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Fertilizing and Soil Amendments

Lawn grasses are living in an unnatural environment. Grass plants are crowded together, competing for water and other nutrients, mowed regularly, and expected to grow in areas that they may or may not be suited for. And, the lawn clippings, a natural source of nutrients, are often removed for aesthetic reasons. Because of this competition and unnatural demands, adding fertilizer and other soil amendments can help maintain the health and vitality of the grass. If you feed the soil, the soil will feed the plants. As the soil reaches a healthy balance and is teeming with biodiversity, there will be less need for adding fertilizers, microbes or fungi on a regular basis as they will be present and abundant in your soil already.

Benefits of Fertilizing

  • Improves color and structure of the grass
  • Increases disease and pest resistance, less susceptible to stress and damage
  • Inhibits moss and weed re-growth
  • Decreases soil acidity

 

Benefits of Compost Tea

  • Very useful when large quantities of good compost is not available
  • Inoculates the soil/foliage with good microbes increasing the biodiversity
  • Can be used as a foliar spray as an alternative to chemical pest control
  • A very essential and effective amendment when transitioning a landscape to organic
  • Can be used often without harm to the soil

Benefits of Effective Microorganisms

  • Accelerates biological activity in the soil

 

Benefits of Mycorrhizal Inoculum

  • To an already established landscape it will increase the strength of the root system and vigor of the plants
  • If inoculated at the time of planting helps establish a strong root system and vigorous plant(s)

Benefits of Compost

  • Adds organic matter to the soil, increasing the biodiversity
  • Can help break up compacted soil by improving the soil’s texture and structure
  • Helps hold/store moisture and nutrients in the soil

 

Benefits of Liming

  • Adds calcium bringing the pH of the soil closer to the ideal range of 6.8 - 7
  • Thicker and more lush lawn
  • Helps control and deter moss growth

 

Fertilizing is adding a chemical or natural substance to the soil to increase its fertility. Our grasses grow actively in the spring and fall, and slowly in the summer heat. By fertilizing in the early fall you will stimulate root growth organic fertilizerresulting in a stronger winter lawn and a healthy lush lawn come spring. By fertilizing in the spring you will give your lawn the nutrients it needs for the summer.         

The organic fertilizer is not going to green up the lawn as fast as a synthetic fertilizer, but be patient. As the biodiversity in the soil increases, the microorganisms diligently digest the natural fertilizers and other soil amendments helping the nutrients become available to the grass. Eventually, the grass will no longer be dependent on chemicals and adding soil amendments to the naturally managed lawn will rarely be necessary, if at all.  For more in depth information on soil visit www.soilfoodweb.com.

Although there may be some immediate results with an organic fertilizer, it may require two or more growing seasons to achieve the ideal results. But it’s worth it! In the long run an organically managed lawn costs considerably less in maintenance, is better for your family, your pets and the environment.

Organic VS. Synthetic

Organic

Synthetic

Builds healthy soils by increasing availability of existing soil nutrients, supporting the living organisms in soil, which promote plant vitality

Chemically feeds the top layer of soil on lawn so immediate results are achieved within the season

Once the soil reaches a healthy balance, fertilizer may only need to be applied once or twice a year

Synthetic fertilizers must be applied every season, which can be more expensive

Provides safe and non-toxic landscapes for pets and family, and, is better for the earth

Chemicals used in common synthetic fertilizers are harmful if ingested or absorbed

Although you may see immediate results, the long term effects and physical condition of you lawn requires two growing seasons to achieve maximum benefits with an organic fertilizer, making your lawn stronger and more able to deter pests and diseases naturally

Using synthetic fertilizers weakens the lawns natural ability to fight off pests and disease because it does not provide the long term nutrients to support the plants natural resistance

 

Compost tea is a brew made from compost and sometimes other biostimulants that is diluted and watered into the soil or onto plants to introduce good microbes and increase biodiversity. It was once thought that a good way to make compost tea was by soaking a cloth bag full of compost in a barrel for a couple of days, then diluting it and pouring it on your garden. We now know that this is wrong as it can introduce bad or anaerobic bacteria to your soil causing more harm than good. The correct way to brew a compost tea is aerobically, with air. It’s best to apply compost tea in small regular doses, daily, weekly or monthly, depending on the health of the soil. For up to date information on compost and compost tea visit www.gardenerspantry.ca, www.compost.bc.ca, and www.soilfoodweb.com.

Effective Microorganisms are also microbial inoculants like compost tea, but can survive without air. While compost tea is brewed and used for introducing microbes, EM is used for its interactive functions within the soil and on plant surfaces. EM is applied like compost tea, diluted with water and applied to soil and/or plants. EM is used for many purposes around the world; agriculture, waste and odor control, and human, animal and plant health. Like compost tea, its best to apply EM in small regular doses weekly or monthly, and it can be applied with compost tea. For a more in depth explanation of Effective Microorganisms visit www.eminfo.info and www.gardenerspantry.ca.

Mycorrhizal Fungi are specialized fungi that form mutually beneficial relationships with the roots of plants. The fungi wrap around the roots of the plant, giving the roots protection from predators, help absorbing nutrients, and increasing water uptake. In return the plant provides a source of carbohydrates for the fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi need a living plant partner, so they are not present in compost, compost tea, or EM. You can purchase it from some garden supply stores. It usually comes in powder form and needs to be brought into direct contact with the roots. The best time to incorporate it into the soil is during a planting or after aerating so it reaches down into the root zone. The reason the fungi were not present in the soil in the first place should also be considered and repaired or else the fungi will not survive. For more information visit www.mycorrhizae.com and www.gardenerspantry.ca.

Compost is recycled organic matter going back onto the earth like nature intended. All plants are meant to live and die, and then feed the soil, which in turn creates more plants and on and on the cycle goes. Compost can easily be made at home. Home composting has many benefits including reducing your waste while creating a valuable amendment for your lawn and garden for free. Compost can also be purchased in bags or in larger quantities for bigger projects from garden retailers and landscape suppliers. Compost is a crucial part of healthy soil, improving the soil’s structure and it’s ability to hold moisture, and, over time can eliminate the need to add amendments to the soil. For much more information on compost; benefits, methods and uses, visit www.compost.bc.ca. For community composting services visit www.communitycomposting.ca and www.pedaltopetal.blogspot.com

Lime is an amendment used to improve soil by adding calcium to bring the soils pH to the ideal range of 6.8 – 7. In areas with heavy rainfall, like here on the west coast, soils are typically acidic. Rains wash lime applied in the fall and spring down into the soil where it is needed.

 

Contact Us Today for more information on our Fertilzer Services, and for a Free Price Quote.

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We look forward to making your yard a pleasure for all seasons

 

DP Lawn & Tree

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