Please pass on the plastic

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Lawn Care situation that ends with a fired landscaper March 19, 2009

Filed under: healthy home,healthy pets,healthy school,healthy water — michelleodonoghue @ 11:15 pm

terrenceJust had an incredibly frustrating landscaper situation, bringing back very bad memories of my pest control situation ( see post # 47).  As we are renting our home in CA we are using the same landscapers that the owners have used for years prior. Wen we first moved in I met with the head guy to go over what he uses on the lawns and the watering schedule. He told me they do not put anything on the lawn, definitely no chemicals. I should have known better but I trusted what he said. it was California after all–the most organic state in the nation.


Today as I brought our new puppy (sooo cute)outside to play, the boss landscaper stopped me to stay that I shouldn’t let my pets or people on lawn for 2 hours b/c they had just put weed killer down. My mouth dropped open. You did what? I told you no chemicals, blah, blah, blah i ranted on and on…..he told me he was so sorry, there were so many weeds, he must have forgotten. he told me he would tell his guys right now to stop and no more ever again.  OK, maybe this was a needed reminder. A few minuted later I peeked outside. Boss was no where in site and his guys were sprinkling something on the lawn. i ran out side to see what it was. A miracle grow weed killer and fertilizer.  i can’t write what came out of my mouth next.

i grabbed the bag he was getting his product out of (with his gloved hands and masked mouth mind you) and read the back. Here is what it said: “toxic to marine life. Hazardous to humans and domestic animals. If ingested call poison control, flush with water immediately if contact with skin….etc……the warnings went on and on.

I had the guy call his boss to come back, he never did. I called him myself and asked how could this happen after we had just had this conversation. He said its just fertilizer, its fine. And that’s when he lost his job. 

on to my organic landscaper hunt… the meantime, never trust people who tell you it is natural. Your health and the health of your pets and children depends on it. I just don’t think that word holds much meaning to people yet.


8 Responses to “Lawn Care situation that ends with a fired landscaper”

  1. Juli Says:

    Hi Michelle!

    I read about you on Fake Plastic Fish today, and saw that you switched out your PVC shower curtain for a cloth one. This is something I’d like to do eventually, but I’ve always wondered if the cloth curtains get wet and stay wet, then get moldy quickly. What has your experience been?

  2. Juli Says:

    Hi Michelle!

    I read about you on Fake Plastic Fish today, and see that you have switched your PVC shower curtain for a cloth one. This is something I’d like to do as well. Does the cloth curtain dry quickly? Does it get moldy any faster than the PVC curtain did?

  3. Justin Cho Says:

    Hello Michelle,
    Ellen forwarded your blog and I enjoyed reading on your lawn event. Personally I only let my landscaper to do cutting and pruning because I don’t trust what they use. It is worse here when you are getting water from underground.
    Keep up the good work !!!

    • michelleodonoghue Says:

      thank you for this support! it’s been hard finding time to write lately (new puppy takes up way too much time!) but it’s inspiring when i hear from others

  4. Andrea Says:

    We made sure our landscaper wouldn’t put any fertilizer down by making him adjust our contract price:) If we’re not paying his not laying it down. But you really do have to keep an eye on everyone. Hope all is well. Puppy is adorable.

  5. Lauren Longwell Says:

    Way to go – holding your ground! So proud of you and gives me courage to question more boldly too!

  6. benny Says:

    while you’re at it, you might want to watch out for leaf-blowers… they’re shown to increase the amount of hazardous particulate matter in the air and are particularly dangerous for children and seniors, leading to an increased likelihood of permanent asthma in the former, and “valley fever” in the latter. they’re actually illegal in los angeles though rarely enforced unfortunately. you can report their use to the department of street services.

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