Lush Lawn vs. Lethal Lawn

As an American icon, the lawn ranks right up there with Mom, baseball, and apple pie. It’s the quintessential playground, where we watch our children take their first steps, romp with our dogs, and host neighborhood barbecues, among other things. And each year, it’s the recipient of millions of tons of highly toxic manmade fertilizers. But here’s the good news: You can pitch those poisons and still keep that beloved turf green, thick, and weed-free, for less money than you’d spend on a “conventional” lawn-care regimen.

There are plenty of organic lawn fertilizers on the market that will enable you to maintain a great-looking lawn without putting your health at risk. But you can accomplish the same feat in either of these simple (and cheaper) ways:

1. Use my Super-Safe Lawn Fertilizer. This easier-than-pie recipe will provide all the nutrients your turf needs, with none of the dangers of synthetic food:

Mix 2 parts alfalfa meal, 1 part bonemeal, and 1 part wood ashes together, and apply the mixture at a rate of 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn area first thing in the spring, and again last thing in the fall.

2. Spread a layer of top-quality compost across the turf twice a year, in the spring, and again in the fall. If you want to try this approach, you’ll need a minimum of 50 pounds of compost for each 1,000 square feet of lawn area. As for the maximum, well, the sky’s the limit — there’s no such thing as an overdose of black gold!