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Natural Awakenings San Diego

The ABCs of Organic Lawn Care: Revolution Landscape Grows a Sustainable Way of Life

Jul 29, 2011 09:07AM ● By Linda Sechrist

The cyclic nature of landscapes is what Ari Tenebaum had in mind in 2008 when he suggested to his business partner, Jeff Robins, that they name their company Revolution Landscape. Recalling the company’s three-year organic transformation from a dream of two recent college graduates to a comprehensive, sustainable landscaping business, Tenebaum notes that the original purpose was to introduce San Diego homeowners and businesses to the concept of edible landscapes, while creating green jobs for the community. “Because of the drought, we chose to integrate California’s drought-tolerant native plants into our fruit and vegetable garden designs, so our clients could save water and grow their own food,” he says.

When several Revolution clients requested grass lawns and edible landscapes, Tenebaum decided it was time to promote chemical-free, organic lawns. “I don’t see the lawn disappearing entirely from California real estate,” he says. “However, because healthy soil can reduce irrigation needs by up to 30 percent, I do see lawns managed with organic practices replacing those managed with synthetic and chemical fertilizers and pesticides.” Building healthy soil also means a reduction in soil-borne diseases, improved water-holding capacity, weed reduction, better erosion control and healthier plants.

Tenebaum emphasizes that one of San Diego’s biggest concerns is polluted water runoff after storms. Because chemicals used on landscapes easily make their way into the ocean, he recommends his ABCs of organic lawn care: top-dressing lawns with organic compost in fall and spring; applying compost tea; and appropriate watering. These steps, combined with the elimination of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, help create a happy, healthy, chemical-free lawn. “Generally, most homeowners over-water and over-fertilize, which weakens the lawn’s health and opens the door for weeds and disease,” he says. “Using a compost tea not only helps provide nutrients for plants, it also helps promote the beneficial microorganisms that live in soil and are essential for healthy, organic plants.”

Contact Ari Tenebaum, Revolution Landscape, at 858-337-6944 or visit Connect with Revolution Landscape from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays at the La Jolla Open Aire Farmers’ Market, at La Jolla Elementary School, at the corner of Girard Ave. and Genter St.

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