Simply put, organic lawn care does NOT involve the use of synthetic (man-made) substances or chemicals. That means that organic lawns don't use most of the “weed” and feed products, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides normally seen in garden centers or offered by major lawn companies. You can have a beautiful, healthy, low-maintenance lawn without conventional fertilizers and pesticides. Organic Lawn Care Uses a Whole Systems Approach to Keep Your Lawn Free from Toxic Chemicals.
Your lawn can look so good that your neighbors will want to be eco-friendly too. Each 18 lb bag covers 2,000 square feet and lasts up to 3 months after application. You'll need to take samples from several different areas of your lawn (2 cups of soil total) and mail them to a lab for testing. Call local nurseries and university extension offices to see if they offer soil testing (both must provide soil sample boxes).
Once you know what amendments you need, you should prepare the lawn by mowing the lawn up to about 2 inches, removing weeds, removing straw (dead grass and roots that build up on the surface), and aerating it (an electric aerator that pulls out earth plugs can be found in most rental yards). This will allow your floor to fully absorb any amendments you add. One thing you can do to prevent weeds is to spread corn gluten meal, an organic weed preventative, on your lawn in the spring. Just don't do it when you're oversowing, as it prevents germination of all seeds, including grass.
While corn gluten meal works only 65 percent as well as chemical herbicides, it can still significantly reduce weed infestations. And not all weeds are willing to destroy your lawn; some can even prevent it. Clover, for example, is a common broadleaf weed that functions as a natural fertilizer factory, transforming nitrogen from the air into a digestible form for the soil. Some organic lawn care experts recommend adding one pound of clover seeds for every 1000 square feet of grass.
The best time to water is early in the morning, as it gives the lawn enough time to absorb it and dry in the sun. Most lawns require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week in summer. Use a rain gauge to measure the amount of water your lawn receives and make sure that the water from your sprinkler is not wasted in the driveway of your home or street. The term “conventional lawn care”, as used in this fact sheet, involves the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides applied by the homeowner or a lawn care service.
Natural organic lawn care is different from conventional lawn care. Soil can be improved by adding organic matter such as compost (made from plant waste), certain animal manure (mainly composted cow, chicken or horse manure) and other natural substances. Improving the soil contributes to the health of plants that will be less susceptible to pest damage or environmental stress. Fertilizer can be applied less often than in conventional lawn care, but the timing of application is especially important.
Weeds, insects and diseases are managed through prevention-oriented cultural practices. Natural organic methods also emphasize the recycling of organic waste. In the OSU research, endophyte-enhanced perennial roe that was sown in slices on an existing bluegrass lawn resulted in between 50 and 60 percent of the turf containing the endophyte after two years. Natural organic gardening and lawn care methods underscore the importance of good soil quality as a major factor in growing healthy grass.
Tukey also recommends accelerating your lawn's transition to organic by brewing your own compost tea and spraying it on the lawn once a month with a backpack sprayer or watering can. Organic lawn fertilizers are another effective way to give your lawn an occasional boost during the growing season. However, there has been well-documented research on many practices that are an integral part of organic lawn care, such as core aeration, cutting height and compost topcoating. Lawn tarpaulin with plastic can also be used in the summer heat to kill existing grass, although this can be difficult to do depending on the size of the lawn.
There are multiple training programs and organizations for lawn care company workers to learn the practice. Since the mid-1950s, when the ideal of a carpet-like lawn without weeds was formed, pesticides, that is, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides, have often been used routinely and preventively, with the result that synthetic chemicals are often overused in lawns. As seen on Forbes, CNBC and USA Today, LawnStarter makes it easy to schedule the service with a local lawn care professional. Many organisms in a lawn can attack or parasitize potential pests, while others help break down organic matter in the lawn.
Environmental conditions that are not optimal for growing grass and that stress the lawn provide the conditions for turf diseases to develop. A soil test must be part of any lawn management program (required to comply with Maryland's lawn fertilizer law if phosphorus-containing products are applied). From complete turf renovation to slicing, Good Nature can improve your grasses to improve your lawn. .