Saturday, March 26, 2011

The buzz on a "green" lawn...

Usually the sound of a lawnmower is a hated sound, compared often to nails down a chalkboard or an annoying barking dog. I'll be honest, I cringe when a neighbor starts up his mower, the peaceful garden now soundtracked by a horrible buzz...ugh, happy feeling gone! I would much rather be out in the yard enjoying my plants while listening to the chickadees, maybe even my screaming kids (maybe), especially on a gorgeous sunshine perfect day like today.
However, after months of hiding out under boxes in the garage, the mower has once again returned from hibernation, to work its magic on my shaggy and neglected looking spring is like music to my ears!

The one true day of the year, where the buzz of the mower is a welcome sound, when that buzz screams...Gardening season is here!!! And for us Seattlites the end of our winter hibernation!

Lawn Care...
This year we have decided to change up our lawn schedule a little. In my efforts to stay Earth-Green while maintaining Lawn-Green we will be forgoing our usual TrueGreen (chemical cocktail) fertilizer. We will be giving organic lawn fertilizer ago this year, in the form of fish and kelp spray or steer-grow/alfalfa mix. I am assured it is not to stinky and all natural, as the yard run-off ends up straight in our local river.
Our water plan this year is to use our irrigation system twice a week, longer and fewer watering's will help with deeper root growth. I also want to try a rain barrel for plant & excess garden watering.
For weed prevention, I am still to come up with a plan?!? Help!!! My thoughts are to just pull as soon as I see them and before they go to seed. I have heard about Corn Gluten and will be looking into this as a weed killer, stay tuned for that one!
We have also decided the moss is here to stay, why fight it when it is obviously winning!
I've even looked into making my own lawn fertilizer, but not sure my neighbors would appreciate the smell that comes from soaking cow poop in a bucket of water for a! Think I'll stick to buying the pre-made goodness for now!

My biggest lessons learnt from last year, things you hear over and over! Mow high!!! Poor lawn is still trying to come back after the shock of a crew-cut, it had less length than a brand-new Marines haircut...yikes! Also keep blades sharp! Not only was my lawn in shock from the length taken off, but also the ripping caused by blunt blades. Not a pretty sight, every blade looked jagged and stressed. Another thing, no one loves your lawn like you do. We had a horrible aeration and thatching job done (will share this in a later post) But I am now a huge advocate of DIY for the best job. 
Needless to say, this year is about making up for the pain and stress of last year...Sorry lawn, but this year will be better, I promise!!

Some wonderful lawn care websites that have been very helpful in green and organic lawn care! - Frequently asked questions about organic lawn care

Would love to hear your experience with organic lawn care....


  1. Great post! We use Milorganite as an organic works great. And I am still trying to figure out the 'perfect' irrigation schedule during those hot, dry months.

  2. All the best in your lawn care. With lots of sunshine and rain here, my lawn comes back after every crew cute, stronger and healthier than before. And I'm really NOT very happy about that. It's too much to manage. I have been cutting down on the size of my lawn every year.

  3. I love your blog! I mowed my lawn yesterday for the first time this year, what is left of it, and was pleasantly surprised as to how well it had got through the winter. I am turning more of it over to vegetable beds etc so will only have the smallest green area when I have finished - where are the manicure scissors? Ronnie

  4. Most of my lawn is weeds. So, when I mow I just scatter the weed seeds even more! Good luck with your quest of a beautiful lawn.

  5. I'm less of a lawn person, but one of my goals is to keep at least my front lawn attractive. I also use Milorganite on just about anything and try to avoid the chemicals, but I need to kill the violets somehow... no good organic answer there yet.

    One note: corn gluten only keeps weed seeds from germinating. It doesn't kill existing weeds. It's actually a good organic fertilizer too.

  6. we will be using organic fertilizer and weed killer but we never water our turf...if it goes dormant then so be it...the rain we usually get here is enough...I may be looking at expanding gardens this fall and taking more grass out...

  7. If you put down a granular premergent early in the spring it will keep crabgrass and some broadleaf weeds at bay. These products attach themselves to soil particles and do not move. I think you would be disappointed with the corn glutton.

  8. Ha! It is lawn day at WMG as well. Except mine is about cutting out more lawn for plants :)...though I would not be without any at all. Lawns definitely have their place.

    Good for you for letting go of TrueGreen. You might want to go over the Stuart's blog (MR. Blotanical himself) and see his suggestions for planting clover in it on purpose!

  9. When I was growing up, we had a manual reel mower that worked really well (or maybe I just didn't know the difference at the time, because it was the only mower I'd ever used). It actually had a nice sound, too. Now, living in New Mexico, lawns are too thirsty for most people to bother with, but I enjoy reading about them in wetter climates. :)

  10. We mow with the deck set at level 3. I don't like the grass above my toes. My husband fertilizes once or twice a year. Here's a couple links you my find helpful. This next one uses Epsom salt in the mix, I'm going to experiment with this on a small patch of grass because salt usually turns grass yellow or kills it.

  11. I am slowly shrinking my lawn. What lawn I do have is full of clover. I was going to use an organic weedkiller (like corn gluten) for creeping charlie, but it will kill the clover. Honestly, I prefer the clover to the grass. It's softer underfoot and it flowers if I don't mow it soon enough.

  12. It seems in our neighborhood that once you hear one lawn mower, they all get in the act and it last only a day or two which is sweet! Love how the lawns look once they are done. However; our lawns are still speckeled with snow. I just became your newest follower!
    'hugs from afar'

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Thanks for stopping by and reading my latest post! I love sharing my gardening adventures and reading your wonderful comments. Happy digging...Cheers Julia!!

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