Organic Grass Care

Overview

Organic grass care saves water and prevents harmful chemicals from entering ground water. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are not used when you care for your lawn organically. Sustainable growing methods nourish your grass by naturally improving the quality of the soil, and these approaches are safer for your family, pets, and the environment.

Benefits

Conventional (non-organic) lawn care is an aggressive approach to maintenance that only has superficial benefits to the grass. When you care for your lawn organically, you strengthen the micro-ecosystem in your yard. This fosters healthy microbiotic life in the soil, which helps feed the grass, and increases the number of beneficial insects that control pests. Not only is it a greener approach to gardening, it's much less expensive than buying fertilizers and poisons.

Types

Choose grass varieties that are appropriate for the climate in your region, or consider planting native grass species. If you live in a hot, dry place, plant drought-resistant varieties of grass that can withstand long periods in direct sunlight. Cool-season grasses will fare better in cold, wet regions. If your grass type is suited to your climate, it will be stronger and more able to choke out weeds. It will also need less water and fertilizer to thrive.

Mowing

Mowing your lawn too short or too often not only wastes energy, it weakens your grass by decreasing the blades' surface area needed for photosynthesis. Allowing grass to grow about 3 inches long helps control weeds organically because the blades of grass shade weed seeds and slow their growth. This helps your grass out-compete weeds for space and nutrients. Longer blades also make the soil stay moist. Clippings from mowing can be spread back over the lawn to improve soil quality by returning lost nutrients.

Watering

Overwatering wastes water and encourages shallow root growth. It also leeches nutrients from the soil before they can be replenished and helps weeds grow quickly. Too much water can cause thatch because rhizomes start to form on the soil surface, which keeps air and water from getting to the grass roots. Instead of watering every day, water the lawn deeply about once a week. Roots will grow deeper and weed seeds will dry out before they can grow.

Fertilizing

Chemical fertilizers feed plants but not the soil. Since the plants cannot use all of the food in fertilizers, a lot of wasted chemicals run into storm drains and enter the groundwater. High-nitrogen, slow-release organic fertilizers like manure and compost feed microbes in the soil. The microbes then digest the fertilizer into particles that the grass can absorb. Healthy soil also contains more worms. Worms aerate soil as they eat, and their waste provides a nitrogen-rich food for the grass.

Keywords: organic lawn care, maintain grass organically, sustainable grass care