My neighbors' lawns are beautiful. They pour tons of fertilizer, weed
and insect killer to keep dandelions, craps grass clovers and insects
from their yards. I had for years avoided it and this spring I
followed them and my lawn is almost as green and weeds free like my
neighbors. We plan to sell the house and move West.
Should we pour tons of chemicals to have a beautiful green insects and
weeds free lawn?
IMO no, because once you've done that, it will have to be done every
year, often more than once. Such treatment in effect kills the soil.
Many pesticides have bad long-term effects on people and other animals.
If dandelions really bug you, use one of those spot-applicators - don't
spread weed killer all over the lawn.
Regular fertilising and mowing will keep your lawn looking good - not
billiard table or golf green perfect, but good. We have clover and thyme
in our lawn, too, they don't mind regular mowing at all. And the thyme
smells good when you walk on it.
Be careful how you water. Most people overwater (which leaches out the
fertiliser) or underwater (which brings the roots near the surface,
where even a two to three day drought may kill them). When you water,
soak the lawn thoroughly, which means 2-3 hours of running the
sprinkler. Every 3-4 days is enough (perhaps every 2-3 in really hot,
dry weather). Do not water a little bit every day. Do not water
immediately after fertilising. Use a slow-release fertiliser to prevent
One other thing, don't cut the lawn too short. There are only a few
regions of North America where you can keep a lawn under 2 inches. Set
the mower to 2" or 2-1/2" minimum. Cut when the grass is about an inch
longer than that. A lot of weeds don't like being cut repeatedly (but
dandelions aren't among them.)
When you move out west, you may end up in a sem-arid or desert region.
If so, consider xeriscaping (dry-land landscaping.) There will be lots
of resources available to help you do this. Two main advantages: a) it's
adapted to the climate, and hence doesn't waste water, and b) it's a lot
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