Many homeowners desire a chemical-free, lawn-maintenance plan, while maintaining a beautiful, weed-free and pest-free lawn. Green lawn treatments are beneficial by eliminating toxic chemicals from the home and community, while reducing weeds and pests. Having a chemical-free lawn also provides peace of mind that children and pets are safe while playing on the lawn.
Corn gluten is a corn by-product often used to suppress weeds. This non-toxic treatment prevents new weeds from emerging and adds nitrogen to the lawn. The forsythia blooming is a sign that it is time to apply corn gluten to the lawn.
Grubs destroy lawns by eating the grass roots. In addition to directly harming the lawn, wildlife such as moles and skunks like to eat grubs. Finally, grubs turn into Japanese beetles, which destroy many ornamental plants. These pests can also harm the lawn. Beneficial nematodes are tiny parasites that can be applied to control grubs. Often the nematodes are applied using the garden hose. The best time to apply this treatment is when the soil is between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and before the grubs emerge.
Another natural from of grub control is with milky spore (Baccillus popilliae). Milky spore infects and kills grubs. Unfortunately this method takes 2 to 3 years to work, and only works in Zones 6 and above. The temperatures must remain over -20 degrees Fahrenheit for milky spore to survive the winter.
Lawns need nitrogen and other nutrients to thrive. Compost is one of the best natural ways to provide extra nitrogen to the lawn. The best way to apply compost is to put a half inch onto the lawn in the fall. Compost tea, which is liquid that comes from compost, can also be sprayed onto the lawn. In addition to providing nutrients, compost and compost tea add beneficial bacteria and fungi.