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3 natural lawn fertilizers to try now

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you're looking for an alternative to common, petrochemical fertilizers, these three all-natural choices can keep your yard growing and healthy. They will also enrich your soil in ways chemical fertilizers just can't match.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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3 great natural fertilizers

  1. Fish emulsion is what it sounds like: ground up fish parts turned into liquid. Fish emulsion packs a nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous punch, and at the same time gives microorganisms in the soil, something to munch on. This makes the entire ecosystem happy. As for the fishy smell, it's not as bad as you think.

  2. Compost can enrich your soil in numerous ways. If you are planting a new lawn, or reseeding an existing one, add compost while you have direct access to the soil. If you are reseeding a patchy area and don't want to dig up what grass you have, place a thin layer of compost on top of existing grass, as a top-dressing to feed both your lawn and protect new seeds.

  3. Compost tea: If you have a mature lawn, you aren't going to dig it up to add compost to the soil, but you can still make use of it. Compost tea is the liquid extract of compost; it has just as many nutrients, and you can spray it on. Follow these directions from Oregon State University's Extension Services to make your own at home.

For your lawn to thrive, it needs nutrients. The chemical nutrients you buy in a bag of lawn fertilizer from the garden center are not the only option. Go natural: It's good for your lawn and your wallet.

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