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Fertilization and Weed Control Services In Solon, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, IA and surrounding areas

Eco-Lawn Renovation

Years of Experience

Eco-Lawn Renovation

Following WWII, American companies had to shift their focus from wartime production to post-war market share. This spurred chemical companies like Dow, DuPont, and Hercules Powder to develop a wealth of products fit for mass consumption. From metals and plastics to varnishes and pesticides, these companies quickly diversified their product lines and developed marketing campaigns that placed their new consumer durables at the center of modern life. These companies couldn’t easily sell a 50-gallon barrel of poison, so instead, they sold a lifestyle. With help from bourbon and cigarettes, Mad-Men sold plastic containers to keep June’s leftovers and weed killer to keep Ward’s lawn. Perhaps for the first time in history, companies needed to create uses for the things after being developed. Suddenly, the old ways were viewed as inferior and Americans drank the Kool-Aid, and the “modern” lawn was born.

Nowadays, the home lawn is expected to be a monoculture. One species of turfgrass and if anything else grows it’s determined, with great shame, a weed. Prior to this cultural brainwashing and with common sense still intact, diverse lawns were accepted as natural and normal. Lawns used to be put in, primarily, as grass and clover for good reason. Turfgrass requires nitrogen to grow and clover releases nitrogen as a byproduct of its growth cycle. One plant supports the other while also benefiting the soil, the nitrogen released is organic and remains in the soil to support the plant. Organic material is what’s missing from 99% of new home lawns and it’s why they fail without heavy inputs of fertilizer and water….and chemicals. Because the majority of these additional inputs are synthetic, they move through the soil and do not accumulate, offering little to no long-term gain in relation to soil quality.

The “normal” pairing of Kentucky Bluegrass (KBG) with inorganic and compacted soils found in new construction sites (basically, anything less than 20 years old) is a recipe for disaster. For the unsuspecting homeowner, half of whom have never experienced this before and the other half have experience but lack the knowledge and support to manage the problem, the extent of “instruction” by others is, “water it for a few weeks, until it roots down”. The truth is, KBG is the goldilocks of turfgrass, wanting everything to be “just right”. KBG favors fertile soil, mild temperatures and moisture, in a stable environment without extreme change. Iowa’s climate alone is enough to cause issues under the best circumstances. When the aforementioned conditions are compromised, keeping KBG is difficult at best. Additionally, these lawns are sodded, not seeded. While a plant grown from seed in its native environment is stronger and more hearty, a transplant is generally weaker and takes longer to establish

Full Service Lawn Care Tree Care amp Mowing Service Solon Iowa City amp Cedar Rapids IA 114
Full Service Lawn Care Tree Care amp Mowing Service Solon Iowa City amp Cedar Rapids IA 115
Full Service Lawn Care Tree Care amp Mowing Service Solon Iowa City amp Cedar Rapids IA 116 scaled

Sod is field grown in near perfect soil conditions where it’s fertilized and watered and cut in a way that encourages growth. When mature, a portion of the plant is cut from the soil and moved to a new location, usually in the heat of summer, where the growing conditions are much less than the plant is used to. As a result, the “lawn” declines and weeds fill in as Mother Nature’s tries to grow something to cover and protect the soil. What was 100% weed free will now require decades of routine chemical treatments to kill emerging weeds and fertilizers used as literal life support to promote growth in sterile soil conditions. I’ve witnessed this over and again for 30 years and it can all be prevented with a slightly different approach.

Our “Eco-Lawn Renovation” begins with (heavy) core aeration, making multiple passes to “open” the soil without destabilizing the soil structure. Hybrid micro-clover is then sown over the area with seeds dropping in the aeration holes. The area is raked over to smooth and an organic fertilizer is applied as a final step of the installation process. Three organic fertilizer applications will follow to complete the first year. Succeeding years will require a minimum of three organic fertilizers annually with core aeration each fall season. This regimen will provide a healthy, hybrid lawn that can be maintained organically. More importantly, the pairing of KBG with clover will be more self-sustaining and soil conditions will improve, compounding each season, creating a “living” soil vs a sterile wasteland full of accumulated pesticides.

Eco-Lawn Renovation with Turf Type Tall Fescue

Lawns can also be renovated to introduce “turf type tall fescue” as a drought tolerant turfgrass when compared to KBG. Please reach out if you’d like to learn more or to receive a quote for an Eco-Lawn Renovation.

Full Service Lawn Care Tree Care Mowing Service Solon Iowa City Cedar Rapids IA 11
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