Introduction to Organic Lawns

An organic lawn supports the local environment, people and pets with management practices that utilize natural biological cycles of the land without the use of synthetic chemicals.

Features of an organic lawn:

  • The turfgrass species is appropriate for your climate and space.
  • Healthy soils with high organic matter and microbial activity.
  • The grass is mowed high, and all grass clippings are left on the lawn.
  • Mowing is done with sharp blades and with an energy efficient, low-emissions mower. 
  • Fallen leaves are mulched into the lawn (and any excessive leaves are composted).
  • No synthetic products are added.
  • Watering only occurs during dry spells or extreme stress. 
  • Turfgrass is allowed to enter dormancy according to the species.

Making the switch to organic lawn care

Practicing organic lawn care is not difficult!

Organic lawn care involves the same amount of work as a chemical fed lawn - it's just different steps. For example:

  • Instead of heading to the store for chemicals, you'll order and perform a soil test. 
  • Instead of short, frequent watering, you'll water less often, but deeper. 
  • Instead of adding synthetic fertilizer, you'll add organic amendments only based on the needs of your soil. 
  • View our lawn care tips for organic practices we recommend.

If your lawn has been relying on synthetic fertilizers and weed killers for years, have patience as it will take time, potentially a few years, for your lawn to be fully broken from its dependency on chemicals. You might see more weeds in the transition period and will need a plan for the transition. Some growing pains should be expected.

Environmental benefits of organic lawns

Sometimes people ask, “Aren’t lawns bad for the environment?”  Turns out that’s not true, especially if the lawns are organic and have healthy soils. 

A chemically managed lawn that is frequently mowed and is missing grass clippings and soil microorganisms,  won’t have much environmental benefit. But an organic lawn with thick grass, deep roots, healthy soils, and energy-efficient maintenance practices can do a lot to store climate warming carbon, soak up stormwater, and provide the oxygen we breathe.

Here are some of the benefits of an organic lawn with healthy soils, and the science behind them: