Soil is Not a Dirty Word

With so many options available in the world of turf management, it can be hard to find simple starting points to achieving a healthy lawn and still being pet-friendly. Here are a couple of tips to help on that journey.

Start with the soil. Remember that soil is actually a mix of plant matter from the surface that mixes with sediment and older organic debris. This can make a perfect home for all kinds of tiny microorganisms that keep the soil oxygenated, turned and perfect for root growth. A great way to jumpstart this cycle is to top dress the lawn with quality compost.

Compost is decomposing plant matter bursting with living things that are usually lacking in the soil of an unhealthy lawn. Organic matter like compost provides a steady release of nutrients for the turf as it decomposes further over time in the soil. As a bonus, it’s completely pet friendly and non-toxic. If fertilizing the lawn, use organic lawn fertilizers. Microlife makes several good-quality biological/organic fertilizers for the landscape.

Rethink weed approach. Instead of seeing weeds as problems that need to be killed, think of them as a symptom of a solvable problem. The issue may be shade, nutrition, disease, compaction, overwatering or just opportunistic seasonal weeds that will come and go. When low nutrition is a factor, grass does not grow in as thick as it should and weeds will move into the available real estate. For existing weeds, try manual removal or non-toxic weed control such as Agra-Lawn. Some seasonal weeds even replenish nutrients back into the upper soil layer when they die. Remember that some of those pesky weeds also feed pollinators.

Carrigan Propes is co-owner of Earth Kind Services, providing professional top dressing and organic soil nutrition. For more information, visit



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