Name of Magazine: Organic Gardening Magazine
Date of Publication: June/July 2007
Title of Article: 5 Steps to a Better Backyard
There are 5 incredibly easy steps to have a great lawn without chemicals which are kicking the fertilizer habit, adding clover and other grasses, less watering, eliminating weeds and insects naturally, and enhancing the soil. For step 1, you need to throw out your fertilizer by using a less concentrated nitrogen source that lasts longer as the turf needs a lot less nitrogen than people think. The organic lawn-food blend such as Concern of Espoma, cottonseed meal, or dried poultry waste is water-insoluble which is stays put and is released over a month. This makes your lawn grow slowly and steadily, and retain a uniform color through the season. The step 2 is to add clover and other grasses in your lawn by overseeding, or planting on top of what’s already there. You should water your lawn deeply after sowing to keep the soil surface moist until the clover germinates. Besides clover adding method, you can use hard fescue or sheep fescue for Northern lawn, and buffalograss or blue gramagrass for South lawn. If you are starting over, the ecology-lawn mix such as English daisy and yarrow is a good choice. The step 3 is to water, but not too much. Deep watering every 2 weeks is better than daily shallow watering which prevents grass roots from digging deep to find soil moisture. Less watering might make the lawn lose some of its luster during dry months, but it will spring back when rains return and it will be thicker with green color than it would be with chemical fertilizers. Next is step 4 to eliminate weeds and insects by mowing, feeding, and watering regularly. The best organic weed-control strategy is corn gluten meal which prevents grassy and weeds from germinating. To control the insects, there is Milky Spore, a bacterium that’s poisonous to grubs which...