This year I fertilized with some SCU, and put a heavy coating of team to control the crab grass, which comes up no matter what I do.
My soil structure is poor and I have an irrigation system installed. Adding more top is simply out of the question due to the size and irrigation system The front yard has two inches of new topsoil (5 years ago) but the rear is just what was there, rocky loose junk. The PH is good, around 6.5 +/- .1. The kicker is the grass is about 1.5 acres. It's an easy mow, I have a 60" deck on my kubota.
So how do I start to improve the soil. I have been bagging grass since i started it, but I can easily get a mulching attachment for my deck. Besides this what can I do?
What is "SCU"?
put a heavy coating of team to control the crab grass
What is "team"?
Get that mulching thing and start doing that.
How high will your mower mow?
I have been mowing at 3"
It looks so artificial. You just know that loads of toxins are used to have it look that way and then you have kids playing on it.
The bright side is that now that you are moving to something organic, you can mix in some interesting plants to have it be healthy and diverse. Some mowable wildflowers, some spongy-soft-on-the-feet yarrow. Some roman chamomile to make it smell nice when you mow. Some crocuses to pop up at the first of spring before the grass starts to grow.
I'm doing the same thing with my flower beds. No pesticides fertilizers or herbicides, just pure home made compost, neem oil and organic additives when needed.
The irony of all this is that I mistakenly composted grass with some red thread, and plants with blight or rust and contaminated the entire pile. Lost several plants this spring because of it. ops:
jeremiah bailey wrote:
I'd suggest fertilizing with the organic foods such as Ringer Lawn Restore, or Scotts Organic Choice. They will help keep your grass strong and better able to out compete any weeds that might start. The compost, while not a bad idea, is a lot of work for the amount of gain. But the backyard, due to the poor soil, would probably gain quite a bit from a year or two of top dressing. I've decided for my own lawn to limit compost topping only to trouble areas as needed. Much less work that way. Making you own is the way to go, although I have bought bulk from a local producer with known practices. The mulching attachment will start building your soil. Remember that the bulk of the plant is derived from gases in the air, not from the ground. You just need to provide a few nutrients and some water for the grass, and return the clippings to the soil. They'll decompose and return to the soil. You can kind of think of it as the grass is turning air into soil. Now that you've stopped killing your earthworms, they'll increasingly aerate the soil for you, so you don't have to. Mechanical aerating is a way of making up for chemicals poisoning the soil's natural way of aeration. The worms also help in turning the clippings into soil. It takes a while to get used to, but organic growing is a whole new game.
What I find interesting is that the rear, with the lack of soil (mostly rocks) has greener healthier grass than the front which has 2" of top soil.. Can't figure out why...
One reason would be that your "topsoil" is actually dirt mixed with a "compost" that is actually a mixture of industrial wastes. Usually this mix contains cow manure from heavily medicated cattle - and those medications toxify the microorganisms in the soil that make for a healthy happy soil. Adn the mix usually also contains coniferous wood duff which has a variety of downsides also.
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