Organic Lawn Care Bits For Spring
Organic Lawn Care Bits for Spring
If you are thinking about transitioning to organic lawn care this spring, now is the time to start lining up your plan. It is possible to use organic techniques when maintaining your lawn. Organic lawn care solutions are not as quick as conventional methods, but they will keep your lawn, and your surrounding environment healthier in the long run.
Organic Weed Control
You can start anywhere, but if you want to get a jump on controlling summer weeds in your lawn, you need to find a source for corn gluten meal. That is the natural pre-emergent herbicide that will prevent summer weed seeds from sprouting in your lawn. Because corn gluten works to keep seeds from sprouting, you need to apply it to your lawn before they start to sprout. That time is NOW. In addition to controlling weeds, the corn gluten meal adds nitrogen to the lawn. Soil microbes will digest the nitrogen into a form available to plants. In addition to corn gluten, you can feed your lawn with other protein feeds.
To remove larger weeds, you will need to hand-dig them, and be certain that you are able to remove all of the roots so that they do not re-sprout.
My Lawn needs Supplaments
You don’t need to give your lawn a smoothie. It will be happier with a mixture of protein feeds. Like corn gluten meal, these protein feeds are available in bulk at local farmer’s supply stores. (I went into my local store carrying these types of feeds last weekend and just about cleaned out my checking account-not from buying protein feeds, but from getting soil test kits, new blades for my Felcos, etc. and so-on. It is like a CANDY store for gardeners!) There are great commercially mixed fertilizers, as well. Epsoma, Ringers and GreenSense make great formulas. If you want to mix your own, you can include the following ingredients:
- ground corn
- corn gluten meal
- feather meal
- blood meal
You can apply between 10-20 pounds of this mixture per 1,000 square feet. The microbes in the soil have to digest the proteins into forms that the plants can take in, so it will take a few weeks before you notice the turf “greening up.”
Grass also Enjoys Compost
In addition to the protein feeds, giving your lawn a light top-dressing of compost is beneficial. You need to continually build the fertility and organic matter in your soil. Top-dress with a lightweight compost by taking shovel-fulls of compost, flinging the compost so that a light coating falls on the soil. You can use a rake or a broom to knock the compost down into the soil, where soil insects and organisms will move the compost down into the soil.
Give organic lawn care a try. Once you start maintaining your lawn in this way, it gets easier and easier over time. The organic methods are slower to work, but give greater long-term benefits.