The Well-Stocked Hardware Store

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A Well-Stocked Hardware Store

To assist local garden centers and hardware stores in transitioning their customers to holistic lawn care practices, Beyond Pesticides has crafted the “Well-Stocked Hardware Store,” which provides the products and tools necessary to support a move to healthy, organic landscapes. This guide fits in with Beyond Pesticides’ Model Pesticide Policy and Implementation Plan for Communities, but can be used independently for hardware stores looking to encourage the use of products and practices that protect the health of their customers, community, and the wider environment.

Lawn Maintenance:

Stocking the necessary equipment and supplies to help your customers maintain their organic lawns is critical.

Mowers: Lawn mowers come in two different varieties – reel and rotary. Though we suggest carrying both, rotary mowers are a better fit for an organic turfcare system. Reel mowers are generally push mowers, which snip grass like a pair of scissors.  They’re great for cutting lawns short; however, with organic cultural practices, you generally only want to do that once, at the end of the growing season. Rotary mowers are better suited to maintain your customers' lawns at the 3 ½” to 4” mark that crowds out weeds. Encourage customers to both mow high and keep their grass clippings on their lawns. Clippings are a free source of nutrients that will help grass grow throughout the season. Greenworks carries a number of reel and electric rotary mowers, so your customers won’t be spewing exhaust throughout the community. 

Grass Seed: Make sure that the type of grass seed sold is compatible with your local climate. Although it’s not widely available at the moment, try to source organic certified seed. Also include seed mixes that contain clover. Clover mixes can help reduce fertilizer costs by fixing nitrogen and provide a year-round source for pollinators. Don’t be afraid to promote clover mixes as beneficial – the latest trend in organic land care!
The first organic grass seed provider in the country is DLF organic.
Other reputable grass seed companies include Jonathan Green and Earth Turf.

For sources of other organic garden seeds, see Beyond Pesticides' Pollinator-Friendly Seed Directory. 

Seeders: Overseeding in the fall is a critical part of good cultural practices for lawn care. Although customers can seed small areas by hand, they’ll need a seeder in large areas to maintain uniformity. Grass seeders range from hand-held rotary spreaders, to mobile push seeders, mounted seeders that attach to ATVs or other small vehicles, or those that can be pulled behind a tractor. Earthway Products carries a wide variety of seeders.

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