Many times we get information on a product that is touted as the miracle product of the year, even the decade. It always sounds so good that we hope it is something that can save us time, money or make our lives a little easier.
When it comes to gardening and lawn care, people really seem to be interested in new products because the landscape of your home is a reflection of your personality, the only part of your home open for all eyes to see. And sometimes a neighborhood rivalry spurs competition to be the best.
But whenever you see something new on the market, play devil’s advocate. Always be careful of declarative statements. When it comes to Mother Nature, there seldom are absolutes, and always a lot of exceptions.
One brought to my attention was a miracle grass that would require no chemicals, little to no fertilization and infrequent mowing. It was interesting to see these claims so I took a deeper look. I discovered that if I bought into the idea of this miracle grass, I would have been very disappointed.
I came to find out the grass is a blend of seed adapted to the cooler summers of the Northeastern United States. The seller did claim the seed was not for use in our part of the world, but also gave a glimmer of hope by saying people have planted it in the South. I found it funny to mention that so as not to entirely cut out an entire region of the country for potential sales.
I did not see any reviews or studies from other Cooperative Extension outfits, and I found that interesting. Cooperative Extension across the nation is an outlet for research-based unbiased information. It is our job to report facts and give guidance on how to properly grow plants, whether in a homeowner’s landscape or a commercial producer’s 100-acre field of soybeans.
So the bottom line is to take things with a grain of salt and ask questions. Double-check all claims and make sure you know that what you buy will work for our climate and the growing conditions of your yard.
Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293. His column appears weekly and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.