Organic lawns only allow the use of natural resources in the soil and the grass. It also means that the fertilizers are organic in nature and no harmful chemicals are used. Lawns were invented in Europe a long time ago but most people had switched over to the inorganic or chemical fertilizers by the end of the 20th century. It’s only in recent times that lawn owners are becoming more appreciative of the numerous benefits of organic lawns.
Benefits of an Organic Lawn
The most obvious benefit of an organic lawn is that it releases potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous at a slower pace. As a result, the grass roots take them in slowly. In this manner, the roots become extremely strong so that climate changes or man-made influences have the least effects on the grass as well as plants that are grown in the lawn.
When everything in the lawn is organic, the soil, the grass, the owners, the neighbors, children, pets, and the environment benefit tremendously. Since organic fertilizers are prepared from natural resources, they are biodegradable, leaving no harmful residue behind. Organic lawns promote the growth of microbes and certain useful organisms like earthworm, good bacteria, and fungi. The organic manure is great for fish, wildlife, butterflies, friendly insects, birds, and the overall ecological balance of the location.
- Top Benefits: Safe Lawns offer the top ten benefits of an organic lawn.
- Organic Land Care: Read about some of the positive testimonies about organic lawn care.
- Healthy Lawns & Landscapes: The brochure highlights the benefits of organic lawn care.
- Introduction to OLC: This is a great place to learn about organic lawn care.
- Organic Lawn Care: Follow this handbook on organic lawn care to get the most of the lawn.
Improving Soil Quality
Use organic fertilizers to ensure more moisture, and they also last for a longer time than chemical fertilizers. It will also aerate the soil, improve its texture, make it nutrient rich, and keep it softer, yet closely packed. Watering regularly is recommended but with organic fertilizers, water should be used moderately and even less during the rainy season. This makes sure that the soil is stable. The ongoing microbial activity ensures that the soil is healthy and alive. When it rains, a lawn with chemicals develops soil erosion. If you don’t want the soil to suffer from erosion, make sure that the soil has adequate amounts of nourishment by using organic fertilizers.
- Organic Fertilizer: King County offers an excellent overview of organic fertilizers.
- From Waste to Gold: This study highlights the many benefits of organic fertilizers.
- Soil Quality Basics: Come here to learn about the basics of soil quality.
- Better Lawns: Rainscaping Iowa offers tips on how to improve soil quality.
- Soil Management: Find out how soil management can affect soil quality.
- Soil Quality: Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Initiatives explains the importance of good soil.
Know Your Grass
Choosing the right variety of grass is an important decision. Every place has a different climate so you should choose one which best suits the home. Before you think about seeding, make sure the lawn is free from dry leaves or dry grass and weeds. It’s a good idea to get the soil tested for its pH level. Some grasses grow in poor soil conditions too. After finding out about the types of soil, choose the grass that suits it. A good indication is to choose the grass which is growing around locally. Some of the common grasses found mainly in the United States are St. Augustine, tall fescue, and bluegrass.
- Lawn Care: This page provides good instruction on caring for the lawn.
- Your Lawn: The State of Utah provides a guideline on lawn care.
- Grass Cycle: Read the six reasons why it’s good to grass cycle.
- Lawn & Garden Tips: These excellent tips cover a large variety of topics like establishing the new lawn, cool season, and warm season grass tips.
- Soil pH: Here’s a place to learn everything you ever wanted to know about soil pH.
- Lawn Grass Cultivator Selector: Ohio State University provides information on how to select the grass for the lawn.
Every season has a different impact on the lawn being maintained organically. When fall approaches, it’s best to apply lime on the lawn. Rainfall during fall as well as winter dissolves it causing it to slide down to the soil. Using Dolomitic lime, depending on your soil, may result in stronger roots and enriched soil.
Seed the lawn a little more in the first week of September so that the old or tired grass can be replaced effectively. This improves the color of the grass. Mowing should be done regularly and in all seasons, but remember to keep the setting at its lowest when overseeding. Before seeding, remove all the debris. Water the lawn twice a day for about 2 weeks.
- Smart Care: Learn how to maintain your lawn in a smart manner.
- Liming the Lawn: West Virginia University presents information on the importance of lime on the home lawn.
- Leave it On the Lawn: This brochure offers good information on lawn care.
- Calendar: University of Florida provides a monthly lawn care calendar to help lawn owners manage their lawns better.
- Yard Waste & Lawn Care: The page describes how yard waste can be used for lawn care.
- 2010 Lawn Care: Virginia Tech highlights the important steps to take care of the lawn with peninsula cool season and warm season calendars.
Mowing of the lawn is essential in every season. It’s also important to make sure that the grass is never cut below a third of its height. Let the clippings spread around the lawn so that the grass is able to absorb nutrients from them. Do not encourage too much nitrogen as it ultimately creates a rush of grass as well as diseases and pests.
- Mowing Tips: The Queensland Government provides some essential tips on mowing.
- Lawn Maintenance: Study this factsheet to find out more about lawn maintenance.
- Lawn Care: This page provides tips and suggestions on regular lawn maintenance.
- Home Garden: The Government of Western Australia offers tips on lawn care in the home garden.
- Environmental Guidelines: The EPA offers guidelines on responsible lawn maintenance and landscaping.
- Clean Air Lawn Care: When caring for your lawn, care for the environment too!
Organic Solutions to Lawn Problems
Beetle grub is a major issue with organic lawns. Moles develop because of the grubs, and then create havoc on the lawn. Nematodes made from herbs should be used on the lawn so that the grubs are killed permanently. Use it sparingly but if you spot grubs, be quick to apply it. A Castor oil repellent can be used then, for the moles. Milky spore also works very well for grubs from the Japanese variety of beetles. Voles eat plants and grass. Castor oil should work on them but if it doesn’t, try garlic spray. Maintaining a lawn is definitely a tough task but regular attention and maintenance sure gives the desired results.
- A Healthy Lawn: Follow these six steps to get an organic healthy lawn.
- Green Scaping: Easy five steps to a greener, healthier yard.
- Natural Lawn Care: Learn how to solve lawn problems in six easy steps.
- Chinch Bugs: Find out how to deal with these pests in organic and biological ways.
- Those Villainous Voles!: The article by Pamela Weil discusses the problems of moles and voles, offering some organic and other solutions.
- Japanese Beetle: The USDA handbook shows how to deal with these pests in various ways, including organic methods.