As spring begins to show signs that it’s right around the corner, stores ready themselves for the influx of customers looking to buy their lawn care essentials. But what do you do if the prospect of spreading poisons and dangerous chemicals on the same ground your barefoot children and pets run around on doesn’t exactly appeal to you? Then it’s time to start thinking about lawn care in terms of organic standards. And author Sandy Baker has exactly what you need to get started in her book, “The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply”“The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care” is a comprehensive book, details a myriad of steps, organic options, and common problems inherent with transitioning a lawn from ‘traditional’ to ‘eco-friendly’. Baker begins with the various reasons why people may want to switch and then gets into the actual concept of what organic lawn care entails. Later, she explains how to get your soil tested so you know what nutrient deficiencies you are up against and how to overcome them. She gives helpful hints for getting rid of weeds, pesky insects, fungus, and other unwelcomed infestations. There is even a section on how to mow your lawn the correct way.Chock full of ideas and possibilities, the book is a map for the would-be beginner and a fantastic reference book for the experienced organic landscaper. Baker is thorough in her explanations, ensuring that her methods are understandable for any reader regardless of skill level. Well-organized, the book flowed from one section to another with ease. I only noticed one small issue with the editing: page 230 discusses weeds and some various ways to stop them. Baker notes, “Instead of digging the weeds up individually, use the vinegar and citrus oil method for that small area.” However, this ‘vinegar and citrus oil method’ had not been discussed prior nor is it addressed after this reference is made. It wasn’t until I got to the end of the book that I found an appendix. Appendix D (page 273) explains this method and details the recipe. Had I not browsed the appendices, I would not have found this recipe and the ‘vinegar and citrus oil method’ I’d read about on page 230 would have remained an irritating, unanswered question. This issue could be easily fixed with the addition of a short notation, like “(see Appendix D, page 273)” immediately following the first mention of this new method. “The Complete Guide to Organic Lawn Care” is a must-read for anyone looking to leave behind the traditional, unnatural way of caring for their yard. Sandy Baker’s safer, eco-friendly steps allow for a healthier – and eventually even easier – way to maintain everything underfoot! Reviewed by Vicki Landes, author of “Europe for the Senses – A Photographic Journal”
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