Last Updated on October 2, 2022 by Brian Beck
We have a LOT working against us in the lawn care industry. People want a great looking landscape and the lawn is the cornerstone of any landscape as it is the only part of a landscape that can used for multiple functions and well a great looking lawn is so cherry. There are some fundamental practices that are being used by everyone that are taking a toll on the soil and are aggravating the lawn experience, driving up the amount of energy and subsequent cost of having that awesome lawn you are looking for. Here are some of the issues that we face:
- We live in a arid climate, this affects the overall precipitation rate we get on the front range. We are really out in the middle of nowhere, away from any large body of water. Also, dry climates inherently have alkaline soils (over 6.5 pH) which prevent the absorption of nutrients in the soil.
- Water is expensive and a lot of it goes to waste by not getting into the soil in the first place. This can be because of improper irrigation technique (wrong time, wrong duration), malfunctioning irrigation system (heads, aim), thick thatch (a soil malfunction), compacted soil (lacking healthy fungal populations), etc.
- Infrequent mowing, causes root dieback.
- Application of synthetic products. This is a big one. Most of the items listed above are the result of using synthetic products which kill off microbiology. Herein lies the secret to our success. To have a truly healthy, self sustainable lawn you MUST get away from synthetics! Not only do they sterilize the soil but they destroy the natural relationship.
Let’s examine what a healthy soil looks like. This can only be achieved by performing a soil test to KNOW what is going on. Attempting to fix a problem first begins with learning what the problem is. Without this knowledge you will just be guessing. Kind of like a person who has never been to the doctor but is having some health issues. They have never had a blood panel run but they are playing Doctor on WebMD guessing as to what is going on. Let me help you with a little information as to what a healthy soil looks like:
- a pH as close to 6.5 as possible. Nutrients need to have the ability to be assimilated in an acidic environment. If it is too alkaline or acidic this becomes problematic.
- A soil organic matter content of 5% or better. This is fundamental as it allows the soil to hold more water and is the energy source for microbiology. You can read more here: https://www.springslawns.com/carbon-is-the-starting-point/
- Proper watering. Most people view watering as an expense and a chore but it is really a mechanism and a tool and if you are not watering deep enough you are wasting your water resources. Water deep and infrequently, forget watering three (or four) times per week. If you water deep enough the roots can actually use the water and will adapt to where it is, which is down and not up! To read more go here: https://www.springslawns.com/learn-to-avoid-water-stress/
- Mowing. The more the better! Whenever you cut the grass you put a level of stress into the plant. The more you cut off, the more you infringe on photosynthesis as the grass blade is how the plant feeds itself. No green leaf no carbohydrates and you suffer root die off and lawn dieback. This can now be automated and for the initiated you can deduct that the cost of doing so is well worth it. For more go here: www.autmow.com
What needs to occur is the establishment of the root and the soil via the microbiology. The effects are undeniable and the enjoyment is like nothing you have ever seen, a lawn that greens up by itself in early April and stays bright green well into December and never turns brown. It is a reality and we are making it happen one lawn at a time! Give us a call and we can show you how to escape the lawn care trap.