Chemical-Free, Inexpensive Lawn Care
By some estimates of how pesticides affect genetically engineered crops, maintaining our lawns is just as responsible for polluting our waterways as some common agricultural practices. Over 90 million pounds of herbicides and pesticides are applied to American lawns every year in hope of growing lush, green grass. Not only do these pesticides threaten to poison our waterways and gardens, we track them into our houses and onto our pets.
What Is the Safe, Effective Alternative to Chemical and Synthetic Fertilizers?
We have a less expensive yet more effective alternative to pest and herbicides that is 100% natural, made by Mother Nature. Organic vermicompost is harvested like honey by your friendly neighborhood worm farmers. This is one of those things that sounds too good to be true, but it actually is. Our environment is full of perfectly complete cycles that tie themselves up in neat little packages. Worm castings is one of those obvious solutions. Earthworms move through the soil, taking in dead matter and re-invigorating it with their internal processes. The result is concentrated, biologically-rich soil nutrients that plants love.
Ban Harmful Chemicals from Your Lawn, Use Local Worm Castings Made by Nature
For a healthy, plush lawn, simply spray as much aerated worm tea as you would like over your lawn. Worm castings are excellent for growing thick green grass to carpet your lawn. Spraying your lawn with worm casting tea is odorless, easy, and won’t harm your lawn or environment. You can’t use too much, it is loaded with beneficial microbes, nutrients and bacteria, but it is balanced by nature so it won’t burn the plants or grass.
Common Lawn Problems with Natural Fixes
Lots of common lawn problems have a simple, chemical-free fix. Begin by finding the root of the problem. Pun intended, naturally.
Clover is a sign that your soil is low in nitrogen. Clover is lucky for more reasons than the occasional extra leaf. The clover plant replenishes the soil with nitrogen wherever it grows. As you mow, the clover clippings fertilize the lawn without chemicals. Another cycle that you should let play out.
Dandelions are a sign that your grass isn’t developing healthy roots, or that your soil is nutrient-deficient. The problem could be low calcium levels, high potassium levels, or the soil is too acidic. Get a soil test to find out, then balance out the nutrients. To be rid of existing dandelion weeds, spray directly with undiluted white vinegar. Take care not to spray too much on the surrounding grass. An even better idea is to pick all your dandelions first and put them in a basket, then make dandelion wine. If you don’t enjoy dandelion wine, next spring you can mix 1 part worm castings with 2 parts corn gluten and scatter it over the lawn. This will replenish the lawn with all the nutrients it was missing.
3. Bare or Ragged Patches
Bare or ragged patches are due to heavy traffic or dog mess not being removed. If this part of your lawn is used as a regular path, it will be almost impossible to establish grass there. Let the path be the path and put down stone or gravel, you will be happier for it.
Another reason for bare or ragged patches could be armyworms. These are caterpillar-like worms and if they are the culprit, you will be able to see them. Lots of lawn care companies recommend insecticide as the only solution. The active ingredient in these products is Bifenthrin, an insecticide that works by disrupting the insect’s nervous systems, causing paralysis. Bifenthrin has been found to be moderately toxic to mammals and birds, and is highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life.
The species that demonstrated the most severe symptoms in university tests were rainbow trout, bluegill and Daphnia, a species of small planktonic crustaceans that are an essential part of a healthy aquatic food chain. Fishermen and lakelubbers take heed. Bifenthrin is also toxic to bees, who play an essential role in our ecosystem and our agriculture.
Why risk this chemical entering our waterways and further harming our planet or our pets when nature has already provided safe, effective, inexpensive alternatives? Use beneficial nematodes and worm castings instead of chemicals to get rid of armyworms. Nematodes and earthworms are closely related, happy gardeners that work for the pleasure of it.
Make a difference, help yourself while coincidentally helping the planet, and have the thick, green grass you want. We all love a win-win.