TRUMBULL, Conn. -- Landscaping season is rapidly approaching, and Armando Esteves -- who owns Trumbull-based Nature's Choice Lawn Care, which serves nine Fairfield County communities -- advises homeowners to consider more natural alternatives.
"The early arrival of warm weather signals the start to planting, pruning and garden grooming season," Esteves said. He said that, in some Fairfield County communities, having the best looking landscape on the street has become a competitive sport.
In too many cases, getting a yard ready for spring and summer can mean the use of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans use 80 million pounds of pesticide ingredients to fertilize their landscapes each year.
These ingredients can be harmful to people, family pets as well as the environment, Esteves notes. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also advises that pesticides can kill good organisms that help produce the nutrients plants need to grow and weaken grass.
"The hardest part of tending to the landscape environment that our children, grandchildren and family pets inhabit, is managing the use or potential over-reliance on yard chemicals," Esteves said. He noted that when young children play on a lawn sprayed with chemicals, their skin and clothes get exposed -- and the same goes for family pets.
Chemicals or toxins can also leech from the surface of yards into ground water, local streams, ponds or even the Long Island Sound. It's something Esteves said his customers are both concerned about and able to avoid. Such concerns have led to a growing market for natural and organic lawn products, which has expanded over 4 percent annually since 2010, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts.
Nature's Choice Lawn Care serves nine Fairfield county communities including Trumbull, Fairfield, Westport, Southport, Easton, Monroe, Newtown, Shelton and Stratford, offering organic fertilization methods to feed both plants and soil.