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Alternatives to Synthetic Pesticides

These two guides discuss what common weeds tell you about your soil. They also point out which weeds can be beneficial for your lawn. Before you go on a killing spree, think about tolerating some weeds.

How to “Read the Weeds” for a Healthier Lawn 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac: Weeds as Indicator Plants

This article discusses Professor Gillman’s views on organic gardening, and links to his books. Before buying anything organic, read these for a good starting point!

Professor Jeffrey Gillman’s Books

This Star Tribune article discusses the dangers in some recommended organic lawn care practices and interviews Professor Gillman on a few of them. 

Some ‘Organic’ Lawn Care Remedies aren’t as Safe as they Sound

Corn gluten meal, a by-product of corn processing, was tested as an alternative pre-emergent pesticide by the University of Iowa in the 1990s. It is more expensive, must be applied at the right time of year, and often must be used for 3-4 years to work. However, it also doubles as a slow-acting fertilizer!

Midwest Pesticide Action Center:  The Do’s and Don’ts of Corn Gluten Meal

The University of Minnesota Extension lists both non-chemical and chemical controls you can use for weeds, and has a weed identification guide. If you’re in Minnesota and you have any questions about a weed/insect/fungus, find your local Master Gardeners.

University of Minnesota: Ask a Master Gardener

This wallet-brochure lists chemicals used in insecticides that are less toxic than traditional chemical insecticides.

 Less Toxic Pest Control Chemicals from Our Water Our World

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