Over the past couple of years, I have transitioned from the traditonal Scott's Weed and Feed to using nothing. Now I am exploring a couple of natural additives and practices to help keep my lawn green and lush without poisoning my local creeks and waterways downstream in the process.
Here are the practices I have incorporated recently and am seeing some early success (lawn looks surprisingly green):
1. Grasscycling - Using the "mulching" function on my lawnmower, I let the grass clippings, finally chopped, sit on my lawn. This adds nitrogen back into the lawn as the grass clippings degrade back into the soil. Surprisingly, the lawn doesn't look messy and we haven't tracked little blades of grass into the house;
2. Weeding by hand - yes, it is tedious, but it beats killing my soil with Round-Up and Scott's Weed and Feed; and surprisingly we have been fairly successful containing crabgrass, almost better since we stopped using Scott's Weed and Feed;
3. Applying a mix of blood meal (high in nitrogen) and bat guano (high in potassium and phosphorous) to the lawn - You have to be careful since these are considered "hot" and can burn your lawn if it is done carelessly. First, water your lawn for a minute. You can either use a fertilizer spreader and apply it low to the ground since it tends to be somewhat light and blows in the wind or you can use a sprayer with the mix inside. The problem with the sprayer is that the gritty bat guano tens to clog the sprayer. After I evenly apply the mixture, I then rewater the lawn for a minute or two right after application. Both bat guano and blood meal are sold at many independent nurseries under the brand name E.B. Stone.
The result of these steps is a surprisingly "green" lawn, healthy, maybe a little less weeds in the grass (especially crabgrass) and this is all done with natural products. Happy I tried it.
Question for readers of this post - Have a lawn? How do you keep it green and lush using only natural additives and practices?