Free All Natural Lawn Care TipsFree All Natural Lawn Care Tips
With lawn care, less is more. You don’t need chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free, nor do you need to double your utility bill with constant watering to keep the grass alive. By following a few simple tips, you can have a luxurious lawn that’s just as easy on your wallet and your daily routine as it is on the environment.
Reduce the frequency with which you water your lawn. Wait until you see the grass start to curl a little, then turn the sprinkler on and leave it running until a cup set out in the sprinkler zone contains at least an inch of water. In addition to saving water, this forces your grass to grow deeper roots in their search for water. When the topsoil dries out between waterings, weed seeds will die; meanwhile, your lawn will have a stronger root system and a deeper reach.
Adjust your mower to its highest setting, usually 3 to 4 inches. Allowing the grass to grow taller helps it get more sun and shade out the weeds, reducing your dependence on commercial pesticides. Also, because the grass is more sensitive near the soil, the higher you cut it the less stress you submit it to. Conversely, weeds tend to be more sensitive up top, so cutting them high does them more damage.
Don’t Bag Clippings
When you mow your lawn, leave the clippings behind. Not only does this reduce your workload, but it also reduces the amount of yard waste going to the local landfill. Composting your grass clippings is another alternative to trashing them, but it’s an extra step that isn’t necessary. Just leave the clippings where your mower spews them. As they decompose, they will feed your lawn.
Fertilize using compost made from your kitchen waste, yard waste, manure, and fallen leaves. Just make sure there are no wood products in your compost; this will leach nitrogen from the soil in the long term. If you prefer to buy commercial fertilizer, Paul Wheaton of Richsoil.com recommends “Ringer” All Natural Lawn Restore: “There is nothing scary in the ingredients list; the stuff looks like rabbit food, and it works great.” Spread an inch of compost in the early fall or spring. Don’t fertilize in the summer, as this will feed the weeds more than the grass. If legume weeds such as clover and black medic appear, this is a good sign that your soil needs nitrogen.
Unfortunately, to go about creating natural lawns means getting rid of dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides and moving towards using natural pesticides and organic pesticides. Keep in mind that while throwing chemicals on the lawn is as easy as going to the store and spreading fertilizer, pesticide or herbicide, creating natural lawns may be a bit more time consuming, at least at first.
One of the most important steps to beginning to create natural lawns is to choose a turf that is adaptable to the local environment. For natural lawns and lawn care, this means taking into consideration the local climate, watering needs of a particular type of grass, fertilizing needs and the time between mowing for each grass type. Grass-like Kentucky Bluegrass, Bentgrass, Carpet Grass and Kikuyu Grass will begin to turn brown in a short period of time without the proper care and without the proper watering, while Bermuda Grass, Bahia Grass, and St. Augustine Grass can sustain longer periods of time in the heat and without watering.
The next step to ending chemical dependence and joining the ranks of those with natural lawns is to create a balance and improve your lawn soil. On a pH scale natural lawns can have soil that is too acidic, 0 to 6.9 too alkaline, 7.1 to 14 or a balance in between, around 7. To determine the pH balance of your soil, you can purchase a home soil tester from a lawn and garden store for between $20 and $40 or you can have the landscaping professionals test the soil. Instead of going through a landscaping company that will charge, you may want to consider taking a sample to your local county horticulture extension to see if they will test the soil for free.
For natural lawns that are too acidic, try gradually adding lime or wood ashes. For natural lawns that are too alkaline, add sulfur, iron sulfate or pine needles. Remember that these elements need to be added in small amounts over a period of time. Adding too much of these elements can have a detrimental effect on the soil for that growing season. Also, keep in mind that natural lawns with no chemicals may take a few years to actually balance out the pH and that some specific garden flowers or lawn turf may need more alkaline or more acidic soil.
One final important factor in moving towards natural lawns is to consider lawn aeration and dethatching. Unfortunately, most lawn gardeners only think of what they see on the turf and often forget about what is below the surface. With constant mowing, walking, fertilizing and watering, the soil becomes compacted and this can stop the proper aeration of the soil. What good does it do to water the lawn or to fertilize it if the soil’s pores are closed off? Consider simply purchasing a pair of aerating shoes and walking across the lawn to unplug those holes and allow. You may also want to consider dethatching with a vertical mower that pulls through the thatch and removes it from the lawn. This will greatly increase the chances that you will be able to create natural lawns without the use of chemicals.
Natural Lawn Care
Why do you need natural lawn care? Why bother when adding chemicals for weeding and fertilizing is just so much easier and cost-effective? The fact is that your children play in that grass. Your animals run on the lawn. What’s more, is that it is just not healthy for any of us to be exposed to the harsh chemicals that are placed into the grass just to kill weeds that we think are bad. In fact, there are many toxins that can enter your daily life if you overuse these chemicals. Good or bad, there are many reasons why investing in natural lawn care is a better route to take.
Once you have decided to stop using chemicals to care for your lawn and garden, you can begin to work on natural lawn care that is centered on promoting health and improving the quality of the lawn.
First off, remember than any organic matter is great for improving the quality of the soil in a natural way. This is a tool to always use when it comes to natural lawn care. What can you use to do this? There are many things starting with the compost and grass clippings. Purchase a mulching mower that will simply break the grass up and put it back into the lawn. This provides the lawn with natural plant nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium.
Consider starting a compost pile. This is one of the best ways of going about natural lawn care and it will help with recycling and cleaning up the yard. You can place lots of natural kitchen scraps like eggshells, coffee grounds, banana peels, and vegetables that are starting to rot in the compost pile. You can also place raked leaves into the compost pile. Remember that you will want to place a compost pile away from the house and with a wall around it. While natural lawn care is excellent, it can be a little smelly while the scrapes decomposing.
Choose environmentally safe, natural lawn care products. These are going to be such choices as corn gluten-based fertilizers. Corn gluten meal is a powdery byproduct of the corn milling process that is often used to feed hogs. Recently it has been discovered as an excellent natural lawn care fertilizer, garden plant food, and natural weed killer.
You will also want to begin using natural pesticides rather than harsh chemical choices. While many natural lawn care pesticide choices can simply be trying a home remedy like garlic spray on your garden plants or lawn for pest control, it can also mean getting serious with store-bought natural lawn care remedies like Diatomaceous Earth or milky spore bacteria. You can find organic pesticides in the same department as chemical pesticides that will treat major pest problems.
In short, if you would like to use natural lawn care, which is something we all should do, it is wise to consider using natural and organic pesticides, keeping the lawn healthy with the necessary nutrients, and providing for food in organic matter. You will create a natural lawn that is healthy and safe for your family in this way
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