Plant Health Care Model

Currently, the University uses a number of pesticides to treat invasive plant species. Although pesticides are very effective at treating these plants quickly, they can be detrimental to human health and the ecosystem. They can persist for up to months after being sprayed, and evaporate and enter building doors adjacent to treatment areas. On campus, the detrimental effects are especially problematic in areas where people convene to enjoy summer activities, such as the Academic Green Oval.

Chemical fertilizers are also used on campus to increase vitality in a predictable and reliable fashion.  However, they often contain ingredients that are toxic to the respiratory system or skin. In the long-term, fertilizer build-up in the soil causes imbalances in pH levels and infertility.

The Plant Health Care Model (PHCM) is an alternative to pesticide and chemical fertilizer treatment. Just as a healthy person has a strong immune system, healthy plants have good defenses. The PHCM helps build defenses of the landscape to prevent disease. This all-natural method includes practices such as handpicking, compost tea and organic fertilizer spraying, as well as dethatching, aerating, and overseeding, to treat grass.

The PHCM study will give the U of R more knowledge regarding the costs and processes involved in this type of lawn care model. The goal is to expand the research into more plots to eventually determine if the PHCM could become a feasible lawn care model for the entire campus.

The first soil tests for this project happened on June 16, 2014. This year, the University has expanded this model to include the Academic Green Oval

Contact us if you would like to help us with this project. Volunteers are needed and always appreciated. Email us or contact us through Facebook.


PHC Data Collection

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