How To Match Fertilizer With Grass Styles
When it comes to choosing the right fertilizer for you and your lawn, its important to not only consider what type of grass you have, but also your goals. After youve done a soil test, youll know what sort of nutrients are lacking, and from that you can choose a fertilizer thats higher in one or a few of the essential components , phosphorus , potassium ).
Beyond that, there are specific fertilizers for well-established lawns , as well as those that have just been seeded . There are also fertilizers that contain additional herbicides to prevent weeds, as well as those that are phosphorus-free .
Is The Grass Always Greener On The Other Side
When you look at your neighbor’s yard, perhaps you say to yourself, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Well, don’t despair. If you check for excessive thatch, give your lawn enough water, and learn how to mow and use lawn fertilizers properly, the grass will be greener on both sides of the fence .
Water At The Right Time
You know that if you want to save water, you shouldnt water the lawn at midday. Watering it in the evening isnt a good idea either, though. In the evening, the grass will remain wet for longer and this can increase the risk of diseases. The best time to water is in the morning and if youre still worried about the power bill, rain barrels are one of those exterior upgrades that will save you money.
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Organic Lawn Care: Secrets To Keeping Your Grass Green Without Chemicals
Fall fertilizer, early spring fertilizer, late spring fertilizer, overseeding, herbicides, pesticides chemical lawn care programs can be so complicated. Organic lawn care keeps your grass green without any chemical fertilizers, weed killers or pest killers and a minimum of fuss.
The lawn care programs marketed to you by the likes of Scotts and TruGreen are simply ways to get you to buy more of their chemicals and fatten their bottom line. Thats it. Organic lawn care simply requires that you create the right conditions for your grass to thrive naturally, the way it was designed by nature.
You know what my lawn care program is? Build up the soil with organic matter to create hospitable conditions and let the grass take over. I seed the occasional bare spot made by dogs and rabbits, do some overseeding in fall if necessary , occasionally add composted manure, and spread corn gluten meal early every spring. Thats it. Sure, I pull the occasional dandelion, but getting down there on my knees and working it out with a weeder tells me a lot about my soil. For the most part dandelions pop up in high traffic areas or where water tends to collect .
Moving to organic lawn care from the chemical bath youve been applying for years takes a little patience and some work, but it will be well worth it.
How To Make Your Grass Greener With Epsom Salts
Is your lawn blighted by unsightly yellow and brown patches? Are you tired of gazing enviously at your neighbours lush green pasture, wondering where you went wrong?
Look in your local garden centre and you will find row after row of fertilizers, all promising to transform your barren land into a verdant meadow. However, they can be an expensive option, and the sheer selection is enough to bewilder the most experienced gardener. Lawn care can be a tricky business.
Sometimes, when it comes to nature, its best to go back to basics. And you dont get more basic than the time-honoured wonder cure Epsom Salt.
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Stop Weeds Without Harmful Chemicals
This is the hardest part to do naturally, but you can do it!
Did you know that weeds can be an indication that lawn health isnt optimal? Improve the soil and you will already be a long way toward reducing weed growth. Many herbicides are harmful to humans and animals too! Studies show chemicals in conventional lawn care contribute to thyroid problems and even non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Glyphosate is a whole other story, and definitely does not belong on a lawn where kids and pets play.
The organic lawn care solution: leaving grass longer also helps control weed population by leaving a larger surface area for grass to photosynthesize.
Steps to Reduce Weeds Naturally:
- Many weeds are actually herbs with many benefits. Dont remove them at all!
- Leave grass longer so it will resist weeds naturally.
- Add a second plant to your lawn like white clover to compete with weeds and replenish soil.
- Avoid harmful herbicides and use natural methods instead.
To Do List: Good Any Time
Switch to an Organic Fertilizer. This is one of the easiest things you can do, especially if youre not using a lawn service. There are numerous organic options, including pellets or powders that can be applied with a spreader in the same way that most commercial fertilizers are usually spread. See Fertilizing for details.
Set your Mower Height High. Set your cutting height to 2.5 to 3 inches, and cut long. The longer grass will shade out more weeds than will short grass, it will protect the dirt from evaporation, and it will grow more slowly than short grass. Longer lawns therefore need fewer pesticides, less water, and less frequent mowing than short lawns.
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Cut Your Grass Correctly And To The Recommended Cutting Height
Knowing what height to cut your grass is an important way to get your grass to grow healthy and strong. Setting your lawnmower to the highest or lowest setting is not necessarily the best thing for your grass. In fact, different grass species have different needs in terms of grass cutting height. Check out this guide to grass cutting height. Additionally, you should keep the blades on your lawnmower nice and sharp so that it cuts your grass effectively. Also, consider buying a reel mower, which actually cuts the grass like scissors rather than tearing it like traditional rotary lawnmowers. This makes for healthier grass in general. Read this guide to reel mowers for more information on the benefits of reel mowers and how to select one for your needs.
Greener Grass Tip #: Iron Applications
Applying an iron supplement to your lawn is one of the most effective things you can do to get a greener lawn.
If youve been watering your grass and youve fertilized, but the grass is still a mix of light green, brown and yellow, its time to throw down some Iron.
Iron applications can be effective for all types of grass, but some of the species that do especially well with extra iron include Bluegrass and Fescue.
An Iron application will help the foliage of almost any plant green up. From roses, to tomatoes, to citrus trees and grass, if you want dark green leaves, give those plants some iron. Itll do the trick even in the heat of summer when your neighbors lawns start to look brown and crispy!
How to Apply Iron to Your Lawn
I apply a granual iron supplement to my lawn by mixing it with a slow-release fertilizer every spring. I like to wait until the temperatures outdoors are in the 60s consistently before applying it with my broadcast spreader.
You can continue to apply iron with your fertilizer applications for the rest of the year to keep your grass that nice dark shade of green and provide your lawn the micronutrients it needs.
When you apply iron, ensure that you carefully follow all the instructions listed on the packaging. This is essential in order to avoid overdosing, which can cause damage, or even turn your grass gray .
Also, if some iron treatments get on concrete it can stain it an ugly shade of orange. Yikes!
What I Use
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Dont Panic When Its Hot
Especially during extended periods of hot and dry weather, the lawn may turn brown and become dormant. Dont panic, pull up everything and pave over it when this happens. If your lawn is healthy, it can survive for several weeks while its dormant. When regular moisture levels return, so will the green.
How Much Is Too Much
Adequate nitrogen is crucial for lush, healthy, green grass. However, there can be too much of a good thing. The general rule of thumb is this: you should apply no more than one pound of nitrogen for every thousand square feet of lawn, and you should do so no more than twice per year .
So, say youre using a fertilizer with 5% nitrogen, you should use 20 pounds maximum.
What to do when youve applied too much?
Many of us have experienced a phenomenon called fertilizer burn, where we used too much fertilizer and our grass ends up with yellow and brown stripes, or patches of dying or dead grass.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to correct this:
- Leach excess fertilizer. Use a sprinkler head and a garden hose to fully saturate the overfertilized area. The water will drain through the soil, bringing the fertilizer with it. Apply about an inch of water and repeat this every day for a week.
- Remove dead grass. Use a rake to remove the fertilizer-burned areas, add to a compost pile or trash can.
- Plant new grass seed. When spring arrives, plant new grass seeds.
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Switch To Organic Fertilizers
Once your soil and your lawn are healthy, you may find that there’s no need for supplemental fertilizers. But it may take awhile to improve the quality of your soil, and along the way, you’ll probably want to apply an organic fertilizer on an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are two different fertilizing schedules for American lawns-one for cool-climate grasses and the other for warm-climate grasses. Before you fertilize, it’s important to understand what type of grass you’re growing because they can have very different growing cycles.
Grass has a reputation of being a “heavy feeder,” requiring lots of fertilizer. But that’s true only of lawns that contain little organic matter, worms or other soil life. Chemical fertilizers may feed the grass, but they can also have a negative impact on soil life and soil texture, and do nothing to increase organic matter. Chemicals fertilizers can also over stimulate growth, making turf more vulnerable to disease and insects.
Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time to provide long-term nutrition, improve soil tilth, and encourage soil life. They also provide vital trace nutrients that your lawn needs in minute quantities. Leaving grass clippings where they fall also adds free nutrients and organic matter to the soil. If the clippings are too thick and wet, they should be raked up and composted for later application to the soil.
Greener Grass Tip #: Fertilize
Do some research to find out the best fertilizer for use in your region and to meet your specific needs.
If youre just starting to step up your lawn care game, I recommend starting with a soil test. This small investment will tell you exactly where your yard stands. Youll learn what your lawn needs and , what it doesnt.
This can save you a lot of time and money by avoiding applications of products that are not necessary for a healthy lawn. You can do a soil test annually for the first few years, and then once every few years after you get a feel for your yard and what it needs to thrive.
Your local cooperative extension office will be able to test your soil for you, and Ive used and like as well.
When you do fertilize your lawn, follow the right schedule, and use products that align with your lawn goals and feelings about the environment.
Should You Go Organic?
I like to use organic fertilizer on my lawn because I have kids and pets, but you may prefer synthetic fertilizers which feed your lawn faster. Thats a personal choice for everyone.
Whatever you choose, nitrogen-rich fertilizers will be the most helpful for bringing your lawn to a wonderful shade of green, as Nitrogen encourages leaf growth in plants.
In addition to applying an organic fertilizer to my yard several times a year, I apply a thin layer of compost to top-dress my lawn every other year when I dethatch, aerate, and overseed.
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Your Lawn And Gardens Effect On The Environment
Your lawn and garden can add a lot to what your household needs to discard and recycle. Yard waste and food waste make up 13 percent of what’s thrown into the garbage in Minnesota.
Healthy lawns and gardens can be maintained in ways that produce less waste, and you can easily manage what’s left by composting at home. A healthy lawn and garden can naturally resist weeds and pests. You don’t need a lot of chemicals to keep your yard looking green. Learn to read the signs and find out what’s really wrong with your plants. Solve your lawn and garden problems by applying some brainpower before you use pesticides and herbicides.
More Resources For Healthy Lawns
- Lawn Care Without Pesticides from Cornell University: Following the steps in this bulletin can cause the home lawn to grow stronger, and be more resistant to weeds, insects and diseases.
- Cornell Turfgrass ProgramThe Cornell Turfgrass Team is made up of faculty from several Cornell units and Cooperative Extension educatorsto help homeowners, lawn-, sports- and golf-turf professionals and sod producers use research-based practices to effectively and efficiently manage turfgrass as an environmental asset.
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How To Apply Iron Lawn Supplements
The best time to apply iron to your lawn is in the spring, when temperatures are in the 60s to 70s F. Avoid spraying or applying iron during hot weather. Follow package instructions exactly, to prevent overdosing.
Grasses dont require a lot of iron, and its generally not needed unless your soil test indicates an iron deficiency. If your lawn is yellow, first make sure its getting enough water and regular nutrients before trying iron supplements.
Greener Grass Step : Apply Iron
Iron is a key ingredient for making your lawn thick and green without giving you more work. While many people use nitrogen on their lawn, it not only makes your grass greener but also makes it grow faster. Iron helps you get your grass strong, but without the growth nitrogen adds. Both are necessary for a healthy green lawn.
Its ideal to apply iron on your grass in the spring and fall, when the temperatures are still cool. This applies to all types of grass.
However, cool-season grass like Kentucky bluegrass and fescue grass are especially receptive to iron. Youll see cool-season grass thriving with iron during the summer months when it doesnt actively grow.
Itll get back to growth in the fall season, and in the early spring.
How To Apply Iron To Your Lawn
Before you get started on applying iron to the grass, you have to pick the type of nutrients that work for you and your lawn. You can find iron in liquid, powder or granular form, of which we recommend granular for its easy application. You can also pick between organic and synthetic iron supplements for your grass.
These are some of the basics for applying iron to your lawn.
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Start With A Soil Test
The first step in going the organic route with an existing lawn is beefing up weakened soil, which means starting with a soil test. That way you’ll know which nutrients are lacking and which organic amendments you’ll need to incorporate. For example, soil with a calcium deficiency can be top-dressed with gypsum and soil low in magnesium might need a healthy dose of the mineral langbeinite.
You will need to dig up samples from several different areas of your lawn , and mail them off to a lab to be analyzed. Call local nurseries and university extension offices to see if they offer soil tests .
Once you know which amendments you need, you should prepare the lawn by mowing the grass down to about 2 inches, pulling up weeds, removing thatch , and aerating . This will enable your soil to fully absorb any amendments you add.
How I Get Rid Of Clovers In My Lawn
Clovers and mushrooms are naturally occurring processes on the lawn. The below step helping you to remove them.
- Covering the clovers
- Using soap mixture
- Sprinkling Home detergent mixture
Its not difficult to remove them you should less fertilizer and water where they occur. Due to less food, they became dead day by day and a time comes his growth stops.
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Make Your Own Compost
If you are attempting to make your grass green naturally then you really do want to be making your own compost as compost is natures own fertilizer and is a whole lot more natural than any sort of chemical fertilizer will ever be.
Everyone should be making their own compost as it is one of the best ways to recycle your household waste and help save the planet.
Making your own compost is actually very simple once you have a compost bin in place. When you put items in your compost bin it will normally be fully decomposed in around 3 months and that is when you can use it for your garden.
Things you can put in your compost bin include:
- Grass clippings .
- Tree leaves that you rake up wont go to waste.
- Household food waste like vegetable and fruit scraps.
- Recycle your daily newspapers and turn them into compost.
- Any sort of manure .
- Any wood shavings or sawdust .
That is only a limited list of things you can put in your compost bin there is plenty more that can go in it. After 3 months it should all be decomposed in the compost bin and ready to be used in your yard for lots of different purposes.