The word “organic” seems to be increasingly common in our local grocery stores, but I first encountered it when I was beginning to care for my family’s lawn after we purchased our new home a few years ago. Back then, all I knew about taking care of my lawn was that I had to mow it when it got too high and water it when it got too dry.
As I spend some time learning more, I realized the benefits of organic lawn care and how easy these strategies are to implement.
Tip #1 – Water with Care
The basic tenet of organic lawn care is to do all of your landscaping in such a way to preserve the environment. You may not know this but poor watering techniques can significantly deplete the water supply in your area. Sure, water seems like an unlimited resource but that’s not the case.
Your best choice is to set up an in-ground sprinkler system. Attach moisture sensors or timers to the sprinklers so you only water your lawn at specific times or when water is needed. Make sure when you install the system that none of the sprinklers are going to be watering non-grass areas instead – that’s just a huge waste of water which raises your bills and takes water away from other important needs.
Tip #2 – Choose Organic Fertilizers
Organic fertilizers are a better choice for several reasons. First, chemical fertilizers frequently contain a high level of salt. The salt can change the pH of your soil over time and can actually reduce its ability to grow anything. Plus, chemical fertilizers are one of the chief causes of dangerous nitrates and other chemicals in our drinking water. Any water that runs off your yard will contain those chemicals and will eventually make its way back into the water supply.
Much of the research I did early on about fertilizers also explained that organic fertilizers have been designed today based on newer understandings of soil and grass growth. Chemical fertilizers, on the other hand, are not. That means you’re more likely to see positive results with organic fertilizer.
Tip #3 – Compost
Another method of organic lawn care is composting. You can buy inexpensive backyard composting equipment which can turn lawn clippings (which make up a large percentage of what’s in our landfills) and kitchen waste into an organic material that can help your lawn be healthier.
The compost helps the grass hold in more water so you need to water less often and helps your lawn fight off diseases and insects. You’ll also be able to achieve a more balanced soil pH with the compost. And you’ll be recycling tons of waste that would normally end up in a landfill.
Tip #4 – Use Mulch
If you have any parts of your lawn where you don’t need or want grass – under your deck, around your trees, in your garden, etc. – then don’t use herbicides or weed killers to keep these areas free of weeds. Instead, use mulch. Spread about three inches of mulch on these areas and you shouldn’t see any weeds breaking through.
Keeping your lawn weed-free requires a combination of high mowing and deep watering to prevent the development of a weed friendly environment in your yard. If you do see weeds, pull them out by hand or use a weed eater. Don’t let them stay too long or you’ll end up with a lot more.
The bottom line when it comes to organic lawn care is to find ways to have that healthy green yard you want without damaging the environment in the process. Hopefully, these lawn care tips will help you achieve that goal as I have in my own yard.