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Making the Switch to Organic Lawn Care

Has your lawn been on a diet of chemical fertilizers and weed killers?

Making the switch to organic lawn care is easy, but you’ll need patience and a plan to see the results of a new diet. Depending on your soils and your seasonal plans, the lawn may appear to get worse before it gets better. But that is simply your soil adjusting to new conditions and reestablishing the healthy microorganisms and grass growth.

Some people may need up to 3 years to see the best results, but with the right effort you could see ideal results within a year.

Girl enjoying time on grass.

Celebrate making the switch to organic lawn care! Photo by Denys Kuvaiev 123RF

 

The switch to organic lawn care is often just swapping one type of activity or supplement for another, and over time you will be able to reduce or even eliminate certain steps, to save time and money.

 

Here are some examples of activities or supplements to stop and start instead:

 

STOP:

Stop adding weed killing chemicals.


Stop adding chemical fertilizers.


Stop forcing your grass to grow green in spring with nitrogen fertilizer.


Stop watering all summer.


Stop raking up grass clippings and leaves.


Stop worrying about what your neighbors’ lawn looks like, or their opinion of yours.


Stop mowing all of your lawn all the time.

START:

Start mowing you lawn over 3 inches, and overseed once or twice per year. Tolerate a few weeds. 


Start adding composts or compost teas, or other plant based soil food, based off your soil test. 


Wait until the grass turns green naturally, when soil bacteria are active after soils warm up.   


Water only when establishing grass seed, or during extreme drought. Let fescue lawns go dormant and brown in late summer.   


Use a mulching mower to finely chop up grass and leaves, and leave them on the lawn.   


Know that your organic lawn is healthy for you, your family, pets, and the environment.   


If you wish to let an area of your lawn grow long for pollinators, maintain a mowed area all the way around it for appearances, and keep it cut below 12 inches tall. Or, establish a pollinator garden and keep a tidy edge around it.

 

 

 
 
 
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