Most people want healthier and greener lawns but don’t believe in dousing their yards with dangerous chemicals. If that sounds like you, organic lawn care might be the option you’ve been looking for.
The good news is you don’t need to kill off every good thing in your soil to achieve the green grass you want. I’ll introduce you to some healthier options.
Going organic doesn’t mean you’re on the hook for all of this lawn care, though. Lawnbright is one natural lawn care company that can help ease some of the burden.
What Is Organic Lawn Care?
Organic lawn care is the process of caring for and maintaining your lawn using as many natural methods as possible. This includes avoiding dangerous pesticides and synthetic chemicals to help grow grass and promote weed control.
However, this requires you to nurture your lawn and be more strategic in your approach by using natural materials that promote growth and resist pests, diseases, and other issues.
Organic Vs. Traditional Lawn Care
If we compare these two methods of lawn care, I like to break it down into four categories:
- Pest control
- Soil health
- Mowing and maintenance
- Environmental impact
These four factors will impact your lawn for better or worse, depending on the ingredients and methods you use.
It starts with the products you use to control pests in your yard.
Traditional lawn care promotes chemical pesticides and herbicides to maintain a clean and green lawn. Ingredients like dicamba, glyphosate, and acephate kill weeds but cause long-term damage to roots and soil composition.
Organic lawn care uses natural ingredients like bone meal and corn gluten as organic fertilizer. These help grubs, worms, and microbes thrive in your grass.
Another significant difference is in your soil health and lawn maintenance. Organic lawn care promotes soil health and microbial activity. While your grass might look like a putting green, traditional lawn care methods won’t let you see the damage you’re causing by eliminating everything naturally occurring in your yard.
When you’re not dousing your grass with chemicals and mowing it every other day, it also allows naturally beneficial insects and organic matter to thrive and absorb the sun and water it needs.
So, all of this sounds great, but how does going organic help your grass look nice? We all want to keep up with the Joneses, right?
You’d be surprised. As I mentioned, organic lawn care may require a little more TLC, but it’s a sustainable approach that is better for the environment and can result in the same luscious, green, and healthy lawn.
What Are the Advantages of Organic Lawn Care?
I’ve talked a little about the upsides of organic lawn care, but there are some clear advantages to caring for your grass as naturally as possible.
Safe for People and Pets
Organic lawn care uses methods that are natural and nontoxic. This means your yard will be safer for people, pets, and wildlife. Isn’t this what we all want at the end of the day?
We want a beautiful lawn to enjoy with our children, friends, family, and pets. Eliminating harmful chemicals from your yard will provide a better and safer environment for all.
A healthy lawn is a happy one that starts with the soil beneath the green grass that grows above. When you use organic methods, you’re starting at the soil by adding more organic matter, which helps retain water and absorb nutrients.
Think of organic lawn care as a long-term solution. As you continue to supply more of the right ingredients to your grass, it will make it easier to care for it down the road. You’re creating a more resilient lawn that is better at withstanding conditions, diseases, or drought.
Americans spend around $9 billion on pesticides alone. Add herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, and water, and lawn maintenance can be expensive. Organic lawn care doesn’t require any of this and instead prioritizes natural compost like kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and yard waste.
As I said, when you continue to use these methods for years, you’ll be surprised how your lawn starts to require less intervention each year and starts to maintain itself.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Switching to Organic Lawn Care?
I’d be nothing if I wasn’t honest, and there are several drawbacks to organic lawn care. Some of the most common ones are:
- Natural lawn care is more time-consuming — Introducing bone meal and killing weeds like crabgrass and dandelions with boiling water takes longer than hooking your hose to a spray lawn fertilizer.
- The results take longer to achieve — It might take a couple of years for you to really get your lawn where you want it to be, but as I said, you’re creating the ideal environment that will foster healthy growth forever.
- It requires a little more knowledge and expertise — Organic lawn care isn’t as easy because it doesn’t come with an instruction booklet. Of course, you can continue reading to learn my favorite tips.
- Organic ingredients aren’t as commonly available — It’s easy to walk into your local lawn and garden center and find aisles of chemical fertilizers. Organic options aren’t as common and usually require a little more creativity. Consider starting a compost bin and educating yourself on natural pest control solutions.
Make sure you don’t let any of this discourage you. If you have your heart set on organic, you should go for it. Lawnbright is one of my recommended natural lawn care service providers and is ready to help get your yard going in the direction you desire.
How Can You Transition to Organic Lawn Care?
If you’re ready to take the leap toward a healthier and happier lawn, there’s no time like the present.
Step 1: Assess the Situation
Start by assessing the current state of your lawn, including the soil health, grass density, and any pests or diseases present. Consider getting a soil test to identify any nutrient deficiencies or imbalances that must be addressed.
This video from the Nobel Research Institute provides an overview of why you need a soil sample and how you can take a good one:
There are a number of options for soil testing; choose one based on your location. It might seem like “overkill,” but these experts will be able to tell you exactly what you need to introduce to your lawn to promote the best growth.
Step 2: Choose Your Products
You want to consider your soil test and choose an organic lawn fertilizer and pest control method. Some of the best options are boil meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, manure, and compost.
Don’t forget the grass seed too. Fescue or Kentucky bluegrass is recommended based on your location because it’s easy to grow and great for promoting healthy soil even when overseeding.
Make sure you understand that not all scraps are created equal for compost. Coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetable peels, and fruit pits are the best options for nutrient-rich compost.
Step 3: Plan Your Mowing and Care
If you want to transition to organic lawn care, you first need to learn how to mow your grass the right way. You cannot continue to scalp the grass, so you only have to mow it every other week. Set the mower higher and cut less often.
Aeration is a method of eliminating compaction, which makes it difficult for grass to develop deep roots. It also ensures that water can reach the grass roots.
Keeping your grass longer allows it to develop stronger root systems that can reach deeper for groundwater resulting in less need for watering.
Step 4: Consider Long-term Sustainability
While you’re at it, think about other things you can do to make your lawn care more sustainable and better for the environment. Consider collecting rainwater if your local municipality allows it. Create a compost bin and plant flowers native to your local area to support birds and insects that live around you.
If you’re trying to attract more wildlife to your yard, buy a birdbath or build a brush pile. These attract birds both for water and supplies to build nests.
How Can You Organically Maintain Your Yard?
Once you’ve started transitioning to organic lawn care, you must stick to your guns and continue doing the right things to foster success for years to come. Here are some things to keep in mind:
The key to success with organic lawn care is understanding how little changes can make a big difference. If you’re not mowing your grass as often, it means you have deeper roots that don’t require as much watering.
When you water your lawn, you want to do so deeply. This means watering the grass heavily for an extended period late in the day to minimize evaporation and promote aeration. Let the water soak in; you won’t have to water it as often.
Use Natural Pest Control
Use natural pest control methods like introducing beneficial insects, handpicking pests, and using organic pesticides like neem oil or insecticidal soap to control pests and diseases.
Choose Native Plants
Choose native plants that are adapted to your climate and require less water and maintenance. Consider planting a variety of plants that attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, which can help control pests and pollinate your plants.
Is Organic Lawn Care Right for You?
If you’re interested in organic lawn care, I highly recommend you try it. It’s a natural and sustainable approach to getting the beautiful lawn you want without harming the environment. After all, we could use a lot more natural compost and less chemical fertilizer in the world.
Remember to start your organic lawn care journey by assessing your situation. Get a soil test and develop an action plan to care for your lawn so things don’t become out of control and you revert to traditional lawn care.
If all of this is too much for you to handle, leave it to the pros. Lawnbright is a leader in natural lawn care. Click the button below to find an organic lawn care program for you.