Organic Lawn Tips

Chemical lawn care can result in over-fertilization and high-nitrogen runoff which damages oceans, lakes and streams. Chemical herbicides and pesticides often kill off beneficial insects and may be toxic to children and animals playing on the lawn. Organic lawn care techniques avoid these problems, encouraging healthy lawns without harming the rest of the environment.


According to Texas A & M University, grass clippings cycled back into your lawn can add up to 25 percent of your lawns fertilization needs. One of the best ways to keep your organic lawn healthy is to mow properly. When mowing your lawn, do not bag your grass clippings. Allow them to fall back on the lawn as a natural fertilizer. Consider using a mulching blade if you are using a rotary mower. A mulching blade makes smaller clippings, helping them to decompose more quickly into your lawn. To avoid stressing your grass, do not mow more than 1/3 of the total grass blade. Keep Bermuda grass 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall and St. Augustine Grass at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches high.


Use a slow-release organic fertilizer to keep your lawn green. Organic fertilizers for lawns are comprised natural components like fish meal, bone meal, blood meal, seaweed, compost and cottonseed meal. The exact amount and the frequency you will need to fertilize your lawn will depend on the type and brand of fertilizer you are applying. Add organic fertilizers as necessary.


Mix compost with your soil when seeding or laying sod. Compost contains good organic nutrients and also works well to retain moisture that helps establish new lawn areas. Many commercial composts have an odor, indicating that they haven't fully broken down. When selecting a compost, choose one that is odor-free. When spreading compost on a part of your lawn to be seeded or sodded, add between 1/6 inch and 1/2 inch. To add compost fertilizer, screen the compost with a 1/4 inch screen and add between 1/6 inch and 1/2 inch in the spring.


The easiest way to ensure that your lawn is weed-free is to make sure that your lawn is thick and rich so that the grass plants can crowd out the weeds. If you do find an occasional weed, dig it up by hand. By repeatedly removing a weed or patch of weeds and planting grass seeds in its place, you should be able to effectively control weeds in an organic lawn.

Keywords: organic gardening, organic lawns, lawn care

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for National Public Radio, the Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.