Although lawns only make up roughly 2% of the land in the US, they are America’s most irrigated crop and are responsible for vast areas of water contamination.
Or rather, their owners are. If you are a homeowner, you might not be realizing how much damage your law care regime is having on the surrounding landscape. The answer is a lot.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution. Organic lawn care.
Caring for your lawn organically isn’t hard or complicated. It’s also not expensive. Organic lawn care also provides a number of benefits, for your family, and the surrounding environment, and your lawn itself.
Ready to find out more about natural lawn care? Stay with us as we get into why it’s so important, as well as how to do it.
What Is Organic Lawn Care
In a nutshell, organic lawn care is caring for one’s lawn without using synthetic pesticides and chemicals.
Instead of using artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, natural lawn care utilizes organic alternatives, such as compost, and worm castings.
Providing that you know the basics of lawn care and what grass needs to thrive, looking after a lawn without chemicals is pretty simple. With the right treatments, you can establish an organic lawn care plan that grows a strong, resilient, and healthy lawn.
Let’s take a look at how to do this as well as the benefits of going the natural lawn care route.
How It Helps You and Your Lawn
If you had to wrap up the benefits of organic lawn care in one sentence, it’s healthier for you, your family, your garden, and the environment. To grasp why organic lawn care is so important, let’s first take a look at the dangers of using what it doesn’t, chemical lawn care products.
The Impact of Chemical Lawn Care Products
Many of the traditional fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that we use on our lawns have proven to be pretty toxic, both to us and surrounding ecosystems. For a start, 13 of the commonly used pesticides in the US have been linked to birth defects, and 21 to reproductive defects.
A further 21 have been linked to neurotoxicity, and 26 with liver and kidney damage. When it comes to kids, research has shown that exposure can up the risk of childhood leukemia by as much as 700%, and increase the chance of asthma and developmental delays.
If this isn’t scary enough, studies have also shown that children aged 6-11 have the highest blood concentrations of lawn chemicals of all ages. Further research has found pesticide residues in homes where it is tracked in and has drifted inside. After application, these levels were revealed to be ten times higher than before.
If these findings are not enough to make you want a lawn without chemicals, here’s what they can do to the environment.
Because only a percentage of applied fertilizer is absorbed by your grass, a good portion of it gets washed into rivers, groundwater, lakes, and other water bodies. Here it can wreak havoc with the natural cycles, causing algae blooms that choke the water life and cause species loss.
Pesticides and herbicides in turn cause their own damage, often killing a wide spectrum of plant, insect, and soil life that it was not intended to.
Why Organic Lawn Care Is a Better Option
Given the scientific research that is coming out surrounding chemical-based lawn care products, it’s clear that we need a safer way to take care of our lawns.
Organic lawn care is as safe as it gets. Not only does it keep your yard free from potentially dangerous compounds, but it also encourages the natural life in your garden to thrive. This means more beneficial microbes in the soil and more beneficial insects.
What’s more, it does not impact the surrounding waterways.
How to Carry Out Natural Lawn Care
Now that you know why organic lawn care is becoming so important, here are some of the basic organic lawn care tips you can implement.
If you are about to start on an organic lawn care plan, the first thing you will want to do is have your soil tested. This way you can gauge the pH and spot any deficiencies. If the pH is out of balance, you can amend it using things like ash for acid soil and sphagnum for overly alkaline soil.
After this, you should consider aerating your lawn if it is compacted. For this, you might want to get a landscaping service in, as it can be a tricky job.
For fertilizing, one of the best options is to lightly topdress your lawn with compost. Compost is the ultimate fertilizer, and, providing it is of good quality, can provide your lawn with almost everything it needs including both macro and micronutrients and beneficial soil organisms.
From here you will then need to keep up with the regular jobs of lawn maintenance, but without using chemicals. For combating weeds, many people just stick to manual weeding as the most thorough option. You can also choose to cut more regularly to discourage weed growth and seeding.
Another trick to discouraging weeds is to water less frequently, but more. It’s one of the common lawn care myths that grass needs daily watering. This encourages weed germination, uses more water over time, and creates a shallower root system in your lawn, making it less resilient.
If you want to apply a natural weedkiller you can experiment with store-bought organic products or DIY options such as vinegar.
Pest control is probably the toughest part of organic gardening, as there usually isn’t a spray-and-fix solution. However, as the overall health of your garden improves, you may find that any imbalances in the insect population start to rectify themselves as more predatory and beneficial insects move in.
Eager to Ditch the Chemicals? We Can Help
Considering the hidden drawbacks to using chemicals on one’s lawn, organic lawn care is an attractive alternative. Not only are you maintaining a healthier yard and looking after the environment, but natural lawn care will benefit your lawn much more over time than applying chemical fertilizer.
By fertilizing with compost you will be building up a fantastic, carbon-rich soil for your lawn, and supporting the naturally occurring (and important) soil organisms.
Are you excited to start going organic on your lawn?
If so, we can help. Call us out and we will create a comprehensive organic lawn care plan for your yard.