DIY Yards and Health

DIY Yards and Health
Helping the Do It Yourself home owner in making themselves and surroundings healthy

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Best New DIY Fertilizer Product

I am so sold on this product that I am sponsoring it through ACE stores. I do seminars about it in Eastern Washington, Idaho and Western MontanaSPREAD IT & FORGET IT
For the DIY home owner this is going to give them what they always needed - the nitrogen is encapsulated in a polymer that only releases as the temperatures increase. Why this is so much better - the old time release fertilizers released by water - everyone who cares about their yard has a tendency to over water which made the nitrogen release too quickly. Not with this fertilizer - the polymer expands and contracts releasing with the increase in HEAT when the roots need it.
This is not new or untried. Professional Golf Courses use the same technology in their professional products - what makes SPREAD IT & FORGET IT advanced is it releases 5 TIMES during the year.
Five times - the same amount of nitrogen applied by professional contractors but you only have to spread it once in the spring!It is so effective you'll only have to push that kart once a year - email me at . This is one of the best advances in DIY Lawn Care we may ever see. 

Insects and Systemic Drenches

I like using systemic drench (imidacloprid) as a good way to control insects that attack our plants and trees. You pour (not spray) the insecticide around the base of the tree and the tree moves the insecticide inside so non-target insects are not inadvertently killed. However - what seems to happen is the DIY person walks outside in late spring, glances at their tree or rose bush to see it covered in Insects...It can be very upsetting creating a dramatic reaction to do something ...
Insect control is very dependent on timing. The biggest mistake I see DIY home owners doing is a systemic drench thinking the tree will immediately uptake the insecticide and kill all the bugs. This is where timing is everything. You need to do the drench so the plant has enough time to pick up the product through it's roots and translocate it throughout the limbs and into the foliage.
 A good case in point is trying to control aphids on Ash trees - you will have better control if you do the drench at leaf drop in the Fall so the Ash has the insecticide throughout it's canopy in the Spring.

A Green Lawn

Seven years ago; I owned a large landscape company with $885,000 in commercial lawn care contracts which amounted to forty plus acres of turf to maintain. Needless to say; I could not afford to drop the ball and not have those commercial grounds as green as possible -
How do professional contractors keep lawns green?

Step One: Never get behind, or in other words, never let the turf get stressed in the first place. Playing catch-up on a lawn in July, that did not have adequate water in June, is going to be a loosing situation. If the weather forecast calls for an increase in heat next week - bump the water up now.
Step Two: The same goes for fertilizer, do not wait until the lawn starts to loose it's color to add nitrogen - you're back to playing catch up. That is why I really endorse the time release fertilizers that activate with heat (see Spread it & Forget it).
Step Three: Mow the lawn at 2 1/2 inches in the Spring with the intent to raise the mowing deck as soon as you know it is going to get hot. Each heat increase; raise the deck a half inch. In the extreme heat of late July and August you should be as high as your deck will go; which on most home owners mowers is 3 1/2 inches. The taller grass shades the ground slowing evaporation and the longer stem is supporting the root structure during this stress time.

This is how you keep your lawn green!

Juvenile Tree Pruning

My Biggest Issue with DIY care is ignoring Trees!
These are assets that can not be easily replaced yet I seldom drive by a yard that doesn't have issues.
A few cuts here and there on a young tree can correct the growth pattern for decades. Pruning for a dominant leader (single trunk), removing water sprouts before they become unruly limbs, determining the structure of the tree by selecting limbs with the correct attachments, all are simple but crucial steps to have a beautiful tree in your yard for years and years to come.

I will put links to the side of sources explaining these simple steps - it's worth your time to do it right. 

Caring about your Yard

I have spent years talking to home owners about yard care - and we are seeing more and more people trying the: Do It YourselfI have to admit - my concern is the long term damage an un-informed home owner can do to a beautiful yard. So the goal of this blog is to give home owners a source of current information to help them understand what is really needed and direct them to the best online information that will give them the ability to do the job right.
I work as an independent contractor for companies so I bring the ability to give you my unbiased view the newest DIY products that work.
I live and work in the North West including Idaho, Washington, Utah, Oregon and Montana; so my blog posts will be specific to those regions.
Feel free to email me at with questions from those areas - if I don't have the answer; I will find it for you.
Now let's see if we can help you have a Beautiful Yard!
Ted Smith