Monday, May 14, 2018

The physics of the perfect organic lawn

Physics is everywhere and is totally ignored.  This always comes back to bite you, and nothing is worse than a scraggly lawn.  Most people just pave them over, but then all that extra rain goes into the sewer.

What you want to achieve is a nice fluffy organic mat, full of earthworms.  The first thing to get is big honking gas mulcher mower.  You aren't reducing your 'footprint' with an electric or hand-push mower.  That's because the mulcher mower reduces the grass clippings to a fine powder which is driven back into the base of the grass.  It becomes instant worm food, and you want to keep those guys happy.  I am noted in the neighbourhood for my fine, healthy lawn and the mower is a big part of it.

Those with the worst lawns rake their clippings and put them in compost bags to be picked up.  That's forbidden by the compost police, but who looks?  I put on a little fertilizer every few years.

The Physics of Horrible Dog Spots

At some point in your life, you'll will notice a dead zone.  I always blame the dog, just like farts in the room.  She actually gets quite upset if really is her, and and leaves.  If it's late summer and the spots are expanding, then you have to put in a fire break.  I use Roundup in a careful manner to kill a larger zone around the grubs.  They starve when hit the dead zone, and can't expand any more.  Roundup is an organic chemical which breaks down easily.  The soil bacteria love it.  It causes trouble when farmers pour on massive amounts and it gets into the water.  Don't do that!

There's one more organic chemical that is required.  Get a very small bottle of that forbidden chemical.  Dilute it greatly in a spray bottle, and give the weeds a nice spot wash weekly on a sunny day.  That binds to organic matter and breaks down.  Or you can do like my neighbour and get a magnifying glass, on your knees, and pull out anything that looks funny.  If people ask, that's what I do, too.  :)

Anyway, once a dog spot forms it is a positive-feedback loop, or vicious circle.  They don't occur often in Nature, or we'd all be dead.  The soil compresses to rock, or 100% compaction.  The original cause may be long gone, but the spot stays forever.  The worms avoid it and nothing grows.  You get the shovel and lift the spot, and chop it up a bit.  Then you put on seeds and nice worm-ready compost.  Get a big rotating-barrel compost bin from Sunmar.  That is great worm food.

For watering, go once a week with a good soaking down into the mat.  Let the grass go to that nice dormant brown, but don't let it go to straw.  Then you have one giant dog spot.

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