More and more people are adopting an organic approach to lawn care. Society’s heightened concern with environmental issues has increased homeowners’ awareness of the harm and risks posed by standard chemical lawn treatments. Though we all crave a richer, thicker, greener lawn, is it worth exposing our families, pets and environment to these chemicals?
Pesticides are harmful to humans and animals, and runoff of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers poses the threat of contaminating our water sources. Reducing the harsh effects of these chemicals on the environment can begin with your approach to lawn care. With these key insights and ample patience, an organic turf care regimen can achieve the results you desire.
Four Tips for Achieving the Lawn You Want Naturally
Restore Your Soil: Synthetic fertilizers feed your grass, but not your soil. In fact, over time, chemical fertilizers deplete your soil of the organic matter it needs to thrive. Fertile, healthy soil is your lawn’s best natural defense against weeds and pests.
- Practice “Grasscycling”: Save yourself the trouble of bagging and disposing of grass clippings. Instead, leave them on your lawn after mowing as a natural way to add organic matter to your soil.
- Fertilize Naturally: Apply organic fertilizers and compost that are rich in nitrogen, potassium and other important nutrients. There are a variety of organic commercial products that include ingredients like seaweed and manures. Our proprietary formulation includes organic poultry litter, sea kelp and worm castings. You can also start your own home compost to help condition your soil.
- Soil Tests: Testing your soil can provide great insight about what your lawn needs to help it flourish to its full potential. You can conduct your own soil and pH tests, or you can give us a call so that we can come out and offer the best suggestions for your turf.
- Aerate: Reduce soil compaction and help water and nutrients reach the roots of your grass by aerating your lawn annually. Aeration is a good component to include in your lawn care regimen for healthy soil.
Organic Alternatives to Herbicides: As your soil’s health improves, the amount of weeds will decline. Getting there will take patience but that’s not to say you cannot treat weeds that do emerge. Simply replace synthetic herbicides with organic alternatives such as a citrus-oil based spray to control weeds in your yard.
Conserve Water: Water wisely. Your grass needs about an inch of water per week. It’s great if that comes naturally from rainfall. If not, you will need to supplement with a sprinkler. Water in the morning, make sure your irrigation system is running efficiently, and really look to your lawn to avoid under or overwatering. If your grass and soil is very dry in the morning, add a day of watering. If it remains quite wet, cut out a day in your watering schedule to find the best balance.
Thicken Your Turf: Overseeding cool-season grasses in the fall helps create a denser lawn, which is a great way to crowd out weeds. Thicker turf will create a more substantial root system to help support healthier, greener grass.
An organic approach to lawn care will require some time, money and work, but you will save in all these areas in the long term as you develop rich, healthy soil and turf that naturally fights off weeds, disease and pests. And remember the larger reason for going organic in the first place: to protect a healthy future for your family and your environment.