Good Nature Organic Lawn Care Blog

Category: Organic Lawn Care

How To Stop Animals From Digging Up The Lawn

September 10, 2018 by Alec McClennan

There are a variety of critters who sometimes frequent our lawns and can cause issues while theyre looking for food. Moles tunnel under the ground and can create a mess, especially in the Spring. Skunks and Racoons are more of an issue in the Fall as they work to fatten up for winter. Why are Animals Digging In My Lawn? Animals will dig because theyre hungry. Moles, Skunks, and Racoons all eat a variety of worms, insects, and grubs. Just because you have Animals Digging, it does not mean that you have a grub problem. Animals will dig in search of food and return to places where theyve found food in the past. How Many Grubs is too Many? A healthy lawn can tolerate up to 5 grubs per square foot. An average size lawn is 5000 square feet, so that is 25,000 grubs! Its not possible to kill all the grubs, even if you resort to using a chemical that sits on the lawn for months. Using a natural grub suppression treatment like beneficial nematodes is a good idea to minimize one of the food sources

Posted in How To, Lawn Tips, General, Organic Lawn Care, Natural Pest Solutions

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

Multi Colored Patchy Lawn

May 20, 2014 by Alec McClennan

Is your lawn a variety of colors right now? Chances are its because your lawn is made up of a patchwork of grasses. It is important to know as much as you can about the different types of grasses in your lawn and how they behave so that you know what to expect from them. If the patchy lawn bothers you, you can choose the correct solution. Ive seen a lot of people assume that their dormant Rough Bluegrass is an insect problem. They go out an needlessly apply a potentially dangerous insecticide for no reason that doesnt solve their problem. Knowing the types of grass in your lawn really helps you formulate a plan for your lawn. Here are some grass types that you might be seeing right now in Ohio and throughout the midwest. Rough Bluegrass Rough Bluegrass is a weedy grass type that thrives in wet, shady lawn areas. It has stolons which is a fancy name for an above ground root that allows it to climb over other grasses. Thats why youll see it start in a small patch and get gradually bigger.

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, TurfType Tall Fescue, Lawn Tips

How to Kill Dandelions Without Chemicals

May 13, 2014 by Alec McClennan

They pop up every year at this time and are a sure sign that spring is here. With an all natural approach (like Good Natures) you can expect to have a few dandelions, but you should have far less than you would if you werent treating the lawn at all. Read on for some tips to minimize dandelions without using traditional chemicals. Tip #1: Use Corn Gluten Meal Use an organic fertilizer that feeds the soil and may help minimize new weed germination, like Corn Gluten Meal. Corn Gluten Meal is an excellent slow release natural fertilizer that that contains about 9% Nitrogen as a protein. In addition, Corn Gluten Meal has been shown to suppress new seed germination to some degree. That means that it will help minimize new seeds from turning into plants. Your soil has thousands of weed seeds just waiting for an opportunity to sprout and Corn Gluten Meal can help reduce their chances of sprouting. Note: If you have a lot of dandelions one year, and then you apply Corn Gluten Meal the next spring,

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Corn Gluten Meal, Organic Weed Control, Dandelion

To Roll or Not to Roll?

April 14, 2014 by Alec McClennan

Every spring we get questions about rolling lawns, so is it a good idea? The short answer is no - if you want a healthy lawn, rolling it is not a good idea. Why You Should NOT Roll Your Lawn A healthy soil is made up of about 50% open space that gets filled with air or water depending on the moisture level in your soil. Grass roots actually grow in this empty space between soil particles - not in the dirt. If you dont have enough pore (empty) space in between your soil particles, you wont have healthy roots. If you dont have healthy roots, you can guess what your lawn will look like. Heres a graphical example of a healthy soil: How to Smooth Your Lawn Without Rolling It If your lawn is uneven and just bumpy, heres another idea to try. Step 1: Scalp the Lawn Wait until late summer when the weather is hot and dry and give your lawn a nice scalping. This is about the worst thing you can do for your existing grasses, but thats ok - well fix that in a later step. Step 2: Core

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Winter Lawn Care, Spring Tips

Early Spring Lawn Care Tips

March 28, 2014 by Alec McClennan

Tip 1: Give Your Lawn a Fluff Over the winter lawns will often develop something called snow mold which is just matted down dead looking patches of grass. Snow mold can kill the leaves but 99 times out of 100 it does not kill the plant itself. So, if you use a light leaf rake to fluff it up once it dries out to improve air circulation, the plants should turn green again as they start to grow. If you want to throw a little grass seed down to jumpstart the process after raking, that isnt a bad idea. Tip 2: Buffer Salt to Prevent Crabgrass All the snow over the winter means that there was a lot of salt put down on the roads. Grass doesnt grow well in salty soils, but weeds and especially crabgrass love it. Our Aerify Plus contains humates and soil conditioners which both help salt leach through the soil and buffer the negative effects of salt on your grass and plants. One Hose End Sprayer will cover about 8,000 square feet. Pay special attention to areas that are near the street (tree

Posted in Aeirfy Plus, Organic Lawn Care, Spring Lawn Tips, Choosing An Organic Lawn Care Company, Lawn Tips, Organic Fertilizer, How To, Crab Grass, Organic Weed Control

Why NOT to Rake Your Leaves This Year

October 19, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Excited to get out and rake your leaves this weekend? If not, heres some good news: You Can Prevent Weeds Naturally by NOT Raking Your Leaves! Dont Rake...Mow Your Leaves You know you should get the fallen leaves off your lawn so they dont smother and kill your grass. Heres a time saving tip. This year, get out the mower and mulch them in. Did you know that mulching leaves into a lawn reduces dandelions by 60% according to a study at Michigan State? Learn More and Watch our Mulching Your Leaves How To Video. Youll find some tips and tricks for mulching your leaves correctly. Here are some steps: 1) Rake or Blow Leaves from your beds out into your lawn. 2) Run over the leaves a few times with the mower to chop them into small pieces. 3) Lightly rake the chopped leaves into a pile (much smaller than if you hadnt mowed). 4) Mow that pile a few more times and rake the remaining leaves into the lawn. The important thing to remember is that you dont want your leaves to smother

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Lawn Tips, Organic Fertilizer, Weeds, Tips, Organic Weed Control

Grub Damage in a Lawn

September 21, 2013 by Alec McClennan

A Grub Damaged Lawn - Does your lawn look like? Its kind of a bummer when you wake up one day and your lawn is turning brown. To add insult to injury the local skunks and racoons take up residence in your lawn. Whats going on here? Its classic White Grub Damage. Youll notice White Grub damage in Late September and October and its particularly bad during years when we get a lot of rainfall in July and/or August (or if you water your lawn). Summer rains attract grubs to your lawn and then keep their eggs hydrated (alive) long enough for them to turn into baby grubs. Baby grubs are really hungry and can quickly devestate a lawn (like the lawn pictured above). How to Prevent Grub Damage Without Chemicals So you dont want your lawn destroyed by grubs, but you dont want to use a chemical to kill them? There are a lot of good reasons to avoid using the standard grub control chemicals which are linked to many bird deaths and honeybee colony collapse disorder. In addition, the grub chemicals

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, TurfType Tall Fescue, Tips, Grubs, Organic Grub Control

Control Nutsedge Organically

August 20, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Do you have a shiny green grass that grows faster than the rest of your lawn and sticks out like a sore thumb? Does it look like the image below? If so, its actually not a grass, its a sedge. Nutsedge Heres a Nutsedge closeup. Notice the shape of the leaf and the triangular stem. Those are the identifying characteristics of Nutsedge. What is a Sedge Doing in Your Lawn? Sedges are plants that are typically best adapted to growing in poorly drained and tight swamp soils. I usually see nutsedge at its worst when the soil is poorly drained and/or compacted. How to Control Nutsedge in Your Lawn There is no great organic control for killing nutsedge in your lawn - other than pulling them very carefully when theyre just starting to sprout in the spring. Do this when the soil is moist and you can work to get the entire root including the little nutlet - youll know it when you see it. If you dont get the entire root parts, the nutsedge will continue to return. But, if you can pull a majority

Posted in Liquid Aeration, Aeirfy Plus, Organic Lawn Care, Lawn Tips, Weeds, Crabgrass, Tips, Organic Weed Control, Organic Lawn, Nutsedge

How to Control Grubs Without Chemicals

August 14, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Have you been looking for a natural way to kill grubs in your lawn? An organic grub killer? Are you concerned that your lawn might be at risk for Grub Damage? The good news is that you can control grubs without using chemicals! Read on for some tips. Tip 1: Water Properly The first step in Natural Grub Prevention is to water your lawn properly. How does watering affect grubs? First lets take a look at what a grub is and its lifecycle. The image above shows how a Japanese Beetle comes out of the ground in late June, feeds on plants through the summer, and then lays eggs that turn into grubs in the fall. Have you ever watched Japanese Beetles closely in the summer? Youll often seem them stacked on top of each other, hard at work making some eggs. In order for the Japanese Beetle Eggs to turn into grubs, they need moisture. So, if you water your lawn every day during the summer, youre giving the grub eggs just what they need to survive! So if you dont water your lawn, it will probably

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Pesticides, TurfType Tall Fescue, Tips, Natural Pest Solutions, Grubs, Organic Grub Control

Why My Grass is Greener

July 30, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Its the middle of July, Ive watered my lawn once this season and havent used any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and have the nicest lawn on the block. Whats the secret you ask? There isnt one secret, its a combination of doing a lot of little things correctly. To steal someones line, Im not showing you these pictures to impress you, but to impress upon you how easy it can be to have a nice looking lawn without using chemcials. Im not sure that having a nice lawn is that impressive anyway, but it shouldnt be difficult to achieve if thats what youd like to do. First, here are a few pictures to illustrate my point... Heres one of my neighbors lawns that is mowed way to short and has allowed crabgrass and other weeds to get established. Heres the divider between my neighbors lawn and my lawn - the left side is the neighbors lawn. You can see in the picture below how my lawn looks nice and healthy and green compared to the neighbors and others on the street. How do you have a

Posted in Liquid Aeration, Aerify Plus, Organic Lawn Care, Grass Seed, TurfType Tall Fescue, Organic Fertilizer, Weeds, Tips, Organic Weed Control, Summer Lawn Tips

How to Kill Clover Without Chemicals

June 01, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Does your lawn look like the lawn pictured below? Are you seeing a lot of white flowers in your lawn and dont like the look of them? Maybe youre concerned about the clover attracting bees and making it more likely for your kids to get stung? If this is your lawn and youd like to get some more grass and less clover, keep reading, well get there... Why You Might Want to Keep Your Clover But, before we talk about How to Eliminate Clover without using chemicals, lets spend a second looking at the benefits of clover and perhaps convince you that youd like to keep the clover after all. Reason 1: Clover Fertilizes Your Lawn Clover has a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that attach themselves to its roots. These bacteria can absorb nitrogen (the main nutrient that gives grass its green color) from the atmosphere, meaning that it doesnt need to be fertilized. Even better, if you have a good mix of clover (or microclover) you shouldnt need to fertilize your lawn much. Contrary to poplular

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Microclover, How To, Weeds, Tips, Natural Pest Solutions, Organic Weed Control

Quackgrass... Do not Call me Crabgrass

April 25, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Quackgrass is a weedy grass that probably gets its feelings hurt every time someone refers to it as crabgrass. Crabgrass gets all the glory. Its understandable to confuse quackgrass for crabgrass because they have some similar characteristics, a coarse leaf blade and lime green color that causes it to look different from the rest of the lawn. Heres a picture of Quackgrass taken this spring. If you see something that looks like crabgrass in the early spring in the midwest, you can be almost 100% sure that it isnt true crabgrass. Old Fashioned Tall Fescue is another grass that commonly is confused with crabgrass. Who cares whether its crabgrass, Tall Fescue or quackgrass you ask? Its still ugly and you still dont want it right? Well, it matters because if you dont know what type of grass youre dealing with, its difficult to know how to eliminate it. For example, pretend you see quackgrass in your lawn and assume its crabgrass, you might decide to apply a natural pre-emergent crabgrass

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Corn Gluten Meal, Weeds, Crabgrass

Can I Seed if I Applied Corn Gluten Meal?

April 11, 2013 by Alec McClennan

We get this question a lot. You want to apply corn gluten meal to help feed your lawn and discourage weeds like crabgrass from germinating but you have some bare spots that youd like to seed. What to do? In my experience, Corn Gluten Meal seems to allow perennial grasses to sprout more easily than annual weeds. I have no idea why thats the case. But, it means that it is generally ok to seed spots in your lawn even if you have put down corn gluten meal. For best seeding results, Id recommend applying the corn gluten meal over your entire lawn and then going around to the bare spots in your lawn and seeding them with a spot seeding mix like our Pro Mix Lawn Patch Repair Seed. It contains a blend that will tolerate sun or shade pretty well and get established quickly. In addition, it has recycled newspaper fibers that help hold water near the seed AND a special polymer gel that keeps everything from washing away. Its a great choice for fixing bare patches in your lawn. Note: If youve renovated

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Grass Seed, Lawn Tips, Organic Fertilizer, How To, Corn Gluten Meal

Another Reason I Don't Like Lawn Chemicals

April 08, 2013 by Alec McClennan

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, youll notice big piles of fertilzier / weed preventer AND a huge amount of bare spots. Chemical Pre Emergent Weed Killer and Fertilizer Application This photo bothers me for a few reasons, here they are: 1. It Smells The area just stunk of chemicals. Its 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 isnt 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

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Perennial Ryegrass, Tips, Spring Lawn Tips, Snow Mold, Lawn Tips, Applying Fertilizer, How To, Corn Gluten Meal

Choosing a Spring Lawn Fertilizer

March 28, 2013 by Alec McClennan

So the snow is melting and the birds are flying. The lawn isnt looking so hot and youre concerned about getting something on there to help get it going and prevent the much dreaded crabgrass from sprouting. What to do? Below is a standard Pre Emergent Crabgrass Control and fertilizer. It covers 13,000 square feet for $45. Problems Spreading Traditional Lawn Fertilizers The fertilizer pictured above contains something called a Pre-Emergent which kills seeds before they can become plants and in doing so prevents annual weeds, like crabgrass from getting well established. In order to do this, the chemical forms a blanket over your lawn that lasts for about 2-4 months and kills weeds as they sprout. Sounds great, but who wants to be rolling around on a blanket of chemicals all summer? Another issue with traditional fertilizers is that youre more likely to get striping like you see below, or burn spots. Consider An Organic Fertilizer Alternative This year, why not skip the chemical

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Lawn Tips, Organic Fertilizer, Applying Fertilizer, How To, Corn Gluten Meal

Choosing a Lawn Care Company

March 25, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Life is busy. You probably have a long list of things that you consider more important than what you treat your lawn with right? Youre not alone, most people devote about 10 minutes thinking about their lawn when they see the dandelions sprout. At that point they either make a trip to the local hardware store or pickup the phone and call someone to come out and take care of the weeds. ll argue that what you put on your lawn is worth a little more thought. Why to Avoid Lawn Chemicals Traditional lawn chemicals have the potential to cause all kinds of health issues and there is very good reason to consider a healthier organic approach to your lawn care. Your lawn is supposed to contribute positively to your overall health. It should be a place that you and your family can run around, get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air. Why then, would we consider putting chemicals on the lawn that according to many can actually cause health issues? Visit Beyond Pesticides for more information

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Choosing An Organic Lawn Care Company, Lawn Tips

Early Spring Lawn Care Tips the Organic Way

March 23, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Tip 1 The Native Americans Called It Maize You can skip the chemical pre-emergent weed killer on your lawn. Do you really want a blanket of chemicals covering your yard for 4 months? These chemicals dont just disappear they linger and soak into the ground. Instead of these chemicals, opt for an all-natural weed suppressing fertilizer made from Corn Gluten Meal. If you must spread a chemical pre-emergent, make sure that its all on the lawn - sweep or blow-off any chemicals from the driveways and sidewalks to help slow or prevent the chemicals from running-off into your groundwater and also to protect innocent passers-by from the chemicals. Tip 2: Longer Grass Blades Mean Less Crabgrass Studies have shown that mowing your lawn at 3.5 inches (high) prevents as much crabgrass as any chemical treatment. Therefore, your second mowing of the year should be at your mowers highest setting (usually about 3.5 inches). Trust me on this. If you want to know why, here you go...Youre not supposed

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Spring Lawn Tips, Snow Mold

Fertilizers Creating Toxic Algae in Lake Erie

March 20, 2013 by Alec McClennan

Did you know that in 2011 over 16% of Lake Erie was covered with Toxic Algae? Yuck. The algae reduces fish populations and threatens Ohios Tourism industry. Check out this article from the New York Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer about Lake Eries condition and how Fertilizer Runoff is hurting Lake Erie. The top picture here is from the beginning of the summer and the bottom is from the fall. You can see how much algae grew over the course of the summer. Scientists say that the algae feeds on fertilizer runoff. The rain in the spring, the more fertilizer washes off into the storm drains, rivers, and ultimately Lake Erie. Much of the fertilizer run off is from farms, but plenty comes from lawn fertilizers. Water soluble lawn fertilizers easily dissolve in water and wash right off your lawn (or sidewalk if you dont clean the fertilizer off of it) and contribute to the problem. Learn More about How Fertilizers Pollute the Water here Want some good news? There are a few things you can

Posted in Aerify Plus, Organic Lawn Care, Environmental Issues

NewAmericanLawn.com Review

March 15, 2013 by Alec McClennan

I heard a radio commercial for NewAmericanLawn.com on the radio today and decided to check it out. Specifically they mentioned Black Beauty Grass Seed that was a key ingredient to a beautiful lawn. Heres what I found... NewAmericanLawn.com is a website to promote Jonathan Green Lawn Products. It turns out that it really isnt that new, pretty much the standard lawn care program but they do have a lot of information about traditional chemical lawn care. NewAmericanLawn.com also offers some organic products like corn gluten meal and organic fertilizers. It does look like their corn gluten meal is not pelletized so you might want to apply it with a drop spreader rather than a broadcast spreader. If you do use a broadcast spreader, try to do it on a day that isnt windy to keep it from blowing everywhere. When we used to apply corn gluten meal that wasnt pelletized, Id come home yellow from head to toe...looked like a big bananna. By the way, we do sell Corng Gluten Meal online and can even

Posted in Organic Lawn Care, Grass Seed, TurfType Tall Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, Microclover
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