We live in an area where storm water runoff goes directly into Puget Sound. That means that stuff in our yards and streets that makes its way into the storm drain ends up in the water. Some of that stuff might include fertilizers and pesticides or petroleum products.
For years I have been an avid user of Scotts Turfbuilder fertilizer. If you are going to use a chemical fertilizer to get your lawn green and weed-free then Scotts is the only choice. If dark green, thick lawns that you have to mow at least weekly is what you want then that’s what you will get following their 4-5 applications per growing season program.
This year I decided to try organic fertilizer instead. I’ve applied it twice and this is what I’ve observed so far.
1) The lawn is green – not that deep emerald green I used to get, but green enough.
2) The lawn grows more slowly. When you’re not dumping huge amounts of nitrogen on your lawn you don’t get that overnight burst of growth.
3) I don’t have to mow the grass as often so I save time and gas.
4) I don’t have to use the grass catcher because it’s not as tall or as thick. So I save time and can mow the entire lawn without stopping.
5) Because of #4 I’m putting more organic matter back into my lawn and less into the curbside compost bin.
6) I’ve made my neighbor feel better because his lawn is darker green than mine, grows faster than mine, and needs to be mowed more often than mine. (I think I come out the winner here!)
So what started as an attempt to be kinder to the environment and have a lawn that is more natural and less toxic spun off some unintended consequences that have made my life easier. Who knew?