Have you ever stepped back and looked out across your lawn and really considered that it is alive? That it is a living, breathing, eating organism that in order to thrive needs the right attention and nutrition to reach its full potential. With improper attention and nutrition our lawns can become weak, sick and die.  I think so many times we get into patterns of behavior that we don’t stop to smell the fresh cut grass. We forget our lawns are alive and we go through the motions of our lawn care routine with the basic knowledge of make it green and kill the weeds. Good lawn care starts with acknowledging that the lawn is in fact alive. Then providing 3 basics of care: amending the soil, fertilizing, and watering. These elements are foundational to a strong, healthy, thriving lawn.

Amending

Amending is the act of feeding the soil. Amending builds the colonies of beneficial microorganisms and nutrients that our lawns consume. It makes a comfortable environment for earthworms and other beneficial organisms to thrive, all which have vital contributions to a healthy lawn.  Amending helps break up compacted and clay soils, aiding in drainage and allowing roots to properly develop, spread, and breath. Amending can be applied in both solid and liquid forms, or a combination of the two. Amending should start in the spring using a leaf mold compost or Happy Frog Soil Amender.  I used Happy Frog Soil Amender this spring.  I simply poor the bag out on my lawn and then rake it out to about a ¼” depth. Water as usual.

This year I have begun adding the fresh brewed compost tea we sell here at Plants For All Seasons. Compost tea makes the benefits of compost go farther due to its liquid form. It’s like a probiotic for the soil. The tea is applied either diluted or full strength thus allowing it to not only penetrate the soil, but also coat the foliage. This helps suppress foliar disease, increases amount of nutrients available to the plant and speeds the breakdown of toxins. I am on a monthly application of compost tea right now as I am working on some compacted areas and a few areas where there are signs of stress. The beauty of compost tea is it doesn’t burn so you can apply it as much as every watering or a couple times of year depending on your lawn needs and preference. As far as solid vs. liquid, one is not better than the other, but together they complement one another adding a whole new host of benefits.

Fertilizing

Fertilizing is feeding the lawn and should happen every 60-90 days. I myself like the MicroLife Hybrid. It is a fantastic crossover fertilizer for those looking for a more organic approach to their lawn care routine, or it can be your lawn staple. It provides the green up of a synthetic along with all the beneficial microbes and nutrients of an organic. Since I am all about the biology of the soil this is my go to fertilizer. If you tend to like a synthetic, we do carry a great solution for you. Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10. Nitro-Phos is formulated in Houston with the correct amount of nitrogen for the gulf coast region. Many national companies have more nitrogen in them than what we need here. To much nitrogen can burn the lawn and lead to insects, fungus and weeds.  Something to consider if you are currently on a national line of fertilizer and having trouble with your lawn. It maybe time for a change.

Watering

Water is not an exact science. What works in my yard may not work in yours due to varying environmental and mechanical factors. Too much or too little can both cause stress , improperly developed root systems and open the door to disease, fungus and other lawn complications. There is a general rule of thumb we can consider though. You should be watering about 1” of water, or the depth of a tuna can, spread out over the course of one week. To help in making the educated guess of how many times to water, we need to consider the trending temperatures.

  • 1x per week when we are in the 70’s
  • 2x per week when we are in the 80’s
  • 3x per week when we are in the 90’s
  • Every other day when we are in the 100’s

Think of lawn nutrition this way. If we were to live on a diet of Chik-fil-a, Whataburger and low water consumption our overall health and well being would be greatly impacted. This poor diet would make us more susceptible to illness & disease, fatigue & stress, a lack of overall well being and could lead to death. A healthy diet helps us fight illness, prevent disease, boosts our energy, increases our emotional well being, and longetivity. So it is with the lawn.  A healthy lawn on a good diet has the ability to resist fungus, disease, weeds, use less water, and look green and fabulous .

We would love to answer your lawn concerns and provide you with healthy solutions to get your lawn looking and feeling it’s best. Feel free to stop by any time and ask anyone of our friendly staff, bring a picture along with a sample if you can. Unable to stop by you can email us at info@plantsforallseasons.com. Let us help you Get Your Green On!

Mindy Kaneaster
Mindy Kaneaster
I am not a master gardener, but gardening is my passion. There is something therapeutic and healing about the act of digging, planting, and caring for plants. I enjoy the serenity it creates within me as I sit on my bench in my garden, sip my coffee or tea, and take in the life it brings from the plants themselves, all my fluttery friends, and even the squirrels. My garden is my happy place.

Inspired by my grandparents who always had beautiful gardens, I took what I learned from them and other members of my family who gardened and began my early journey and love affair. Several years ago, while working as a graphic designer I met Andy. Andy was the brand manager for a natural line of garden products. We instantly connected and I became the new artist on the line of gardening products she represented. This started my journey of moving from many of the national chain items of garden products to a more natural means of gardening. As our relationship continued, we realized we had a common acquaintance here in Houston with the fabulous ladies at Plants For All Seasons on 249. I soon began doing graphic and visual communications work for them as well. This opened the door of opportunity for me to pursue both my passions of design and gardening. I still have so much to learn, I think we never stop, but I love applying it in my own garden and sharing the knowledge I am gaining with others.

I look forward to sharing my own growth with you on this blog and helping you to Get Your Green On!

Thinning, Yellowing from shade and weed and feed application

Thin and weakened lawn caused by shade, plus additional stress from weed and feed application. The weed killer causes the yellowing and encourages thinning, making conditions right for weeds to settle in and thrive.

Nitrogen Burned Lawn

Lawn that has been burned by a product containing to much nitrogen.

Lawn stressed from lack of water

Drought stressed lawn caused by improper watering creating the perfect conditions for Bermuda grass to set in and thrive.