Thursday, August 13, 2009

Educated Customers Are Making Smart Purchases

The green movement is about nothing if not education. Its momentum comes from showing you the difference between product A and product Green. Even customers who do not choose the greener option, initially, will likely make smarter purchases in the future thanks to greenies .

The first benefit comes from the environmentally friendly practice of reading labels and more specifically active ingredients. Those who actively read labels are helped in the following ways:

The same chemical may come in a liquid concentrate or a ready-to-use sprayer. By recognizing the same active ingredient marketed to you in a couple different forms, you can save money by choosing the least expensive form of application.

Customers who seek only a certain "Insecticidal Dust" based on brand marketing may find themselves frustrated and unnecessarily driving to more than one store to find it. If you know you only want "Scotts" this or "Ortho" that, you will likely overlook products that are less expensive, more effective, or otherwise better suited to your situation.

There is also the obvious benefit of learning the correct usage of a potentially hazardous chemical.

Greenies can also teach you useful terminology.

"Systemic" and "Contact" are two extremely helpful classifications, and they can help you in the following ways:

You've got roses that need repeated treatment with fungicide. The uneducated person might grab a bottle that says "fungicide" and think their problem is solved. If they grabbed a contact fungicide (even one with pretty roses on the label) though, they will not have the lasting effect of a systemic fungicide. Who wants to spray more when they don't have to do so?

You are spraying your vegetables or fruit trees for bugs, and you want something that will work like a champ. You like that systemic products last longer, but recognize that you don't want a chemical making its way through something you will eat.

You've got weeds and you need them dead. Most people will choose products that kill fast! Careful though. Just because the top of that weed is killed overnight with a contact herbicide doesn't mean the roots aren't clamoring to send up more growth in a few days.

Other buzz words and phrases that can help you out in the long run:
Pre-emergent-Great for keeping things from sprouting. Won't do diddly if it already has!

Post-emergent-Great for killing what has already sprouted. Won't do diddly to sprouting seeds.

Amend-To add to something. Amending soil improves plant growth.

Organic Matter-Soil that is not amended often has too little organic matter. Organic matter helps by retaining moisture and nutrients.

Soil Permeability-The ability of water to travel through soil.

Selective Herbicide - Kills only certain plants.

Non-selective-Kills everything.

Ph, Acid, Alkaline - Sometimes plants prefer a certain Ph. Nutrients are not absorbed correctly if the soil is too far in one direction or another.

Native - Naturally grows in this area.

Nonnative - Does not grow naturally in this area, and thereby may not be suited to our climate. Alternatively, it could be invasive like Kudzu.

The bottom line is a little information might help you more than you think.

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