Natural Lawn Care
Polluted run off from lawn fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides are a leading contributor to the decline of the Chesapeake Bay. At Lauren’s Garden Service we believe in educating our clients about the harmful effects of the current lawn care and landscaping industry and promoting natural lawn care by letting them know how they can make a difference in their lawns and landscapes. Did you know that you can have a naturally healthy lawn without the chemical applications? It’s not hard work, it’s smart work.
Natural Lawn Care Basics
Weed and Feed:
Cancel your landscape services pre emergent application in spring and purchase a natural Espoma Organic Weed Preventer and Lawn Fertilizer at Sun Nurseries in Woodbine, Clarks Ace Hardware in Ellicott City, Southern States in Ellicott City, Kendall Hardware in Clarksville, MD or Anne Arundel CoOp in Glen Burnie, MD. The right time to apply this product is when the redbuds and forsythia are blooming. Timing is important to effectively block the weeds in your lawn. Using a natural product and being sure to use the right amount or less will help clean and protect the Bay. Anything you apply to your yard will run off, especially if applied right before rain; please keep this in mind when you decide what to apply. Traditional weed and seed and fertilizer grass products are loaded with horrible chemicals, are often over applied and are NOT NECESSARY for a beautiful lawn.
Aerate and De-thatch:
I recommend this every 3-5 years. Aerating allows air to penetrate to the roots of the grass in your lawn, helping to improve the soil. It allows better access and movement of water and nutrients to the roots of your grass. It’s like a multivitamin for your lawn, allowing it to look great by taking care of the basics. This reduces the need to use harsh chemicals that pollute our water and Bay. You’ll have to rent an aerator from a local rental place, like ABC rental on Giepe Road in Catonsville. Buy a thatch rake at Home Depot or Lowe’s .
Most likely your entire lawn needs aeration and de-thatching and drainage issues need to be solved. Apply a natural compost like leafgro to the top of your bare spots and rake it in. Sprinkle the appropriate grass seed for sun or shade. Anne Arundel CoOp in Glen Burnie has a great selection of local grasses for all conditions. Cover with straw and water well everyday for two weeks or until established. I always tell clients that have shady lawns that you’ll need to reapply your seed every few weeks in the spring and fall- its a part of shade lawn care. Don’t use a generic seed. We’ve had the best success with something called Howard Estate mix sold at Clarks Ace Hardware in Ellicott City. Anne Arundel CoOp in Glen Burnie also has a great variety of shade seed available.
If your lawn is sparse then follow the directions above for bare spots and apply seed on the entire lawn using a seed spreader. Overseed regularly for a shady lawn.
Make sure that you mow to the right height. If you mow too high or too low it can encourage the growth of weeds. The rule of thumb is to remove 1/3 of the height of the grass at a time so that it is about 3-4 inches tall, depending on your grass type.
If you follow these rules then your lawn will be gorgeous, naturally.
Support Pollinators by not applying herbicide to your lawn. Allow the clover (which actually fixes Nitrogen naturally), violets, plantain and other lawn flowers grow! If you mow regularly and at the right height and follow the other recommendations above they won’t take over! You can also support pollinators by not applying pesticides to your lawn. Milky Spore powder is a natural solution for killing grubs in your lawn. Apply several years in a row for the best effect.
If your lawn overwhelms you call Lauren’s Garden Service at 410-461-2535 to help revive it or to reduce the amount of lawn you have by consulting on stopping mowing and growing a meadow!