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The most important part of organic gardening is to nourish the soil. Your plants will take their nourishment from the soil, and will only be as healthy as the soil is. The healthier your plants, the fewer of them will fall victim to garden pests. The soil, therefore, is the most important part of organic lawn care and gardening. Feed the soil, and the soil will feed the plants. Feed the soil compost tea, and you will have healthy, productive plants.
Your grass needs water, nutrients, and. oxygen. Oxygen is held in the spaces between the particles of the soil. In sandy soils, there are lots of spaces, and therefore, lots of oxygen in the soil for your lawn’s roots. Oxygen is plentiful in soils that are rich in organic matter, too. In North Texas, we have compacted soil with lots of clay and rock content. The solution is lawn aeration.
Existing perennial weeds such as crabgrass and dallisgrass won’t be damaged by CGM, either. And, they’ll still come back from one year to the next because their roots survive most winters. What corn gluten meal will do is stop the seeds they shed each summer, so the population of these particular weeds won’t increase. In fact, because some will die of “natural” causes, and if you stay on a good organic program, you will thicken up your lawn turf to the pont where their numbers will be chocked out by healthy grass after three or four years of consistent CGM use.
Step 3- Lawn Aeration
For the four years of your organic program we recommend that you spread 15 – 20 lbs of organic fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn and garden three to four times a year; (Winter – February, Spring – April or May, Summer – July and Fall – September or October.)
All the time I am asked. “Is it too late for me to do something to improve my lawn?” The answer to that question, particularly if you use organic fertilizers and soil amendments, is a resounding “No.” Because we believe in building the health of your soil and adding microorganisms and bacteria that build the health of your soil, it doesn’t matter if you start your organic lawn program in the spring, summer, or fall. The idea is to get on a good organic program and stay with the organic program schedule.
The use of corn gluten meal as an herbicide was discovered during turfgrass disease research conducted at Iowa State University by Dr Nick Chirtstians. CGM was observed to prevent grass seeds from sprouting. Further research has shown that it also effectively prevents other seeds from sprouting, including seeds from many weeds such as crabgrass, chickweed, and dandelions and many other broadleaf weeds.
Post-emergent weed control is treating those weeds that already exist. You can easily detect weeds during the winter months of year because Bermuda and St Augustine grasses are dormant and brown in color while the weeds are green and easy to spot. Organic post-emergent weed control is a non selective herbicide, usually a mixture of orange oil, 10% vinegar and yucca, and only weeds are treated and not the entire lawn. Because your lawn is a dormant brown and your weeds are green and growing, now is the best time for us to apply a safe, non toxic post emergent treatment on your lawn. The post emergent will kill the existing weeds without damaging your lawn.