It’s the classic homeowner’s dream: to stand at your doorstep and look out over a lush, green lawn.
You want your lawn to look its best, but maybe you’re also not a fan of using unnatural – or even harmful – chemicals to get the job done. Don’t fret: there are steps you can take to make sure your grass stays green without resorting to inorganic methods.
Here are a few tips we’ve borrowed from Popular Mechanics to help you practice organic turf care.
- Think differently about your soil.
Your soil is a living thing, and the organisms in it have the same needs we do: it needs to eat, to drink, to breathe, to digest and excrete. An organic fertilizer feeds these organisms directly.
- Test your soil before buying nutrients.
A quick soil test – available to send out from any of our locations – will tell you exactly how much nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, lime and other nutrients your soil needs. Save your money and avoid guessing: an overdose of nutrients can be bad for the lawn and the environment.
- Consider using compost
Compost is easy to make from your kitchen and yard waste, and provides the nutrients your grass and garden need to thrive. The upside of weeds
It’s easy to think of weeds like unwanted house guests. But they have something to tell us about the soil, and will continue coming back if soil conditions remain unchanged. By listening to what our weeds are saying, we can learn valuable information about our lawns and gardens.
- Not all insects are pests
There are only a handful of insects that do harm to our plants. Some insects are beneficial: they feed on pests, help pollinate plants, destroy weeds and improve the condition of the soil. And products designed to destroy all insects can often be harmful to humans and pets as well. Be sure to look for pesticides that are safe around pets and children, and seek out one of our trained sales staff to help guide you which bugs you need to worry about.
- Mow wisely
There are a few steps you can take to get a greener lawn. Fertilize your grass by letting some clippings fall on the lawn. Improve fuel efficiency by keeping lawnmower blades sharp. Never cut more than 1/3 the length of your grass, and don’t mow unless there’s rain in the short-term forecast.
- Dealing with bare spots
In order to combat bare spots on your lawn, keep grass seed on a dark shelf in a cool, dry area. When a bare area appears, spread some speed, cover it with a thin layer of compost/mulch hay or seed aid and keep the seed moist until a few weeks after it germinates.
- Your lawn is not a golf course
Of course, if you want to practice your putting game on your lawn, that’s your right. But as award-winning greenskeeper Jeff Carlson put it, people need to manage their expectations and know that “the perfect, weed-free fairways they see on television are not possible in their backyards.” What are possible, he continued, are very green lawns, grown the organic way.
If you want to go organic with your lawn, Mendham Garden Center can help.
We carry a number of organic lawn care products, including:
- Concern Weed Preventer and Fertilizer
- Espoma Lawn Food 15-0-5, which is rich in natural organics
- Espoma Weed Preventer 9-0-0 and Espoma Organic Lawn Food, both of which are safe for pets and children
- Milorganite fertilizer
Contact us today to learn more about how we can get your lawn looking green and healthy this year.