I have often heard the phrase, "You are what you eat.” Well, using that logic, it is feasible to say that rolling around in a yard of poisonous pesticides and insecticides could be hazardous to your health and that of your children. Just ask Jodi Bond, co-owner of Simply Organic Turf Care.
“I made the decision to go completely organic with our lawn years ago. Providing a chemical-free place for my kids to play just seemed like a natural way to go, and we thought maybe other families could benefit from this as well!”
Keeping the lawn and landscaping chemical-free can sound daunting, but actually is relatively easy to achieve. Following these tips will reward any homeowner with a green, healthy lawn to enjoy all spring and summer long, without guilt.
It is a good idea to enrich or “amend” your lawn using natural products in the spring. Compost, peat moss and coconut fiber (coir) are all healthy amendments that improve the porous structure of the soil. Clay soil also benefits from amending with sand on certain types of grass.
Aerating your lawn will help provide a good method for food and nutrients to be absorbed. Many homeowners believe fertilizing to be the key to a healthy lawn, but aerating twice a year increases air circulation to the roots and increases the soil’s ability to retain water. Controlling thatch is a helpful bonus! Be sure to aerate only in spring or fall, or you may risk killing some of your grass.
If you must fertilize your grass, doing so in the late summer or early fall will ensure the grass will store much more nutrition in its roots, coming back thicker, greener and healthier in the spring, withstanding pests, diseases, weeds and drought much better than using an artificial fertilizer in the spring. Grass clippings are thought to be one of the best and certainly the cheapest fertilizer one can find. Leave the clippings as you cut them, or compost them and reuse. Corn Gluten Meal feeds the grass and keeps seeds from sprouting, as well as acts as a slow release fertilizer. It can be found at any organic gardening store.
Have a damaged lawn to rehabilitate? Spraying fish emulsion is preferred by many because it offers instant gratification after applying. It is a quick-release fertilizer that goes to work right away, but wears off after a few weeks. For a heavily damaged yard, apply often. It may stink for a couple hours, but it is not harmful if inhaled, stepped on, or accidentally ingested.