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Lawn Care Tips

l. REMOVE THATCH, LIME:
In early spring we rake your lawn to remove the dead layer of grass below the surface. Thatch prevents water and good nutrients from getting to the soil and feeding the grass. In the future, if we use compost and not too much fertilizer, thatch buildup should diminish over time. At this time we will check the pH of your soil and if it is too acid, apply lime.

2. PRE- EMERGENT WEED CONTROL AND FIRST FERTILIZER:
Soon after raking and liming we will put down corn gluten meal, a natural product which has been shown to work as a crabgrass and broadleaf weed pre-emergent. On many lawns we will put down a second application a few weeks later. The product I wish to use also contains an organic slow release fertilizer.

3. COMPOST
Compost is composed of broken down vegetable matter and contains millions of microbes which work to create fertile soil. Chemical pre-emergent weed killers and fertilizers kill many beneficial microbes. I would like to restore the irnbalance by putting down compost on your lawns to rebuild the active soil. An application of ll4" of compost is generally useful and can be done at any time of year. In many cases we will compost after we aerate the soil. This will probably be the fall when you are not using your lawn so actively. There are many companies on. Long Island making good compost now The benefits of topdressing with compost every year will show in the long term health of your lawn.

4. MOWING:
It is recommended that grass be cut high (3")for good culture; weed seeds do not get light which permits them to germinate; grass plants have rnore opportunity for photosynthe-sis. I would also like to leave the grass clippings this year, as they return nitrogen to the lawn in a natural way, preventing germination of weed seeds as well. If you find this too offensive, please let me know and we will take away the grass clippings. I have composted these for years at my house, returning the compost to your gardens every year.

5. MIDSEASON ORGANIC FEED
In the mid-season we will add an organic fertilizer to your lawn, one composed of kelp, amino acids and micro-nutrients to keep the lawn healthy in the hottest time of year.

6. MILKY SPORE
If you have trouble with Japanese Beetles, I would like to put down a product in midsummer which is called Milky Spore. It is a natural fungus that will grow in your lawn and kill the grubs which become Japanese beetles which eat roses and countless other plants. One treatment will last for many years.

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