Good Nature Organic Lawn Care Blog

Your Lawns Could be Harming Your Cats

September 30, 2016 by Leigh Marcos

This guest post is from Leigh Marcos, a lover of all animals, especially cats. You can read more about how to care for your pets at the Shield My Pets website. This article is personal to me. As a cat lover, I have seen first hand what going all out to have the perfect lawn can do to your cat. In my case this was the piratic Mr. Spot. The great wanderer and mischief maker supreme. This is a summary of what Ive learned the hard way about how our lawns can affect our cats if we are not careful. How Pesticides Affect Cats In short, the fertilizers and pesticides we use on our lawns are poisonous to cats. As cats spend a large chunk of their time outdoors, this puts them at a higher risk of interacting with these toxic substances. Cats often nibble at grass and plants for medicinal reasons, but even if they do not, they step in the fertilizer and brush against plants sprayed with pesticides then they lick their fur and their paws while cleaning themselves. If ingested in large enough

Posted in Pets

This Summer's Weather Promoted Lawn Disease

September 27, 2016 by Alec McClennan

Conditions This Bad Not Seen In A Decade! What a summer! Drought-like conditions in July followed by rain, rain and more rain in August. Unfortunately, those are perfect conditions for infectious lawn diseases. Honestly, we havent seen this type of disease-favorable weather in 10 years! Think of it as the perfect storm for lawn disease. Diseases like brown patch, dollar spot, Pythium blight, leaf spot diseases and the appearance of symptoms of summer patch and necrotic ring spot. While temperature and moisture can bring on these diseases, there are other factors that take over once the disease becomes established. Also, some grasses are more affected than others by lawn disease...but all lawns are affected... Kentucky Bluegrass * Less prone to brown patch, dollar spot, gray leaf spot and Pythium blight * Very susceptible to root diseases such as necrotic ring spot and summer patch * Can tolerate some infection * During periods like is past summer, infection-impaired plants cannot

Posted in General

The Return Of The 17-Year Locusts!

April 20, 2016 by Alec McClennan

Theyre baaaack! This year, cicada bugs (a.k.a. 17-year locusts) will emerge in Northeast Ohio. Cicadas live almost all of their 17 year life underground before emerging. When they emerge, cicada nymphs climb trees, shed their skin and fly. The one goal of the flying adult cicada is to mate and produce more cicadas. The good news is that these adult cicadas will live only four to six weeks (males die shortly after mating). But its going to be a noisy four to six weeks. From sunrise to sunset we will be hearing the high pitched and shrill mating song of the males. Where a lot of these insects are present their singing can be quite annoying. Because so many of them (think millions) will descend on us all at once, they can harm your young trees and shrubs. When the female lays her eggs, she looks for the small branches of deciduous trees (not pine trees). This applies to trees like Apple, Cherry, Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Hickory, Oak, Maple, Ash, Holly, Willow, etc. They will even plant

Posted in General

Core vs. Liquid Aeration

April 13, 2016 by Alec McClennan

What is Aeration? More often than not when people have aeration in mind, it is the kind where a machine is used to poke holes in the ground or pull soil-core plugs out of the ground. There are more ways than one to aerate the soil though and, believe it or not, the molehill you may detest so much is actually a sign nature is aerating your lawn for free! Why Your Lawn May Need Aeration? - The soil in your yard is compacted. - Pools of water can be found in spots or all over the lawn after irrigation or rainfall. - Water retention is low and it seems like most of the water is just running straight off when you try to water the lawn. - There are many worn areas in your lawn, maybe where there is high foot traffic. - Your lawn has a lot of thatch built up. No reason: aerating once annually even if you have none of these problems is seeing as air is just as vital for the soil and your lawns root *system as it is for you and me! Proper coring also leaves the plugs on the lawn (little

Posted in General

How to Choose a Lawn Care Company

April 07, 2016 by Alec McClennan

Spring is here and youre wondering what to do with the lawn? Should you hire a Traditional Lawn care company? Hire a Natural Lawn Care Company? Hire an Organic Lawn Care Company? Or, should you just buy lawn fertilizer and treat the lawn yourself? What is the difference between a Natural Lawn Care Company and an Organic Lawn Care Company? Well do the best we can to answer these questions in the blog post below. What is Traditional Lawn Care? When we talk about traditional lawn care, were referring to a program that uses synthetic fertilizers to feed the grass and then uses synthetic pesticides to treat insects, diseases, weeds, and other issues that come up. These synthetic fertilizers and pesticides became popular after World War II and havent been in existence for very long in human history, but long enough to become traditional. Synthetic fertilizers contain water soluble nutrient salts in a form that the plants can readily absorb. The benefit of a water soluble lawn fertilizer

Posted in General

Espoma Lawn Fertilizer Review

March 03, 2016 by Alec McClennan

If youre going to the store trying to decide what is the best organic lawn fertilizer this season, one of the organic product lines youll run into is Espoma Espoma has been around a long time and have been authentically involved in producing organic fertilizers since before it became a hot field. Some of their products are bridge or organic based lawn fertilizers and not truly organic, but they do offer truly organic lawn fertilizers as well. Espoma Organic Lawn Food is a 9-0-0 analysis and is designed for use on your lawn at any time of the year. If youre going to use Espoma Organic Lawn Food, youll probably want to do 4 treatments per year using 5-10 lbs per thousand square feet with each treatment. In the Midwest, you can follow the Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving schedule of applications. Id put down the heavier rate on Easter and Labor Day while leaning towards the lower rate on Memorial Day and Thanksgiving. Espoma Organic Lawn Food is made from 2 organic fertilizer

Posted in General

Mice and Moles Love Our Mild Winter

February 22, 2016 by Kirsten Johnson

Its true. With our warmer than normal winter, mice and moles have been very active...above and below ground. With our recent thaw, you might have seen evidence of tunnels in your yard from field mice and moles burrowing under the snow. In fact, many of them will breed during this time of year, which means more of these critters in the spring. So why do moles and mice burrow on your property? Theres food nearby. If you have an abundance of insects in your soil, the mice and moles are more likely to stay put. You may have sandy or soft soil around your yard or foundation. They can still burrow below the snow and get underground. But, with our milder winter, the ground did not freeze very far down. Your neighbor made his property unfriendly to these critters The good news is that they can help create a healthy yard by aerating your lawn and getting rid of many pests in the ground. But, if you want them gone, heres a few things you can do: They dont like to locate where the lawn is

Posted in Winter, Pest Control

5 Advantages to Winter Pruning

February 03, 2016 by Kirsten Johnson

Winter can be an ideal time to prune most tree and shrubs Correct pruning is a landscape practice that can enhance the health, vigor and aesthetics of your trees and shrubs. Below are Five advantages to pruning in the winter: 1. During the winter, most woody plants are dormant and so are the many diseases and insects that can potentially invade pruning cuts. 2. After leaves have fallen, it is much easier to see the plants overall form and structure. Damaged and diseased branches are more readily apparent when not obscured by foliage. 3. Pruning in the late summer or early fall can stimulate new growth that may not harden off before the cold weather. This is not a concern during the winter. 4. Winter pruning is good for your plants, leaving them with extra root and energy reserves to quickly heal wounds and support vigorous spring growth that will obscure the pruning cuts. 5. Winter pruning is also good for you, giving you a reason to go outside on a mild winter day to enjoy your

Posted in Winter, Tree Care

Hazardous Chemicals in your Garage

February 02, 2016 by Kirsten Johnson

Did you know that there could be hazardous chemicals in your garage? Many people unknowingly stock their garages with toxic landscape care chemicals. We would like to make it easy for you to replace your old chemicals with safer, healthier alternatives. Just visit our online store at store.whygoodnature.com. There you can order the gardening products you'll need for all the season. So, make 2016 the year that you get the harmful chemicals out of your garage and replace them with healthier alternatives. Here are a few of our favorite products for spring (there are a lot more online): Pro Mix Spot Seed Patch Mix - One of the best ways to prevent weeds from entering your lawn is to continually seed any areas that are bare. Early spring is a great time to do this! 5lb Bag is Just $14.99 Adios -A semi-selective product to kill weeds but not grass. You can supplement our applications if you wish with this all natural product. Burnout Organic Grass and Weed Killer - If you'd like

Posted in Organic Tips

Winter Lawn Seeding - It Works!

December 11, 2015 by Kirsten Johnson

Seeding Options in the late fall and early winter - Slice or Broadcast Seeding? When you think about planting grass, spring comes to mind as the best time. But, can you believe that it's not only not the best time, it isn't even the second best time. The best time to seed your lawn is in the late summer when the soil is warm and there isn't much weed competition.The second best time to seed your lawn isnt the spring though, it's the winter. That's right, it is not too late to get a jump on your new spring lawn.As long as the ground is not frozen, Good Nature can use a Slice Seeder to get those hardy seeds into the ground so they're ready to germinate come warmer spring weather. In fact, there are some benefits to Dormant Seeding in the late fall and early winter: *Winter Seedings are less reliant on watering because the soil is typically wet coming out of winter and spring rains are likely. Watering come spring however will improve the odds of a successful seeding, especially if we

Posted in WInter Tips

Safe Salting this Winter

December 04, 2015 by Kirsten Johnson

The icy cold weather is on its way! Its time to think about how to keep your walkways clear of slippery ice without harming your walkways, plants, lawn, and pets. We have listed a few tips to help this winter when applying de-icers! Step 1: Remove the top layer of snow using a shovel or snow blower. This will help the salt get directly to the ice. Step 2: Apply the ice melt correctly. Using either a hand sifter or cup spread the ice melt thin and evenly. You dont need a lot of salt to get the desired results. You will need to wear gloves if you decide to toss the ice melt, some products can irritate or burn your hands. Step 3: Protect your driveway, plants and lawn. Again, use ice melt in moderation. Products containing salt, although natural, in large amounts is not good for your walkways and vegetation. Try to keep the products off your lawn and plants.If you are concerned, water them when you get a break from the weather. You can also cover larger shrubs and bushes around the bases

Posted in Winter Tips

Gifts for the Holidays!

November 28, 2015 by Kirsten Johnson

GOOD NATURE HAS A FEW GIFT IDEAS FOR YOU! The holiday season is just around the corner, and what could be more thoughtful gift than the gift of a healthier, heartier, more robust lawn...the natural way? Speedy Weedy - Fun and Easy to Use! The Speedy Weedy is literally addictive - once you start plucking out the weeds its difficult to stop. Microclover - Add some more green to your holiday decor! Adding clover, especially our special Microgreen microclover to your lawn will keep it greener during the summer with less water than your neighbors use, reduce fertilizer use, and eliminate the need for chemical weed killers because over time the clover will thicken up and crowd out weeds like dandelions....and its cute! We have some smaller items that would be great Holiday Stocking Stuffers! Dog Rocks -For those who love their dogs and their lawn An effective, innovative, convenient and 100% natural product used to stop urine burn patches appearing on the lawn when the

Posted in Gifts, Services

Preparing Your Mower for Winter Storage

November 12, 2015 by Kirsten Johnson

Once the mowing stops you should tune it up and sharpen the blade so that its at peak performance for the Spring. A sharp blade and a smooth running engine will actually make your grass healthier and greenerMowing with a sharp blade will help your lawn look better! Take the time to prepare your mower for a long winter hibernation Follow the steps below each fall or Contact Good Nature,if you are in our service area, to have us pickup your mower, give it the TLC described below and then return it to you in the spring. Step 1: Drain The Gasoline All the ethanol in our gasoline attracts condensation and causes your gasoline to become mixed with water when it sits for along time (like over the winter). The Ethanol in your gasoline is also corrosive and can damage the carburetor. To keep your lawn mower in good shape over the winter, you need to drain the gas. Note: Weve found that fuel stabilizers do NOT work at preserving fuel over the winter. In many cases, they can make the situation

Posted in Winter, Storage, Damaged Grass

Mowing Your Grass in the Fall

October 29, 2015 by Kirsten Johnson

The leaves are falling so its time to start thinking about what you need to do to get your lawn ready for winter. Mowing is an important job that, if done correctly, can help reduce the amount of snow mold (brown spots) you have in your lawn when the snow melts next spring. How to Mow Your Lawn to Prepare it for Winter Once the grass growth slows down, continue to mow your lawn each week like you normally would . Each week youll be able to lower your cutting height a little bit so that youre always removing 1/4 - 1/3 of the grass blade. Do this until the lawn is about 2 - 2.5 inche tall and continue to mow at that height for as long as the grass is actively growing. Continuing to mow your lawn so that it is short (but not scalped) over the winter, will help prevent snow mold come spring time. How to Adjust Your Lawn Mower Cutting Height Most mowers allow you to adjust the height of each wheel. If you raise the wheel, you lower the cutting deck and as a result, get a shorter cutting

Posted in Fall Mowing, Lawn Tips, Organic, Natural Lawn

Brown Spots on Your Lawn

August 26, 2015 by Alec McClennan

Do You Have Brown Spots on Your Lawn? Your Yard May Have Brown Patch Fungus Disease! Brown spots in your grass are unsightly and very discouraging to proud yard owners. Believe it or not, this phenomenon is not normally from dried-out grass that you forgot to water.Indeed, the culprit youre most likely encountering is Brown Patch fungus, a lawn disease that can start for several reasons and tends to be prolific in the hot, humid months of summertime. The resulting irregular brown patches all over your lawn make it look like your yard is dying, when in fact most lawns recover completely when fall returns with cooler weather. A fungal organism is the culprit behind Brown Patch disease. An illustration of what Brown Patch fungus does to grass blades. Improper watering, heavy thatch and poor grasses can all allow Brown Patch disease to thrive on your lawn. Remember, most often your brown spots in grasses are not due to under-watering but instead to the Brown Patch fungus! Contact

Posted in Brown Spots, Lawn, Organic, Lawn Care, Fungus

Seeding and Watering Guidelines

August 26, 2015 by Alec McClennan

How to Care for Your Lawn After Seeding We have two different types of watering guidelines depending upon weather your lawn was overseeded or completely renovated (killed off and reseeded). The general concepts are the same though - keep it wet consistently for two weeks and then gradually reduce the frequency and increase the duration of each watering session. When watering, it is helpful if you can avoid the late evening or night. Read on for more details... Renovation After Care Guidelines The most important thing to remember for your new lawn to succeed is to keep it watered. It should never dry out and always be damp...at least for the first two weeks. Here are some more specific instructions: Using an Automatic Sprinkler System Set your system to run 5 minutes per zone...3 times per day. If the soil appears dry, increase the watering time slightly. If you see soil washing away, cut back on the time and/or frequency. Water daily until the grass is about 1 inch tall. Then water

Posted in Watering, Seeding, Guidelines, Lawn Care, Organic

Neem Cake for Gardening

March 23, 2015 by Alec McClennan

Benefits for Using Organic Neem Cakes as a Soil Amendment The use of Neem, in its various forms, in gardening and farming for amending the soil is a well-known practice. What is good about Neem too is that various research studies have been done, and it has been proven that Neem extracts are non-toxic to humans. These extracts also arent toxic to birds, to beneficial insects and help to protect crops from over 200 crop eating pests. Where does Neem come from? Neem comes from the Neem tree which is a tropical evergreen tree. This tree is native to India as well as other southeastern countries on the globe. Now the Neem tree also has many other uses besides just for enhancing soil. The seeds bark and leaves all contain compounds of the Neem tree are proven antiseptics, antivirals, antipyretics, anti-inflammatories, and antifungals in their uses. The Neem tree is thus called the village pharmacy in India because of all the ways its used. However, Neem does have a garlic-like odor as well

Posted in General

Toledo Toxic Algae and Organic Lawn Care

August 07, 2014 by Alec McClennan

It is absolutely stunning that Toledo, a city along the richest reserve of Fresh Water in America would be without water for 3 days. Heres whats going on in Lake Erie for those of you who dont live in Toledo. Does it look like something youd like to drink? It has been a sea of toxic green algae that makes the water unusable for drinking or bathing. Boiling it wont fix the problem either. What Can We Do To Prevent Toxic Algae? Algae grows when there are excess nutrients in the water to feed it. Many of the nutrients in the Toldeo area come from Farms and Sewage Treatment Plants that allow excess nutrients to runoff down the drains and into the Maumee River which ultimately dumps into Lake Erie. There is not much you can do to prevent farmers from using synthetic fertilizers and raw sewage on their fields (other than lobbying your representatives) but you can make some changes right in your own back yard. Click Here For More Info on How Synthetic Fertilizers Cause other problems

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Lake Erie, Environmental Issues, Algae

How to Fight Mosquitoes Without DEET or Chemicals

July 07, 2014 by Alec McClennan

Wouldnt it be nice if you could enjoy summer without being eaten alive by mosquitoes? Good News - You Can! Read on for some tips to help avoid the itch that comes with Mosquito Bites... How To Avoid Mosquito Bites - Naturally There are a variety of tactics for keeping mosquitoes from biting you but many involve potentially harmful chemicals like DEET or Pyrethroids. Here are some natural methods to fight off mosquitoes: Step 1: Use Mosquito Repelling Soap Studies in the Journal of American Mosquito Control Association show that using Neem Oil and Coconut Oil mixed together will repel mosquitoes for up to 8 hours. Good Nature offers a Neem Oil soap that in addition to Neem contains B Vitamins, Lemon Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Oil. All of which have health benefits as well as mosquito repelling properties. Why not use a healthy soap that also repels mosquitoes? Note that this soap makes no claims of mosquito repelling, but Ive found it to be helpful. Step 2: Consider a Natural

Posted in Mosquitos, Tips

How to Kill Thistles Organically - Without Chemicals

July 07, 2014 by Alec McClennan

Youre heard the saying about a weed being any plant growing where it isnt wanted? I can tolerate a variety of weeds in a lawn, but thistles are not one of them. Thistles are frustrating if youre trying to have a kid friendly lawn - what kid wants to walk barefoot on a prickly thistle? Not mine. So, what to do. I dont want prickly weeds for my kids to step on but also dont want to use potentially dangerous chemicals on the lawn. Here is one approach Ive been using over the last year with good success. Its a little unorthodox, but if youre stuck between a thistle and a chemical, it might just be worth a try for you. Step 1: Purchase a Syringe Yes, its a little strange to use a syringe for organic weed control, but stay with me here. There are a variety of places online that sell syringes...heres a 10 ml syringe that will work well available from a website I used. Step 2: Purchase Adios Organic Weed Killer Adios Organic Weed Killer is a newer organic weed killer that works better

Posted in Weeds, Organic Weed Control, Summer Lawn Tips, Thistle
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