Sunday, April 1, 2018

Have a natural, organic lawn

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Have you ever noticed that every time a lawn care company treats your lawn, they post warning signs to not have pets or people on the grass for 24 hours?  That doesn’t sound like something that is good for you or your family.

Chemical fertilizers and weed killers kill the microbes in the dirt as well.  These microbes are extremely important to supporting the plants growing.  They help provide the nutrients your turf needs to be resilient through all seasons.

So, what are the options?  You can go all natural and organic.  It takes 2-3 years for the microbes to rebound and your turf to get the full benefit of going all natural.  You can help boost your lawn's recovery with microbe containing fertilizers and compost.

The system we like is from Espoma.  It is applied 4 times a year with a season specific formula.  The cool thing about organic, natural fertilizers is that they do not burn the lawn.  You don’t have to worry about applying too much, like you do with chemical fertilizers.  Don’t be concerned either that the NPK numbers on the bag are lower.  Natural products don’t get washed away like chemical fertilizers so you don’t need the high numbers. 

They have different types of fertilizer for different seasons and needs.  For root and microbe stimulation, there is a New Lawn formula.  For spring when the forsythia's bloom you would want to apply the Weed Preventer.  To green up your lawn in the spring, there is a Spring Lawn Booster.  There is also a Summer Fertilizer, a Fall Fertilizer, or if you just want an anytime there is an All Season Fertilizer.  

The great thing about organic, all natural fertilizers is that they do not burn the lawn and they last 2.5x longer than chemical fertilizers.  You can also use them on your edible garden and  they are people and pet friendly.  No “Stay Off the Lawn” signs needed!

You will have a lush, green lawn in 2-3 years using this system.  You won’t have the thatch that you see in chemical yards either.  Make sure that you are reseeding to keep the carpet thick to crowd out weeds.  

I would say this is the hardest part of organic-the weeds.  Options are using vinegar on hot days on the weeds, using a propane burn torch, or good, old fashioned pulling.  If you do resort to chemicals for weeds, try to spray as local as possible and do so close to when you are going to apply your next round of fertilizer to help with repopulating the microbes the chemicals killed.

Be sure to use the pre-emergent (corn gluten) every year when the forsythias bloom; this is in the Espoma Weed Preventer.  This will keep the weed seeds from sprouting.  If they don’t sprout in the spring, they won’t get a stand going in your yard, making it much easier to pull the few that do make it into your yard.  Corn gluten is also a natural fertilizer and will green up the lawn at the same time.

A natural, organic lawn needs much less watering than a chemical lawn and stays green almost all summer with no watering. 

We're going to try a grass mix that stays short so less mowing is needed.  This will save time and not stress the grass as much in the summer, further reducing watering needs.

For additional tips on a sustainable garden and yard, 10 tips for a sustainable garden & yard

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