Many of us worry about what we put in our bodies and the types of chemicals that may be harmful to us — but how often are we thinking about the types of chemicals we’re using on our lawns? Not only can these chemicals hurt us, which is why we have to wait a few days before we can go on a recently fertilized lawn, but they can be harmful to the Earth. Below, we’ve included a few ways to implement a natural lawn care routine in order to take care of your lawn just as much as you take care of yourself.
Test your soil
By testing your soil every few months, you can learn what its natural characteristics are and know when it’s not doing well. Depending on certain characteristics of the soil, like how quickly it drains, you can tell what nutrients it may need the most. For the test, you’ll need a testing kit which can be found at your local garden shop or hardware store (check to see if these are available online first!). Once you have your kit, you can follow along these steps from This Old House about how to facilitate the test. And don’t forget — you’ll need to take a few samples from different areas of your yard, not just the same area!
We also recommend plant tissue testing to get a handle on plant nutrition in addition to soil nutrition. However, plant tissue tests can be difficult to get your hands on. Check with a local Pro to see if anyone in your area will provide plant tissue testing.
Mow Mow Mow your lawn!
If you’ve been keeping up with our other blog posts, you know the importance of mowing — not in mowing your lawn all the time, but finding the mowing schedule that’s best for your lawn. As we get further into the summer and temperatures continue to rise, it’s important to skip mowing on these unbearably hot days since it can actually hurt your grass. Instead, turn your focus to watering your lawn. But make it easy for yourself with smart sprinkler technology like our Rachio 3 or 3e controllers.
Choose the right grass
This may seem like an obvious one, but choosing the right grass for your lawn is important and can make your entire lawn care routine easier in the long-run. Characteristics of your region including soil conditions, temperatures, and dryness and humidity can all impact your grass and can help determine which type is best suited for your area. To find out the best grass seeds are best in your area, you can use this fun, interactive map. You can also consider looking at native plant practices to see what plants are best fit for your area.
Utilize your compost
Before you throw away your apple core or stems of broccoli, think about composting them. Throw them in a composting bin, allow them to decay, add in other organic material like grass clippings and leaves, then use the mixture as a topdressing to your lawn. As this article from The Spruce describes, the benefits of composting are plentiful: “Millions of microbes go to work in the soil, cycling nutrients and making them available to be taken up by the plant. When married with the soil, compost essentially becomes a natural fertilizer. Compost is also loaded with micronutrients and other complex biology that is extremely beneficial for plant growth. Compost adds life to the food web, ultimately resulting in healthier grass.”
Use a natural fertilizer or lawn care treatment.
While “organic” has become a popular label among foods, there’s still work to do to bring the idea of natural and organic products to lawn care. When it comes to treating your lawn, choosing a natural solution like our Thrive lawn care treatment, can help create living soil and healthy roots for a greener grass. The best part about it is that it’s safe for everyone – people, pets, the planet — and, of course, your lawn!
While it may be easier to reach for the name brand products when it comes to treating your lawn, consider the types of ingredients that go into these products. Next time you buy fertilizer, check the ingredients listed, scan the warning labels, and compare that with natural products and initiatives to see what’s really going into your lawn.