• Beneficials in the Garden: Did you know that 97% of the insects most commonly seen in homes and gardens are considered either beneficial or innocuous? Learning how to put these “beneficials” to work is an important Earth-Kind practice that can help reduce the use of chemical pesticides in the environment.
  • Fertilization: Lawn and garden experts have long known that plants, especially turfgrass, benefit from the regular application of supplemental fertilizers. Recently, however, there are increasing concerns about ecosystem contamination (i.e. surface and groundwater) from runoff carrying these nutrients. Balancing the benefits of plant fertilizers with their environmental impacts has become an important issue for communities throughout Texas and the US.
  • IPM: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a systematic, information-intensive approach to controlling insects, diseases and weeds which depends upon a thorough understanding of the entire landscape. It strives to use several complimentary tactics or control methods to manage pests which make the landscape more stable and subject to fewer problems. IPM focuses on tactics that will prevent or avoid anticipated pest problems rather than remediate problems once they occur.
  • Pesticides: Although pesticides can be useful, they can also be dangerous if used carelessly or stored improperly. The most effective way to reduce risks posed by pesticides is to consider the use of non-chemical control methods to reduce or eliminate pest problems. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a systematic approach that includes non-chemical options. If you decide you must use pesticides, always read the label first and follow directions to the letter, including precautions and restrictions.
  • Native Habitat: Creating ‘backyard habitat’ through the use of native and well adapted plant species not only provides habitat, but also assists in reducing water use, as well as the need for potentially harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Texas Wildscapes, coordinated by Texas Parks and Wildlife, is one of the most popular and successful native habitat projects for commercial and residential landscapes.
  • Natural Nutrients: To help reduce the potential contamination of surface and groundwater resources, many landscape gardeners are now utilizing “natural” nutrient sources for landscape/garden plant materials.