How To Go Organic And Still Have A Beautiful Lawn
Going organic is beginning to touch every part of our lives. No chemicals, no pesticides, no antibiotics, means foods that taste better, and with the newest studies, food is healthier too.
Of course, we all know about organic food, but what about lawn care? Is it possible to bring that same type of organic know-how when it comes to your grass? After all, the same chemical free, antibiotic and pesticide free environment means it would be a safer and healthier lawn, especially for kids and pets. And that’s what an organic lawn is all about.
For a true organic lawn, the first step is to get a soil test. After years of chemicals and weed killers, you will inevitably have nutrients that are lacking or need to be supported with organic ingredients.
2 cups of soil, from various spots on your yard, will be required. Contact universities or nurseries in your area for information about a local soil test. When contracted for the job, they will supply soil sample boxes. When you know what your soil lacks, like calcium, you can top dress the soil with gypsum to correct that imbalance.
If you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to get a grass seed that is specifically made for your climate. Native turf grass seed would be your best bet, but there are organic mixes made for sun and shade applications. However, for a more wild look, consider using a prairie grass seed. These North American grasses grew on the prairies before the land was settled, they are hardy, need little moisture and require only the most basic care to grow.
Initially, you’ll want to add some compost. This can be found at nurseries, but consider making compost for a long term solution. You can do with a compost pile or bin. The best bins turn and aerate the compost inside, and they also allow you to bleed off compost tea that you can spray on your lawn once per month.
Nature’s natural weed killer is white clover, and before the age of chemical solutions, white clover was found in virtually all grass seed mixes. In fact, before the 1960’s, the best grass seed available had a high concentration of white clover.
Not only does it kill weeds, but it also attracts honey bees and butterflies, among other beneficial insects. Rabbits and deer love it as well. Not only is it good for your lawn, but it will also attract wildlife.
Organic lawns need organic care, so get out the old dandelion digger and remove dandelions and other weeds by hand. You can also use citrus oil-based organic weed killers as an alternative.
When mowing or weed whacking, go electric. Gas powered appliances spew out toxins that are not good for the lawn or the air. The newest electrical lawn care appliances are the equal or greater than their gas-powered cousins.
The Bottom Line
Use this list as a guide for an organic lawn. It’ll get you going in the right direction. If in doubt, give us a call for ideas, we work with organic solutions.