When you consider your own landscaping options, there might be some decisions on whether to hire a professional or if you can do it yourself.
Every solid project requires a good foundation. The foundation for a good lawn is the soil in which it grows. If you have soil issues, you will have lawn issues. Perform a soil test for your lawn soil. This will give you valuable information on what your soil has and what you need to add to it.
Most grasses require at least four hours of sunlight every day. If you have an area that doesn’t receive that much sun, you still likely have a couple of options to get the lawn you desire. Find a seed mix that works well in the shade. Many fescue blends, for example, will work very well for you in the shade.
Your grass craves periodic feedings, and it is best to meet this need for periodic feedings by fertilizing lawns with “slow-release” products. Because these products release their nutrients over time, rather than all at once, feeding your grass with them allows the grass to “eat” at its own leisure. As nutrients are released, the root system fills in any bare patches, depriving weed seeds of a place to germinate.
Of course, as a substitute for all this, you can stay organic and simply top dress your lawns with compost in spring and fall.
We continue to offer the pre-emergent Weed control herbicide to prevent weed seedling development in lawns and ornamental gardens. Pre-emergent herbicides are usually very specific products that interrupt root development.
There is nothing that improves soil like compost. It is full of the life and organic matter that make for an active, healthy environment. Earthworms and other denizens of the soil love it. Diseases and plant pathogens do not like compost. It has been carefully heated to kill opportunistic pests and weed seeds. There is too much competition in active, healthy compost for pathogens to thrive.
Unlike the air we breathe or the water we drink, soil is often overlooked as an essential element in a balanced, sustainable environment. Healthy soil is critical for a healthy lawn and plants. In many areas of New England, the top layer of soil is thin. And in many yards, construction and years of neglect have removed healthy soil and left only poor soil behind. Compost is a natural organic material that is produced when leaves, plant residue, grass clippings and other yard waste break down over time. Organic materials decompose in nature to feed soil and make it healthy.
Compost provides nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and micro-organisms that are essential for plant growth. It holds soil and water particles together to reduce erosion. It binds itself to polluting metals, pesticides and other contaminants to prevent them from washing into waterways or being absorbed by plants. The compost we use has been tested to make sure it has plenty of the proper bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes that make things happen. We have done trials to see how well it germinates seed.