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Getting your yard off pesticides

As the "green" movement grows, people are converting to sustainable, organic yard practices.

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Morrisville homeowners Rich and Donna Caira said they have abandoned chemicals and gone all-organic with their lawn care.

"You can breathe better,” Donna Caira said. “There's not that lingering odor that permeates the air."

The couple's dog was the reason they turned to an all-organic lawn care service. They said they didn't want to worry about dangerous pesticides when Duffy was playing on the grass.

"Organic lawn care is a holistic approach to lawn care. We're trying to bring life back to the soil," said Scott Walker, owner of Pleasant Green Grass.

Walker said chemicals harm the soil.

"You're setting up situations where disease and weeds are going to come in and attack that out-of-balance system,” he added.

However, going organic might not be suitable for everyone.

"Often times, when people say they're going organic, our first comment is that you may have to reduce your standards,” said Dr. Grady Miller, a turfgrass scientist with North Carolina State University.

Homeowner Rich Caira's said his first concern was whether the greener option would be as effective.

"Initially, I was not too convinced that it would work,” Caira said. “I have to say that I think the lawn looks really good, so it works."

Miller said organic methods work better on smaller lawns and that more complex situations might call for synthetic solutions. However, he said, that is not necessarily a cause for concern.

"I think today our products are much safer, so it's not as much of an issue as it was many years ago,” Miller said.

N.C. State's Turfgrass Center has an online guide to organic lawn care.


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