Friday, April 28, 2006
This picture of Lucy is now the 'Most Viewed' picture on Flickr. That fact alone is amazing to me, but the fact that it took less than a week for it to occur is also startling. Know what else? It's also the most commented AND!?!?! MOST FAVORITED!!! Do you know how hard it is to live with her on a regular level? Try living with her now. If I hear "I'm the next Kelly Clarkson" one more time...AGGGGHHHHH!!!!
I have to say though, that nothing puts a smile on my face quicker than when I pull in the driveway at night and look up to see Harlow looking for me, only now, I have two poopers staring down at me. Double my pleasure.
In my last post I mentioned some pet friendly garden products that I use and Metro asked what kind of lawn fertilizer I use. As a dog owners it's important that 1) we have grass and 2) that what we put on the grass to keep it growing doesn't burn pads or cause adverse effects. I know of two products that we sell out here that I would recommend and use. Whitney Farms Lawn Food and Dr. Earth Lawn Food. Both of these products work really well and are completely safe for pets. Tests show as well, that an organically fed lawn is often times much more drought tolerant and much more active in the soil, the key ingredient for any healthy vibrant lawn. Every year customers come in trying to achieve the perfect lawn with chemicals, re-seeding, spraying, feeding and even complete renovation. Lawns become a lot of work. Lawns can be expensive to maintain.
Some things that I've learned about having a thriving lawn in the Northwest.
1. The obvious, full sun. Not something that a lot of us have here, but the more the better.
2. Soil. This is your foundation, the most important part. You really need a good 6 inches or more of well amended soil, and by amended I mean a healthy dose of compost and organic matter incorporated into the soil. If I were putting in a new lawn, I would bring in about 4 inches of compost and till that into my existing soil. If you are aerating your lawn, bring in some organic compost to spread over and fill those holes.
3. Fertilizer. I live in a wet climate where there are lots of streams and wetlands. Salmon (surprisingly) still make spawning runs up several of them. One of the biggest problems in areas like this is run off from subdivisions and yards. Fertilizers high in phosphates contribute to a large host of problems in waterways. Most chemical based fertilizers are high in Nitrogen, phosphorous and Potash ( the three numbers 0-0-0 on the bags of fertilizer). The represent the percentage of active ingredient found in the product. I'm not going to play science guy right now and go further into this. I'm going to break it down like this...
A lot of chemical based fertilizers hit your lawn hard and fast for quick results. Organic fertilizers are slow release and offer your lawn a steady and methodic feeding . Basically, feeding your lawn a chemical based food is like hooking it on crack, once it starts down that slippery slope, it has to have it again and again to continue. Or, like giving your kid sugar and having them go spinning around the room and then fall flat afterwards, crying for more. Much like my caffeine addiction.
4. Water. Starting out with a new lawn means frequent watering until it's established, but a well amended lawn with deep roots can handle being watered deeply less often. Frequent watering with a sprinkler system that runs 10-15 minutes every morning means your lawn has shallow roots to best take advantage of the available mother. A well amended soil has lots of organic matter that holds onto water deep down as well as nutrients and microbiotic activity. Grass will send it's roots down into this deeper layer for that and be able to sustain itself longer.
5. Mowing. Mowing your lawn too short allows for a host of problems. Weed propagation, soil erosion and drying. Cutting your grass taller shades out weed development and holds onto moisture better.
Well, that's about all I have time for now. These are just some general tips. Your individual climates and conditions can dictate different approaches. One thing is for sure, everyone can take advantage of and benefit from Organic Lawn foods.