Organic lawn care is a very different beast from traditional or chemical lawn care. The lawn will require different care when compared to a chemically treated lawn. There is more to it than just applying products to the lawn, although the idea is very simple. Keep the soil healthy and the soil will feed the lawn.
Below are some of the things we hear about organic lawn care, and how to use organic lawn care to see long term benefits.
We work with the microbes in the soil to create a healthy environment teaming with microbes which will in turf take care of the lawn. In addition to your lawn care program, the key points to remember for a healthy lawn are: proper mowing and proper watering.
Watering the lawn is one of the most important factors in organic lawn care. Organic lawn care focuses on having a living soil; you have to keep the microbes in the soil healthy in order to have a living soil. The microbes need air, water, food, and heat. When you water the lawn properly, you keep air into the soil by allowing the lawn to dry out in between waterings, as well as giving the microbes moisture without drowning them.
Proper lawn mowing is a vital aspect of lawn care. Grass roots will grow about three times the length of the grass blade. We suggest mowing weekly at least 3 inches tall. The deep grass roots will help the lawn survive many stresses, as well as crowd out weeds that are more likely to move in if the lawn is mowed too short.
“Organic Weed Controls Don’t Work”
The most common thing to hear about organic weed controls not working is that corn-gluten meal is not effective. This is usually when a homeowner has used corn-gluten meal themselves. This could be due to a number of factors. The corn-gluten meal might not have been applied heavily enough, or was a poor product, or was applied too late in the season. Our Synergy with corn-gluten meal will keep weed seeds from germinating. It will not prevent weeds with a root system from coming back from their established roots. The best results seen with Synergy are when it is used consecutive years in the spring and fall. This will create a residual effect in the soil, preventing more and more seeds from germinating each year.
Our One Earth weed control and fertilizer will kill broadleaf weeds that are up at the time of the application. We pair this with Synergy to give the weeds a one-two punch over the season. While One Earth does have some limitations, we have found it to be effective for most weeds other than crabgrass or bindweed.
“I Should Not Fertilize My Lawn Over the Summer”
This may be true for chemical fertilizers, but our organic fertilizers are naturally slow-release, so they are only broken down as the microbes in the soil break them down. This will prevent the lawn from being burned, which can happen easily with chemical applications.
In fact, our organic fertilizers will help the lawn through the summer months by slow feeding. That being said, the best thing you can do for your lawn over the summer months is to water the lawn deeply and infrequently, so the lawn develops deep digging roots.
“I Use Organic Products But My Lawn Looks Bad”
When customers are coming to us after using a chemical lawn care program, we basically have to start from scratch with building up a living soil because their soil is dead from the over-use of chemicals. It will take time to rebuild the soil and get the microbes thriving, as well as correct any watering issues the lawn might have. It could take a few months for you to start seeing benefits of being on an organic program.
It’s true that the instant green-up gratification you get from chemical fertilizers are lost when you use organic products. What organic products give you is a deep green that will develop more slowly, but it is a consistent green throughout the season. The benefit of having healthy grass is that it isn’t reliant on chemicals to stay alive. The living organisms in the soil will provide the nutrients to the grass. We feed nutrients to the microbes that make up that living soil.
Chemical fertilizers work by directly feeding the grass, so it greens up quickly, but that green color will also quickly fade as the grass processes the nutrients. Then it will need another hit to keep it green. While organic lawn care may take some time to turn a dead lawn around, it is a much more healthy, sustainable option for the lawn in the long run.