We live in an instant gratification society but great lawns are not as easy and 1-2-3-4.  It’s time to take an ecologically responsible approach to lawn care!

Early in the year soil temperatures are low due to old man winter.  As air and soil temperatures start to warm up in early spring, soil microbial activity increases.  Like a bear hibernating, your lawn needs to be awakened to start to grow new green leaf shoots and roots.   Consider using Jonathan Green Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer in early spring to give your lawn a kick-start.  Many times when we rake up our yard each spring there seems to be a number of bare spots that need seeding.  Why not apply grass seed early and get it established and growing before the hot-dry summer arrives?   Commonly used lawn care programs can only do so much if poor quality grass seed is used: meaning, you cannot maintain a “junky” lawn even with superior lawn products.  Using genetically superior grass seed assures you of better success than bargain brands offered on the market.    Most lawn care programs only feed the grass plants and not the soil.  You are only doing half the job if you are only feeding the lawn and not the soil.

How do we address the soil?   Do you know what your soil pH is? Have you ever tested your soil for it pH value?  What does “pH” mean?  Everything has a pH value somewhere between 0 and 14.  A pH value of 7 reflects a neutral pH, below 7 the soil is more acidic (sour) and a value above 7 is more alkaline (sweet).  Lawn thrives when soil pH values are between 6.0 and 6.8.  pH is the measure of “potential hydrogen” present in the soil.  As the amount of hydrogen in the soil increases, the soils’ pH reading decreases, thus becoming more acidic.  Hydrogen carries a weak positive electrical charge which enables it to attach to negatively charged sites on the clay and humus particles in the soil.  These negatively charged sites become clogged with positively charged hydrogen; thus the mineral nutrients are not available to attach to these same sites.  By applying a calcium product to the soil, the hydrogen reacts with the calcium carbonate to form calcium dioxide and water.  The exchange sites are cleared of hydrogen and the soil becomes less acidic or has a higher pH value which will spur better lawn growth.

What else can I do for my soil?  Well, soil is a living, breathing environment composed of soil particles, water and air.  You can increase the air spaces,  water holding capacity and microbial activity of your soil by mechanical aeration or applying Love Your Lawn-Love Your Soil which contains humates, amino acids, feather meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, molasses and other organic plant and animal remnants found in quality organic lawn fertilizers.

Using a combination of traditional and organic lawn fertilizer sources allows your lawn to green-up based on the time of year and soil temperatures.  Organics applied in late spring through summer provide a gentle feeding for consistent greening.  Organic products also help reduce top-growth so the lawn does not have to be mowed as often.  A healthy growing lawn is the best defense against weeds, insects and fungus problems.

Blog courtesy of Jonathan Green.

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