Organic Lawn Care

Gardenalia understands that it can be daunting when faced with a new landscaping project or idea. Furthermore, it’s especially true when switching to an organic lawn care regiment and it’s an entirely new concept. In addition, many common questions are if organic lawns require more upkeep and how much of a difference do they really make? Read on for more info!

Why Organic Lawn Care?

Many people make unfortunate decisions when tending their lawn and are unknowingly contributing to air and water pollution, global warming, and ultimately compromised human and animal health. In addition, credible scientists have made direct links between higher rates of childhood cancers and increased use of lawn pesticides.

Say no synthetic fertilizers

First of all, if you can imagine a lawn being similar to a human body, then you would most likely knowingly avoid any synthetic fertilizers. Another good example is when applying synthetic fertilizers to our lawns, it’s essentially the same thing as drinking a can of soda or eating a chocolate bar for breakfast. Both would give us a sugar rush, but it’s not a meal that’ll sustain us all day. In the traditional lawn program, the more fertilizer you apply, the more you’ll have to continue to do so. As a result, lawns dependent on their next rush of fertilizer will go through periods of fast growth followed by an inevitable decline.

Organic lawn benefits

Overall, a natural organic lawn is safer for families, pets, and the environment and they use fewer fossil fuels, water, and fertilizer. Numerous studies have shown that cats and dogs are far more susceptible than adult humans to health risks associated with synthetic lawn fertilizers and pesticides. A study in the April 2004 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, for example, concluded that certain breeds of dogs are four to seven times more likely to contract bladder cancer when exposed to chemically treated lawns.

Organic vs. Synthetic

One thing that most noteworthy when implementing natural methods is that it will ensure you are doing your part to take care of your local environment. It’s also noteworthy that synthetic lawn care takes more-and-more time as more pesticides are required each year. Therefore, with organic lawn care, you are saving time in the long-term by converting it to a self-sufficient ecosystem. Hence, you’ll have more time to enjoy your beautiful landscape and mow less frequently!

Organic lawn timeline

Another helpful tool is to have a natural lawn care calendar. The one provided below shows you what we do throughout any given calendar year and while the calendar doesn’t include our specific mowing regiments, we typically mow once a week.

Gardenalia Tip: Before mowing a lawn, ensure that the mower blades are sharp because cutting a plant (even grass) is an unnatural act that necessitates a recovery period. As a result, mowing with sharpened blades provides a clean cut and helps to limit recovery time.

Organic Lawn Care Calendar

December to February: 
• Don’t park or walk excessively on the lawn

• Rake up leaves and debris
• Begin regular mowing and ensure the blades are low

• Apply corn gluten when forsythias bloom
• Pull weeds by hand
• Apply compost tea

• Use calcium-rich fertilizer and other amendments per soil test results
• Dethatch and aerate as needed
• Consider top-dressing with compost
• Consider first over-seeding or wait until late August
• Apply beneficial nematodes for grub control

• Stay vigilant with weeds
• Begin irrigation as needed
• Monitor billbug, chinch bug, sod webworm, and other insect pests
• Raise mower blade
• Apply compost tea

• Monitor irrigation
• Control insects

Late August:
• Evaluate and pull or dig summer weeds
• Monitor irrigation
• Apply compost tea
• Dethatch and aerate as needed
• Over-seed with appropriate grass seed
• Top-dress with compost
• Apply calcium rich fertilizer

• Limit watering
• Lower mower blade
• Use beneficial nematodes as needed

• Begin fall cleanup

• Mow low without scalping lawn
• Remove all leaves and debris, and add to compost, or mulch leaves into lawn if not abundant
• Apply compost tea

In conclusion, having an organic lawn has it’s benefits and using synthetic chemicals, in general, have a negative impact on the environment and health. Switching to organic lawn care can be beneficial for your family, you, your pets, and local environment. If you’re interested in learning more or want to schedule a consultation, contact us!

Below are some additional links:

Natural Lawn Care Calendar

Natural Lawn Care

[ excerpts from – The Organic Lawn Care Manual by Paul Tukey]