Regardless of which part of the country you’re in, your yard and garden should be in full bloom by now. I realized recently that I had become too dependent on store-bought weed killers, fertilizers and pest control solutions in pursuit of a nice looking lawn. It turns out that there are other solutions out there that should prove safer for kids and pets without breaking the bank. Here are a few problems we’ve discovered and some suggested solutions.
Dandelions – I put this one first as it is the one we all fight each year. Sure, you could chop them up and make them into a salad, but I don’t want to have my diet controlled by what is nothing more than an unwanted weed. Each year I spend $20+ on lawn-friendly weed killers. When I was growing up, one of my chores was to help mom & dad pull dandelions with their manual puller. Sure, it’s harder work, but you get rid of them instantly. And the designs have gotten much more efficient. Buy it once and use it for years and years.
Soil Enrichment – I lose track on how much I spend putting down those tiny nitrogen pellets each season. I don’t have a compost pile to pull from and our yard is too big to cover in coffee grounds or tea leaves. Many local lawn services offer application of liquid organic fertilizers or even a more ‘solid’ version made from compost. They’ll spread it evenly and work it into the lawn so you can’t even see it has been applied. This regular addition to your lawn also helps combat the effects of runoff as you are continually adding to your soil base.
Weeds – We seem to get weeds in the cracks of our driveway and sidewalk as well in the rock-covered areas around our house. In the past the only way we could combat them was with a liberal dose of grass & weed killer. Again, more chemicals that are leaching into the ground that probably aren’t good for anyone to be around. This year we found the perfect solution, and as a bonus is super-fun to use! We burn them away!
With a BernzOmatic JT850 Lawn & Garden Torch permanently getting rid of stubborn weeds in hard-to-get areas is as simple as pulling a trigger and getting your flame on!
Mowing – Let’s not forget about our weekly chore – cutting the grass. There are a number of great manual mower options that not only save on gas and oil but help you get a little much-needed exercise in the process. Yes, it will take you longer to mow, but as long as you’re cutting off less than 1/3 of the length of the grass, you can forego the catcher and let the trimmings fall into the yard. This in turn provides additional organic nutrients to the soil all season long!
Aeration – Rather than hiring a service to come in and plug your lawn with a gas-powered lawn aerator, pick up an inexpensive set of aerating shoes and take a stroll through the yard. Wear them while pulling dandelions with your new dandelion puller or while walking around the house looking for weeds to torch and you’ll have a well aerated lawn year-round.
Implement just a couple of these and feel more comfortable about the safety of your lawn. I know I don’t take any chances when it comes to my children, and I’m sure you feel the same way. Not sure which to try out first? I’d recommend the BernzOmatic Torch if nothing more that it being fun to use and you’ll see instant results rather than waiting for your chemical week killer to kick in.