Natural Lawn Care
less often but for longer period – this is called deep watering. Frequent shallow watering lets more water get evaporated into the air and less in the roots.
In hot or warm weather, the best time to water is early in the morning. Watering in the heat of the day will result in most of the water evaporating too quickly to get to the roots.
- When the weather is hot, keep your lawn taller. This gives the tender roots more protection from the hot sun. A lawn that is mowed too short will have its roots dry out out faster and see a reduction in surface aeration.
- When you have gone too long without mowing, raise the mower height even more than normal so that you won’t cut off too much at once.
- A fescue grass cut two inches high will have 18-inch-deep roots. But, if you raise the cutting height to three and a half inches, those roots will go down four feet, creating a lawn that can find enough water and nutrients to take care of itself!
- Mowing should be done in the early morning (once the dew has dried), followed by a good watering to protect the roots from the sun, or in the cool of the evening. Mowing done in the heat of the day will shock the lawn.
Lawns grow better when they are aerated. You can do this yourself by wearing cleats (baseball shoes with spikes underneath) when you do yardwork. Or, you can use aerator spike shoes with extra long spikes.
Add nitrogen to your lawn naturally by not using a grass catcher. Allow the grass cuttings to remain on the top of the lawn for two weeks occasionally. Only short cuttings should be left on the lawn–the cuttings should be from only three days of growth or they will be too large and get soggy.
Put corn gluten (marketed as Original WOW!®) on your lawn, and absolutely no weed seeds will grow. It will also keep new grass seed from growing, so put it down at least six weeks before you seeding any bare spots. An added benefit of corn gluten is that it is very high in nitrogen, which is the food that lawns crave the most.
A healthy lawn should be so dense that it will not allow weeds to grow.
Super Natural Lawn Care
For really natural lawn care, tie a goat in the middle of it. That goat will slowly “mow” the grass constantly, and its droppings will fertilize it. Add some earthworms, and your lawn will be aerated naturally. Brown or Yellow Spots
Urine spots in lawns come in two forms.
Dead brown spots occur when dogs urinate in the same place over and over and the nitrogen in their urine burns the grass (just like overfeeding with a chemical lawn fertilizer). If you are able to water the spot immediately after the dog urinates, the water will dilute the nitrogen and prevent burning.
Feed the Lawn
If the spot turns a deeper green than the rest, the lawn is underfed. The urine provides the nitrogen an underfed lawn was craving. So, feed the entire lawn to even out the color.
Feed the Dogs
- Feeding one teaspoon to two tablespoons of Natural Apple Cider Vinegar (depending on the size of the dog) along with the regular food can prevent dog urine from yellowing lawns.
- The vinegar can be added to the dog’s water or put directly on his food.
- Natural Apple Cider Vinegar will also ease dogs’ arthritis pains, keep their teeth cleaner and healthier; and help them repel fleas, not get bad doggy odor, and not get hot spots.
- Or, add two tablespoons of tomato juice on the dog’s food twice a day to prevent their urine from killing the grass.
- Having lots of fresh water available for dogs at all times will help to keep their urine weaker.
Dandelions in your lawn mean that it needs sulfur. When you see clover in your lawn, it means that it needs more nitrogen. If mushrooms appear in the lawn, you have been watering too much.
When your lawn looks scraggly, check closely. Whitish, stringy tips on the grass are a sign that your mower’s blade needs to be sharpened and that the blade is ripping the grass off instead of making a nice cut.
Speaking of mushrooms… If you put mushroom compost on your lawn, it will start growing mushrooms. But, sprouting mushrooms is a sign that you have watered too much.