Want a Great Lawn?
Many Roaming Shores residents take great pride in a beautiful lawn. This is a good thing! Not only does it add to the beauty of our village, but it also helps maintain or even increase the values of our properties. In some cases, however, a beautiful lawn may not be such a good things—if the beauty is a result of chemical applications that include nutrients which may be harmful to the health and safety of our lake. So if you would like a lawn that is, as much as possible, safe for the lake and beautiful as well, try some or all of these suggestions from the April 2016 issue of Reader’s Digest:
Wise Moves for a Lush Lawn
- Get tested. “Spending money on fertilizer without a soil test is just guessing,” says Paul Tukey. Good soil is key to a great lawn, and a soil test can tell you what’s in the dirt and what’s missing. For a test, call your county extension office (a national network of agriculture experts).
- Plant clover with your grass. Clover competes with weeds and fixes nitrogen in the soil. John Bochert, a lawn and garden specialist in York, Maine, recommends a seed mix of white clover, perennial rye (it germinates quickly), fescue, and bluegrass.
- Mow high, and leave the clippings. Taller grass provides more leaf for photosynthesis, develops deeper roots, and resists weeds. The clippings act as fertilizer. “Lawns mowed at four inches are the most weed-free,” Tukey says. “If you did only one thing, adjusting your mower height would be it.”
- Cut back on watering. Frequent watering leads to shallow roots, so “water once a week if at all,” says Tukey.
- Apply compost. “Weeds need light to grow,” Tukey says. “Spreading compost on a lawn in the spring prevents weed seeds from germinating.”
- Listen to weeds… “Weeds are nothing if not messengers,” says Tukey. “Dandelions are telling you the ground needs more calcium. Plantains are telling you the ground is too compact and needs aerating.”
- …and to insects. Beneficial nematodes, which are microscopic worms, eat some 200 species of insects, including grubs that become Japanese beetles; you can buy them from farm and garden stores. Mix them in water, and spray them on your lawn.
-Edgar Allen Beem
from Down East