Living in the ‘burbs, I have grass in both the front and back yard of my house. As does every one of my neighbors. It’s a curious aspect of suburban life, the desire to pretend the big housing complex construction project didn’t eradicate a field and replace it with driveways and roads. Be that as it may, however, there is something delightful about a thick, plush, healthy green yard. Unfortunately, I’ve learned over the years that you have to work at it. I have a great sprinkler system – thanks to my Rainbird smart home sprinkler control system – but particularly as the summer heat transitions to fall, I have learned that my yard can shrivel up and turn brown at an alarming rate.
To solve the problem involves planning ahead because it’s not just water that causes a lawn to look less than its best; it also involves balancing the nutrients in the soil, spot seeding bare patches, and fertilizing to help promote growth earlier in the season when the grass can spread and thicken. The last few years I’ve tried an organic lawn fertilization company but they get alarmingly expensive with their many suggested treatments. This summer I’m working with Lawnbright instead, and am really curious to see how it works!
Lawnbright is based on avoiding all those questionable chemicals and instead, as they put it, applying their “carefully sourced, all-liquid, all-natural and organic lawn care products that build soil, root and grass health.” All of their products are made in the USA and apply easily with just a hose. The company also has software smarts tied to your location and soil characteristics too, something it calls lawn intelligence.
This means it’s time for phase 1 of my great 2021 lawn challenge!
Throughout the spring, summer and fall, Lawnbright is going to mail me boxes of various treatments, weed killers, and fertilizers. No trips to the store, no agonizing over which works best for my lawn. Easy. To start, here’s a photo of my front yard in the “before” state. I just mowed the grass so it’s looking kinda trim and neat, but look more closely:
Not only is there a spot just below my dormant flower circle that’s dead, but there are some dandelions already showing up in the lawn, and like ants in a kitchen, it doesn’t take long at all for a few dandelions to become a galloping herd taking over every square foot of green. ¡No bueno!
Step one with Lawnbright is to have them test and assess your soil. Makes sense; if your soil is really alkaline or missing basic nutrients, that’s going to be the centerpiece of your lawn care regimen, right? So that’s just what I did: A trowel, a ziplock bag, and their pre-paid mailer:
You can also see the problem with the grass a bit more closely too; thatch. Ugh. I’ll be giving the entire lawn an enthused rake to try and free some of it up and allow space for the healthy grass to spread out.
SPRING LAWNBRIGHT TREATMENT: FIRST BOX
The company also sent me a box of different treatments for the lawn, each timed so that the soil has a chance to absorb one before the next is applied. They are Weed Wipeout, to apply mid-April, then Black Magic late in April, then Green Machine early in May. I’ve sprayed Weed Wipeout, so far, and am planning on spraying Black Magic on Saturday morning, April 31. Just barely “late April”, but they assure me that’s okay. Phew.
It’s super easy to attach one of their included sprayers (they send two, one just for Weed Wipeout and another for the fertilizers), then attach it to a hose. It looks kinda like this:
Since I have a front and back yard, I was worried that the one bottle wouldn’t prove to be sufficient, but it worked fine. In fact, I learned from experimentation that if you have the hose at too low a water pressure it won’t pull up the product to mix into the stream: I had to increase the water pressure to properly spread it throughout the yard.
So that’s where I am at this point early in the spring. We have rain coming our way yet again in a few days (which means I might defer spraying the Black Magic and Green Machine until a week of no rain in the forecast, actually) and I’m ready for this year’s lawn adventure. The Husqvarna Automower is charging and ready to keep the backyard neatly trimmed and the Honda mower started without too much fuss after months of being parked in the garage, letting me mow the front grass.
I’ll post updates as the summer progresses. In the interim, do check out Lawnbright and see what you think!
Disclosure: Lawnbright is sending me a year’s treatment products without charge in return for me sharing my experiences with the product on my own yard. Which my neighbors definitely appreciate!