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Chemical-Free Summer : Weeds


Weeds! No one likes weeds in their yard. There are many ways to get rid of weeds, from sprays, to powders and everybody’s favorite, picking. Some of the most effective ways to eliminate weeds are to eliminate the source. There are several simple steps you can take to a weed free lawn, from not mowing too low, to watering properly (not too much, not too little). Here are some tips to help you keep a beautiful weed free, chemical-free lawn!

Chemical-Free Summer

What can your weeds tell you?
Weeds are a wealth of information about the health of your soil and your lawn care practices. The types of weeds you have can tell you about the pH balance of your soil, the density of your soil, whether you are mowing too low or watering too much, or not enough. Learning about the types of weeds you have, and what causes them to thrive is the first step in eliminating the weeds!
beyondpesticides.org has a handy chart to identify and read your weeds

Chemical-free Summer

Clover – not a weed?
Before the 1940’s, and the invention of synthetic weed killers, clover was considered a necessary part of a healthy lawn. Unfortunately there is no synthetic weed killer that spares both grass and clover. Clover benefits your lawn in many ways. Here are a few reasons to learn to love clover for your lawn.

  • It stores atmospheric nitrogen in it’s roots, acting as a natural fertalizer for your lawn
  • It stays green, even in the coldest climate
  • It is drought resistant
  • It resists insects and disease, especially white grubs

Chemical-Free Summer

Fertilize your soil, not your grass
Many synthetic fertilizers only feed the grass. While this may lead to a green lawn, it doesn’t always lead to a long term healthy lawn. It can lead to thatching, which can then cause the roots of your lawn to grow into the thatch layer as well as promote weed and pest growth. The best way to a healthy, green lawn is to feed the soil. the best way to feed the soil and stay safe is compost. Compost contains healthy microorganisms and fungi that feed the soil, making for a healthy, happy growing environment.

To apply compost to your lawn

  • spread it around in piles with a wheelbarrow
  • Next spread the piles around with a shovel or rake
  • Use a broom to sweep it off the grass blades and down into the soil
  • After the compost is spread it’s time to water the lawn

The water will activate the microbes and wash them into your soil!

Learn more about:
Identifying weeds at inhabitat.com
Clover at MSN RealEstate
Composting at planetnatural.com

Be sure to check back next week when we talk about eliminating pests!

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Erika Billedeaux
Erika Billedeaux
5 years ago

Many of the “weeds” we have come to hate having in our lawns are actually edible. My kids eagerly await spring so they can have “the good salad” that I make from some of our more tasty “weeds” like lambs quarters! Before you try this at home be sure you have correctly identified the potential edible. No need to make anyone sick on accident!

5 years ago

Some weeds are good medicine, too. My daughter and her friend love to pick Shepherd’s Purse in the spring. It helps stop bleeding. I taught them how to identify that little plant, pick it, and process it into a helpful, natural treatment in our 1st aid kit.

Erika’s warning is crucial, though. Make sure that you can correctly identify any plant you use for culinary or medicinal purposes. Also, be sure to pick plants from untreated areas.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman
3 years ago

I love clover in lawns.. I actually reseed my lawn with red clover on occasion!

8 months ago

Thank you for sharing about how to get the compost down off the grass to feed the soil. I hadn’t thought of using a broom. Always looking for good chemical free ways to feed our lawn.

Lauren Rogers
Lauren Rogers
3 months ago

I had no idea about clover’s benefits, so lovely! “It stores atmospheric nitrogen in it’s roots, acting as a natural fertalizer for your lawn” Think I’ll quit worrying about it.