Landscaper seeks 'shift change' among his customers

Landscaper seeks 'shift change' among his customers

June 12th, 2010 by Tamara Best in Business Around the Region

* What: Landscaping, irrigation systems

* Company: Earth's Harmony

Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Andy Fazio, right, with Earth's harmony Landscaping, uses a hand hoe on the rooftop garden at Greenlife Grocery on Manufacturer's Road. Frank Kuhl, left, weeds around some of the plants.

* How it's green: Doesn't use any pesticides, only organic fertilizer and other organic methods

* How long: 10 years

* Why do it this way? "Because the overuse of herbicides and pesticides are a huge problem, it's unsafe. It's not sustainable," said Andy Fazio, owner of Earth's Harmony.

* Plans for expanding in the future? "We're happy and focused on what we are doing," he said. "Any outdoor beautification possible is what we do."

* Any suggestions for others considering green initiatives? For companies considering green landscaping, Mr. Fazio suggests the following: Keep away from herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers, be conservative with irrigation systems. He also suggests using drought-tolerant plants and a rain center, which automatically turns off your irrigation center when it rains to not overwater grass. "We have to make a whole shift change of people expecting a perfect lawn," he said, adding that things like clover that people take out is often good for the soil. Mr. Fazio also recommends clients ask their landscapers what types of methods they use to treat grass and request products that don't use chemicals.

* Is this an essential part of the business and why? "If you educate yourself on the reality of nonorganic treatment of landscaping, you see that it is the right thing to do. I've always read up on the harmful use of chemicals and leaned toward the natural way of doing things."