SOY FERTILIZERS HELP OUT ORGANIC LAWNS
Last month, we applied our “late spring” fertilizer to the lawns of our customers.
Organic Soil Solutions uses an organic soy fertilizer that provides good food for the soil biology and helps the grass recover. The lawns need all the help they can get these days. Just as the snow melted, and the grass began to rebound, we went through the driest May since 1944. Until the last day, we had 1/3” of rain. Conditions like that make it hard for the lawns to bounce back from a particularly tough winter. UMass tells us how the lack of rain in the spring affects seeding done last fall. The young grass plants came out of the winter counting on those usually reliable spring rains to prepare for the rigors of summer. Unfortunately, they were disappointed.
One way to help the grass is to mow it high, at least 3”.
A happy grass plant needs plenty of leaf surface to do what it does best, wave in the breeze and capture sunlight. The lawn wants to perform photosynthesis, make food and grow deep roots. Leaving the clippings helps as well, providing nitrogen for the plant, food for the earthworms and a barrier to crab grass.
The line between suppressing nature and embracing it is hard to define in the organic lawn care world. We don’t use chemicals to wipe out all the weeds, but we try to improve the soil and do a lot of seeding so the grass has the upper hand. Each homeowner has a different tolerance for the appearance of a transgressor in the monoculture of the green, grassy lawn. As people become educated about the value of some of plants we’ve been destroying, ideas are changing.
The revolution is coming. Homeowners are starting to embrace a little wild in their lawns. I was recently at a large estate with quite a few dandelions scattered about the extensive lawns. “We like the dandelions for the bees”, the owner told me, “We raise the bees, but we don’t take their honey. The bees need all the help they can get.”
Violets are popular in some lawns. Of course, the go to weed is clover. Clover is good for the soil – bees love it and the bunnies stopped eating my lettuce when that delicious stuff showed up. Oh, and don’t touch the milk weed. That’s for the Monarch butterflies.