With the New Year right around the corner, it’s time to start making that list of resolutions. If you are thinking of improving the health of your family by eating more organic foods, spending more time outdoors, or just making a commitment to refreshing your outdoor space, why add your home environment to the list? Landscapes maintained using synthetic chemicals can expose your family to a host of hazards. By choosing organic lawn care, you can resolve to build a healthier family and healthier soil.
Go organic for the kids!
Just as a solid foundation is necessary for your home, healthy soil is the building block of a beautiful lawn. If you’ve been maintaining your lawn with synthetics, know that your soil could take some time to recover. Building up the natural populations of beneficial microbes and improving texture won’t happen overnight. But if you stick with a systematic program of healthy soil building, you’ll start to see the difference in your lawn and landscape plants as the soil becomes more bioactive. Our Soil Building Program helps rebuilds your soil.
What makes organic lawn care worth the time?
- Healthy soil reduces water waste so you use water more efficiently.
- Healthy soil reduces water runoff, and helps water drain properly.
- Lawns will require less fertilization when growing in healthy, nutrient rich soil.
- Healthy lawns are better able to resist pests and diseases than weak plants.
- Healthy lawns that are vigorous are better able to choke out weeds naturally.
- Weeds love bad soil...boost your soil and fewer weeds will take hold.
- Healthy lawns growing in healthy soil help reduce soil erosion.
We know soil may not be a sexy topic...but healthy topsoil is crucial to the health of the environment and us.
Growing your family?
Whether you are adopting a new puppy or expecting a child, you want to make sure their environment is safe. Kids and pets play in the backyard, roll around in the grass and sometimes they’ll even eat the soil. Maintaining your lawn organically will cut down on exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Reducing the chemicals in your home environment can have many health benefits.
Are you a DIY’er? Bookmark our blog and resources page to keep up to date on your organic landscape’s seasonal needs, pests to look out for and which fungal diseases are lurking in your lawn. Looking to gain back some precious time in 2017? We can help!
While we realize spouting off about soil at the office holiday party might not make you the most popular person in the room (unless you work at Soils Alive), sporting some serious facts about soil could make you at least look like the smartest person in the room. And if your neighbor tells you your lawn looks great, use it as an opportunity to pass on some knowledge about why healthy soils are so important, and how organic lawn care helps your lawn look it’s best.
10 awesome facts about soil:
- The North Texas area’s is called the Blackland Prairie and consists of heavy clay soil that is high nutrients but must be amended to unbind them so they are useable by our plant’s roots. While it may be hot around here, it isn’t an arid desert and that is why many who think it is, have a hard time planting cactus and agave without them succumbing to root rot from overwatering or the wrong kind of soil amendment.
- The soil stores 10 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions in the soil! As the earth warms and plants and other organic matter in the soil break down quicker, more carbon dioxide is released.
- Soil holds approximately .01 percent of the earth’s water, reducing flooding in many parts of the world.
- There are more organisms in one-tablespoon of soil than there are humans on earth.
- Why do we need to care for the soil we have? It takes a minimum of 500 years to make one-inch of healthy topsoil!
- Earthworms are the hardest workers in your landscape. Earthworms can consume between 20 and 40 tons of soil per acre per year. This improves soil health because they help to break down soil, aerate it and leave behind waste used by plants.
- Healthy soil provides plants a good amount of the nutrients they need. Feed your soil and you’ll have less need to feed your plants. Remember, we only add a dry organic plant fertilizer twice a year.
- Soil is made up of 50-percent air and water, and 50-percent broken rock and decaying organic matter.
- Soil filters out pollutants from underground water sources.
- Without soil, there would be no life on earth! Think about it...soil grows our food, which feeds not only us, but our pets and livestock; it filters out pollutants from water; it grows the trees that clean our air; and it is the cornerstone of a gorgeous, healthy landscape.
In 2017, we hope you’ll make a commitment to improving your soil’s health naturally now that you know just how important soil is for your own little corner of the world. Happy holidays!
Exposed soil is generally unhealthy soil. When soil is left uncovered to bake in our hot North Texas sun or allowed to wash away during a rain, the living microbes, earthworms and other beneficial organisms just beneath the surface are in harm’s way. Soil that is covered with living materials such as ground cover, grasses or landscape plants, or simply covered in mulch, will be better equipped to handle the elements and keep their underground inhabitants safe.
If your soil is cracking, then it’s overexposed and under-watered.
Great reasons to insulate your soil with either living materials or mulch:
- Reduces soil erosion
- Improves water retention
- Suppress weed growth
- Beneficial microbes beneath the surface are protected
- Soil temperatures are better regulated in extreme heat and cold
- Both mulch and living materials compost back into the soil, feeding the microbes below.
Cover soil with living materials
Plants are your best soil cover-up! Established perennials, groundcover, annuals and shrubs shade the soil and protect the living microorganisms below. As your plants drop leaves, die back and decompose, they also add nutrients to the soil that will improve its health and texture. Growing vegetables? Add a cover crop between harvests. Clover, legumes and hairy vetch grow quickly and eventually compost back into the soil, adding much needed nutrients plus nitrogen. Live plants as a cover offer the added benefit of root systems that help to break up the soil and give those hungry microbes yet another source of food.
Cover soil with mulch
Mulch is one of your garden’s best friends! A two to three inch layer of mulch over bare soil will help to keep plant roots cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Mulch helps to retain moisture to reduce water waste. If your soil is in the beginning phases of rehabilitation, it might not be absorbing water very quickly, leaving much of what is applied rolling down the street. Apply a thick layer of mulch to reduce water runoff.
A quick cover of fresh mulch around the bare soil of your plants will also give the landscape a finished look. Mulch comes in a variety of textures and colors such as dark brown hardwood, red cedar chips, and more. Visit your local garden center to see your choices.
Thinking of using the fun and colorful rubber mulch? We don’t suggest using it as a cover for your soil. As it breaks down, it leaches chemicals into the soil, doesn’t absorb water or compost back into the soil to feed the microbes, and is flammable.