re: organic lawn care Question about aerating lawn,
I enjoyed your program last Saturday (aired in New York City) on organic lawn care. I have been working on my organic lawn in Columbia County New York for several years. Since it is a country cottage, I am not always they are on the right day to do the gardening. I have asked several gardening companies to aerate the lawn but have never yet gotten it done. When I asked at a local garden shop if I could rent an aerator they said it would require a large driven mower to pull it around the property parentheses 1/2 acre). Although the property is hilly, I use only a Neuton mower for mowing. My main question is: what kind of aerator was she pushing around on her small lawn? I think I could do that on my lawn as well, although with a larger lawn on a hilly property it will be harder.
I could add a couple of things to your organic lawn care:
1) spray twice a year with compost tea. It puts nitrogen-fixing organisms in the soil. It makes the plants healthier and resistant to infections. Good for the garden. I get mine from Keep It Simple, Inc http://www.simplici-tea.com/ (but there are probably others who sell it).
2) Use corn gluten meal to suppress germination of broadleaved weed seeds. I actually believe this is a general weed suppressant, and will suppress grass seed as well. So the timing is important. You couldn't put it down after you aerate in September or you could put it down when the forsythia blooms, and then wait six weeks to aerate and compost your lawn in approximately early May.
Even without the aerating I am seeing good results in my lawn, but still taking out some broadleaved plants by hand.