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Sustainable Lawn Tips

February 25, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 171

Maintaining Lawns and Grass Recycling:

'Grass-cycling' or mulching your lawn with grass cuttings is very important to sustainable lawn maintenance. When mulching you are reintroducing nutrients back into the grass and not contributing to landfills. Keep in mind that you have to cut your lawn more often in order for this to work. Many people believe that mulching a lawn causes thatch, this is incorrect. When done properly it helps fertilize the lawn.

The ideal technique would be to cut the lawn on a dry day and remove no more than one third of the grass blade. To do this I recommend a mulching mower. A mulching mower works by suspending the cut grass tip in the air, which the lawnmower blade then cuts into many fine pieces and shoots back into the lawn as a recyclable product. This speeds up the lawn mowing process since you don't have to bag the grass.

In the last several years there are some terrific new rechargeable recycling lawnmowers. This is allowing many people who were not able to before, to cut their own lawn, while saving a considerable amount of money.

Remember to keep your mulching lawnmower blade sharp. This will prevent disease from entering the cut part of the grass blade and will ensure proper mulching technique. Good luck!

Fertilizing for Lawn Health:

Fertilizing your lawn for sustained health consists of using organic fertilizers and/or slow release synthetic fertilizers. It does not include 'weed in feeds' although, when addressing weed issues, it is okay to spot spray individual weeds. The reason slow release fertilizers are used is to control the growth habit of the lawn. For instance, you would not want to use a quick release fertilizer in the spring. When it is warm and rainy it causes the grass to grow too quickly and you can't cut wet lawn using a recycling lawnmower.

Slow release fertilizers may cost a little more, but in the long run they are less expensive. The fact is, they last longer and require less effort with fewer applications. I personally like the combination of using synthetic and organic fertilizers. It is important not to mow your lawn too soon after applying your synthetic fertilizer. The lawnmower will cut or fracture the fertilizer, destroying the slow-release technology. You should wait one full week after application to cut your lawn.

Organic fertilizers improve the quality of your soil. If you take care of your soil, it takes care of your lawn, reducing problems and cost. Please remember, that most of your higher quality organic fertilizers have a very strong smell, so take this into consideration when planning. Organic fertilizers have a temperature window between 55 and 75°F.

We fertilize our lawns because the rain washes the nutrients out of the soil. During construction of our homes, much of the good topsoil that naturally occurred has been scraped and taken away. Often this leaves the home owner with a hard pan construction surface.

The natural growth habit of the lawn also takes the nutrients and minerals out of the soil. This is why it is important to recycle your grass clippings and fertilize at optimum times, with fall being the single most important time to fertilize your lawn.

One of the single best things you can do to optimize your fertilizer use and know the requirements of your particular soil would be to get a soil test. This way you know exactly what is required to build and keep a healthy soil profile.

STEWART ARMOUR Trained by a Golf Course Superintendent AERATING-THATCHING COMPANY 206-907-7645 / 425-316-6578

Armour has extensive education in turf management in Western Washington. The first turf class he attended was Golf Course Construction and Design in 1981, taught by Jerry Mackie at Bellevue CC. In 1994 he majored in turf management at South Seattle CC, taught by Steve Nord. After several years, he advanced to Clover Park Technical College and studied under a local golf course superintendent, John Ford. This class was for people employed in the golf course trade. Stewart took the course twice during consecutive Springs. He toured many local golf courses and consistently had the best superintendents in the area for lectures and Q and A.

Source: EzineArticles
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Sustainable Lawn Tips


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