Lawn Revival 101
Our lawn is full of weeds and my wife wants her beautiful, weed-free, groomed lawn back. For the last five-plus years I have been able to keep her from putting any type of chemicals—weed & feed etc—on the lawn as I have five compost bins and a large garden which I use the compost in. I told her to go ahead & use the chemicals if she really needs to, as the lawn is really starting to look like a weed patch. But then I decided to ask you first: what can I do organically to save the lawn, my compost and the wife?
Image by Flickr / Sustainable Gardener
The first thing we have to do is to get the grass growing faster and better than the weeds. Assuming we have six to eight hours sunlight on average, this should be doable.
FIRST STEP: Lime with dolopril to sweeten the soil and make it better suited for the lawn.
SECOND STEP: Aerate and fill with good-quality landscape sand—this gives good air quality to the roots and good drainage.
THIRD STEP: Physically remove all of the weeds.
FOURTH STEP: Overseed with a shady lawn blend. This will blend the colours so that it looks like a swath of green.
FIFTH STEP: Let the grass grow until it is about 7.5 cm (3 in.) long and keep it at that level all year round—this will shade out any of the competing "weeds.”
SIXTH STEP: Topdress with an organic fertilizer that is slow release. GroundsKeeper’s Pride from International Compost Ltd. in Calgary is an ideal one for the lawn. Organics will have to be done on a more stringent schedule, usually every six to eight weeks, as an organic is not as long lasting as a synthetic.
SEVENTH STEP: Water the lawn so it gets 2.5 cm (1 in.) per week and don't be worried when it goes brown in summer—it is genetically programmed to do so. It will bounce back when the rain returns.
Hope this helps.