Spring Lawn Care
My Lawn at the Beginning of the Spring. the Organic Way!
Spring...to me the best time of the year especially after a long, long cold winter. It seems like everything just comes back to life again. Days are getting longer, warmer and I just feel like being outside. That's when I come to the back yard and start to check for any winter snow damage to the lawn.
Spring Clean Up
Damage...and lots of it,not just to the lawn but to plants, trees, etc. But let's focus on the lawn for now. What I like to do is just walk around and look for tree debris, possibly unmelted snow and just anything that can cause problems in the future. If there are any snow piles still on the ground I just spread it around so it melts quicker. At this time just keep foot traffic to a minimum so the soil doesn't get too compact. Of course it's easier said than done especially when you have two young boys that only want to be outside on the lawn 24-7. LOL. Then, once the lawn is no longer soggy or wet I just go ahead and rake the whole yard to clean off any debris left behind from the winter and also it helps to remove some of the thatch. If I see some major weed problem at this time I just go ahead and try to pull them out by hand. When clean up is done, then it's time to fertilize.
Fertilizer...which one to choose? There are so many choices out there, Right?!!! Well most of us use a ton of expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides with the goal of getting a lush green lawn. It seems to me that everyone is getting chemically addicted with the purpose of getting a quick easy lawn fix, but at what price?!
Chemical Fertilizer...all pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides are toxic. Yes, they kill pests and weeds but they also put your health at risk.
Chemical Fertilizers just feeds the grass not the soil.
Chemical Fertilizers kill off soil organisms.
Chemical Fertilizers most of the time cause the need for fungicide and insecticide because of the unnatural grass growth. Now how good of a lawn is so good that you actually don't care about your own safety health, your families, or pets?!?!
Back in the day...for some time, I to was using a chemical fertilizer, weed killer, insecticide and everything I thought I needed to have a nice green lawn. The problem was that the more I used all these chemicals the more it seemed I needed to use more of them. It was like a vicious cycle! I mean, I was using grub killer, crabgrass killer, crabgrass preventer, moss control, weed killer, and the list goes on. I mean you name it and I probably used it. Then on top of that was using fertilizer 4 times a year and I felt like the lawn was never good enough. The grass actually started to develop some kind of disease. I researched and found I also needed a fungus control to treat the lawn disease. I was stuck in a big giant loop. I couldn't win. until I decided to go organic. Now looking back, I know that all these chemicals I was using was causing stress to the lawn.
Currently... I still do all the steps that I mention above as far as the clean up goes, but I no longer use chemicals. After clean up, when it is time to fertilize, I use only organic fertilizer two times a year, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. The brand I really like is the Milorganite brand. You can find it pretty much anywhere (Home depot, Ace, Lowes, Walmart, Target, online, etc) I don't find the need for any of the chemicals that I was using before. I fertilize with organic fertilizer because it doesn't burn the lawn if over applied, it feeds the soil not just the grass, and it's safe. I water deep and infrequent because that way the grass develops deep roots to get to the water. I mow high about 3-3.5 inches because tall grass helps keep the soil moist longer and it shades the weeds. If the grass doesn't shade the weeds then the weeds will shade the grass. I leave the clippings on the lawn because that's just extra nutrients for the grass and soil. So I am very pleased with the results right now after the switch to organic and yes I still have a couple of weeds here and there but the way I see it, I can live with one weed or two if that means a safer lawn. (place to play)