Home Remedies for Lawn Care

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Yellow grass? Bare patches in the yard? Wilted sprigs? There are a lot of things that can happen to your ground cover that affects the color, appearance, and overall health. If you’re interested in becoming the envy of your neighborhood, you may want to consider getting familiar with home remedies for lawn care.

The Benefits of a Healthy Lawn

Healthy lawns not only look good in the community, but they actually contribute to a better environment. When a lawn is healthy, it creates a cooling effect that keeps the environment much cooler. The lawn will also help trap the dust and dirt that can affect allergies. Interestingly, a patch of grass measuring 50 x 50 square feet absorbs ozone, carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride, and sulfur dioxide while delivering enough oxygen to accommodate a family of four.

Healthy lawns will absorb rainfall up to six times better than an unhealthy lawn, which helps to prevent erosion. Healthy grass is also a food source for many small animals and birds. Common lawn problems that you may encounter include yellow or brown patches of grass, limp strands, light green grass, damage associated with dog urine or feces, fungus, insect infestation (like aphids), and an overpopulation of weeds.

Lawn Care Home Remedies

From not getting enough nutrients to overcoming physical damage, you never know when you’re going to need easy tricks to beautifying your outdoor spaces. Home remedies for lawn care can help you avoid using the chemicals found in most commercial products. A handful of suggestions include:

a) Grass Clippings[1]:

An effective method of fertilizing your lawn is to leave your grass clippings on the ground after mowing. The lawn clippings are 100% biodegradable and will decompose over time to help feed your lawn.

b) Corn Meal:

To treat a lawn with a fungus problem (such as mushrooms and brown patches), apply 20 pounds of cornmeal per 1,000 square feet.

c) Garden Hose:

Dog urine and feces has a knack for creating dead patches in a lawn. To protect your yard, promptly clean up feces and spray down urination spots with water within eight hours. If you dilute pet urine, it will actually have a fertilizing effect for your lawn.

d) Dish Soap and Tabasco:

The average deer can eat as much as five pounds of grass on a daily basis. These herbivores can ruin a lawn if they are a frequent visitor. Decrease the amount of deer grazing on your lawn by mixing one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with 1/8 cup of Tabasco sauce. Add this mixture to one liter of tap water. Transfer this solution to a spray bottle and apply to around your yard. To make this remedy able to stick to grass and plants, add a beaten egg.

e) The Way You Mow:

If you want to protect your lawn from drought, insect damage and disease – get into the habit of mowing high. This practice allows the grass to grow thicker, as well as develop a deeper root system. As a rule of thumb, the majority of turf grasses are healthiest when between 3 ½ and 4 inches tall. Also, when grass is longer, it can shade the soil and retain more moisture. The grass will also make it harder for weeds to germinate and grow.

f) Epsom Salt:

To make grass greener, Epsom salt offers the magnesium and iron that your soil needs to accommodate your lawn. Add two tablespoons to one gallon of water. Spread the mixture on your lawn, and then water it with plain water to make sure it is absorbed by the grass.

g) Golf Shoes:

To aerate your lawn for the next time you mow, slip into your golf shoes and walk around the yard [2]. The grip of the shoe also makes it easier to push a mower up a hill. Soccer cleats will also create the same effect.

h) Vinegar:

To clean the blades of your mower, wipe down with a cloth dampened with undiluted white vinegar. This will clean off leftover grass after a mow, as well as remove any pests that might be lingering underneath the equipment.

i) Coffee Can:

To pinpoint a smaller spot that needs reseeding, drill small holes into the bottom of an empty coffee can that is just large enough for seeds to pass through. Put a plastic lid over the bottom of the can, and fill with seeds. Use another plastic lid to cover the top. When you are ready to spread the seeds over your lawn, remove the bottom lid and seed. Replace the lid and store any unused seeds for another time.

j) Bed Sheets or Tablecloth:

Limit the amount of times you remove piles of leaves from the lawn. Rake leaves onto a bed sheet that has been laid out on the ground. When you are ready to discard, gather the four corners and drag the debris to the curb or a designated leaf pile. You can also use an old plastic tablecloth as a substitute for this remedy.

k) Seafood Shells:

To provide your lawn with calcium (which makes the grass grow), scatter crushed seafood shells across your lawn [3].

l) Sharpen or Replace Blades[4]:

Dull mower blades can cause your lawn to be less healthy because you end up tearing grass rather than cutting it cleanly. Sharpen or replace blades to see better results.

m) Early Morning Watering:

The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning because it helps minimize water loss due to evaporation. The worst time to water your lawn is in the middle of the afternoon – when the sun is bright in the sky.

n) Tomato Soup, Fabric Softener and Orange Juice:

Create a lawn fertilizer out of one can of tomato soup, ½ cup of Downy fabric softener[5], two cups of water, 2/3 cup of orange juice, and ½ cup liquid dish soap. Mix all of the ingredients and apply with a hose sprayer.

o) Epsom Salt and Ammonia:

Add 16 tablespoon of Epsom salt and ½ cup liquid dish soap to eight ounces of household ammonia to make a lawn fertilizer that you spray across your lawn.

p) Beer, Soda and Ammonia:

The combination of one of beer, one can of Pepsi, one cup ammonia, ½ cup liquid dishwashing soap, and one cup of Epsom salts can help fertilize a lawn. The ammonia helps kill bacteria and fungus found in the ground, while the salt assists in aerating the ground to allow it to breathe better.

q) Ivory Soap, Garlic and Hot Pepper Sauce:

To repel insects and deer from your lawn, fill a spray bottle halfway with water, and then add 10 drops of Ivory dish soap, two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce, and a pinch of garlic. Shake the contents well, and then apply directly to the perimeter of your lawn.

r) Hot Peppers:

Decrease the insect population in your lawn by mixing ½ cup of chopped hot peppers in two cups of water. Blend the ingredients, and then strain. Pour the contents into the spray bottle, and then spray onto the plants in your yard.

s) Salt:

If you want to remove spiders and mites from a particular part of your lawn, add two ounces of salt to one gallon of water. Mix the contents well, and then spray plants to kill the pests.

t) Plant Herbs:

To reduce the number of fleas in your lawn, you should add plants known as a natural deterrent. Fleas do not like pennyroyal and tansy. If you plant these herbs about your yard, it can help cut down on the flea population. Sprinkling eucalyptus leaves around the yard can also help.

u) Cooking Spray or Oil:

To prevent grass from sticking while mowing the lawn, spray the blades and underside of the equipment with cooking spray before you start this chore. Don’t have any spray? You can use vegetable oil to achieve the same results – simply rub on the specified parts before mowing.

Resources

[1] http://www.scotts.com/smg/goart2/Don%27t+Bag+Those+Clippings!/16200018/

[2] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 179
[3] Who Knew? Almanac by Bruce Lubin & Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin ; pg. 504.

[4] http://www.safelawns.org/blog/2012/05/13-essential-mowing-tips-first-and-foremost-keep-the-blade-sharp-set-high/

[5] http://www.downy.com/

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