I can’t claim that our lawn is 100% natural. While I can’t prove it I have a feeling our landlord sneaks in every now and then to drop chemical crap on the lawn. I know that all the fertilizers and lawn products I use are natural. Since moving in about 5 years ago we have taken care of the lawn for about 4 of those. The first year we used mostly conventional fertilizers. Every year after we have used more natural based fertilizers and lawn care products.
The past couple of years we have used Corn Gluten in the Spring and Fall to combat weeds and fertilize the lawn. This year was the first time we put Ringer Lawn Restore to work. To combat Japanese Beetle Grubs we’ve used Milky Spore for several years. Vinegar is used on a limited basis to kill weeds. With one sunny day vinegar will take out most weeds. Unfortunately it also kills grass.
Our lawn has definitely had a few battles since we’ve lived here. For the first couple of years we had empty lots across the street that grew natural but created a ton of weeds. These weeds often led to neighborhood yards being pollinated with undesirables. When construction started on the lot directly across the street our yard was torn to shreds without notice. For some brilliant reason utilities weren’t ran to that side of the street when this neighborhood was first developed. So our yard was promptly dug up. Neither the City of Chatham or the developer offered seed or other patch methods to fix the mess they created. Our next door neighbor the following year dealt with the same issue.
After dropping healthy dirt into that area we started the process of seeding and nursing it back to health. The results have been mixed but that portion of grass is starting to look nicer. There are definitely portions of the lawn still needing work. But when compared to the rest of the neighborhood I think our yard is still one of the better ones.
Most of our neighbors use “professional” lawn care companies. The majority of which use traditional fertilizer and weed products. I don’t think any of these people have a clue about the long term effects of these chemicals on their land and the water supply around them. Many of them who have kids seem proud to have products on their lawns that aren’t completely safe for human or pet contact. This is why you see stick in the grass signs stating to stay off after application. Everything I use for fertilizer and weed control is safe for children, adults and pets to walk through or lay in right after applying them.
None of the fertilizers I use have are based upon petroleum products. Corn Gluten 100% natural pre-emergent herbicide is a waste product of the corn milling process. So not only am I supporting United States farmers. I’m also putting a waste byproduct to use. Instead of showing support for Canada and Arab nations. Corn gluten and vinegar are what I use to control weeds. Both are safe for humans, pets and the water supply. Many traditional fertilizers are less than friendly to water supplies.
I find it interesting how people who would be up in arms about steroids in sports. But have no problem year in & year out applying steroid like fertilizers to their lawn.
The picture at the top was growth after a week and a half. If I my memory is correct that is the highest growth we have had since living here.
This 2009 photo will give you an idea of what a portion of the lawn looked like a few years ago. The left hand photo on page 1 shows what this part of the lawn looks like in 2011.
Unfortunately the lighting and focus quality are a bit off in the video. I was trying to capture how thick the grass was even after one pass of the lawn mower. I’m not sure the contrast between what was cut and what remained came through.
If you select next using the video player below. You will see a video of our lawn taken 5/18/2011. Unfortunately I didn’t get the lighting or focus set properly. I took the video quickly since it was getting late and my battery was running low. You should be able to tell that between corn gluten and vinegar we have dealt with the small amount of dandelions. The video shows that the side portion of the lawn still needs further work. Unfortunately our electric mower can only mulch so much grass. Even though I’ve done my best to deal with leftover thatch – clumps have been left causing dead zones. I’ve taken steps to reduce this problem.
I’m hoping to apply some more Ringer Lawn Restore and Safer Brand Magic Start Grass Patch Northern Area to get that part of the lawn looking nicer.
The video below also gives you a quick view of what some other lawns in the neighborhood look like. Most use conventional fertilizers ( what I like to call poisons and steroids ), “professional” lawn care services and several are all natural with no products applied.