Tips on Maintaining Your Lawn and Garden
Regardless of the condition of your lawn, you will be better off to think
"organic lawn." There has been a lot of publicity about the damage that
chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides do to the
environment. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough publicity about why
plants, including lawns, can be healthier and more disease resistant without
man-made chemicals. If you have been brought up with a typical chemical lawn
and garden mentality, you may think this idea preposterous. It really isn't.
Even if your lawn has been doused with chemicals for years, you can convert
it into an organic lawn. Some basic practices of organic lawns are still
good advice for improving the health of any lawn even if you also use
chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
I am a fan of organic solutions, but I also recognize that some people
prefer chemically treated lawns and gardens. If you do use a chemical
fertilizer or pesticide in your yard, please make sure to carefully follow
the directions and avoid overuse, which can do serious harm to your lawn and
cause environmental problems through runoff into city drains.
Here are some tips that will improve any lawn.
1. Water less frequently, but deeply.
Most experts agree that an inch of
water once a week is about right for most lawns. This will vary with
climate, soil composition, and time of year. To find the best watering cycle
for your lawn, distribute several cans or other containers around your lawn
and water the lawn. When the containers have one inch of water, turn off the
water. Note how long it took to fill the containers to the one-inch mark.
Now you know how long to water. You also know which areas don't get as much
water and may need a sprinkler adjustment or change. It is time to water
again when the lawn soil surface is dry to the touch. This insures that
roots will grow deep. Exactly how deep the roots grow depends on the soil
and type of grass. Here is more information on how much to water your grass
2. Cut your grass to its recommended cutting height.
Some people recommend
setting your lawnmower to the highest setting, but I do not agree with this
method. Different types of grasses have different cutting height
requirements, so it is best to stay within the cutting range recommended for
your type of grass. You can look up recommended cutting heights here
3. Aerate your lawn.
If you aren't familiar with lawn aeration, it is simply
poking holes in the lawn. This is done with a tool that pokes holes in the soil
of your lawn. Aeration allows water, air, and nutrients
into the soil and prevents soil compaction. Your lawn should be aerated about once a year.
4. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn or compost them.
Your lawn needs the organic material
they supply. Because the grass clippings will be pulled into the soil and
decomposed by soil organisms, you will need much less fertilizer. It is a
myth that grass clippings cause thatch. However, if you already have thatch,
you'll want to collect your clippings until you have solved the problem
because clippings can make it worse. If you do choose to collect clippings,
be sure to add them to your compost bin
5. The best fertilizer for your lawn is an organic fertilizer.
Follow directions when applying any kind of fertilizer and do not over-apply. Another great way to improve the health of your lawn and garden is with compost tea
, a healthy treat for your lawn that adds live microbes to your soil.
For more information about organic lawn care, check
Lawn Aerating Tool
Organic Liquid Fertilizer
Compost Bin and Compost Tea Maker