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. No 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 […]

Labels Matter We’ve all been there before, standing in the grocery store, trying to decide between the $4 bottle of certified organic juice and the $3 “natural” brand. “Is there really that big of a difference between natural and organic?” you wonder. Whether we’re talking about lunch-meats, lemons, or lawn care, there can be a […]

From Choice to Voice We talk a lot about the importance of making greener choices, particularly as it relates to organic, pesticide-free lawn care. It might cost a bit more up front, but it’s far healthier—and cheaper—in the long run. But what happens when the demand for green shifts from the marketplace to the public […]

Recently, we had a chance to connect with Diane Carpinone at Non Toxic  Dover to discuss all things related to lawn care. You see, she is not only a  client of ours, she is helping to spearhead some really exciting initiatives at  Non Toxic Dover. Read the latest press on our collaboration HERE. In talking […]

Feel the chill in the air yet? Okay, we don’t feel it either, but it is August and definitely time to think about your game plan for this fall. Test your soil There is still plenty of time for plants and flowers to grow, so testing your soil makes sense. Heidelberg Farms tests soil and […]

The term ‘organic’ is used all the time, but what is it? Here is a way to think about it when used with lawn care. It means not using chemicals at all. Simple, right? Well, there is more, so take a moment and follow along with us as we provide some key concepts regarding ‘organic’ […]

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As a proud member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), we subscribe to their principles, which inform what we do with every customer.  Basic Principles of Organic Lawn Care Principle of health. Organic land care should sustain and enhance the health of soil, water, air, plant, animal, human, and planet as one and indivisible. […]

All of our work starts with the soil. For us, understanding as much as possible about the environmental conditions within your landscape, including your family’s use as well as aesthetic expectations, are vital to creating a successful maintenance program. As you’ll see, our organic lawn care programs are continuously adjusted to meet the needs of […]

We playfully phrase the question as to where bumblebees have gone as a nod to Shakespeare, but the answer is anything poetic. Bumblebees are dying—and it is a disturbing development for the entire world. Where are the Bumblebees? Most studies point to global warming as the reason. In one study, the habitat ranges for 67 […]

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For years, Steve Phillips of Heidelberg Farms, which is accredited as a certified organic lawn care service provider, has worked to educate people regarding the harm that results from the use of pesticides and chemicals. More recently, he has begun to expand and publicize his outreach efforts, which has resulted in an informal partnership with […]

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Yeah, we get it. Bees can sting. Who likes that part? Well, there is more to this story, much more! The Importance of Bees The most important thing bees do is pollinate. Pollination is critically needed for plants to reproduce–and bees play a major role. How does this work? When bees collect pollen from a […]

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There is no gentle way to say this, but synthetic tick sprays are toxic and create a false sense of security. They kill pollinators (butterflies!), too. You know what? They do not kill all ticks either, as new ticks will simply wander into the area in short order. The truth about tick sprays There is […]

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Last week, I talked about the reasons for ticks, and so now I will talk about what they are all about. After all, I know all about them. I have Chronic Lyme Disease. I fully understand the alarm ticks bring to people wanting to protect their families and pets. A blood-feeding external parasite of mammals, […]

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Climate is part of the reason why ticks are abundant, but there are other reasons. Deer The surge in deer — which feed ticks and spread them around — is a big factor. Deer are often considered  the prime source of spreading Lyme disease–they act as hosts to adult ticks. It is estimated, though, that nymphs are […]

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Soil compaction is very common in heavily used lawns, which makes aeration so important. Ideally, you want soil with 50 percent solids and 50 percent of porous space. That space helps to create the soil structure where soil life can thrive. Without that space, it is difficult for roots to grow deeply into your soil. […]

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Healthy soil is not just a mound of dirt. Rather, it consists of air, water, mineral particles, organic matter, worms, and other beneficial soil life. What makes this web so interesting is that when they all work together, it is a little bit like a machine–a machine that grows healthy plants. Each of these elements […]

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The snow is completely gone now and spring/summer is trying to arrive, which means it is time to think about the soil. Start with the soil Shouldn’t we first start to think about greening our grass? Well, no, because it starts with the soil. Think about your lawn like your house. If all you do […]

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It is easy to grow milkweed plants to attract the Monarch butterfly to your garden. You can start by planting seeds of the milkweed plant indoors and then move them outside after danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. Milkweed often does not begin growing in northern gardens in time to be […]

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Earth Day is almost upon us—Saturday, April 22—which is why we thought it would be fun to talk about how it all began. Earth Day History It all began in 1970 when at the time there were very few, if any, consequences related to pollution. It was seen as the cost of doing business. It […]

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Recently, I had a chance to write a column for the Ecological Landscape Alliance on a few things, but primarily the role of soil. I cannot stress it enough. Anything we do in our yards must begin with it. This is especially important right now, as we begin to see those standard commercials with chemical […]

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For years, Heidelberg Farms has worked to educate people on the realities behind organic lawn care programs, which is why we are so excited to release our brand new From The Roots Up! services program. Organic Lawn Care Services What is this going to cost? We get this question all the time, and we do have pricing […]

Ten Reasons to Compost Compost builds soil and microbial ecologies. The US loses about 3 tons of topsoil per acre annually. Compost reduces watering. It makes a great mulch to prevent evaporation and also holds moisture. In fact, a 5% increase in organic material (compost) can increase the amount of water absorption capacity by four […]

The Natural Landscape Plants have been evolving on the earth for one billion years. In natural meadows, prairies, and forests, diverse plant communities thrive. They did not receive a dose of fertilizer or irrigation, nor did landscape crews come along to make them look great. How do these plants grow in the natural landscape and stay […]

Eco-Tips Following these Eco-Tips for Your Backyard from Heidelberg Farms to improve your footprint on the planet and keep your landscape at its best! Shred leaves in the fall and use them as mulch for a flower bed.  Build a compost pile and get ride of garden waste on site.  Leave grass clippings on the […]

Water Water is not a never ending resource we wish. An ecological approach, though, can help keep your yard at its best through the storms when we have too much rain and in droughts when we don’t have enough. Follow these Water Saving Eco-Tips from Heidelberg Farms to protect this valuable resource. Reduce lawn size with a […]

For the next couple of weeks, we will look at mycorrhizal fungi and their role in the soil food web. They are extremely important characters, as they colonize plant roots and extend deep into the soil. True extensions of root systems, they are more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves. In […]

Newly accredited organic lawncare services are now available from NH-based landscaper Steve Phillips of Heidelberg Farms. Having offered organic lawncare services for years, Philips took the extra step to become accredited by the Northeast Organic Farming Association by recently completing an intensive four-day course in Connecticut. The course was taught by highly experienced scientists and […]

Soil Carbon Since the dawn of agriculture some 12,000 years ago, humans have caused deforestation with land clearings and crop tillage releasing excess carbon dioxide. Using deep ice core analysis and techniques, scientists have detected spikes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane that correspond to agricultural expansion thousands of years ago. Fast forward thousands of […]

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Most people believe we must stop burning fossil fuels to prevent further increases in atmospheric carbon. Many people also believe we need to find ways to remove carbon already in the air if we want to reduce the chance of weather crises and associated human tragedies, economic disruption and social conflicts that they bring. The Case […]

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Given the past few years with droughts followed by big storms that bring us too much, water quality is more important than ever. Water Quality and Organic Landscapes One important thing to realize, though, is that water is not as abundant as we might believe. Several families in my local area in NH lost their […]

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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 […]

It might be winter, but things are really starting to pick up at Heidelberg Farms, as we look to branch out across the Seacoast and beyond to start reversing the harm of chemical lawn care products. Education is key, as many people simply do not understand the harm that can be done to our environment […]

The family yard is an important part of your living space and could actually be considered as an extension of your home, a type of outdoor room. Families enjoy having an attractive and relaxing yard that frequently serves a number of purposes including having a fun, happy and safe spot for you and your four-legged […]

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Pollination is a reminder that ecosystems are comprised of a series of interdependent relationships. Approximately 90 percent of all flowering plants require pollinators to survive. Almonds, cherries, pears, apples, avocados, blueberries, cranberries and even carrots depend on honeybee pollination. Pesticides commonly found in lawn and garden products and used in agriculture are known to be […]

Do you love the sound of birds singing outside of your windows? Perhaps you also read my blog about the importance of honeybees and other pollinators. If so, you might also want them to be abundant in your garden and in your community. The key to having thriving birds, honeybees, and many other wonderful animals […]

Whether a cat lover or not, you are probably aware of the dangers of using harmful chemicals on your lawn and garden. It is an area of concern as pesticides and fertilizers pose a hazard to humans and their pets, including cats.  Cats love to be outside and wander around putting them at greater risk […]

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Spring will be here before you know it, which is why we want to talk about how watering new lawns is very different from watering grass in an established lawn. Interested in growing a new lawn the organic way? Here is how it works with Heidelberg Farms. Watering new lawns from seed For seeds to […]

Did you know you can turn your backyard into a wildlife habitat? Yes, it is pretty neat, and I have already had my backyard certified as a wildlife habitat. Here is what a backyard wildlife habitat should include, according to The National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife Program at Turn your backyard into a […]

It is hard to believe, but another year has passed, which means we all have a chance to turn the page and begin changing the world in 2017. Yes, you heard right. Let’s change the world. Let’s eat healthy and reduce the toxins in our bodies. Let’s take time for ourselves and this beautiful earth […]

Whereas conventional farming and landscaping destroys natural cycles, Heidelberg Farms and other organic farmers and landscapers restore nature’s balance. In “The Gift of Good Land,” Wendell Berry said it best: An organic farm, properly speaking, is not one that uses certain methods and substances and avoids others; it is a farm whose structure is formed […]

Most soil has less than 2% organic matter in it, which is why adding a layer of topdressing with organic high-grade compost can be so crucial. Regular applications of topdressing will improve your soil by helping it retain water and increase aeration and root development. The goal is to get your soil to contain at […]

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One of the best ways to ensure you have a great turf is to add a layer of topdressing with organic high-grade compost. A great source of fertility, compost structures the soil particles for deeper soil and root development and helps seeds germinate by holding more moisture. Topdressing works by imitating nature’s natural cycles (fall leaves, […]

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Compost tea is a liquid form hand crafted artisan compost that contains a diverse population of beneficial organisms these organisms have a symbiotic relationship with plants. It requires the correct type of equipment and a lot of care. The total time to brew it can be 24 to 36 hours. When the tea arrives at your home the […]

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Brewed in a similar manner as brewing beer and wine, Compost tea is for soil and plant consumption. It is a natural fertilizer that can be custom brewed for lawns, gardens, and trees. During the production process, beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes are extracted from the solid compost. When fully brewed, it is added to the […]

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Organic Lawn Care Heidelberg Farms believes very strongly in following the practice of exclusively using natural, organic products—it is good for the earth, which is clearly not the case with synthetic products. The major difference with synthetic products is that they treat symptoms rather than solve problems. Problems with your yard or garden start in […]

Organic lawn care begins and ends with understanding the soil food web, which combines science, products, and practices to create systemic change in a turf system (Grass, garden, etc). Organic Lawn Care One thing to remember, though, is that organic lawn care does not produce changes overnight. Patience is key. The length of time is […]

Heidelberg Farms aims to provide you with organic and sustainable solutions so you can keep your yard looking its best, and so this week we are going to help you mow like a pro. One of the key components in a healthy yard is having beautiful and healthy grass. Many people believe grass care is a […]

  As you probably know by now, Heidelberg Farms loves the fall and leaf color changes, which is why we wanted to talk about why you sometimes see what is often referred to as “green islands.” The term refers to leaves that have not changed all the way, as they feature completely green spots. Why […]

I absolutely love when leaves change in the fall. It is a somewhat bittersweet thing, of course, because it means Old Man Winter is lurking around the corner and I need to dust off my snow plow, etc. However, my thoughts on winter is another matter, because what I want to talk about is why […]

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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. Mulch your fall leaves and leave them on your lawn. Build a leaf pile now for compost next spring. […]

Recently, I had the opportunity to weigh in on a conversation about eating local for Parenting NH magazine. What do I know about eating local? Well, not much, but I do know about soil—and healthy soil is the key to a healthy life. Did you know that there are one billion bacteria in one teaspoon […]

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In nearly any industry, there are often terms that are used interchangeably, which should not be the case with ‘nutrient-dense’ and ‘nutrient-rich.’ Nutrient dense foods refers to the overall value of nutrition of a food when compared with something else. For example, broccoli is more nutritionally dense than zucchini squash. ‘Nutrient-rich,’ though, means that a […]

Just 15 years ago, experts talked about 29 nutrients that were needed for plants to thrive. Recent research, however, indicates that plants actually require 42 nutrients in the soil so they can perform a variety of different cellular functions necessary for their health. Yes, 42 nutrients, which means they need a lot more than the […]

Small in size but with a large population, Holland is a nation with intensively farmed cropland, which led to a 6-year experiment with the results published just last month in the journal Nature Plants. In this experiment, Martijn Bezemer, a biologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology Netherlands, began to inoculate degraded soils with dirt […]

Turn on the TV on any given Saturday, and you are likely to see all kinds of commercials for products that promote the idea that an actively managed, chemically treated (through fertilizers) lawn is a good thing. In fact, it seems to almost be our right to have the greenest lawn out there. What is […]

From 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 […]

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 […]

We’ve talked before about the importance of using compost for your garden. Instead of using store bought, chemical-laden products, you can create your own compost — one man’s trash is another plant’s treasure! But before we dive into creating your own compost, let’s take a peek into why it’s so important for your garden and […]

Steve Phillips, owner of Heidelberg Farms, is the type of person that doesn’t just blindly accept the status quo. Organic lawncare is a new way to approach the care taking of the living things around your home. He is a proponent of Soil Foodweb, a holistic lawn care style developed by Dr. Elaine Ingham. Here’s […]

EM1 by TeraGanix the originator of effective microorganisms or EM for short .  The Lactobacillus bacteria in EM  become active and multiply in the presence of a food source such as blackstrap unsulphered molasses. When applying EM combined with  molasses, it helps the beneficial microbes to thrive in your soil. Extending or activating EM is a simple way to […]

    Compost worms offer a simple and cost-effective way to make your own fertilizer using common waste materials from your own kitchen! Vermicomposting uses worms – ideally, red wigglers – to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. Vermicast – worm “castings” or worm manure – is the […]

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