Caring for a lawn organically means paying attention to the health of the soil, making it rich and loose so grasses will grow deep roots and strong leaves. Ease of care begins with promoting strong, healthy grass growth, and the best soils grow the best grass.
Test The Soil
Have a soil testing lab assess your soil for pH and nutrient levels. Accurate information is needed before treating for deficiencies.
Apply Organic Matter
Soil high in organic matter will hold water and nutrients longer than one that is deficient. It will also be more porous, allowing roots to grow more easily. Dig manure, peat moss, compost or other organic materials into the soil before installing a new lawn, or apply as a top dressing on an old lawn.
Find out what the recommended pH level is for the grasses that grow best in your area of the country and apply lime to raise the pH or dig in peat moss to lower it.
Apply an organic soil conditioner, a mixture of various organic materials, to your lawn in fall or early spring. This helps replenish the organic matter as it decays.
The higher you mow your lawn, the healthier the grass will be. The ground is more shaded and cooler, weed seeds germinate less frequently and the soil dries out more slowly. Recommended heights vary from 3 inches for Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue, and 4 inches for tall fescue. Leave clippings to decay and add nutrients.
Apply an Organic Fertilizer
Organic fertilizers promote earthworm populations that, in turn, aerate the soil and prevent compaction. They also add more organic matter to the soil.
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About this Author
Over the past 30 years, Mara Grey has sold plants in nurseries, designed gardens and volunteered as a Master Gardener. She is the author of "The Lazy Gardener" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Flower Gardening" and has a Bachelor of Science in botany.