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How to Maintain an Earth Friendly Lawn

written by: Brekke Bounds•edited by: BStone•updated: 9/21/2012

Are you interested in throwing away your synthetic and chemical laden lawn care products for a gentler more earth friendly approach? Find out what lawn care products to buy, and where to buy them, as well as the basic needs for maintaining an eco-friendly lawn.

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    Now that you've decided that you are ready to have an earth friendly lawn it is important to figure out what products you are going to need. Many of the more conventional lawn care materials will have no place in your new green and healthy lawn regimen. Knowing what you need and where to buy eco-friendly products is half the battle when it comes to your new lawn.

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    What Products You Need

    Healthy grass The first thing you need to do is start with a soil test kit to figure out what nutrients your lawn may be lacking.

    Another eco friendly lawn essential is a natural fertilizer such as well-aged compost, alfalfa meal or seaweed.

    Bone and blood meal are also used to correct nutrient imbalances in lawns. They can be mixed with any other fertilizer to add more nitrogen (blood meal) or phosphorus (bone meal) to your lawn if soil tests show you need them.

    A couple of other things that might be helpful when trying to get the best lawn possible are sulfur and lime. These products can help balance your soil pH which should be between 6.3 and 6.8.

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    Finding Products Locally

    Many eco friendly products can be purchased at national and regional retailers like Home Depot or Menards. Traditional lawn and garden retailers usually have natural or organic compost as well as sulfur and lime for purchase. Also, most national and regional stores will have premade composters for purchase. These are useful if you are looking to compost your own food waste and yard clippings to use as fertilizer but aren't interested in having a large compost pile in your yard.

    Additionally, well aged compost can often be found for free or little charge at local farms or horse ranches.

    Soil tests may be more difficult to find at traditional lawn and garden retailers depending on the time of year, but heading to Home Depot first is still probably your best bet. If they do not carry soil tests talk to your local Soil and Water Conservation District. Some will do the testing for you and others will just direct you to a list of appropriate resources.

    Other eco-friendly lawn products may also be harder to find at regional or national stores but smaller lawn and garden boutique stores may carry exactly what you need.

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    Purchasing Earth Friendly Products Online

    When looking for the things you need for your healthy, eco friendly lawn start with your local stores. If they don't have the products you are looking for they might be able to order it for you or direct you to where earth friendly lawn care products are sold near you.

    If you are having a hard time finding the products you need in stores near you, there are also great on-line retailers who can help you with your lawn care needs.

    BioControl Network: Started in 1995, BioControl Network provides great resources on Integrated Pest Management and bio-intensive pest control. The website provides access to hundreds of different lawn products as well as products for those who might be interested in sustainable gardening or farming. This website provides a lot of information on each product making sure that you know exactly what you are buying.

    Gardens Alive: Based out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana Gardens Alive is all about marketing and selling environmentally responsible products that work. The website is divided into sections on lawn care, soil care, plant care and others to help you navigate to exactly what you need.

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    Resources

    Earth Friendly Lawn Care Books:

    • The Organic Lawn Care Manaul, by Paul Tukey
    • Building a Healthy Lawn: A safe and natural approach, by Stuart Franklin

    Image Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1254097