Over the last few years (especially with a small child and dog) we have tried to be mindful of the kind of fertilizers we are using in the yard. This year we got some great advice/ products from our local nursery and have used all organic fertilizers and compost to help our yard grow. Basically, we traded chemicals (even "safe" chemicals) for poop-based products. The lawn gets an organic chicken poop fertilizer. Our dog thinks this is the greatest thing ever and rolls around the lawn after we use it. It's kind of gross. The garden beds get a sheep peat and compost mix, and the fruit producing plants get a bat poop based fertilizer (bats eat and digest lots of fruit... somehow this makes fruit trees and plants grow better fruit?)
Rob bought me an apple tree for my first mother's day when I was pregnant with Charlie. It did not grow a single apple for 3 years. Kind of sad when your mommy gift can't make fruit? Well, this is the first summer we have had some apples... thank you bat poop and the woman at the nursery who suggested it. We started off with about 8 apples, but a certain curious little boy picked a few that were within his reach and now we are down to about 5. Just waiting for them to turn red!