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Promote Your Lawn’s Health
You don’t have to use chemicals to have a beautiful lawn. In fact, your lawn will be much healthier if you ban the use of chemicals. In addition, chemicals can poison soil and contaminate water. Use the following tips to get your lawn off drugs. • Remove weeds by hand. It’s the best type of weed control.
Eighty percent of all weeds are annuals. If you remove them before they go to seed, you will be rid of them. If some weeds in your lawn are perennials, dig out the entire root system to ensure they can’t grow back. • Tolerate beneficial weeds, such as clover. Clover is a nitrogen magic plant that will enhance the health and beauty of your lawn.
• Test your lawn’s soil, using a soil test kit. This will tell you how much organic matter is in the soil, the ph balance and what nutrients to obtain a perfect soil balance. • If your lawn has bare spots, reseed with a mixture of grass varieties. Most diseases that infiltrate your lawn are very selective. By using a mixture of grasses, you will ensure that your lawn will not be totally wiped out by disease. • Aerate to prevent the soil from becoming compacted. You will also break through heavy thatch. This allows nutrients and organic matter to reach your lawn’s root system. The best aerators in the world are earthworms. • If the thatch layer is more than a half inch thick, it’s time to de-thatch.
Thatch prevents air, nutrients and water from getting to the soil and promotes a wide variety of problems. If you aerate and rake your lawn briskly, most of the thatch will be removed. Some thatch is beneficial to your lawn because it promotes decomposition of grass clippings and organic matter. • Grass should always be two to three inches high. Only cut one third of the height at one time to prevent grass from going into shock. It’s imperative that the mower blade is always sharp to prevent grass damage. Tall grass grows longer roots, shades the soil and prevents weed infiltration. • Always use natural fertilizers. They release nutrients into the soil and allow it to retain them longer. Organic fertilizer decomposes thatch and grass clippings quickly.
Sheep manure is one of the best natural fertilizers available. • Water only when your lawn requires it and then water deeply. If you water frequently and lightly, your lawn will have shallow roots, which makes it more susceptible to disease and insects. If water runs off easily, it’s a sign that you need to aerate. • Do not remove grass clippings. Not only does your lawn require less raking, but the clippings act as natural fertilizer when they aren’t coated with chemicals. Assure grass clippings are not clumped to promote the decomposition process. • Do not use herbicides or pesticides. Chemicals kill birds, insects and earthworms that are beneficial to your lawn’s health. If you practice natural lawn care, you will discourage pests.