Another Reason I Don't Like Lawn Chemicals

by Alec McClennan, on April 8, 2013

It finally felt like spring this past weekend and it was great to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.

The only downside of this time of year is the spring lawn chemical applications everyone puts down. One of my big pet peeves is walking through the neighborhood and trying to figure out which lawn is producing the chemical smell so that we can try to avoid it.

In the picture below, you'll notice big piles of fertilzier / weed preventer AND a huge amount of bare spots.

Chemical Pre Emergent Weed Killer and Fertilizer Application

lawn chemical remnants

This photo bothers me for a few reasons, here they are:

1. It Smells

The area just stunk of chemicals. It's hard to tell my 3 year old (notice the caped biker up ahead) to stop breathing as he rolls by. Chemicals can enter your system through inhalation, so it isn't crazy to try to hold your breath as you walk by lawns treated with chemicals. Kids are more susceptible to the issues these chemicals cause too.

2. It Follows You Home

The sidewalk had pellets on it too which are easily carried on shoes back into houses where the chemicals can remain active in carpets for a long period of time. The good news is that your carpet shouldn't have a lot of crabgrass.

3. It wasn't what the Lawn Needed

What this lawn needs more than anything is some grass to fill in the bare areas and prevent weeds from growing. Chemicals don't give you grass, they just kill things. It would have been more worth this homeowners time to do a little spot seeding as shown in the video below. Yes, spring is not the best time to seed, but if you have these kinds of bare areas, spring is a great time to seed.

If you don't need to seed, check out our blog post on "Choosing a Spring Lawn Fertilizer" to learn about other options for organic treatments.

Here's a Quick Video with some spring spot seeding tips:

Which brings up a good question. We often tell people that late summer is the best time of year to seed your lawn. With that said, if your lawn is full of bare spots, it never hurts to seed it in the spring too. The best results typically happen in the late summer, but if your lawn looks like the image below, seeding now will definitely help.

You SHOULD Seed your lawn in the Spring if it looks like this picture

should i seed in spring

Choosing a Grass Seed for Spring Seeding

If you do decide to seed your lawn in the spring, what seed should you use? 90% of the time, we recommend seeding with Turf Type Tall Fescue like our Good Nature Tuff Turf because it is more drought tolerant, requires less fertilizer, and is more resistant to insects than typicall grass varieties used in the Midwest.

In the spring, however, you might consider using a standard blend that contains perennial ryegrass like our Good Nature Pro Mix Lawn Patch Repair. This is because perennial ryegrass germinates very quickly and is good for getting seed established fast. If you're overseeding your entire lawn in the late summer, we'd recommend a Turf Type Tall Fescue Mix. If you're seeding bare spots in the spring, a mix with Perennial Ryegrass might be more appropriate.


Topics:Organic Lawn CareLawn Chemical Issues


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