Grow A Garden Instead
Ditch the lawn completely and grow a garden instead!
You can grow vegetables, herbs and fruits in your front yard and make it look beautiful too! Incorporate vegetables and herbs into an existing garden bed for an easy transition.
Go all out and turn your entire front yard into a flourishing vegetable garden. Urban front-yard vegetable gardens are becoming very popular. They are a great alternative to a mono crop like grass and you get food too!
Plus, gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes!
Many HOAs dont allow edible gardens in front yards, but you can work edible plants into your landscape. If you have an urban vegetable garden in your front yard, please share how you did it in the comments!
Tips For A Better Lawn
You might not know it, but your lawn pays you back for all the hard work you put into it . Your lawn serves as a huge source of air conditioning for your garden, keeping it cool in the hot summer months.
It also releases oxygen and simultaneously captures dust, keeping you and your family healthy. To reap the benefits to the full, keep your lawn as healthy as possible with these handy tips.
Pay Attention To The Weather
Having a weekly routine for chores is an excellent way to maintain your home, but when it comes to lawn care you cant always be so rigid. Its important to pay attention to the weather so you can adjust your mowing and watering schedule accordingly. Theres no reason to water the lawn if it recently rained, and you certainly dont want to mow if the grass is wet. You should also mow less frequently if your area is going through a drought since the grass grows more slowly. Use a voice assistant tool, like Ask Troy-Bilt, to help determine when you should be mowing based on the local weather.
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Organic Lawn Care Vs Bionutrition
You might ask yourself why not go the organic route? Is organic fertilizer the same thing as bionutritional materials?
A completelyorganic lawn serviceis one that does not use any control products at all, and thats not always in the ideal interest of a healthy lawn either. Sometimes the use of a select number of products can help reduce weeds and ultimately lead to a healthier lawn that will require less treatment in the long run. A lush, thick lawn will help naturally choke out weeds. But in the short-term, weed control products may be necessary to achieve that healthy state.
While organic fertilizers offer a good source for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, they do not contain bionutritional materials that are teeming with microscopic life. A lawn care program that also continuously adds these microorganisms back into your soil will help your lawn reach its natural balance dramatically sooner than just straight organic fertilization.
At the end of the day, the best lawn care service is one that combines all the necessary tools, such as organic fertilizers, control products only when needed, with bionutrition for truly optimal soil health.
Getting Your Soil Into Shape
Having a healthy lawn relies on having healthy soil.
If theres one thing that I see lacking from lawn care gurus online, its the fact that amending your soil with chemical fertilizers actually makes your turf less healthy.
Your grass will start to depend upon these quick-release synthetic fertilizers, and the soil thats supposed to feed your grass will become less and less healthy.
I use slow-release, organic fertilizer on my lawn and amend the turf by broadcasting screened compost every second or third fall as well. Theres a time and a place for synthetic fertilizers, but if you rely solely upon them youll be in an expensive cycle of lawn care that is not sustainable.
Getting your soil into shape to nourish and support a healthy lawn is how to make grass thicker and fuller.
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How To Improve Clay Soil For Lawns Simple Tips
Clay soils can be a big problem if thats what you have under your lawn.
These dense, compacted soils provide poor drainage, staying soggy when wet and turning rock hard in the summer.
Moreover, nutrients, air, and water cannot easily move through clay soils.
It creates stress on the roots of the grass, making them weak and more prone to weeds, insects, and disease.
So, how to improve clay soil for lawns?
To improve clay soil for lawns and create a good bed for your yard add topsoil or mix in some organic matter such as leaves, rotted manure, or grass clippings. Aerate your lawn to help improve drainage and improve the soil structure. These techniques done consistently will improve your lawn soil over time.
When treated properly, clay soils can actually have great potential and offer many benefits. Healthy, well-maintained clay soil means less stress on your garden or lawn and less work for you. With a little effort, you can improve your heavy clay soil and enjoy its unique features.
Know The Time Of The Year
Any action brings out the best result if done at the right time. One such thing is knowing the fertilizing time of your lawn for receiving the best and healthiest result.
If its possible and affordable, one should fertilize the lawn in every three months a year. Though it is not strictly mandatory to maintain this routine. To get the best outcome, autumn can be considered the best time to fertilize your land. Autumn is that time of the year when heat of summer begins to fade away, and winter prepares to make an entry.
This time of the year remains cool and calm. The plants start to become dormant, and that is the reason why it is the excellent time of the year to do our job. The fertilizers which are applied at the autumn multiply their effect because the plants tend to become dormant. The plants start to reserve nourishment for winter and begin to grow.
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What Is The Best Lawn Fertilizer For Sandy Soil
On lawns with sandysoils, the application of no more than 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet should be made with at least 60 percent slow release nitrogen. The nitrogen application should be matched with the lawn use and irrigation schedule.
Nitrogen fertilizers should not be applied in the spring or summer when the soil is still wet. Nitrogen fertilizer applications are best made in late fall or early winter when soil moisture is at its lowest.
How To Repair And Improve Your Lawn
Everyone wants a lush green lawn. But no ones a stranger to the occasional patchy, bare spot of thinning grass. The good news is you dont always have to start from scratch. There are several surefire ways to whip your lawn back into shape. You can patch any balding sections, mow and water properly, and aerate and dethatch to see serious improvements.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy, flourishing lawn, This Old House Reviews Team recommends hiring a professional lawn care company. Industry leader TruGreen offers overseeding in select areas, and all the fertilization, aeration, and weed control you need to get your lawn thriving everywhere but Alaska.
*First application. See quote for terms and conditions.
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Determine The Amount Of Topsoil You Need
The general rule is that you want to have a topsoil depth of 4-6 inches all across your lawn to ensure theres enough room for the grass roots to grow. Note that this depth should be the measurement after the topsoil has firmed.
To find out how many tons or cubic yards of topsoil you need, you can plug in the measurement of your lawn along with the depth of topsoil you want into a topsoil calculator. That way, youll be able to know exactly how much to buy at your local home and garden store.
Tip No : With Fertilizers And Weed Killers Timing Is Everything
When applying weed killers and fertilizers, take into account variables like geographic location, grass type, weed type and soil conditions. Here are a few general guidelines:
- A thick, healthy lawn that doesnt provide weed seeds adequate sunlight or open space to germinate is your best defense against weeds. A sick, spotty lawn leaves lots of open space for weeds to take root and grow.
- Attack weeds in the early spring and summer before they have a chance to develop deep root systems, go to seed or reproduce.
- Different weeds require different chemicals and methods. Its best to eradicate grassy weeds like crabgrass with pre-emergent weed killers, which destroy germinating plants as they sprout. Broadleaf weeds need to be attacked while theyre young and actively growing spraying the leaves of individual plants or patches of plants is most effective. Dandelion killers work by literally growing the plant to death.
The best resource for identifying and troubleshooting weeds is a nursery or garden center familiar with local conditions.
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Mulch Your Grass Clippings
Grass clippings are an essential part of lawn care.
As a rule, you can recycle the grass clippings of an inch or less in length by returning them to your lawn. They will filter down and decompose quickly.
However, you need to remove longer grass clippings since they can smother or shade the grass below or use a mulching mower to make sure small clippings are created, long grass clippings may damage the lawn.
Do not throw bagged grass clippings out, as it is an excellent source of nutrients, and you can use them as a garden mulch.
Check For And Identify Problems
Check your lawn regularly, so that you can find pests and other problems early. Make sure to identify lawn problems correctly, then decide whether action is needed.
- Plant damage may not be caused by pests. Plants can be injured by poor growing conditions, poor maintenance, road salt, or dog urine.
- A few weeds or insect pests in healthy lawns is usually not cause for concern.
- Knowing about the pest and its life cycle will help you decide if and when to take action, and how to prevent further problems. See Pest control tips for more information about controlling specific pests.
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Things You Can Do To Use Less Water And Have A Green Lawn
Benefits Of Recycling Clippings To Your Lawn
- Regular mowing will considerably decrease the need to collect clippings. For this reason, do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time.
- Adding organic matter made of grass clippings will help you improve your heavy clay or sandy soil, especially if it is low in organic matter.
- Grass clippings are a valuable source of vitamins and minerals, and you will need less nitrogen fertilizer if you leave the clippings on the lawn.
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How To Improve Soil Quality For A Healthier Lawn
A program that is focused on how to improve lawn soil is one that applies the essential elements without applying unnecessary product when its not truly needed.
Working with the lawns natural biology is important. A bionutritional lawn care program is focused on regularly introducing those beneficial microbiological organisms into the soil, throughout the year, to help the lawn naturally thrive and adapt to its conditions.
This kind of program does not rely on bionutrional products alone. Instead of applying liberally and without reason, control products should be applied as needed, particularly in the beginning when there are a lot of problems to address.
However, as the bionutritional materials start to make progress, its very common that spot-treatment for certain issues will be needed, versus blindly applying control products over the entire lawn. This is a better strategy than what most lawn care companies employ.
Seed At The Right Time
Every lawn needs occasional reseeding, whether to fill in bare patches or thicken an existing lawn. For most varieties, seeding is more successful in early spring, though growth may be slow if the weather is cold. Fall is also an excellent time to seed. Autumn seeding gives young turfgrass plants an opportunity to establish themselves before winter dormancy, so theyll have a head start when spring arrives.
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The Benefits Of Improving Lawn Soil Quality
Youll be able to see the difference between a lawn that has healthy soil and one that does not. Over time, a lawn care service that is focused on the biology of soil health will have less weeds and a thicker, greener lawn. It will also need less water – as much as 20 percent less.
Thats because healthy soil retains moisture better. By increasing good bacteria and allowing it to dominate the root zone, you can improve plant growth and boost its ability to fight off pests. Your lawn will have deeper and healthier roots and also become more naturally resistant to disease.
Unfortunately, very little thought is often given about how to improve lawn soil. In fact, most lawn care companies dont focus on soil health at all. This is a fact that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right lawn care service provider for you.
Instead, they treat symptoms only, practicing reactionary lawn care. This may keep your lawn green and address problems as they arise, but also has you stuck in an endless cycle of treating the symptoms of underlying problems instead of achieving true health so that less chemicals are needed.
Even worse, too many chemicals on your lawn can actually begin to destroy the soils beneficial microorganisms, depleting the soil of what it needs to thrive.
The Importance Of A Lawn Soil Test
A soil test is a crucial step in finding out what nutrients your lawn is lacking and what fertilization and any other treatments can do to improve its density and color.
For instance, if your soils pH is off, then the fertilizer youre feeding it might not be working at all on your quest for greener grass. Poor pH could limit nutrient uptake.
In Central and Southern Maryland, lawns tend to lean on the acidic side. Limestone applications can help to correct your soils pH and bring it back in balance.
Also, only some lawn care professionals like Natural Green Systems Lawn & Pest conduct free soil tests on their customers properties to ensure the custom program they develop for each lawn meets that lawns specific needs.
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How Lawn Care Companies Approach Soil Quality
If youre talking to lawn care companies in Cincinnati, Dayton or Northern Kentucky, ask them specific questions about their approach.
Ask lawn care companies these questions, without suggesting bionutrition at all:
- How does your lawn care program address the health of my soil?
- How many times will a technician go over my lawn in each visit, and what is being applied? Is it all mixed together? Do you just treat the whole lawn with everything?
- Then at the end ask them, What do you know about bionutrition and soil biology?
- What is your long-term approach to weed control?
If a prospective lawn care company cant explain an approach that sounds different than traditional reactionary lawn care, keep looking. Their representative doesnt have to be a soil biologist, but they should know why its important and what their program does to address it.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, our lawn care service uses a two-step process that includes an organic base as well as bionutritional materials over the entire lawn so that the soil is getting what it needs to thrive naturally. Then we inspect and treat areas of the lawn and apply control materials on a second pass over the lawn, only where they are needed. It may cost a little more upfront, but the investment in your lawns soil will pay off for you in the long run.