Grow a Green Garden
Five Steps to Natural Yard Care
Overuse of lawn pesticides and fertilizers is contaminating our streams, lakes, and Puget Sound. Those chemicals can harm fish and wildlife. They’re not healthy for children or pets either. Consider alternatives to lawns for steep slopes, shady areas or near streams and lakes.
You can save money, time, and our environment, while growing a healthy lawn that looks great year ’round:
- Improve thin, weedy, or compacted lawns with aeration, overseeding and compost topdressing. Each April/May or September:
- Aerate | Use a rented power core aerator or hire a professional. Aeration improves root development and also helps break down excess thatch.
- Overseed | Spread rye/fescue seed blends twice, in two directions, focusing on thin areas of the lawn. Typically, you want to overseed with 5-pounds per 1,000 square ft.
- Topdress with Compost | Scatter and lightly rake 1/4” - 1/2” of compost over your lawn. Then wait a few weeks before mowing your lawn. Compost adds organic matter, and nutrients the young grass needs to grow quickly so it can crowd out weeds.
- Mow higher (1-2 inches) and leave the clippings. “Grasscycling” doesn’t cause thatch, and it makes lawns healthier and provides free fertilizer!
- Fertilize moderately in September or May with a “natural organic” or “slow release” fertilizer.
- Did you know? Healthy lawns are a meadow green color. Dark green turf is overfertilized, which invites damage from disease and drought.
- Don't use “weed and feed” or other pesticides. Long-handled weed pullers pop weeds out easily. Find less hazardous products and non-toxic solutions at www.GrowSmartGrowSafe.
- Water deeply to moisten the whole root zone, but infrequently.
Learn more about Natural Yard and Garden Care.