Organic Lawn Care – The Basics

Organic Lawn Care – The Basics

The goals of Organic Lawn Care are to:

  • Naturally reduce the infestation of weeds, pests and diseases
  • Reduce fertiliser usage
  • Use less water on your lawns
  • Use less chemicals on your lawn – or to eliminate chemicals altogether
  • Reduce maintenance from practices such as lawn mowing
  • Use natural lawn care products
  • Naturally cure any problems whenever they occur

So here we present the basics of Organic Lawn Care.

These Organic Lawn Care basics are not cures to lawn problems, rather they are cultural management practices – which are the things you can do every day to keep your lawn in excellent health.

The ultimate aim of Organic Lawn Care is to provide your lawn with the greatest chance of both preventing, and naturally fighting off any problems, such as pests and diseases, with the least amount of intervention.

The correct lawn type is vital

The amount of maintenance a lawn-type requires is vitally important.

For example, Zoysia grass is a proven environmentally friendly lawn type, for its ability to naturally need less mowing, high pest and disease resistance, less prone to weeds, needing less water and only needing a fraction of the fertiliser compared to other lawns.

If Zoysia is not the right lawn for you, or your region – then carefully research which other lawn types require less lawn mowing, have less thatch build-up, require less water, and have a greater resistance to weeds and disease.

Explore the Quick Lawn Selection Guide to help you make your variety choice.

Soil pH Levels

Soil pH represents the levels of acidity and alkalinity in the lawn’s soil.

Lawns will thrive and remain their healthiest when their soils are properly balanced to a pH of 7.

Lawns will thrive and remain their healthiest when their soils are properly balanced.

However, major turf problems can occur when these levels are out of whack. So it’s important to ensure your lawn’s soil pH is correct.

A soil pH test kit is inexpensive to buy, and the test only takes a few minutes to determine your soil’s pH levels.

Remedies to alter your lawn’s soil pH levels can be easily applied once the problem is identified, it could be as easy as just a lack of a certain nutrient – ask you local garden centre for advice.

Alternatively, a full soil analysis can be done in a laboratory very cheaply these days, ask for advice at your local garden centre.

Lawn Mowing

Mow lawns higher as this will reduce water usage, reduce infestations of weeds, pest and disease, and will help to create a deeper root system which is more drought tolerant. For more information on mowing heights, please read our article Lawn Mowing Heights in Organic Lawn Care

A very short lawn, and lawns which are masterpieces, are high in maintenance and require intensive lawn care practices to be kept in these unnatural conditions where they are often far too weak to defend for themselves against weeds, pests and diseases.

Lawn clippings from mowing are an excellent source of high-quality nutrients which can be recycled back into the lawn to once again feed the turf naturally. For more information on this, please read our article Feed Your Lawn with Grass Clippings

10-Minute Lawn Care

Organic Lawn Care principles are about allowing people to enjoy the walk around their lawn and garden – this sometimes may only take a quick, 10-minutes.

So, while you are out and about, look at pulling up a weed by hand when we see one, or pulling out a grass runner.

Always ensure the roots are completely pulled out, and if seed heads have produced be sure to carefully remove as well.

By doing this, you are maintaining your lawn with the tiniest of effort and without a second thought, and best of all there are no more big clean-ups.

The other great bonus of 10-Minute lawn Care is that by managing your lawn so easily and simply through removing little problems when they first occur, your lawn never gets out of control with weeds and other issues which may require chemical treatments to fix.

If you need to eliminate in areas of concentrated weed growth, myhomeTURF has easy to make organic weed spray recipe in our article Organic Weed Control Methods for your Lawn

Controlling Thatch

Thatch is important and natural to all lawns as it helps to protect the lawn from damage and shelters the soil from heat and water evaporation. However, too much thatch is a real problem.

Excess thatch provides perfect breeding grounds for lawn disease and pests, as well as increasing mowing requirements and leading to poor lawn health and other problems.

Vigorous, spreading cool season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Bermudagrass and creeping Fescues, may need regular dethatching.

Lawn thatch can be controlled mildly with the Lawn Coring process, or most efficiently with Vertimowing, AKA Scarifying.

Or we can also cut the lawn down lower than normal once a year in the spring to help easily control thatch. De-thatch when it is required, and we’ll have a lawn with far less problems.

Regular de-thatching will eliminate the extra thatch layer which is often the perfect breeding ground for many lawn diseases. By eliminating thatch, we can greatly reduce lawn disease outbreaks.

Lawn Aeration

Lawn Aeration is the process of de-compacting the soil under a lawn, which in turn allows greater oxygen to reach the lawn roots, as well as allowing the free movement of  water and nutrients, which are all essential to good lawn health.

Lawn aeration can be done either with Lawn Coring or using a garden fork to dig into and break up the lawn soil.

Lawn coring is by far the very best method. Coring removes thatch in it’s process as well as gaining the greatest possible result from aeration.

Be careful of any underground irrigation pipes when aerating your lawn.

After lawn coring, the lawn can be fertilised with organic matter, or clay breaking Gypsum which will then go directly into the soil via the open holes to improve soil health.

Lawn aeration, and lawn coring in particular will also provide massive benefits in the reduction of many lawn diseases.

Fertiliser

There are organic fertilisers available on the market that are suitable for your lawn.

Dynamic Lifter is a processed and aged poultry manure-based fertiliser. It has continued to gain considerable acceptance and increased use around the garden and is now a respected and established organic fertiliser product. This is an excellent addition to lawn care fertilising, but there are a few points to keep in mind when using Dynamic Lifter as a lawn fertiliser. We run through these points further in our story Using Dynamic Lifter on Lawns

Natural Lawn Foods such as seaweed derivatives, blood and bone can also available and can be used effectively as part of your lawn care routine. 

Spot treat weeds

Instead of applying any type of weed control to our entire lawns surface, it’s always far better to only treat the individual weeds wherever possible.

If the weeds cannot be pulled out by hand, then spot treating only the weeds or smallest areas possible will not only save a lot of money on treatments, but will put far less harmful substances into our lawns and environments.

Some of organic methods to spot treat weeds is through using vinegar or hot water.

Birds are our friends

Invite birds into your yard with a readily available supply of fresh water and by planting trees and shrubs which are native to your region.

Ask at your local garden centre for the best advice of what plants, trees and shrubs are native to your specific region.

Birds not only bring the beauty of nature to our yards, but will happily eat many lawn pests before they ever get a chance to become a problem.

Ants

Can be a nuisance in lawns as they increase in numbers however they can be controlled organically. See our Organic Ant Killer Recipe here

 

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