Organic Lawn Care
No need for chemicals or toxic pesticides. A healthy, green lawn can be yours
with help from nature and a little TLC.
with help from nature and a little TLC.
Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
10 Simple Steps to a Natural Green Lawn
Natural gardening begins at home. Organic lawn care makes a lush, green lawn in a way that is healthy for grass, pets, and people. This Earth-friendly approach uses no harsh commercial pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers.
10 Mow High
Set your mower as high as it will go (3 to 4 inches). Let your grass grow long, about 3 to 3½ inches. Mowing higher leaves tall grass blades that:
9 Mulch the Grass Cuttings
As you mow, leave the grass clippings on the lawn. The clippings break down, making healthy organic matter and adding nutrients back into the soil. Don’t worry—mulched grass clippings don’t clump and they don’t make thatch.
8 Weed by Hand
Pull out the weeds as they appear. The best time to weed is not long after a rain shower while the ground is still moist. Roots pull out easier in moist soil. Listen to music as you work. Picking weeds can be fun!
7 Feed the Soil, Not the Grass
Resist adding chemical fertilizers. Instead build up the soil with organic materials. Choose a slow-release, organic fertilizer in the springtime. The key to a healthy organic lawn lies in the soil quality and depth.
6 Top Dress
Top dress your lawn in the fall. Use fine sifted compost. It is a good way to add beneficial microbes to an already established lawn. Here’s how to top dress with compost:
5 Adjust the pH of Your Soil
Send a sample of your soil to be tested professionally. We know that dandelions like a pH of about 7.5, but grasses prefer a pH of 6.5. If the pH of your lawn is 7.0 or above, it favors the dandelion and other weeds. Adjust the pH to 6.5 and the grass then has the advantage. Add lime if the pH is below 6.0 and gardener's sulfur if it is above 7.0.
4 Reseed Each Season
Overseeding is when new seed is spread over already established grass. Spread the seeds by hand. Walk over the lawn to push the seeds down into the soil. Water it in and water it frequently for several weeks. Don’t mow until the new grass is 3-4 inches tall.
3 Repair Damaged Areas
Loosen the soil in bare spots. Rake and clean out old leaves and debris. Place a layer of compost, then sprinkle with seeds. Walk over it to push the seeds into the compost.
Sprinkle powdered lime over doggy damage yellow spots, then water the spot frequently. Water will dilute the excess nitrogen in the soil. Surrounding grass will send out grass rhizomes and spread into the area. There may be no need for seed in small spots.
Lay in blocks of sod over large damage areas. The sod needs to be fresh and moist when you lay it. Water, water, water! Don’t let it dry out. The old rule-of-thumb is to water twice a day for two weeks, once a day for one week, and at least once a week thereafter.
2 Control Insects and Microbials
Great topsoil is fairly alive with beneficial microbes, worms, and bugs. Some insects are beneficial and desirable. (earthworms) Some are a nuisance but need to be tolerated. (wasps, large ant colonies) Others are pests that do damage to growing grasses and other plants. For these, simply mix dishwasher soap (try Seventh Generation or other "natural" brands) with water and spray on plants. Also, a dusting of lime on the soil surface can increase the number of earthworms in your soil.
1 Water the Grass Infrequently
Contrary to popular belief, the best practice is to water infrequently but long and deep. How do you know? When your grass shows signs of drought stress it will start to curl before it turns brown. When it starts to curl, that is the best time to water. Place a bowl in your sprinkler zone and water until there is at least an inch of water.
Author: Karla Beatty About
Mowing, watering, feeding, and weeding are all that are needed to keep a lawn grassy green and weed free. Earth-friendly lawn care can make lush green lawns with the added benefit that it is easy on the environment.
Read more articles like this about organic gardening and creating a greener environment.
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Comment added Feb. 23, 2014
Love that idea of top dressing in the fall. Was kinda worried about putting seeds down that have to last the winter, but here in Colorado it seems to be okay. The snow just makes for some nice moisture for the seeds.