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A Little Lightning Lime Does a Lawn Fine

Refreshing, invigorating and energizing — your lawn loves limes as much as you do!

Lawns also benefit from limestone if their soil pH is too low. Organic Lightning Lime restores patchy areas and helps your lawn get its green glow back.

organic lawn care, safe paws, lawn care tips, lawn lime

Lightning Lime works by correcting soil acidity and adding calcium and magnesium to your soil to help preserve that luscious green color and protect grass from stress caused by heat, drought or traffic. Calcium helps regulate nutrients such as zinc, copper and phosphorus.

Find out if your lawn needs Lightning Lime.

Lawns Like Lightning Lime: How and Why to Apply Lightning Lime in the Lawn

A dash of Lightning Lime can do wonders. It’s one of those organic lawn care tips you’ll wish you always knew!

 The Lawn Stress Test. Perform a soil test to see if your lawn’s soil pH is too low. A low soil pH leads to patchy, yellow spots.

organic lawn care, safe paws, lawn care tips, lawn lime

Lime It or Leave It. Only add Lightning Lime if your soil pH is low. Lawns thrive in soil with a pH between 6 and 7. And if your soil pH is below 5.5, your lawn will suffer since it can’t absorb nutrients properly.

Cool Like a Lime. Only use a pelletized, organic Lightning Lime for a Safe Paws lawn. Espoma’s Lightning Lime contains no hydrated lime, so it’s safe to use around pets and children. And that’s a big deal! Other lawn limes contain hydrated lime, which can be harmful.

Time to Lime! Apply organic Lightning Lime in early spring or fall. See how much Lightning Lime to use here. Then water. Never apply Lightning Lime if the ground is frozen or the grass is wilted.

Wait It Out. This organic lawn care trick takes time to kick in! You’ll see a lusher, greener lawn in a season or two.

You went right to the root of the problem — and solved it! Your lawn thanks you for that revitalizing Lightning Lime. It’ll repay you with lush, green color soon!

The Grass is Always Greener with Lawn Starter

The big reveal. The snow melts, and your grass emerges. But wait a second… are those bare spots?

If you need to repair your lawn this season with seed, early spring is best! Later on, lawn seed won’t survive the summer heat – and you won’t survive that water bill! If you can, wait until fall to seed. That’s when the soil, temperature and sunlight are just right for lawn seed.

organic lawn care, safe paws, lawn care tips,

Update old grass and worn-out lawns by reseeding and then encourage strong root systems by feeding it. It’s an easy and quick way to give your lawn the update it needs without starting from scratch.

Can’t bear to stare at those patchy brown spots any longer? Here’s how to reseed successfully in spring.

Hit the Lawn Seed Sweet Spot: Start Seeds with Organic Lawn Starter

 Order Organic. Help lawn seed take root by applying an organic fertilizer made specifically for lawn seed and sod. This used to be impossible to find, but you asked, and we delivered! We made the first and only organic lawn starter. Now you and your pets are free to roam, play and enjoy your Safe Paws lawn. Together, we can keep pets safe with organic lawn care from start to finish.

organic lawn care, safe paws, lawn care tips,

Know How to Mow. If overseeding an established lawn, mow grass to at least 3”. This helps grass to develop strong roots.

Smart Seed Start. After you’ve spread lawn seed or sod, apply organic lawn starter. This helps your lawn seed establish faster and grow stronger roots. The secret is in our Organic Lawn Starter’s powerful Bio-tone microbes. Yes, the same Bio-tone you use to strengthen new plants!

The New Rule. Lightly water new grass seed or sod frequently until you’ve mowed it twice. After that, give your lawn 1” of water a week.

Patchy spots be gone. Go on, green lawn it’s your time to shine! And we’ll be here to share more lawn care tips for your new, fabulous organic lawn.   

Paw-lease Petscape the Yard this Spring

“Paw-lease, let us go outside!” your pets seem to be pleading as they flash you their saddest puppy dog eyes.

After spending most of their winter indoors, pets are springing to life – and pawing at the door.

petscaping, safe paws, organic lawn care

Before you let your pets frolic outside this spring, petscape and create a safe and pet-friendly outdoor landscape.

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Pass on Pesticides. The most important way to keep pets safe outside is to use organic lawn care products. It’s scary to hear, but dogs whose owners applied chemical herbicides were 4.4 times more likely to develop bladder cancer, according to research. Remind your friends and families to grow a Safe Paws lawn. Always.

No-No Cocoa. Skip the cocoa mulch when petscaping. While this mulch is a true beauty, dogs can’t resist its chocolatey smell. As you may have guessed, cocoa mulch is dangerous and toxic to dogs when eaten.

petscaping, safe paws, organic lawn care

Flower Power. Curious dogs and cats often want to see what those fragrant, colorful flowers taste like. While some plants are fine for pets to sample, others are poisonous. Before adding another plant or shrub to your garden, check if it’s safe for your pets.

Compost Ghost. While composting is great for the planet, it’s not as great for your pets. As food and garden waste breaks down, mold may grow. So if your pets nibble your compost, they can become sick. Symptoms range from excessive drooling or panting to vomiting and seizures. Keep compost bins closed or out of pets’ reach.

Your pups and kittens will want to play fur-ever in their Safe Paws lawn. So, go what’s the harm of one more game of fetch? You did use organic lawn care products after all!

Weed Out Bad Seeds from the Lawn

It’s time to put an end to the weed invasion, for good.

Stop annoying weeds, dandelions and crabgrass from ruining your lawn. They won’t know what hit them, but, you will!

Apply a weed preventer now, in early spring, to stop weeds before they start while greening the grass.

No More Weeds Below: Stop Weed Seeds from Sprouting in the Lawn

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Start your early spring lawn care right. Apply an Organic Weed Preventer now to have more time for organic gardening later.

Tender Offenders. Pre-emergent fertilizers only affect weed seeds, so handpick visible weeds. Compost tip: When composting weeds, discard weed seeds first to prevent germination.

Born to Corn. Espoma’s Organic Weed Preventer is 100 percent corn gluten, which helps your lawn grow faster and greener. Corn gluten also organically prevents weeds from growing roots, according to numerous field trials. That’s right: science shows corn stops weeds.

Say No to Chemicals. When you use an organic weed preventer, there’s no need to worry. You’re growing a Safe Paws lawn, so children and pets can safely walk on the grass. Encourage friends and families to use only organic lawn products, too. Studies found a link between chemical lawn fertilizers and canine cancer.

Spring Fling. Apply Weed Preventer in early spring on a dry, recently mowed established lawn. Instructions here. But don’t do this if you recently seeded the lawn. Corn gluten will stop all seeds from germinating, not just weeds!

Expect to Correct. Greener grass is on the horizon! If this is your first year applying a weed preventer, you’ll see up to 58 percent fewer weeds. In your second year, you’ll see up to 85 percent weed reduction. In year three, you’ll have up to 91 percent fewer weeds, according to Iowa State University research. Plus, you’ll have healthier soil and feel better about what you’re putting into it.

Greener grass and fewer weeds – all while keeping your pets and family safe. Life is g-o-o-d with a Safe Paws lawn.

Make Like a Garden and Grow

This year, let’s grow your best garden yet! All you need is a sturdy pencil, a blank notebook and a vivid imagination. You’ll almost be able to smell wild lavender and delicate roses.

With a detailed garden plan, your organic garden blooms right off the page.

 Grow On! How to Plan Your Dream Garden

1. Reflect to Perfect. Think about last year’s garden. Jot down all your flowers, edibles and shrubs. Mark your favorite and most used plants. Cross off those that didn’t produce, succeed or required too much effort. What plants do you wish you had? What edibles did you spend too much on at the store? Add those to your plant list.

2. Wise Size. Sketch your current garden space. Should you expand or cut back? Consider if and where you’d like to place new garden beds, raised beds, containers or another vegetable garden. If this is your first garden, plan for 50-75 square feet.

garden plan, garden design3. Site for Light. With your garden design sketched, it’s time to color coordinate! Fill in each area with a different color based on how sunny or shady it is.

4. Single or Mingle. Tweak the list of plants you want to add, keep or remove. Then decide which plants you’ll cluster and which to keep separate. Pair plants with similar water, light and soil needs. Plan where to plant them, and circle the plants you’ll start from seed.

start seeds, plan garden5. Pick to Mix. Scrutinize your list to make sure you have a good mix of: plant types, scents, bloom times, beneficial plants, texture, sizes and color. Do the Safe Paws check to make sure all plants are safe for your pets.

Step back and admire your handiwork! In just a few short months, your hands will be in the soil making your garden plan spring to life.

Pets’ Winter Safety Guide

Even with their fur coat, pets still need help keeping warm this winter. Like us, pets can only handle so much time outside during cold, snowy weather.

Keep pets safe and warm this winter by petscaping and prepping! Just like you avoid chemical lawn products because of Safe Paws, take precautions during winter, too.

Wagging Our Way to Winter Pet Safety

Alarming Antifreeze. Dogs and cats love the smell and taste of antifreeze, but it’s extremely toxic. Keep it out of their reach and quickly clean up any spills. If your pet ingests antifreeze, call a vet immediately.

petscaping winter

Dust Off Deicers. When your pet walks on paths or sidewalks, deicers stick to their paws. Deicers can burn paws and are harmful if eaten. Use a pet-safe deicer on your property. Also, apply petroleum jelly to pets’ paw pads to prevent other deicers from sticking. If deicer remains, wipe off quickly.

petscaping winter

The Chilly Check. Other than daily walks and outdoor exercise, pets shouldn’t be outside much in winter! Dogs and cats can get hypothermia or frostbite, just like us. Put a coat on short-haired dogs. If pets are outdoors most of the day, provide a dry shelter, where they can rest and warm up.

petscaping winterStack on the Snacks. When outside, pets use lots of energy to stay warm. When they head back indoors, provide them with extra food and water to help them recuperate.

winter petscaping

The Snow Shake. After playing in the snow, pets try to shake off the snow and cold. Help warm them up with a post-snow towel dry. Wipe off paws with a damp towel to get rid of stuck snowballs.

A little knowledge goes a long way! Check out our Safe Paws program that keeps your pets safe in every season.

Paw-sitively Perfect DIY Dog Treats

As you’re planning the perfect gift for everyone on your list, add a special little treat for furry friends.

DIY, organic dog treats are super easy to make, and all the special pups in your life will go bonkers for them.

After all, you do everything to keep your pet safe and healthy all year long. And, they thank you for their Safe Paws!

Now, show them how tasty the holidays can be with these homemade, organic dog treat recipes.

homemade dog treatsBetter than a Bone: DIY Organic Dog Treats

We promise dogs will love these homemade, organic and healthy treats. You know every ingredient is the best of the best.

homemade dog treats

  1. Sweet Treats. Make these easy, organic dog treats with pumpkin, sweet potato or apple and carrots. Super healthy for pups, and they only take 5 minutes of prep time!
  2. Beggin’ for Bacon. Combine dog’s two favorite snacks — bacon and peanut butter — for an irresistible treat.
  3. Choose Chicken. A little bit sweet and a little bit savory, these homemade dog treats are packed with chicken and peanut butter for lots of protein power.
  4. Gourmet Goodies. A famous LA-based chef cooked up an absolutely fabulous dog treat recipe. Sure to get 5 out of 5 barks!
  5. Sensitive Snacks. Gluten-free: check. Wheat-free: check. Delight dogs with sensitive tummies by baking this tasty treat.

Once dogs get a whiff of these tasty, all-natural treats, they’ll never want to go back to store-bought. Save big at the store, and keep your dog healthy by making these year-round.

Keep Your Lawn Strong – Even in the Dead Of Winter

If you want a greener lawn in spring, did you know the most important time to organically fertilize your grass is the fall? Most people guess spring!

Learn why a fall fertilizer — or winterizer — is so important and how to correctly apply this organic lawn food.

Winter Lawn Care Essentials: Boost Your Lawn with an Organic Lawn Winterizerwinter lawn care

In the fall and winter, your lawn looks like it’s done growing, but it’s actually flourishing underground. Grass roots are absorbing nutrients so long as the ground isn’t frozen.

Applying a slow-release, organic lawn winterizer supplies your grass with nutrients throughout fall and winter.

A lawn winterizer is simply a food formulated to help your lawn survive winter. Lawn winterizers contain nitrogen to promote thicker, fast-growing grass come spring. This organic, winter fertilizer also possesses potassium to help lawns recover from summer droughts.

In spring, your grass then uses this stored energy to grow greener grass fast — usually by mid-March.

Put Your Lawn to Bed with an Organic Winterizer

  1. Give Your Lawn a Look. Check if you have cool or warm-season grass. Most areas with freezing winters grow cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, ryegrass or fescue. Southern regions have warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, Saint Augustine or Zoysia. Only apply winterizer to cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses do not get fertilized at this time.
  2. Prime Time. Apply an organic lawn winterizer one week after your final mow of the season. Or if it’s easier to remember, apply around the week of Thanksgiving.
  3. Need to Feed. Spread organic fertilizer onto dry grass. Get step-by-step instructions on applying lawn winterizer here.

Applying a lawn winterizer is like wrapping your lawn up in a cozy blanket and presenting a warm cup of soup.  Your lawn stays warm and well-fed during winter, so it can grow back thicker, greener and faster next spring.

Still looking for more info? Check out our Winter Lawn Care Pinterest board?

See Spot Go. Tricks to Fix Brown Spots in the Lawn

At summer’s end, your lawn may begin to look less than stellar.

If your entire lawn is brown, no need to worry. Your grass has gone dormant, which happens during heat waves with little rain. Your lawn should bounce back as soon as the weather cools and rain returns.

The real problem is those random, pesky brown spots in the lawn. Luckily, there’s treatment.

  1. Pup Clean Up. Dog urine is one of the most common causes of brown spots. These small, round patches appear in areas where your dog does his business. Repair these spots with organic gypsum. To avoid future mishaps, train your dog to go only in a certain section of the lawn.
  2. Brown Bares. Some brown spots are actually soil peeking out through bare spots. Now is the time to reseed your lawn to fix bare spots.
  3. Learn from the Burn. Chemical fertilizers when spilled, overused or incorrectly applied cause lawn burns. Dilute by watering. From now on, stick to organic lawn fertilizers. Organic lawn food is safer for you and your pets and more cost-effective in the lawn-term.
  4. H2O Flow. Check your lawn after watering. If the surface stays wet while the soil remains dry, the watering is too frequent and superficial. To fix, water deeply
  5. That Thatch Patch. A thatch layer of more than 1/2” decaying grass prevents water from getting to living grass roots. Break up the thatch with a rake. Then, apply an organic lawn fertilizer.
  6. Know the Mower. A dull mower blade tears grass, causing brown spots. So, sharpen your mower blades every fall and spring. Also, if your mower blades are too low, you’re scalping the lawn. Avoid more brown spots by never cutting off more than 1/3 of the grass’s current height.

See spot disappear! Those unpleasant brown spots are on their way out! You’re one step closer to a greener, lusher lawn.

Live on Lawn! Tips for End of Summer Health

From barbecues and summer parties to gardening and endless games of fetch with your pup, your lawn has endured lots of activity this summer.

But, the summer isn’t over yet and your lawn needs some TLC. Go out with a bang by rejuvenating your lawn and prepping for the cooler season ahead.organic

safe paws espomaHelp Your Lawn Hang On All Winter Long

  1. Know How to Mow. When mowing, keep the mower blades high (3” or higher) to encourage healthy roots.
  2. Agree to Reseed. If all of your lawn looks dry and brown, overseed the whole lawn. If only certain areas look bare, reseed only those spots. First, perform a soil test and improve if needed. Then cut grass and remove clippings. Level and rake soil smooth. With a broadcast spreader, apply a seed that best suits your region and weather. Finally, water.
  3. Prepare with Care. Get your lawn ready for the cooler weather ahead by fortifying it with nutrients. An organic fall winterizer promotes growth, helps lawns recover from drought and increases winter hardiness. So apply an organic fall winterizer after you’ve seeded and mowed. Follow instructions here.
  4. Fido First. Always use an organic lawn fertilizer or winterizer. Harsher, chemical lawn products can be eaten, ingested or passed on to your dog. This exposure has been linked with a higher risk of canine cancer. Keep your dog alive longer by making sure their paws are safe thanks to organic lawn products.

And just like that, you’re done with lawn care for the summer! How are you going to celebrate? We foresee a barbecue with fresh herbs and spicy homegrown peppers.