PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Spring"

Compost

To Brew? Or Not to Brew?

July 08, 2016

Last week, we talked about the benefits of natural fertilizers like compost and compost tea. So what's the difference between the two? Why brew tea when you could just apply compost?

COMPOST:

+ High in microbial content to feed your soil
+ Contains some soluble nutrients to feed your plants
+ Rich in organic matter that helps improve soil structure
– Heavy and messy to apply
– Will end up all over your clothes (and your kids and pets) if you play on a lawn treated with compost. Best to apply in spring or fall.

COMPOST TEA:

+ High in microbial content to feed your soil
+ Contains some soluble nutrients to feed your plants
+ Only requires a small amount of compost to feed a large area of land
+ Easy to apply throughout the year using a sprayer or watering can
+ Good for lawns or gardens that need to recharge their microbial battery
– Does not contain organic matter for your soil
– Requires special equipment to brew (but our how-to instructions make it easy)

Drip irrigation

Got new trees and shrubs? Drip irrigation can be an effective way to keep them well-hydrated this summer, but keep in mind the following before you put down those hoses:

  • Place drip tubes beyond the root ball, as well as on it, to encourage roots to grow into the surrounding soil.
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs seldom (less often than your lawn) and deep (12-18"). Too much watering encourages excess growth, a magnet for fungus diseases and sucking insects.
  • Remove tubes after two years. Your plants will be well-established and just won't need the irrigation anymore.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

No tick

Seems like we can’t go outside these days without seeing an ad for a tick spray company.

A word of warning before you call someone to nuke your yard: Synthetic tick sprays are toxic and create a false sense of security. They kill pollinators (butterflies!), they do not kill all the ticks, and new ticks wander right back in soon after the spray is applied. So what else can you do?

Organic sprays are a non-toxic option, but they also kill beneficial bugs. If applied early in the morning or at the end of the day, there is less damage to our pollinator friends.

The most environmentally-friendly and secure option is to apply tick repellent to yourself, your kids, and your pets. Spray yourself, not your entire property. We keep a supply by our office door and always cover our legs and ankles before we head outside.

Lawn soil

Is Your Lawn Pickled?

May 25, 2016

Worried about thatch? If you're fertilizing PRFCTly, you don't have to be.

Thatch is a naturally occurring layer of decaying material that accumulates in soil. A ½" layer of thatch is healthy. It acts as insulation for soil and roots and a cushion for your kids' knees when they fall on the grass.

Thatch build-up is not caused by the presence of grass clippings. In fact, having organic material like grass clippings on your lawn feeds the same microbes that remove excess thatch from your soil.

Problems occur when soil is pickled by the salts and acids in chemical fertilizers and pesticides, preventing the natural composting process from taking place. Material builds up, resulting in a thick layer of thatch that attracts pests and creates conditions for fungus to spread.

Instead, prevent thatch build-up by fertilizing your lawn with natural fertilizers like compost tea and, of course, grass clippings.

grass clippings on truck

Bag That Mower Bag

May 20, 2016

What's the PRFCT way to fertilize your lawn this spring and summer? Bag your lawnmower bag and let those clippings fly. Mulching mower? Not critical, but even better.

Grass clippings provide a natural—and free!—source of nitrogen that fertilizes your lawn every time you mow. Instead of dumping your clippings in the landfill and then dumping fertilizer on your lawn, use the clippings to gently feed your lawn all season long.

Tags: mowing feeding

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