The primary tenet for an organic lawn care program is to work with nature rather than against it. An organic lawn care strategy reduces the pollution sent into the atmosphere, the nutrient run-off into waterways, the waste placed into landfills, and the amount of inorganic chemicals used that disturb the natural order of life in your soil. By building healthy soil many of the problems with your lawn can be solved.
Improve and Feed the Soil
An organic based slow-release fertilizer like Milorganite feeds your lawn for up to 10 weeks, and releases nutrients naturally in a slow and consistent flow of nutrition. Milorganite also adds organic matter which promotes healthy soil and in turn, improves the soils ability to grow plants.
Topdress with Compost
Topdressing your lawn with compost builds a deeper root system, increases water holding capacity, and nutrient retention. Apply 1/4 to 1/2" good quality compost to the lawn. View topdressing with compost video for more information.
Fewer Weeds, Fewer Chemicals
The best and most environmentally-friendly way to choke out weeds is to grow a thick, healthy lawn. Follow all the basics of great lawn care to build a lawn too healthy for weeds to compete. View our Eco-friendly Weed Control video for ways to rid your lawn of crabgrass, clover, creeping charlie, and other broadleaf weeds.
Water Deeply and Less Frequently
Watering deeply and less frequently improves turf growth and water conservation compared to light, frequent watering. Frequent lawn watering encourages shallow rooting and is more susceptible to disease. Water in the early morning to minimize water loss from evaporation and to help prevent disease. In the heat of summer, let your lawn go dormant to conserve water usage.
Mow High and Let Clippings Lie
Taller grass, means stronger and deeper roots and fewer pests. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn during the mowing season, you can deliver approximately the equivalent of one application of fertilizer. You also reduce the amount of clippings destined for landfills. For more mowing tips and information.
Swap out that Gas Mower
Using an electric mower reduces the amount of energy expended while you mow and eliminates a significant source of air pollution. A push, or reel, mower is an even more Eco-friendly approach since the energy comes from the operator.
Compost Yard Waste
Composting yard waste reduces landfill waste while generating a material you can use to enrich your soil. Compost adds life and fertility to the soil, improves drainage, and creates good soil structure. Milorganite can be used as an activator to help speed up the process, at a rate of 5-10 lbs per cubic yard of material.
Joe Lamp’l creator and host of Growing a Greener World® and one of the country’s most recognized and trusted personalities in sustainable gardening shares five steps to a beautiful organic lawn.