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Grub Control w/o pesticides? Why yes... consider Milky Spore
Lawn mowing... how high should I cut my grass?
Is there a disease in your lawn?
Ants "eating" your house?
Leaves as fertilizer?


compacted clay soil
core aeration
crabgrass control
dog urine spots
fall lawn fertilizing
garden tips
green spring lawn
lawn aeration
lawn care
lawn disease
Lawn Mowing
lawn winterizing
Leaves... bag them or mulch them?
organic control of brown spots
organic crabgrass control
organic garden tips
organic grub control
Organic lawn care
organic lawn care, calcium, gypsum, dog urine spots on lawn
organic tree care
pure prairie organics
snow mold
Summer Lawn Care Tips
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Lawn Clippings (Bill's blog)

fall lawn fertilizing

Organic crabgrass control

Hi Everybody!

Did you know that there is crabgrass seed everywhere?

If crabgrass seed is everywhere then why doesn't it germinate and grow everywhere?

That's because crabgrass only germinates where there is salt.

Here in the Upper Midwest, crabgrass grows along the side of the road where the snow plows push the snow.  It also grows along the sides of the driveway where the salt melts off our tires.  Round Up breaks down to a high salt so if someone sprays Round Up then they may get some crabgrass germinating in that spot.

Gypsum neutralizes road salt.  Gypsum (calcium sulfate) is a better crabgrass control than the chemicals are.  The first year it may only reduce some of the crabgrass but by the second year it should be much more under control.  

For organic crabgrass control,  we recommend applying gypsum at Thanksgiving and Easter.  In the Chicago  area, that will work out to be before and after the snow season. 

Here in the Chicago area, we mix some lime with the gypsum (50-50) and it makes the gypsum work much better.  Adding a few pounds of table sugar also helps.

We don't worry about the pH of the soil...the microbes will take care of it for us.  The main thing is to get plenty of calcium in the soil.

Crabgrass also grows along the Gulf states(Mississippi, Louisiana)  as well as sandy areas like vacation spots.  This is because crabgrass will also grow in soils that are low in calcium and phosphorus and low in biology.

If you have sandy soil and crabgrass is growing everywhere then it is not worth it to try and control it.  Just mow it and call it good.  

If you are in the Western suburbs of Chicago,  call us (630-649-1476) and we will help you with your crabgrass problem.  Over time, we will correct the cause of the problem and  do it without the use of harmful chemicals.  Very cool!

Thank you for reading our blog and happy gardening!

Bill Scheffler

Why fertilize your lawn in the late fall?

In the late fall as the soil temperature drops the lawn starts to go dormant.  The grass starts to lose the dark green color and slowly takes on a light brown color...winter is coming.  

At this time of the year when the days are significantly shorter and colder, when lawn furniture is covered or in storage. When summer flowering bulbs have been dug up. Lawn mowers and rakes switch places with snow blowers and snow shovels there is one thing is is all too often not thought of, THE LAWN!

Many homeowners figure they are done with the lawn fertilization program for the year. I have been doing professional lawn care for about 18 years now...and now is an important time to get that last application down into the ground. This last application can be called a late fall application or a winterizer application. 

There are a vital reasons to feed and take care of the lawn this one last time.  One is the lawn will still need some food for those occasional days when the temperatures rise and it warms up enough for the lawn to grow a bit.  But more importantly this last application is ofgreat benefit in the early spring of the next year. This fertilizer that gets applied in the late fall will work it's way into the soil and be ready to get used up as soon as the temperature rises in the early spring.  The fertilizer will be there to be used up and turn your grass a nice dark green color way before the other lawns that didn't get that late fall/winterizer application.

As we start up mid March we can usually spot those lawns that were fed in the late fall.  They have a distinct dark green color while the neighbors lawns still have the straw colored/light brown hue to them. We smile with satisfaction as we work on lawns and see the neighbors lawns looking less than desirable. We even take some quick pictures in the early spring of "our" lawns so that we can help remind (and show) others of this important step that should be taken late in the season. We try to make sure to get part of the other neighbors lawn in the picture so that "our" nice green lawns really are noticeable.

Who doesn't want to come home to a natural and organic lush, healthy green lawn? A lawn that can be enjoyed by all, pets and children too with no "stay off the grass time". Each season, many special memories are created, let your lawn shine. 
Enjoy your lawn and make sure that late fall fertilizer application gets applied as the lawn starts to go dormant. Make sure to schedule your last seasonal application and rest easy knowing that come spring, you're already a step ahead. 

For a complete list of the different services we offers please visit our Calender of Services.

See you next season! 
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