With all the concern about global warming, holes in the ozone layer, and the importance of protecting
our environment, many homeowners have turned to focus their sights on finding
natural alternatives to synthetic pesticides. A.K.A.- Organic lawn care.
In truth however, the best and most natural way of controlling pests and keeping things in order is to
simply maintain a vigorous and lush lawn. Do so, and the lawn will probably
take care of the majority of the pest problems on its own. How is that
possible, when so many companies stress their importance, every year? Follow
these easy and helpful tips to help turn your yard into a beautiful, tough, and
pest-resistant lawn. It's easy. In fact, it takes almost no work at all.
Get Good Grass:
Sometimes, we don't take the time to think of this and it is, perhaps, one of the most essential steps in improving our lawn. Grass is grass, right? Wrong! In fact, when you do pick out your grass, there are a couple of important things to remember. For instance, when you select your grass, you will need to find one that is well-adapted to your climate. The same grass that grows so well, up in the northern states may not grow as well, down south. Also, take into consideration how much traffic that your lawn gets, every day. If your lawn is high-traffic, from children or pets for instance, you may want to buy a more coarse and sturdy type of grass, something better-able to handle a lot of use. Another good trick is to refrain from relying upon just one particular kind of grass. A mix of varieties, rather than a single type of grass will provide, not only a stronger grass that is better-suited for high traffic areas, but provides more depth, the different shades and textures making your lawn seem fuller and richer in coloration. For the best advice, contact your local cooperative extension office or a local gardening group, to check on their recommendations.
Find Fitting Fertilizers:
Releasing the nutrients slowly, organic fertilizers are ideal for both your lawn and for the environment. While synthetic fertilizers aren't exactly bad for the environment either, it is important that you ensure it is a slow-release product, rather than a general all-purpose fertilizer. Additionally, it is a good idea to take a few moments to look over the levels of phosphorous in the fertilizers - you want to work with a low level of phosphorous, if you must work with a synthetic fertilizer.
Back Off Blades:
We tend to like to cut our lawns nice and short and to mow often, but this can have surprisingly negative effects on even the best-tended lawns. One of the most important things you can do to help your lawn is to back those blades up, and raise them so that your grass is mowed to a length of about 2.5 inches. Not only does this help to cut down on dust and prevent erosion, but it also promotes your lawn to expand its root system and this will ensure that your grass is better able to compete with the bothersome weeds that plague our yards. Additionally, if you live in parts of the country that see more extreme temperatures, letting your lawn go a little longer between cuttings will also help it to recover from the hot sun, and prevent sunburned patches.
Cut Up Clippings:
Another great way to add needed nutrients and organic matter to your lawn is a mulching mower. Cutting grass clippings into fine particles makes them easily broken down and absorbed, not to mention how handy it is, not having to deal with raking the lawn or bagging up clippings. Every time you mow your lawn, you are feeding it, as well as keeping your yard looking sharp.
The Art of Aerating:
Imagine the ground beneath your lawn. Every day, it must deal not only with all this grass laying upon it, but the family pet and the children running back and forth across it. It has to endure picnics in the back yard and sunbathing teenagers sprawling out on their towels. Ever notice how your pillow looks, when you don't fluff it up for a while? It gets thin and flat, squished down into a compacted slab.
Your lawn is much the same way. The dirt becoming compacted down tight and making it more difficult for new roots to grow. Fortunately, core aeration can help keep the soil from compacting down. In turn, this will promote a stronger root system and make your lawn more resistant to pests and droughts, both. If you're unsure, a good rule of thumb is to aerate once a year, or twice a year will work even better.
Many people seem to think that the key to a healthy lawn is ensuring that it get lots of water. Because of this, they set up elaborate sprinkler systems and make sure that the lawns are saturated well, on a daily basis... but is this really wise? Recent findings prove that, instead of the steady dose of water, our lawns actually do much better when they are given more infrequent watering, but are watered deeply. When the water is stored deep in the soil, and this is the water that the grass has access to, it promotes the grass to grow deeper roots, designed to seek this water out.
Opting to go the natural, healthy route for your lawn is an excellent idea; not only does it make your lawn tougher, more pest-resistant and more lush in appearance, it's also much easier to maintain. No more going to the hardware store and lugging around pesticides and fertilizers - You can leave that up to the Jones.
Then, when they ask you what you did to get such a nice lawn, you can just smile and kick back in your lawn chair with a simple, "Not a thing."