Natural Lawn Care
Traditional lawn care practices have neglected the benefit of healthy soil, instead relying exclusively on processed fertilizer and frequent broadcast applications of herbicides and insecticides.
These practices render the soil lifeless and the landscape dependent on chemical applications.
Our organic products add vital organic matter to your soil and will dramatically enhance your soil’s micro-organism population, which is the life of your soil.
Our lawn care health program involves making seven visits per year at six- to seven-week intervals. This allows us to monitor your lawn regularly and to adjust treatments as necessary based on progress made. We also offer a fall or spring aeration and overseed.
A brief description of services we offer include:
Soils in the Puget Sound become acidic due to the amount of rain we receive. By liming (adding calcium) the turf, we neutralize the acidity, building a better lawn and a stronger competitor for weeds, moss and problem insects.
Crane Fly Monitoring
Crane flies are the only insect pests that represents a problem for our Northwest lawns. Usually the insect will do more damage in weak stands of turf; lawns with poor drainage and shady conditions are prime candidates for crane fly damage.
The best treatment for crane fly is to improve the health of the lawn and correct problems that encourage crane flies. Severe problems that require chemical treatment are rare. If there is a severe problem, the only treatment available at present is a pesticide. All applications are done selectively, rather than blanket-applied, and only at the homeowner’s request.
Moss is a very successful plant in our region due to heavy moisture and our compacted, heavy clay soils. At client request, iron is applied to the moss in early spring. Iron naturally burns the moss but doesn’t harm the lawn. The moss then has to be removed from the lawn by raking. In heavily mossed areas, the bare soil will need to be reseeded and top-dressed with compost.
Moss loves to grow in shade and in low-acid or soggy soils. These are tough conditions in which to grow grass. In Harmony offers services to:
- correct drainage problems
- improve fertility
- prune your trees to allow more sunlight to reach shady spots
- work with you to replant wet or shady areas with plants that thrive in those environments
Our fertilization program consists of five granular feedings of organic fertilizer per year. Each feeding builds a foundation of healthy, living soil.
Corn gluten is a versatile product that helps summer-dormant lawns recover from dormancy much faster due to its high nitrogen content. It also makes lawns thick, green and healthy; adds organic matter; and can help suppress weed seeds.
Aeration and Overseeding
Aeration increases the infiltration of water and nutrients to the soil, stimulates root and shoot growth, increases the lawn’s drought tolerance and improves its overall health. We generally combine aeration with overseeding to fill in thin spots. This thickens the lawn, so weeds and moss have a difficult time getting established.
Weeds are the toughest pests to control organically. When the environment is favorable for good plant growth, weeds also excel. A thick, vigorous stand of grass plants offers the best defense against weeds, inhibiting weed seed germination.
We do not use weed-and-feed products, which are very toxic to humans and the environment. Because there are no organic products currently on the market to kill existing broadleaf weeds, we recommend some tolerance of weeds; monoculture plantings are very difficult to maintain without resorting to herbicides.
As our clients’ tolerance of weeds and the use of herbicides vary, we offer two different plans:
- Completely organic (no pesticide use, higher weed tolerance)
- Minimal pesticides (spot spraying 1-3 times per season)
As your lawn grows, it uses nutrients from the soil, depleting its organic materials. Topdressing lawns places a thin layer of fine compost over the entire surface of the lawn, adding just 1/4 to 1/2 inch of material.
Adding organic material to lawns offers many benefits, from improved soil biology to giving seed a better medium to germinate into and help moderate water fluctuations. Many residential lawns in the Pacific Northwest are grown in very little topsoil on top of compacted glacial till. Additions of organic matter help build the soil profile and break down subsurface compaction while introducing vital nutrients to your turf.