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Lawn Care Should Be This Safe and Simple

Aimee, 6, applies organic fertilizer made of natural ingredients to our lawn in Rhode Island.

Aimee, 6, applies organic fertilizer made of natural ingredients to our lawn in Rhode Island.

PERHAPS DUE TO HER FATHER’S vocation, or her mother’s natural flair with flowers and other plants, my daughter Aimee has always been fascinated with growing things. At 4, she knew the so-called weeds from what was actually supposed to be growing in the perennial garden. By age 5, she began frustratedly calling out the neighbors in our cul-de-sac who grew “chemical lawns,” and couldn’t understand why everyone didn’t love the dandelions and other flowers that we allow to grow somewhat unabatedly in our yard.

The Safer Brand sent us this fertilizer to try from its organic 4-Step program.

The Safer Brand sent us this fertilizer to try from its organic 4-Step program.

This spring, all of age 6, she breathlessly ran outside to ask if she could help when I began dabbling with my spring lawn care experiments. While we don’t have the most weed-free lawn by design, we do most often have the greenest and drought tolerant by far due to all the natural fertilizers, soil amendments and anti-dessicants that companies send me to trial.

So while some of our neighbors still hire companies that post the Keep Off the Grass signs for 72 hours when they’re done, Aimee is now officially in charge of the lawn care (mowing aside) at our house. She can do it in her bare feet, with her bare hands, and then roll around on the grass with her sister as soon as she’s done.

The label lists ingredients derived from safe, sustainable sources.

The label lists ingredients derived from safe, sustainable sources.

Her favorite task of all is applying the compost tea when all the granular fertilizer is on the ground. I have her do it because the microscopic organisms in the tea help activate the organic fertilizer — which gives the grass a quicker green-up. Aimee, however, mostly likes to spray the tea at me . . . and occasionally her sister.

Applying the compost tea helps bring the soil to life and puts a smile on Aimee's face.

Applying the compost tea helps bring the soil to life and puts a smile on Aimee’s face.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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