Corn gluten is the base of a natural lawn fertilizer that suppresses broadleaf weeds. WOW! Plus. $99.99 for four 20-pound bags. Gardensalive.com.
The ideal lawn, as weed-free as a putting green, may not be such an ideal after all—especially if it requires destructive fertilizers and pesticides, plus heavy watering, to achieve. Consider the environmental costs. Herbicides and insecticides not only do in pesky weeds and bugs, but they also kill the good guys: earthworms and microorganisms essential to the life of the soil, as well as pollinators such as bees. These poisons also threaten the health of humans: They have been implicated in cancers and neurological problems, especially in children under age 5.
Once the soil is depleted of its natural nutrients, what to do? Why, pour on the chemical fertilizer! Yet 60 percent of the nitrates in lawn fertilizers end up in our groundwater, damaging the health of ponds, lakes, and bays.
There has to be a more earth-friendly way to have a nice lawn. And there is. An organic lawn is actually easier on you as well as the environment. In time, a healthier lawn will automatically crowd out many of the weeds. Try taking these steps to kick the chemical habit.