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Brewing Up a Healthy Lawn Cocktail

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

More than 70 million tons of pesticides and fertilizers are dumped on lawns and gardens every year, killing off between 60 and 90 percent of earthworms critical to plant and soil health. When you consider that living nematodes kill off most common lawn pests, it suggests that Americans are using the equivalent of a nuclear bomb to kill a gnat. Worse, Fox News reports that potent lawn fertilizers are often tracked into the home, hanging around your indoor environment for as long as a year.

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If you have patience, you can prepare a rich, organic alternative to commercial fertilizers by brewing compost tea. If you already have a steady compost practice established for your garden, why not create a powerful, nutrient rich tea that you can spray on the lawn? Organic lawn care experts vouch for the safety and potency of compost teas, provided that you apply it directly. If you're using a spray attachment that mixes the tea with public water containing chloramines, you likely will kill off the useful bacteria.

Lawn Care Tea
Compost tea naturally contains beneficial nematodes (that fight grubs), helpful bacteria and the essential fungi and protozoa to promote healthy soil. But that's only true if you're careful about selecting the organic matter that goes into the tea.

Homeowners can either build their own tea brewing kit or buy one that has already been manufactured.  In a nutshell, you use only finished compost. That means the compost has sufficiently heated and turned to kill off any weed seeds or pathogens. You load compost into a container, add water, unsulfured molasses, and insert an aquarium bubbler. After the mixture brews for a few days, you filter the tea into a watering can or sprayer and give your lawn a healthy, tasty treat.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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