Organic Lawn Care: A Chemical-Free Approach
Organic lawn care is growing in popularity. At Showcase Lawn Care Inc., we’ve seen more and more homeowners looking for chemical-free solutions to lawn care. But “going organic” means not only eliminating the use of chemicals it also involving cultural practices to keep weeds and pests at bay. In other words: by using a bit of elbow grease and following best practices, you can establish a healthy lawn by using nature’s forces – not chemistry. Here’s how.
How To Keep Grass Healthy Without Chemicals
Fight Fire With Fire
Like turfgrass, weeds need a lot of direct sunlight to germinate. Therefore, one of the easiest things you can do to eliminate weeds without using chemicals is to deprive weeds of light. To do this, keep your grass mowed at the proper length. Here in Minnesota, we have mostly cool-season grass varieties like Kentucky bluegrass. These cool-season grasses like to be kept between 3 and 4 inches in height. Therefore, don’t set your mower to the lowest setting. When you mow the lawn too short, the sunlight can penetrate down into the roots and soil, and any weeds will spring right up. When grass is kept at the correct height, weeds can’t do this – at least, not easily.
Another easy way to smother weeds: use your lawn’s grass clippings to fight the weeds. Many people don’t like the idea of bagging grass clippings, but you’re doing your lawn a disservice. It’s true that long grass clippings can pile up on the lawn and smother the grass. However, if you are mowing regularly, you shouldn’t have to worry about the clippings being too short. This free source of mulch will help smother the weeds.
Remove Weeds Manually
Another easy way to avoid chemical herbicides: remove weeds manually. Sure, this can take a bit of time compared to spraying weed-killer and forgetting about it, but if you’re concerned about using chemicals, grabbing a trowel to dig out weeds will solve this problem. There’s a bonus to this: when you get down and dirty with weed removal, it gives you an intimate look at your lawn. You can inspect the grass blades and soil up close and personal when you’re kneeling on it to remove that pesky weed. When you spray and walk away, you’re not really inspecting the lawn.
Be Patient With Results
When choosing an organic lawn maintenance approach, it may take a season or two for the lawn to fully green up and weeds to go away completely. With chemical fertilizers and herbicides, the results usually appear more quickly. However, an organic approach is worth waiting for. You don’t expose yourself, your family, or your pets to chemicals, and you can save money off your water bill—more on this in a moment.
Keep Grass Nourished
Turfgrass that isn’t lacking vital nutrients will be more robust and better able to withstand competition from weeds. Across the board, Mother Nature tends to favor healthy beings. Sickly animals are more likely to have mites. Sickly grass is more likely to have weeds and disease. Therefore, by fertilizing with natural substances, like bonemeal and seaweed, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of weeds and other lawn diseases.
Watering Schedules For Organic Lawn Care
If you didn’t know, natural lawn care requires less water than lawns that follow traditional chemical treatments. Synthetic chemicals require above normal levels of moisture to be processed successfully. So by opting for an organic lawn care regimen, you will save money on watering.
As we’ve established, “organic” lawn care requires not only natural or nature-based materials but also cultural practices. Watering falls into that category. You need to teach grass to be tough. Do this by only watering infrequently. Grass only needs 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week – and that includes any rainfall. So if we get a good summer thunderstorm, you won’t need to water for at least a week, if not longer.
Ideally, water in the early morning – before 10 am – so the grass can soak up moisture before the heat of the sun evaporates it all. Many people like to water their lawns at dusk or in the evening, but this isn’t advisable. All that moisture sitting on the soil, combined with the darkness of night, is just asking for mildew, mold, fungi, and other unwanted microbes to manifest in your lawn.
Find Organic Lawn Care Near St. Paul, MN
When opting for an organic approach to lawn care, many companies will charge more. At Showcase Lawn Care Inc., this is not the case. Our natural lawn care program is the same price as our traditional program – without the use of chemicals. We’re pleased to offer this organic lawn service to customers in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. If you’d like to learn more or schedule an appointment, call (763) 415-7383 to speak to a licensed expert.