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A Healthy lawn is as good for with organic baseline provides a velvety green carpet of luxurious beauty and comfort. Additionally, it increases monetary property value, as well as measurable health benefits such as oxygen, air quality, temperature moderation, sound insulation, water filtration, erosion control, and natural habitat for beneficial natural wildlife.
5 Tips for Growing Your Best Lawn -Naturally –
1. Organic Based Nutrition:
Feeding plants has been a requirement for them to thrive throughout all of ancient history. We all need the best food possible to stay healthy. Your lawn is no exception. Just like the food selections at your local market or restaurants, not all food qualities are the same. There are so many choices and labels can be tricky to read and understand, the ingredients are unrecognizable and hard to pronounce. Choosing a beneficial fertilizer to meet the nutritional needs of you lawn during different times of the year presents the same challenges. Additionally, you need to understand the application instructions and have the necessary equipment calibrated correctly. Too much or too little can cause damage. What’s actually in those packages? How many do you need? Many are synthetic nitrogen based and contain more cheap fillers than nutrients!
Giving your lawn an all-natural, compost or organic based slow-release product provides a long lasting feeding that encourages living soil. Living soil has beneficial microbes that build the healthy foundation for deep root growth and thick green grass above ground. Healthy grass is naturally more resistant to weeds, disease, insects and even drought. I recommend applications every 6 – 8 weeks. Hiring a professional should include questions and research of their products, practices and values.
2. Mowing Your Lawn:
Many people envision a manicured golf course style lawn as their picture of perfection, and perceive the way to achieve it is to cut the lawn short. It’s important to remember that short mowed lawns need a lot of maintenance and are extremely difficult to keep healthy even with constant care. Golf courses hire full-time caretakers to provide continuous daily support for mowing, fertilizing, aerating and applying pesticides for prevention of weeds, insects and disease. In most cases, mowing short is extremely stressful for you and your lawn and just not a great idea.
The best practice is to cut high, about once per week. Food and water are stored in the tips of grass bladed. When you mow, the root system actually has to work harder to seek nutrients that replenish the loss. Grass that is too short causes root exhaustion from nutrient delivery which promotes overall decline. By cutting only a small portion off the top, you are allowing needed energy to remain in the roots.
For a thick lawn you’ll love to look at, and walk on, set the mower deck between 3 – 4” high during the summer months. Shorter mowing can scalp lawns; a sure way to thinning, bare spots and easy targets for weeds, disease and insects. Use a mulching mower if possible and leave clippings on the lawn as long as they do not leave piles or “haystacks” which will smother and cause bare spots. Lower the deck blade to 2”for the final fall cutting when your lawn is ready to sleep and uses less energy. This will help deter damage from freezing and thawing and other snow cover problems such as critters who tunnel and burrow and cold weather fungal diseases such as snow mold.
Lastly, sharpen your mower blades and least once per year for a clean cut. Dull mower blades produce brown tips, torn grass blades and stress that leads the lawn vulnerable to disease. If you hire a professional mowing crew, discuss whether their policies and procedures align with your care practices. Also, since their equipment visits many properties, ask how they clean their equipment and how often. Weeds and diseases are easily spread from dirty mowers.
You can’t control nature. Weather conditions are ever-changing. Some seasons are really rainy and others are extremely dry. A healthy, established lawn with deeper roots is naturally more drought resistant, but when dryness lingers too long it’s appropriate to water your lawn about 1 inch per week if your community allows it. A deep watering one time per week on established lawns is more favorable than shallow daily waterings.
Avoid watering during midday heat when evaporation or burning can cause damage, and evening hours when mold and mildew can grow. Irrigation can be your lawn‘s best friend when used properly and sparingly.
Excessive moisture from rain or over-watering can cause problems too. Symptoms range from yellowing or discoloration, to fungus and disease.
The grass varieties and seed mixtures you choose matter. Consult a professional when choosing a lawn seed variety that will grow best in your geographic area and pay close attention to the soil type, drainage, typical moisture levels, proximity to mature trees, and sunlight conditions which can all factor into ideal growth levels.
4. Aeration and Over-seeding:
Understanding aeration was a journey for me. In a perfect world, if you’re following the right steps to maintain a natural-based lawn, there is a cycle of conditions including beneficial microbes, which compost thatch and create rich soul and aeration naturally. However, this ideal synergy is prohibited by man-made changes in environmental conditions created by building foundational structures, roadways, subdivisions, homes and changing landscapes combined with foot traffic, freezing, and thawing.
Your lawn is growing to use and enjoy. It’s a place you should love to spend time without worry. It is the most magnificent place to relax, regenerate your soul and spirit, grow relationships with family, friends and pets, and play! Investing in aeration, with or without over seeding, decompacts soil to re-create ideal lawn growing conditions.
The traditional aeration process uses equipment that mechanically pulls small cores from the ground. The holes and cores erode loosely back into place. Hi-tech equipment now also exists that will invert a deep core into the ground and vibrate to shake the soil loose around the core without leaving a mess in the lawn. The loosened soil improves absorption of nutrients, water and air, and gives the roots room to stretch and grow. Over-seeding introduces new varieties of grass seed cultivars that strengthen disease resistance, encourage thick growth, improve general health and beauty, and produces rich even color tones.
5. Embrace diversity:
This sounds easy but is often practiced with resistance until you learn to love it! We have become conditioned to believe that anything other than grass is an intolerable blemish. Embracing diversity in nature is as important as embracing the diversity of our fellow human beings.
All planetary living species rely on other species in someway for survival. Certain species thrive best under special conditions but other species can’t survive at all without a specific species. People have the ability to form opinions and take action regarding what species are important or annoying, and some are just unknowingly misunderstood.
For example, a weed is defined as something that grows where you didn’t plant it, or don’t want it. Dandelions and moss are two common causes of complaint. Yet, certain countries actually cultivate dandelions for their edible leaves which are higher in nutrient contents than any other salad green, and use it’s other “parts” for natural health remedies. Additionally pollinators thrive where dandelions are abundant.
Moss grows especially well in shady, damp areas and can provide a lush, hearty groundcover that is soft to walk on, especially in areas where other plants struggle. Exploring new concepts in moderation can provide enjoyable simplicity where you least expect it.
The main thing to remember is that a beautiful lawn is naturally possible, available and healthier, but not necessarily perfect. Define beauty and perfection based on your values and expectations, not how someone else defines them for you.