Last year’s growing season taught me some lessons about lawn care. Some of the lessons were kind of expensive and some not so much. Here they are for you to browse:
– Don’t waste your money on all those products on the store shelves.
– Lawns want moisture and organics. If you have neither, you will have weeds.
– Don’t use insect killer. You are killing the most beneficial micro-organisms your lawn has.
– Don’t rake your leaves in Autumn. Just keep mowing over them. They turn into next year’s organics and fertilizer (compost).
– Instead of wasting your money on fertilizers, weed and insect killers, spend your money on compost and grass seed.
– Remember, organics and grass seed.
It’s amazing how many people will fertilize a patch of dirt. Like grass is going to magically appear there or something. Last year, I finally came to the conclusion that your soil is the most important thing in your lawn. If you have bad soil, you will have a bad lawn. How did I come to this conclusion? Well, I got my head out of the clouds. I pictured sprinkling some grass seed on a cow pie. Seriously. Then, I imagined the thickest grass ever growing out of that cow pie.
Have you ever noticed that grass grows thickest over septic fields? It’s because that soil is nice and moist and full of nutrients.
Don’t get sucked into the hype. Trust me, lawn services love nothing more than to continuously apply expensive products to your lawn. I know of one lawn service around my area that doesn’t even test soil. They just apply their product. Over and over and over. How can they do that? They have no idea what they are applying to. I learned that they don’t know and don’t really care.
Ever wonder why some lawns look better than others? It’s because of the soil. Either the homeowner had good topsoil put down when they were building the house or there is good soil in the area.
When I was growing up, all I did was mow the lawn. I can’t remember ever putting down any lawn product for the twenty two years I lived in that house. The lawn looked great. Relatively few weeds and nice thick, green grass. We had good soil. That’s why we had good grass.
So anyway, my new thing is to aerate the lawn in the Spring and fall, overseed and then spread compost over the entire area. Sure, the layer of compost will be very thin and basically thrown with my hands, but it’s going to add some really great stuff to the lawn. It’s going to add micro-organisms, worms and organic material to the soil. You can’t beat that and you can’t buy that from a shelf somewhere.
Remember, don’t waste your money on fertilizer. Spend it on compost.
I read a story a while back about a fella who had the nicest grass on the block. His neighbors were jealous and wanted to know what in the world he did to keep it looking so good. They never saw him applying any store bought product. One of the neighbors asked the guy what he did to keep his lawn looking so good and the man replied, “Nothing, I just mow over my leaves every Autumn.”
Leaves are organic and turn into compost. Just mow over them and by late Spring, you will have a nice layer of organic material laying on top of your otherwise so-so soil.
I haven’t ordered my load of compost yet. I found a place in Enfield, CT that sells compost for $25 a yard with a $70 delivery fee. I am going to get five yards next week. Before that, I am going to aerate the lawn with my tow behind aerator and give the property a nice overseeding with a blend of Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. I like these grasses because they are durable and some of the blend is self repairing. That’s the RTF and the Bluegrass. Good stuff.
After I do my overseeding, I am going to fill wheelbarrows with compost. Then, I am going to spread the compost all over the lawn. The compost that this particular place sells is a mixture of broken down leaves and cow manure. It’s going to stink a bit, but just imagine the goodness that the grass is going to be pulling out of it.
I am going to post a few photos of the grass seed I bought last night, along with some projects I am working on. Just a few areas that needed leveling off.