Southeast WI Archive
  • Southeast Wisconsin
  • August 2014
Written by  Rebecca Bentz

Discover a healthy yard and planet — Be Green Lawn Care explains how your lawn can be truly ‘green’

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated friend of the earth than Patti Beres, owner of Be Green Lawn Care. In fact, once you hear her passion for environmentally minded approaches to lawn and yard care — and life in general — you might begin to wonder if chlorophyll runs through her veins.

You see, Patti and the rest of the Beres clan are on a mission to not only beautify Delafield-area yards, but spread awareness of organic, earth-friendly treatments and techniques. Rather than using dangerous chemicals, Be Green transforms lawns with something much more powerful: knowledge.

An environmentally minded mission grows

Beres’ love for the earth took root early.

“As a little girl, I would lie in the lawn and talk to the bugs, or I would listen through a stethoscope to a tree and try to hear its heartbeat,” Beres recalls. “I’ve always had a profound awe about the creation we live in.”

Yet despite her love of plants and animals, as well as a personal connection to the industry — both of Beres’ parents work in land care and her husband has immersed himself in the green industry for 27 years — she never really intended to get into the business herself. Her motivation to eventually do so, however, could come from no better source: her family.

It was a February day four years ago when Beres and her children took a late winter walk and encountered a rather strange sight: a lawn care company applying fertilizer to a lawn at a time of year when grass isn’t able to absorb anything — except perhaps more snow. Fertilizing so early wasn’t good for the lawn, the customer or the earth, Beres explains.

“When I saw that, I said to my kids, ‘I just can’t believe they’re out doing that this early. If we had a lawn care company, we would do such a better job. My oldest son, who was about 14 at the time, looked at me and said, ‘Well, Mom, why don’t we?’”

At that moment, Beres knew what she had to do. A rescuer of bumble bees and family preacher of the benefits of composting, it was time to expand her smaller-scale environmental efforts outside her home and daily life.

“If I didn’t do something, I wasn’t teaching my kids a very good lesson,” she says.

Beres and her children went straight home and sent an email to “just about everyone” in Beres’ contacts, explaining their natural lawn care initiative. The gambit paid off.

“We immediately got 40 responses,” Beres remembers. “We started our first year with about 40 clients and never really imagined it would grow to the extent it has. Now we’re reaching upwards of 400 clients in our fourth year of business — and it’s just been an amazing experience.”

Be Green owes its tenfold growth in part to word-of-mouth recommendation. The reason customers are so pleased might be because Be Green takes the time to understand each lawn’s needs and each clients’ wishes.

Looking at lawns as living organisms

Some landscapers approach service by dousing turf with nitrogen-based fertilizer, which provides instant gratification but not long-lasting health, or to use harsh chemical compounds to kill weeds.

“It’s kind of like a person eating raw sugar to get energy. You get a big energy boost and you feel good for a little while, but all of a sudden, you run out of energy,” Beres explains. “That sugar boost depleted other areas of your body.”

Nitrogen-based fertilizer works on grass in much the same way, Beres says. The grass will green up immediately, but this healthy appearance won’t last.

“Within a day or two, you have this beautiful color in your lawn and the weeds are disappearing, and you think everything is great… Then the sugar high — or the nitrogen levels — run out. Within two to three weeks, the grass is actually looking worse than it did before because the nutrients have been depleted.”

Lack of nutrients allows for weeds, diseases and pests to infiltrate a lawn, Beres explains. Worse yet, nitrogen-based fertilizer that fails to absorb can make its way into storm sewers and eventually local waterways.

Be Green’s approach is different. The company uses absorbable nutrients designed to foster long-term health.

“We give a nutrition boost to your lawn. Instead of eating raw sugar, it’s like eating healthy, organic salad,” Beres says. This helps a lawn’s root system — its immune system, really — grow stronger. Grass with a healthy root system is better able to resist drought and is thicker, leaving little room for weeds and pests to gain a foothold.

Be Green uses a simple recipe Beres calls the three R’s: the right product, at the right time, at the right rate. The exact composition of the recipe, however, varies from lawn to lawn and seasonally. It all depends on the grass and plants’ specific needs.

“We get to know your lawn,” Beres says. “When you have a professional walking on your lawn every five to eight weeks and giving you an assessment on what your lawn needs right at that moment, it’s not just a blanket profile. It is a program that is created for each customer individually. We have clients that don’t want a chemical on their lawn ever. We can provide that.”

But Beres explains that not all customers mind using chemicals, and Be Green doesn’t mind using them — if those chemicals are safe for the environment. The company uses minimally toxic compounds that don’t affect honey bees, butterflies or earthworms. These products work just as well as the hazardous chemicals sprayed by other landscapers, Beres says.

Be Green also serves customers whose main wish is to banish all weeds from their yards, no matter the nature of the chemicals a lawn care company might use to do so.

“We love those customers too,” Beres says. “If our service can prove to them that they can have that lawn in an earth-friendly way, using a fraction of the chemicals they used to use, they’re converted. They might even give other earth-friendly things a chance.”

Sharing a bounty of knowledge

Beres believes most people really do care about making environmentally conscious decisions in terms of their lawn care, but they don’t always have the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves or the earth. She considers Be Green’s most important service to be educating people and advocating for sustainable practices.

“People don’t realize there are better alternatives,” Beres says. “I want people to know there are earth-friendly methods available and they really don’t cost more money.”

She accomplishes this through writing articles and blog entries, and simply speaking to people about natural solutions for lawn care needs. Even if people don’t employ Be Green’s services, if they take that knowledge and make wiser decisions, Beres considers that a success.

“Growing things is great for the earth; it’s how we do it that’s important,” Beres says. “We’re always going to want a better lawn. So let’s do it in a way that’s best for the bunny rabbits, the earthworms and the other creatures we share this earth with.”

Take the next step toward bettering your lawn and the earth.


Contact Be Green today.

PO Box 180092, Delafield | 262-361-4034

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | http://begreenlawncare.org

Interested in greening your own business?

Be Green loves to work not only with homeowners, but apartments, condominiums and companies interested in earth-friendly practices. If your business is going green or hoping to incorporate more sustainable choices, Be Green can help you follow through outdoors! Be Green is also woman- and veteran-owned. Contact Patti Beres for more information on how Be Green can help incorporate earth-friendly practices to keep your grounds “green” and growing beautifully.

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