What does a new home owner need to know about lawn care?
The only thing I know of lawn care is "hey, son, get to pushin' that mower'
Is there fertilizer one could apply before the snow is gone that will use the melting snow to hydrate?
Is there an all-in-one weed and seed?
I don't want to chemical burn my lawn or add pollutants to my ground water (or anyone else's for that matter).
Thanks in advance.
Pick your poison....
My neighbor's lawn here in Los Anchorage is like a golf green - he hits it with fertilzer/weed and feed early and often and waters every day all summer.
Me - I don't put anything on my lawn - just mulch every other mowing. Lawn is healthy - you can tell from all the worms. However, I get my share of Dandelions to my neighbor's dismay.
I have two youngs ones and a dog and just don't want the exposure to the poisons - had my share of exposure growing up on the farm.
If you have children, steer clear from the weed and feed. That stuff has very harmful chemicals in it, particularly for young children and pregnant women.
Bagging your grass clippings is completely counterproductive. Basically you are removing hundreds (thousands?) of pounds of fertilizer from your lawn every year. Folks have to supplement with chemical fertilizers because they strip their lawns of their natural nutrients and because the kill off the microbiome with chemical fertilizers and weed killers. Compost tea, possibly some compost, and grass clippings are all you need. Dig up dandelions and other weeds with a weeding tool like the Uproot by Fiskars. Your grass will be healthier, and while it might not be picture perfect like those who use chemicals, your kids, pets, and the water table will be much better off for it.
Read Jeff Lowenfels blog and articles in the Anchorage Daily News for more info. He's something of a guru of natural lawn care.
I just spread all of the extra "ice melt" out on it to kick off the year that frees up a bunch of weekend time for fishing.
Honestly though I always mulch when I mow........... both time...
The second one is mostly to keep from having to rake the leaves.....
Actually, that's a good point. Dead leaves are great food for lawns. Running over them with a mower speeds up the process of turning them into grass food. I run over 'em once in the fall, and then again in the spring. They're soon gone into the soil, which is far better and easier than bagging them up and encasing them in a concrete land fill forever.
Originally Posted by LuJon
Well, I'm not the most natural of lawn care guys. I'll hit the lawn with a light fertilizer spread in the spring to help lawn fill-in/green up faster. Wait until it starts to green on it's own for this...otherwise you're just putting it on too early, IMO. Also watch out about going too heavy. I've used Scotts turf builder (fert only, not with weed control) with good results, but had to dial-back the spread rate quite a bit from what's recommended on the bag. Otherwise the growth goes crazy and you'll be mowing every 2-3 days. No thanks.
I've got the weeds under control already, so I don't use broadcast weed/feed mixes (don't like to, anyway). What I've found works best is Ortho weed-b-gone concentrate that you apply with their (variable setting) hose-end sprayer. You can keep the application to just where it's needed. Supposedly, it's safe after it dries. I also keep an old spray bottle (windex or the like) on hand with some pre-mixed weed b gone to hit the strays that pop up from time to time. You don;t need to soak anything with this stuff...just enough to wet the leaves of the weeds. They'll be toast in a few days.
I mulch my crass clippings most of the time, and always mulch the leaves in the fall.