This past winter, although mild in our area, destroyed my lawn. I waited for the snow to melt to assess the damage. Sure enough my lush green lawn from the previous year lay flat, brown, and in a dead mesh. I set my mind on getting that green grass back for this year and many more to come.
Our home is on a well and anything I add to the soil can seep back into the drinking water. Now that we are expecting new baby I am cautious of what my family consumes. Kelp meal is an all natural product with no additives, so I knew it was safe.
Below are the steps I took to get my yard back on track for this summer. Please note that any suggestions may need to be adjusted for your particular area.
The first step in getting your grass back on track for the year is to remove dead grass. Dead grass blocks sunlight and creates a mesh that will prevent new seeds and fertilizers from reaching the soil. Dust off your lawn rake and spend some time pulling up the dead grass. You don’t need to get everything, but you should get enough pulled up to allow the sunlight to get to the soil.
Laying down the seed and fertilizer
Do yourself a favor and buy a seed spreader. I bought a nice adjustable push fertilizer/seed spreader from a local hardware store for roughly $50, and it was the best investment I could have made. My yard also needed to be reseeded to fill in the bare spots so I picked up a bag of lawn seed.
If you are re-seeding areas of your lawn, it’s best to run a rake over the area to break up the soil. Seeds have a hard time penetrating packed soil, and water will force the seed deeper into the loose material giving it a better chance to take root. Start with the seed if you plan on re-seeding otherwise move right on to the kelp meal.
Spread the material evenly spacing each pass roughly 3-4 feet apart. The spreader should distribute the material evenly, but watch how far the spreader is sending the product and adjust the space between your passes to ensure even distribution.
It is important to watch the forecast to know what the chance of rain is for your area. I suggest a light watering right after you spread the product if rain is in the forecast as this will help the nutrients seep into the soil and the seeds will have a chance to set. If no rain is forecast and it is a hot day, water the grass until the soil is wet, but try to avoid puddles.
The six inch rule ensures your lawn has enough water for the day. Water until the soil is moist six inches into the ground. Too much water can drown your lawn.
Water your grass every morning on the days that no rain is forecast following the six inch rule mentioned above. If it has been raining for a few days I would suggest allowing the soil to dry for a few days before proceeding with your watering routine.
You may over the new seed with hay to retain moisture and protect the new seeds from animals. Peat moss can also be used, and has better water retention. I did neither, but would recommend this if you live in a hot, dry area.
You should start to see grass push through the soil within 1-2 weeks and should have a nice lawn within a month or two. A well watered lawn is vital, so be sure to stay up with your watering routine.
Why Kelp Meal
As with any plant from the sea, seaweed absorbs the nutrients from the ocean. This makes seaweed one of the most nutritious plants in the world, and that nutrients helps to spark good plant growth when added to the soil. As the kelp meal breaks down it releases its nutrients into the soil, but it is done over time, ensuring the plants are in nutritious soil for longer periods of time.
We recommend using kelp meal on your lawns in early spring and in early fall just as the climate starts to change. Doing so will allow the nutrients to reach the soil helping to build the soil for the next year.
In a follow up post I will go over using VitaminSea’s Liquid Seaweed and Fish Fertilizer as a monthly fertilizer to give it the push it needs to make it through the hot, dry months.
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Also consider adding kelp meal to your garden. See all the benefits of adding kelp meal to your garden.