January 9, 2019

6865021 - young asian boy playing with alaskan klee kai puppy sitting on grassReady to create an outdoor oasis that your kids and pets can safely enjoy? Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to chemical lawn treatments and go organic!

You don’t have to sacrifice green, lush grass when you give up pesticides and weed killers. In fact, some say lawns become dependent on such products after years of use and over-use. Break the habit, and your yard could look better than ever.

First, find out what you need. A simple soil test will tell you whether organic supplements are needed to combat calcium or magnesium shortages. Your local nursery should be able to do the test or recommend someone who can. Once you’ve established what you need to add, dethatch and aerate soil so the nutrients can be properly absorbed.

If you don’t already compost at your house, now’s the time to start. Once you go chemical free in your yard, you’ll regularly need organic compost to introduce all kinds of beneficial bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Even if you don’t compost yourself, you can purchase commercial compost from your local nursery.

Organic fertilizers made from bone meal, seaweed and other natural ingredients will give your lawn the boost it needs to keep weeds at bay and grasses dense. If you have bare or sparse patches, overseeding with native or organic grass seed and daily watering will help fill them in.

You will likely encounter more weeds than usual as you make this transition, but keep your eye on the healthy prize. Commercially available weed killers are available, or you can rely on good, old fashioned manual pulling to keep them under control. Some organic gardeners also swear by vinegar for weed control.

Encourage healthy root growth by not cutting too short, and leave the clippings as nitrogen-boosting mulch.

Chemical free grass will bring you great rewards. You’ll watch friends, family and pets enjoy your lawn without the worry of exposure to harmful agents, and you’ll rest easy knowing that you’re doing your part to prevent contamination of soil and ground water.

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