If you’ve ever pondered how it’s possible to have a lovely lawn while also being considerate of the environment, learning about organic lawn care is something you should do. We will cover all the information you require regarding maintaining an organic lawn in this article.
We’ll go through the steps involved in switching from conventional to organic lawn care as well as some dos and don’ts you should be aware of. We will also go through how to change from conventional to organic lawn maintenance.
What Is Organic Lawn Care?
Managing your lawn and all of its components without the use of potentially dangerous chemicals is known as organic lawn care.
For example, your neighbor may decide to spray weed killer around the area surrounding the base of his fence in order to keep it looking neat and orderly. As an alternative, you might choose to plant wildflowers along your fence and take advantage of the lovely encroachment. While your neighbor may be using chemical fertilizers to help reduce weeds while you are caring for your lawn organically, you may end up having to pull your weeds by hand if you are utilizing organic ways.
The environmental advantages may outweigh the additional work required to maintain an organic lawn compared to a conventionally designed yard with lots of grass.
How Do I Treat My Lawn Organically?
Organic lawn care is based on the premise that strong, chemical-free soil will result in lawns that can almost take care of themselves. This serves as the foundation for organic lawn maintenance.
Following years of being flooded with chemicals to ward off grubs, eradicate weeds, and green up the turf, practitioners claim that the potential of soil to carry out these tasks naturally has been rendered inoperable. You can restart things naturally if all of the chemicals are immediately removed from the environment.
Furthermore, if the soil is healthy, you might not ever need to use pesticides, herbicides, or even fertilizers again.
Is Organic Lawn Care Better?
In addition to being safer for you and your family and healthier for the environment, it will also make your lawn look better than it ever has.
Transition to Organic Lawn Care in 5 Steps
Start with a Soil Test
If you have a lawn that is already established and wish to transition to organic care, the first step is to reinforce its soil. This necessitates a soil test to identify which nutrients are lacking and which organic additions the soil needs.
You must collect two cups’ worth of dirt samples from various spots around your lawn, send them to a lab for analysis, and then mail the results back to you. Ask if there are any nearby nurseries and university extension offices that do soil testing (both should provide soil-sample boxes).
The next stage is to prepare the lawn by trimming the grass to a height of about 2 inches, pulling weeds, removing thatch (dead grass and roots that pile up on the surface), and aerating the soil after determining which type of amendments are necessary (a power aerator that pulls up plugs of soil can be found at most rental yards). As a result, any nutrients you feed to the soil will be totally absorbed.
Get started with composting
Regardless of the test’s results, you should still spread a half-inch of compost over the grass to boost the quantity of helpful organic matter.
Look for compost that contains organic plant material that has decomposed, similar to what you may discover on the ground in a forest. You may either buy it from nurseries or collect your own yard waste and put it in a pot in your garden.
Numerous communities have composting programs, which may include providing subsidised composting containers and education on how to compost.
Use Organic Lawn Fertilizers
Giving your grass a boost every now and then during the growing season using organic lawn fertilizers is another effective strategy. The best natural lawn fertilizers employ ingredients from nature, such as seaweed for potassium, bone meal for phosphorous, and feather meal for nitrogen. Most garden centers sell these fertilizers.
Why use fertilizer? Your grass will be able to outcompete weeds if you allow it to grow longer and thicker. After treating your soil, you should overseed your lawn with the appropriate variety of turf grass (ask your garden center for recommendations).
Consider the amount of sunlight and shade it receives, the amount of water it requires, and the amount of sunlight it receives when choosing a seed mixture for your area. You should also make sure that the seed mixture will work well with the grass you already have. Until the new growth becomes established, make sure to water the seed twice a day.
Look for a ‘Greener’ Grass
By completely replacing the existing grass seed with new grass seed or overseeding your lawn with native or organic grass seed, you may make your lawn even more environmentally friendly. USDA-certified organic grass seed is being sold for the first time in the United States by DLF Organic. These seeds are grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides.
The company offers three different seed mixtures: one suitable for exposure to the sun, one suitable for exposure to the shadows, and one containing nitrogen-supplying clover. Another “green” option is to use local species of grass seed.
Get Rid of Weeds and Other Pests
We promise we won’t mislead you. You might have to deal with particular weeds when you move to organic lawn care. Ideally for the first year or two, or until your grass and soil are strong enough to be managed organically.
One thing you can do in the spring to prevent weeds from sprouting on your lawn is to spread maize gluten flour, an organic weed prevention. Avoid doing so while overseeding your lawn because it prevents the development of any seeds, including grass seeds.
Maize gluten meal has the ability to significantly reduce weed infestations even though it is not as effective as chemical herbicides.
If a small number of weeds appear, you can remove them by hand or use an organic weed killer. This approach works well. Some gardeners think vinegar might have the same effects.
On the other hand, weeds can be a helpful indicator of some soil-related problems. For example, crabgrass may be a sign the soil is compressed. Pesticides should not be used to eradicate crabgrass in this case; instead, the area where they are growing should have its soil aerated.
Furthermore, some weeds are actually extremely useful; not all of them aim to eat your lawn from the inside. For instance, clover, a common broadleaf plant, acts as a natural fertilizer factory by transforming atmospheric nitrogen into a form that your soil can metabolize. There are experts in organic lawn care who advise mixing clover into your existing lawn.
Indicators of problems with a lawn can include insects and diseases brought on by fungi. Chinch bugs are attracted to parched, dry lawns. The turf stays damp for a longer amount of time after watering the lawn at night, especially when the temperature is high, which might promote fungi that form brown patches.
There are organic approaches to the pest problem as well. For example, beneficial nematodes are able to manage grub worms, which are in charge of destroying grass. These small organisms only fight and eat grubs, albeit the timing of their application is crucial. Other species that are beneficial to lawn ecology are not harmed by them in any way.