Does your lawn look thin and yellow? Is the soil hard as a parking lot? When watering, do you
start to get run- off into the gutter after just a few minutes? Is the root system of your grass
shallow and easy to pull up? Does your yard look worse than your neighbor that “never does
anything to his yard”? These are all indications that the soil structure in your yard is poor. The
purpose of this article is to give you an annual program that will feed the grass and improve
the soil to provide a more efficient and disease resistant lawn.
The Root of the Problem
To prosper, plants need well-drained soil with a course texture. The dirt should be friable i.e.
crumbly and loose. Over time, the organic matter in our lawns is used up without replacement.
The microorganisms that feed on the organic material dwindle and are also killed off by
fungicide and pesticide applications. The result is a hard packed, lifeless soil. The root system
of your grass becomes shallow and cannot efficiently take-up nutrients. Fertilizers dissolve and
run-off without being used and the lawn becomes more susceptible to drought and disease.
This program focuses on feeding the soil as much as on feeding the grass. We will be adding
organic matter, an important soil amendment, throughout the year. By their nature, these
products have a cumulative benefit and are not fast-acting. You will see a gradual
improvement each year that you apply this schedule. In the end, you will have a better looking
yard with less water, fertilizer, and effort.
The Soil Additives
Compost - In any of its forms, compost is an essential element for good soil. In this program,
we will be recommending a cow manure compost (like our Southwest Premium Compost). This
product has been fully composted to be odorless and is easy to apply with a fertilizer spreader.
Compost will provide microorganisms and nutrients. It will also help the soil hold nutrients by
keeping them from leaching. Existing microorganisms in the soil will break down the compost
Humus - This jelly-like substance is a combination of soil microbe remnants, minerals, and
organics. It will become part of the soil structure where it improves drainage and increases the
availability of nutrients to the microorganisms and the grass. It can be applied as a granular or
Organic Fertilizer - Southwest Fertilizer’s Earth Essentials is a combination of organic
components which will feed slowly and add to the soil structure.
Microbe Spray - Provides and stimulates the microbe colonies that the soil needs to break
down the organics. These are the workers that are essential to convert nutrients into forms
that the plants can use. Many fungicides and pesticides will kill these microorganisms and this
will reverse that effect. This is a critical item to the success of the overall program. Products
such as SuperBio will achieve this goal.
Revive - Polymers that will open up the soil and allow for water penetration, as well as Iron to
help green up the grass. Available in both liquid and granular form.
Southwest Premium Gold Fertilizer - A blend of slow and quick release fertilizer that will feed
the lawn steadily for up to 3 months. Contains 3% Iron to keep grass a deep green color.
Southwest Premium Winterizer - The correct blend of nutrients to help grass move energy into
the root system for the Winter. Proper winterizing will reduce freeze damage and help grass
come in stronger in the Spring.
1. Aerate the lawn
2. Apply Southwest Premium Compost or leaf mold compost
3. Apply Southwest Premium Gold Fertilizer
4. Spray in with Turf Thrive
1. Apply Southwest Earth Essentials
2. Spray or spread Revive
1. Apply Humate
2. Apply Southwest Premium Gold Fertilizer
3. Spray in with a Turf Thrive
1. Aerate the lawn
2. Apply Southwest Earth Essentials
3. Apply Southwest Winterizer
A Better Lawn- From the Ground Up