Lawn Care Tips: Choosing Pet Friendly Fertilizer And Weed Killers

Learn how to choose pet-safe fertilizer and weed killer from commercial products to home remedies along with some tips and some ingredients to avoid.

Choosing pet-safe fertilizers and weed killers is easier today than ever before. The selection of available products has increased due to consumer demand.

Choosing a commercial brand pet-safe fertilizer can be simplified if the soil is tested for nutrient deficiencies before shopping. The results will help you choose the fertilizer that is appropriate for your lawn or garden. A common ingredient among pet-safe fertilizers is manure. Cow, bat, and sea bird manure are popular ingredients. Fish, kelp and worm castings are also frequently used in pet-safe fertilizers. Some commercial products are sold as solid or liquid premixed formulas. Others are available as compost tea brewing kits. Compost tea is a liquid fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are absorbed immediately and may be sprayed from a sprayer or watered onto the garden. Due to it's liquid form, more applications are necessary. Compost solids can be applied directly to the garden with less applications necessary but slower plant absorption. If you are looking for a low maintenance option you may want to consider a pet-safe timed-release fertilizer. Timed-release fertilizers are applied less often and maintain a constant flow of nutrients throughout the soil over a longer period of time which makes this form of fertilization time and cost effective with favorable results.

Making your own pet-safe fertilizer by composting is another choice to consider. Choosing to compost is recycling while fertilizing. Gardeners can use almost any organic material. A mixture of carbon rich browns such as dried leaves, wood chips, straw, and nitrogen rich greens such as grass clippings will help you achieve the best results. There are recipes to cure a variety of soil deficiencies and with scraps from your own kitchen and yard.

When shopping for pet-safe weed killers you may choose to look for products that are veterinarian or EPA certified. It is important to read the ingredients. Avoid commercial products that contain inert ingredients. Manufacturers are not required to reveal what these inert ingredients are. Inert ingredients have included such chemicals as: carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, and chloroethane. Each of these chemicals is a carcinogen and should be avoided. Another component to avoid is 2,4D. This ingredient is found in many commercial brands and is highly toxic. If you read the manufacturer's label you should have no problem identifying products which are both pet-safe and effective.

Many of the commercial brands of pet-safe weed killers contain ingredients that you can probably find in your kitchen. Making your own pet-safe weed killer will save you some money. To make your own pet-safe weed killer suitable for treating a relatively small area, you will need a spray bottle, vinegar, and boiling water. You may also choose to add some optional ingredients such as clove oil and lemon for increased potency. Combine two parts boiling water to one part vinegar and any optional ingredients. Pour the mixture into the spray bottle. Spray directly onto unwanted weeds preferably in hot sun. This mixture should be applied to the entire weed; however, care should be taken to avoid spraying ornamental plants, as this mixture will kill them.

You can also use ingredients from you kitchen as weed preventatives. Spreading corn gluten meal over an area can help control the emergence of several types of weeds such as clover, dandelion, and fox tail. Established weeds will not be affected. This is applied twice a year during weed seed germination, once in the spring, and once in the fall.

When choosing pet-friendly fertilizers and weed killers keep it simple. Friendly weed-killers generally contain vinegar and other friendly kitchen products without added chemicals. Friendly fertilizers are simple manures and scraps without additives. Consider time, cost, effectiveness.

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