Janet Cramb & Company/LAER Realty Partners



Posted by Janet Cramb on 4/21/2021

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Every homeowner wants a beautiful lawn devoid of dandelions and unsightly brown patches. Unfortunately, hiring an organic lawn care service isn't always in the budget. However, there are some easy things you can do to manage and improve your lawn without breaking the bank or harming the environment. You can care for your lawn without poisoning the water table if you use safe methods to discourage pests and weeds. You'll boost the beauty of your grasses and gardens while allowing helpful organisms such as bees and earthworms to flourish. Use these four tips to give your lawn a boost:

1. Aerate Your Lawn Regularly

Roots need air, water and nutrients to grow strong and lush. This is why it's necessary to aerate areas of your lawn that have become compacted over time. This is especially important for newly constructed homes with lawns that are still trying to recover from the shock of heavy machinery. Early spring or fall is the best time to aerate soil because it allows time for new growth before the change in growing seasons. You'll want to wait for a drenching rain before you begin.

You can rent a lawn aerator from your local home supply store. You can even use something so simple as a pitchfork. Poke it into compacted areas and wiggle the handle back and forth to create large holes. Save work by choosing only the most compacted areas of your lawn for aeration.

2. Mow Your Lawn Frequently

Allow grass to grow to approximately 3 inches before mowing, then strive to maintain that ideal height. By mowing often, you'll generate short clippings that won't need raking. If you allow them to sink down into your soil, they'll become a natural source of food that acts as organic fertilizer.

You'll also want to sharpen the blades on your mower regularly. Dull blades damage grass blades, making them more susceptible to disease and infestation.

3. Water Your Grass Efficiently

Over watering your lawn may be just as damaging as allowing it to dry out. For best results, only water when you can see footprints in the grass. But when you do water, water deeply and thoroughly. Do your best to plan around the weather by making allowances for wet days instead of sticking to a rigid schedule.

4. Use Lawn Chemicals Sparingly

If you take good care of your lawn, it will defeat weeds naturally. Most weeds that infest lawns thrive on neglect. So if you pay careful attention to maintaining a lush, green carpet, you've already won half the battle. If you do decide you need the help of pesticides or fertilizers, shop from the organic section of your home supply store. You can even make your own using ingredients like boiling water, vinegar or salt. These common household materials kill weeds without leeching toxic chemicals and carcinogens into the ground. For fertilizer, start a compost pile in your backyard and feed it regularly with vegetable clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and more. As it decays and turns to compost, you can spread it in thin layers on the weakest parts of your lawn to green them up beautifully.

If you keep up with your lawn in an eco-friendly way you'll see a natural resurgence of beneficial wildlife such as beetles, honey bees and earthworms. These creatures will help you keep the soil aerated and discourage harmful pests.