Eco Friendly Lawn Tips ~
Once you go Green, you never go back! However if your lawn has been treated with chemicals in the past, achieving a thriving organic lawn and garden that is Ultra Low Maintenance will take a little up front effort! Pearl’s Premium is here to help you get started with some simplified instructions that will get your soil headed in the right direction, and your Pearl’s Lawn Seed growing thick and green! It can take up to 18 months to really achieve the lawn you are looking for, so be patient and don’t hesitate to ask us  if you have any questions!
If you would like to really get down and dirty with Organic Lawn Care you can purchase the amazing book “The Organic Lawn Care Manual” by Safe Lawns Foundation’s Paul Tukey here!
- Surface Rake your lawn to clear clippings, stones and thatch. In spring, only rake surface (do not deep dethatch) to avoid bringing up weed seeds to the surface.
Tip: avoid using a hard metal rake, which will bring weed seed to the surface and
foster weed germination
- Lime to Make Soil Less Acidic: Test soil to find the right amount of lime to bring soil between 6 and 7 pH or just use a simple rule of thumb of top spreading one 40 pound bag of pellet lime for every 1,000 square feet of lawn to make pH more neutral. This will encourage grass growth and discourage weeds growth.
Tip: do a Soil Analysis  to make sure your lawn has the proper pH, nutrient levels and
organic materials to thrive
- Aerate to Loosen Soil : Use an aerator that punches holes to bring air and water to the roots and lessen compaction of the soil. For most lawns do this once (or twice) per year for compacted/clay soil lawns or lawns that do not drain well. If you use less toxic lawn chemicals that discourage microbe growth, aeration is not as necessary and may be needed only once every two years. Rent a self-propelled core aerator (not spike aerator) that pulls up finger size soil plugs onto your lawn that melt away naturally. It is helpful to aerate the day after a rain (or if needed a watering) to moisten the lawn. Scientific evidence suggests aeration and cutting tall with a sharp blade makes a measurable difference in the long term health, quality and look of the lawn. An aerated lawn favors grass and lessens weeds. A compacted lawn favors weeds!
Tip: pass over the lawn at least twice at 90-degree angles to ensure the lawn is uniformly aerated
- Spread Organic Compost or Fertilizer: Spread a small amount of organic compost (a 1/4 inch layer equals 3/4 cu. yard for every 1,000 sq ft) once a year or an organic fertilizer in spring and fall to add nutrients to your lawn and help reduce weeds and grubs. Compost requires more effort and cost but also introduces microbes to help aerate your lawn for the year.
- Purchase liquid or concentrated Compost Tea (sold at most garden stores) that you can spray over your lawn in early Spring and Fall! If you really are getting into Organic Gardening you can Save money and Brew your own with True Brewer (http://truebrewer.com/www.truebrewer.com/True_Brewer.html ). This puts all the good stuff back into your lawn and gets the soil happening!
Tip: spread lime and fertilizer before a rain so that the material soaks in quickly
- Watering: To promote deepest root growth and out-compete weeds and high maintenance grasses, avoid watering your lawn. In hotter southern and western climates, periodic watering may be required. Also, in the first year of a newly-planted Pearl's Premium lawn during periods of extreme heat or drought, water deeply (1" of water) once per week. Avoid watering during hottest parts of day.
- Mowing: Cut your lawn high with a sharp blade (a dull blade will tear the grass, exposing it to disease). Cut once in June, once in July, optionally once in August (only if it needs it) and once in September. If you never cut it, Pearl’s Premium (shade mix) leans over and turns into a 5”+ high meadow. Mow fall leaves into lawn or rake or blow away so leaves never stay more than one week on grass
Tip: never cut off more than one-third of the lawn's height to avoid stressing out grass
- While you're at it, save money on a gym membership and invest in a nonpolluting push mower
- Recycle the clippings as mulch by leaving them on the lawn
Tip: if the grass clumps, rake it around a bit or consider bagging once or twice per summer
- Over-seed Next Seeding Season: (Mid April or beginning September are the best times to seed), cut with sharp blade when lawn is dry in stages, 1/3 of grass height at a time, cutting back to 1” tall; rake away clippings and over-seed at the same rate or heavier rate to later shade the soil and prevent weeds from starting (if over-seeding in spring). This second seeding (over-seeding) is very important to help out-compete weeds, cover any bald patches, correct erosion/damage and thicken the lawn. Water for a month when over-seeding to thicken lawn. Sign up for our email list and you will receive coupons and promotions to SAVE money for your over-seeding!
Tip: cut your Pearl's Premium lawn to about 2" height with a sharp blade before seeding to
give the new seed sunlight for growth
- For Weed Control (SPRING): A thick, healthy lawn, cut with a sharp blade 3+ inch tall, that was aerated, with proper pH and a ¼” of top-spread organic compost has few weeds! It can take time to get that ultimate green lawn. For the first year, lower your expectations and expect some weeds. Aerate twice per year and heavily over-seed (8 pounds per 1,000 sq ft with Pearl’s Premium) to help out compete weeds. Then spread corn gluten in the first week of April to selectively prevent broadleaf weeds, along with some optional hand pulling to control weeds. Over-seed again a month later. Ask a local lawn care professional for new, organic weed control techniques, or:
- Try a natural weed killer like Phydura  instead of spraying poison, or remove weeds, roots and all, by hand
Tip: a cup of coffee and a hand weeder make for a very peaceful 10 minutes in the early morning
- Water deeply early in the morning and only when the grass appears to need it
Tip: spray Organic Water Wizard  on your lawn before the heat sets in to help the
roots retain moisture
- Remove Thatch (FALL ONLY) steel rake deeply (or rent a de-thatcher for big lawns) to loosen old clippings, thatch, sticks, and above ground roots. Once the heat of summer is well-gone and you're ready for your fall clean-up, you can cut your Pearl's Premium lawn shorter (no less than 2") and bag the clippings to facilitate thatch removal and clean-up.