Top 3 Organic Fertilizers for Sod
Gone are the days of using traditional fertilizer to take care of your sod. Not only can it be costly, fertilizer can actually do more harm than good—to both grasses and the animals that walk on it. Go the eco-friendly route with these top three organic fertilizers for your Arizona sod lawn.
First, it’s important to know that compost—whether homemade or bagged—is what nourishes your soil whereas fertilizer is what feeds your plants. To maintain a healthy lawn, spread compost two to three times per year. Making your own compost pile is easy…
- Use a large bin in order to retain moisture and heat. Compost bins are classified as being either stationary or rotational.
- Compost materials must be turned in order to provide the oxygen required to break down the contents.
- Understand the compost bin you choose should be dependent upon the plant matter you plan to contribute along with your intended time frame for usage.
- Compost piles should be a mix of green and brown matter. Brown material can be tiny bits of shredded paper, dry leaves, and coffee grounds while green can consist of fruit and vegetable peels. Aim for a 1:1 ratio of green and brown.
- You’ll know when the compost is ready for use when it resembles natural soil. It should be dark and crumbly. When you’re ready to use it—
- Spread it across your lawn and rake it in evenly to create a thin layer no thicker than a quarter inch. If it’s clearly visible or appears to be sitting atop the blades, you’ve used too much.
- Water for 15-20 minutes and adhere to your normal watering schedule for one week. Do not mow your lawn during this time—let the sod absorb the nutrients from the compost.
If a compost pile sounds like too much work, use composted cow manure. Like fertilizer, manure can burn the lawn if it’s not thoroughly composted so be careful. Heed the following tips to make sure it’s done correctly:
- Make sure it’s is dry as there is a high concentration of methane gas in the wet stuff—a surefire way to kill your lawn.
- Collect your supplies: manure, gloves, shovel, bucket, rake, fertilizer spreader and hose with spray attachment.
- Break up large chunks of manure with the rake or your hands and shovel contents into a bucket.
- Pour the manure into the fertilizer spreader and spray it evenly over your sod. It helps to walk in a straight line up and down the lawn.
- Soak the lawn to ensure the cow manure seeps into the roots of your sod grass and keep off! That means foot traffic from humans and pets.
- Repeat process monthly for optimal results.
Visit your local home garden center and purchase an organic fertilizer.
- Top brands include Milorganite, Safer Brand, and Bradfield Organics.
- Fertilizing schedules depend upon your specific sod type, so be sure to follow the recommendations you researched or received from your sod installation professional. In general, you should follow your lawn’s normal water and mow schedule, making sure to leave the grass trimmings in the yard to decompose.
- When it comes time to fertilize, choose a slow release organic product and be sure not to overfeed. Follow the instructions on the bag. As a rule of thumb, fertilization should take place in early fall and in the spring.
Organic fertilizing may seem arduous, but the payoff for being environmentally conscious is greater than you might expect. Feed your lawn the nutrients it needs to reap the benefits of beauty and sustainability in your yard.
Contact us today if you need sod in Arizona.