Wednesday, April 13

going organic

I went to the monthly meeting of the Dallas Sierra Club tonight. The guest speaker was Howard Garrett a/k/a the Dirt Doctor™. He is totally into organics, so if you even think chemicals are the only way to treat your lawn, then it's time to stop listening.

Stuff I learned:
  • "Garrett Juice" is Howard Garrett's concoction that can be bought, if you don't want to make your own. It's a liquid fertilizer;
  • Texas Organic Research Center
  • Tierra Verde is an Arlington golf course that's about 80% organic;
  • United States Green Building Council;
  • local organic success stories include Frito Lay's Plano headquarters ("organic since 1989"), Radio Shack - 38 acres in Southlake, and also Sabre Corp;
  • Soil Foodweb;
  • tree advice
    1. remove all ivy
    2. trees are supposed to FLARE as they exit ground (otherwise, roots are too deep)
    3. use "compost tea" to eliminate unhealthy (yellowing) plants and oak wilt disease (see "sick tree treatment")
  • Lambert's (214-350-8350) is an organic landscape contractor, and a member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association. Lambert's is affiliated with the Moore Tree Company;
  • air spade - "fancy sand blaster" for dirt;
  • 1000 year old tree - 3 miles north of Waco;
  • Garrett's best-selling books: Texas Bug Book and Texas Gardening - the Natural Way;
  • regarding mosquitos : the MosquitoNix™ misting system is okay if used with "plant oil" (BiOrganics and EcoEXEMPT™ are neurotoxins to invertebrates only) and they have a nice vanilla scent;
  • pyrethrum - very bad for kids with asthma, but used by City of Dallas as a spray for mosquitos (West Nile Virus);
  • spinosin (apparently the seeds and leaves of Ziziphus Spinosa) is a good fire ant bait. It appears to be Texas A&M's new recommended treatment
  • garlic tea - 30 day mosquito prevention;
  • Roundup™ is not as safe as it's marketed! (a new study shows it kills amphibians);
  • Green Light®'s goal is to provide effective, environmentally responsible products;
  • Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a good way to get rid of tent caterpillars;
  • lawn scalping only good in fall except in prep for overseeding;
  • philoremediation - removing toxins from soil;
  • hardpan is an impenetrable layer of soil, mostly due to compacting;
  • beneficial nematodes & molasses - fix grubworm problem (not organic gardening problem)
  • Safer (brand) products (not the same as the Safer Pest Control Project);
  • Garrett - "i've had no fireants in 12 yrs". He uses a mix of 20 pounds of dry molasses (per 1000 square feet) and says it provides "great fireant control". Also mentioned: orange-oil (but, it will burn grass);
  • George "Evil Empire" Bush's Crawford Ranch is 100% organic - this must be a closely guarded secret, lest his cronies in the chemical industry find out
  • after the monthly meeting, the Dallas Sierra Club often gathers at Papa's Pizza (on Beltline, in Addison)

1 comment:

TrshTwns01 said...

Wow. I have one that's of interest to us locally. A 'buddy' of mine on LJ moved here to work on this project.

http://www.urbanreserve.net

They bought an area off of 75, near Royal. It will be "Dallas' first low-impact development. We are committed to sustainable architecture, which uses less of our natural resources and causes little or no harm to the world around it and to those within it'

They have some cool requirements:

- Houses must be 30% more energy efficient than current code
- Development will use 100% wind-generated electricity
- Only native and low-water use plants
- Rainwater runoff irrigation
- Minimal impervious pavement
- Close access to DART to promote public transportation