Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Again with the corn gluten meal

Last year we were caught with our pants down. By Independence Day the crabgrass was going completely nuts in the yard.

Mid-season around here, there's a big bloom of newly germinated crabgrass. It's obvious thanks to the bright, kelly-green color. I think it's this guy, but not entirely sure. And it's everywhere. Every lawn, empty lot and roadside. I even pulled some from a discarded flowerpot yesterday.

My lawn is pretty diverse right now - all kinds of wonderful turf crops and herbs sprawling out there. The perfect cover to hide the new blades of crabgrass. I never even saw them.

But up the street - a blue-green carpet of chemical-induced monoculture. Not so diverse. And smack in the middle, a patch of bright green crabgrass. That was my sentinel moment. It's a few weeks early - thanks to an uncharacteristic heat wave last week, I suspect.

Back to the seed store. Fortunately they still had a few bags of meal. And on to the lawn. The weather cooperated perfectly. It started drizzling as I was spreading and rained nice and steady for several hours thereafter. Mother nature watered it in for me. Today's going to be dry - the perfect cycle for corn gluten activation. It won't kill what's already sprouted but at least it will put the cabash on any new seedlings.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Year Two: Diversity

I don't know if this is wrong, right or "other." But it looks beautiful to me.

At least four species in this one small patch of lawn: the fescue I planted and three soil-improving legumes. Midway through our year-two growing season, they are pumping nitrogen into the soil, so we don't have to.
All "weeds" according to conventional market hype (and the neighbors). Fortunately, once you join the ranks of organic turf farmers, you no longer have to swallow market hype.

The neighbors? I placate them with free homemade beer. That salves their grumbling. :-)