Mark and I were as surprised as everybody else when we found out Ladybug garden products was going out of business. Ladybug has been our go-to organic fertilizer and compost for many years. For the first time in ages we found ourselves researching other products and trying to source organic soils, composts and fertilizers and I think we found some great new products.
We like to shop local. One of the new lawn fertilizers Mark found was from Texas company, Maestro Gro. These folks, from Joshua, TX, have been making organic fertilizer since 1987. They produce Rabbit Hill Farms fertilizers, Garrett Juice and our new lawn fertilizer, Texas Tee.
We tried the Texas Tee out on our own back yard last week. We get so busy during the springtime, our own yard work often gets pushed back until early summer, so this was the first fertilizer application of the year. The dry weather combined with our frugal lawn watering regimen has left our yard a little stressed as well. Add in the fact that our little dogs are often in the back yard, and organic fertilizer is really the only choice for our back yard at this time.
Organic fertilizers do tend to be a little more expensive than their chemical counterparts. It’s because of the ingredients. You do get what you pay for. Texas Tee is made of feather meal, alfalfa meal, composted chicken litter, molasses, potash and humates. These ingredients are blended in a formula that products a 6-2-4 ratio of nitrogen (greens the lawn), phosphorus (helps the roots) and potassium (overall plant health). It’s worth it to pay for these ingredients because you get a slow release fertilizer that feeds your soil, the beneficial microbes that live in your soil, as well as your grass.
I filmed Mark explaining how to use the Texas Tee on your yard and posted it on our new youtube channel. You can watch it here. (Please subscribe and all that stuff . . . )
And now for my five tips for a healthy organic lawn:
- Use an organic fertilizer.
- Cut your lawn to the recommended height (and NO shorter). St. Augustine should be cut at 3 1/2 inches. Bermuda should be cut to 2 to 2 1/2 inches. NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time.
- Don’t bag your lawn clippings. Leave the clippings on the grass. They can help nourish your soil as they decompose. You can use a mulching blade on your mower to help out the process. (Caveat: If you have lots of weed heads that you’re mowing off, you may want to bag these clippings. To help lessen weed pressure, mow your weeds more frequently before they go to seed.)
- Add 1/4 inch of good quality compost to your yard every year in the spring or early summer. This is the most loving thing you can do for your soil and grass. It is a lot of work, so don’t skimp on the quality of the compost–make it count!
- Water conservatively, in the morning, only on your water days. Around here you can water twice a week. Some lawns can get by just fine on 1 inch of water once a week. My best tip for watering anything in Texas is: water in just a short, shallow, burst first and let it soak in, then go back and complete your watering. Think of your yard like a dry dish sponge. If you run the water real heavy on the dry sponge, most of it will run off. It’s not until the sponge soaks in that first bit of water that it’s able to retain any fluid.
After years of gardening in Central Texas I have decided it’s not a bad thing to tolerate some weeds and a few bugs. There are certain things just not worth fighting. But, if you keep your yard and soil healthy, you really will have less weed and disease pressure and have more time in your gardening routine to enjoy your yard.