PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Feeding"

C0201409 Ebb1 41ba 9576 4ad4866795e0

The PRFCT time

September 30, 2017
Fall is the time for seeding, feeding, and aerating your lawn. Weeds grow in warm weather, grass prefers cool…that means the best time to fix the lawn is… fall, right now.
If there are bare areas in your lawn, reseed now, the grass can fill in and weeds will have no place to grow in the spring!
For areas that are always a problem, look for the cause.
If compacted: break up or aerate the soil.
Replace or amend poor soil with organic, weed free compost or new soil.
Too much shade? Try a shade tolerant grass or consider a Long Island native groundcover like Pennsylvania sedge and mow it just once a year.
Lawn full of dandelions

Those dandelions in your lawn are little yellow flags letting you know that your soil is low in calcium and/or compacted. Start with a soil test and then amend as needed. Aerating and overseeding your lawn this fall will relieve compaction and promote healthy, thick turf, the best form of weed control. Keep your grass high (3.5-4") to shade out dandelion—and other weed—seeds.

If dandelions keep sprouting, the safest way to remove them is by hand. Water the area to loosen the soil and use a dandelion digger or flathead screwdriver to remove the plant’s long taproot. Pulling dandelions before they go to seed will help prevent them from spreading in your landscape.

Or...learn to love those little yellow flowers. They’re one of the few food sources available to pollinators in early spring. If bees and butterflies love them, why can’t we?

Bare feet walking on lawn

What is a 3-, 4-, or 5-step lawn program? A series of products labeled 1-3 (or 4 or 5) that are sold to be applied month-by-month throughout the growing season. They are all-in-one mixes designed to treat a range of typical lawn problems. They usually contain synthetic fertilizer combined with synthetic pesticides—various weedkillers, fungicides and insecticides, depending on the month. Some mixes also contain grass seed.

What’s the problem with multi-step programs? Not only are they packed full of the worst kinds of chemicals, but they are treating your lawn for problems you may not even have. Like going to the doctor and getting medication for every known health condition, just in case.

Multi-step programs offer short-term solutions with long-term consequences. The lawn may green up temporarily, but the fertilizer and chemicals will eventually pickle the soil. Excess nitrogen from the fertilizer can leach into nearby water bodies, contributing to algal blooms. And who wants to walk across a lawn covered with chemicals?

Photo credit: Wulf Voss / EyeEm / Getty Images

Clover lawn

St. Patrick's Day is one of our favorite days of the year. Clover is everywhere on March 17! So why are those cute little trifolium so hard to find once spring rolls around?

One hundred years ago, clover was considered a sign of a "healthy" lawn. Diversity was prized and the ideal lawn was sprinkled with flowers. Lawns fertilized themselves naturally with regular boosts of nitrogen from clover and mulched grass clippings.

What changed? Chemical companies found themselves with lots of extra product on their hands after the end of World War II. Some of those products could be turned into fertilizer, and some could be used as herbicides. Marketing teams turned clover into the new enemy, selling consumers herbicides to rid their yards of "weeds" and synthetic fertilizers to replace what those "weeds" supplied naturally. Before long, the uniform, military-style lawn became all the rage.

A lot has changed since the end of World War II, but our lawns are still stuck in their Baby Boomer phase. It's getting harder and harder to find those lucky four-leaved shamrocks. Who's ready for a 21st-century clover revolution?

Clover heart

Dear clover,

Why is "love" at the heart of your name? Because there's so much to love about your lovely green leaves!

1. You fertilize our lawns—for free. No need for synthetic fertilizer when you pull nitrogen from the air and release it back into the soil every time we mow.

2. You stay green under the toughest conditions. Those nitrogen-fixing roots run deep, keeping our lawns lively and lush even in the hottest, driest months.

3. Pollinators love your flowers—and we love pollinators. (We've got tips on avoiding bee stings in clover lawns.)

4. You're the stuff of childhood memories. Doesn't every kid love hunting for your lucky four leaves?

See you in spring!

XOXO,
The PRFCT Team

More Tips