Feeding Your Lawn

lawn_uplandin_20090615_lah_3607The summer is heading for fall, and it’s time to fertilize lawns. Go to any garden center and you’ll see piles of name brand lawn fertilizer, complete with directions on the back. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have a healthy, green, weed-free lawn.

What these manufacturers don’t take into account is that different parts of the country have different soils. What may be excellent advice for Pennsylvania or Maine may not work for Colorado. Unlike much of the north and east, the Front Range loses more water to evaporation than it gains in rainfall. Combine that with the native rock from which our soils are derived, and we typically have soils that are alkaline, high in phosphorus and potassium, and low in organic matter and nitrogen.

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What Rot!

compost-piles-pbg-390Making your own compost is a great way to recycle yard waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill. It’s the epitome of green gardening, and it’s really not that complicated.

The pile should contain about half fresh, green matter (fresh manures, grass clippings, weeds, kitchen waste) and half dry brown matter (fall leaves, straw, last year’s garden). If the manure you collect locally comes mixed with straw bedding, you already have the perfect combination for compost. Mix the green and brown parts together, or create thin layers.

Shredding your ingredients helps speed decomposition. In Colorado, an unshredded pile may take several years to break down, but it will eventually turn into compost.

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