Tag Archives: organic

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.

organic lawn careFeel 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 we can collect samples from your property.

Plant some grass seed
Late summer and fall is a fantastic time to plant grass seed. A soil test will help you and us determine what kind of seed is best for your lawn.

Mixing seed with compost is a great strategy as is adding topdressing, which is an application of manure or fertilizer to the surface layer your soil/lawn. Try clover seed, which adds nitrogen to your soil.

Plant some perennials
Fall is a wonderful time to get some trees and shrubs into the ground, as cooler temperatures encourage root growth. Mulching new plants is important, too, as is adequate water in those first couple of weeks.

Compost it
Choose a site that is convenient for you and start a compost pile. Choose a site that is shady with good drainage. You can build a compost bin or purchase one.

Compost piles should be well-ventilated, turned regularly and possess a diverse mix of “brown” and “green” materials. Brown materials should include leaves, straw, pine needles, cardboard while green materials include grass clippings, manure, and food waste

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!

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’ when applied to lawn care management.

Biodiversity of Grasses
Biodiversity is a huge concept for organic lawn care management. It starts with the actual grass we plant. Did you know there are numerous species of grass? Yes, it is true and combining several varieties of grass together is important to promote biodiversity. It can also promote a stronger, healthier-looking lawn.

Beneficial Organisms and Plants
Most homeowners want to eliminate insects throughout their property, but pesticides can cause serious damage to grass and plants. Pesticides also kill beneficial organisms that can naturally aid in your goals. You then use more chemicals and perpetuate an unsustainable cycle.

There are things, however, a homeowner can do to support the colonization of beneficial organisms. Heidelberg Farms can help and we can even advise you over the phone.

The term ‘organic’ also applies to the types of plants we put into a homeowner’s landscape. Native plants are crucial to the environment. They evolved here and contribute to the overall health of the local ecosystem.

Are you selecting plants that are best suited to the climate of this region? Those tags you see in plants that indicate as such can often be misleading. A plant is not just a plant. Rather, it is a cog in a larger wheel of which humans, animals, insects and other organisms are part.

The Takeaway
While the term ‘organic‘ most definitely means no chemicals, it also refers to keeping everything as local as possible with an eye toward promoting biodiversity. Biodiversity is the natural state of the environment, which is not something the bog box stores exactly what you to follow with their chemical programs.

There are no easy fixes for the environment–but with patience and science-based strategies, we can create landscapes around our homes that are beautiful, lush and sustainable. Call us at (603) 501-9919 to learn more.

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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.

LawncareSteve 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 the skinny: Your lawn is an ecosystem with every living thing playing an important role. Over the years (as in thousands), the organisms natural to your region have evolved in conjunction with one another. When we introduce foreign systems, like pesticides, it throws the entire system for a loop because it’s not something that belongs naturally. Soil Foodweb is the study of all of these organisms and how they work and live together to create a rich, natural lawn or garden.

With Heidelberg Farms, you can expect a commitment to excellence and an enthusiastic passion for the natural development or restructuring of your yard. Instead of trying to circumvent the system with fake growers or overnight ‘greeners,’ Steve will bring plants and organisms that are indigenous to the area, reintroduce native organisms and let the Earth take it from there.

Oft-times, people get frustrated when they put Product X from a Big Box Store on their yard–because in a month, it wears off and they’re back to square one. That’s not what Heidelberg Farms does. We’re in the business of getting your lawn back to its natural state. The Earth has been around far longer than we have and it knows itself better than we know it.

Let nature takes its course. Let Heidelberg Farms guide you—and at a pricepoint that will surprise you. Organic lawn care does not mean “expensive.” It means “long term solution,” and in the long run, you will SAVE money when you go organic.

For a free quote, call 603-501-9919 or message us on Facebook @ Heidelberg Farms.

Beautiful-Backyards-Pictures-with-wooden-fenceWhat’s better than walking out onto your yard on a warm summer night with the sensation of plush blades of grass under your feet? In our opinion, not much. As Americans, not many things give us more joy than looking out and seeing a beautiful, well-manicured landscape surrounding our home. A lawn is an extension of you as a homeowner — it requires hard work, some sweat equity, and the know-how of how to keep it in top shape. Since the 1950s, when more Americans became homeowners than ever before, we have been taught that the best lawn care products need to be chock full of pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals — not necessarily the best thing to put on the living, breathing thing immediately outside our home, but one that was most effective.

But as we’ve evolved in our education of the world around us, so has our understanding of better lawn care. Heidelberg Farms was born from a love of being outside, taking care of the living things around your home and educating folks on how to better take care of their lawns. We’ve been doing this a long time, and there’s nothing we’d love more than to help you grow a better yard.

Organic Lawn Care: What is it?

You’ve most certainly been hearing the term ‘organic’ thrown around a lot lately — organic chicken, organic vegetables, organic growth. It’s quite simple — organically grown means it’s natural, and there are no pesticides or chemicals in it! It’s important when it comes to your body, and it’s definitely important when it comes to your yard. When we talk about organic lawn care, we’re talking about helping your yard and landscape ween itself off of products containing nasty chemicals and toxins.

We use things like fish hydrolysate and compost tea extracts to get your lawn looking beautiful. We can also throw around crazy lawn jargon and some stuff we use, but we’re here to simplify it for you! Your lawn consists of thousands of microorganisms, all needing key things to grow and work in harmony. When the soil is rich with nutrients, it’s going to help those flowers grow. When pesticide-free products are used, grass and plants aren’t hindered and can grow naturally. When you keep a keen eye on your yard and see things (like weeds or thatch) that aren’t supposed to be there, removal will help with the overall cycle.

For a free quote, call 603-501-9919 or message us on Facebook @ Heidelberg Farms.