You likely know all too well that one of the greatest ways to keep your yard green and healthy is by giving it the right soil. Amending it with compost can contribute to the soil quality, which then helps out the health of all your grass. Seasonal applications of compost in the spring and fall might be all your yard really needs to stay healthy, particularly if you return glass clippings to the soil in the growing season by using the no-bag method of mowing, which by itself can supply from a quarter to as much as half of the nutrient needs of your yard. When your lawn is healthier, it has more nutrients for you to give back to it when mowing.
Tradition holds that organic fertilizers get applied in the spring season to speed up the green grass. However, research from Iowa State suggests that a pair of late summer and fall fertilizer sessions can encourage more robust root growth. When roots grow well into the fall, there’s more likely to be better top growth the following spring. Fall fertilization can also mean better late fall color, earlier greening in the spring, and fewer disease issues. Of course after you see to all this organic fertilization, how else should you treat your lawn or yard? Keep reading the following sections to learn what else to do, courtesy of Ziehlerlawncare.
Knowing When To Water
Watering seems to some like the easiest part of lawn care. You just turn on a sprinkler or walk around with a hose. The thing is, you probably shouldn’t be watering at all, unless you live in an area with very dry conditions, and in many of those cases, you ought to be planting native grasses and plants. You do have to be willing to put up with grass that doesn’t look as great in late summer as your neighbors that are watering heavily and using artificial elements to their yard care. Your discipline should recognize that grass has a natural tendency to go dormant, turning brown when days are their hottest and rain is rare. It’s just part of the life cycle. Watering too frequently, especially in the dormant period, will make your blades of grass go weak, possibly even dependent. Experts in this field maintain that letting your grass grow dormant in the dry season improves its odds of getting through harsh winters intact and healthier, as well as boosting disease-resistance.
When a lawn is trimmed properly, it encourages deeper root growth, letting grass draw moisture and nutrients from deeper in the surrounding soil, as well as providing it protection from prematurely drying out. Organic lawns can benefit from being maintained at a height just a little taller than many conventional yard carpets. 3 or 3.5 inches is a good idea. Grass of this height can actually shade out any weeds staring up. Taller grass means there’s more surface area for generating photosynthesis, which leads to a greener lawn. Having said all that, you don’t want to let grass get too tall, because mowing it will scalp the blades. Seriously-cut and broken blades of grass are more prone to disease, so as a general rule of thumb, don’t mow more than 1/3 of the current total blade length at any one time.
Put Pests Down
Maintaining a healthy yard is the optimal way of preventing pest issues in your yard. Insects and bugs are definitely opportunists. They like attacking weak spots like browning areas or thatch. Avoiding these issues helps you avoid problems with moths, grubs, or chinch bugs. Using compost to amend your soil means you can have a healthy and beneficial population of microbes that keep any pests from reproducing themselves. Use some of the organic pest control products the market has to offer that focus on killing or repelling properties thanks to included plant oils.
Weeds Will Wreck Your Work
The best line of defense you can have against weeds is actually the thick and rich cover of healthy grass you don’t want them crowding out. An average organic gardener might put up with a handful of weeds in their yard, as they’re often a trade-off for the fact that you’re not contributing to environmental contamination with herbicide runoff, much less endangering the health of your pets, kids, and local wildlife by spreading chemicals and poisons. Meanwhile, your high-strung neighbor might spray every broad-leaf plant he finds to death and demise. Still, you don’t have to tolerate weeds in your organic yard. Find and try organic weed products, such as mixtures of vinegar and citric acid. You can also discourage seed germination with corn gluten, although timing is crucial.
Cleaning Up In The Fall
If leaves land where you live, don’t let them pile up on your yard. Rake them all up for compost. Even better is going over them with a lawn mower so you can integrate them into your soil. When leaves are left intact on grass, they can suffocate the yard, creating a breeding ground for disease. You should mow your yard roughly one-half inch shorter than usual when the season is ending. That helps your yard avoid snow pack that might damage or bend grass blades.
Make sure you take time in the middle of this work to enjoy your organic lawn or yard. You should take satisfaction in knowing that you really are doing what’s right for your family, as well as the larger environment. You set a good example for everyone from your kids to your neighbors in using less water while avoiding chemical herbicides and fertilizers. When everyone sees your results, they might just decide to use organic fertilizer and then treat their yards the same ways you do as you’ve learned here.
In time, you might just start a movement up and down your block towards organic yard care, so that there is consistency in the lush life from one lot to the next, as everyone adopts an Earth-friendly attitude outside and around their homes.