Homeowners take great pride in the curb appeal of their homes and are willing to pay for expensive lawn services to keep their lawns green and healthy. The downside to treating your yard with chemicals like weed killer is the harm caused to your environment.
You aren’t alone if you’re considering a more organic approach to lawn care. There is an increasing concern about commercial pest and weed treatments’ impact on the environment and our exposure to these products.
If you’re curious about organically maintaining your property’s landscape, the following tips are easy to start immediately.
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Tip #1: Don’t Cut Grass Overly Short
While mowing your lawn isn’t your favorite chore, cutting your grass too short to the ground isn’t supporting the root structure of your grass. Worse, you could be weakening the health of your lawn since cutting so close increases competition for water and sunlight against weeds.
Instead, increase the height of your mower blades to about four inches. Doing so will help toughen roots and will increase resistance to drought. This change may require cutting more frequently, but it’s worth the effort.
Also, consider investing in a riding lawn mower canopy to make your increased mowing time more comfortable to complete.
Tip #2: Overseed Your Lawn Annually
It’s common to find thinning patches in your turf throughout the year, so you should be overseeding at least annually to thicken up your grass.
Just be sure to prepare your lawn first by waiting until you’ve mowed a few times in the spring and rake away any loose soil and debris coatings.
Another great tip for overseeding is to aerate areas suffering from soil compaction, so they can better absorb water and nutrients.
Tip #3: Create Healthier Soil By Aerating
Believe it or not, soil can become overly compacted, which stifles the flow of hydration and soil. This condition hampers the benefit of fertilizers and any compost you’re feeding to your lawn, which can lead to poor drainage, pest infestation, and mold.
Aeration tools quickly resolve this issue by creating small holes throughout the ground’s surface. The best time of year to aerate is in the fall once the hardening effects of summer heat have passed.
Tip #4: Don’t Drown Your Lawn
Nobody wants to see a brittle yellow lawn during summertime. However, think again before you set a sprinkler to automatically run for 45 minutes in the morning and afternoon seven days a week.
It’s not uncommon to overwater one’s lawn, which can lead to mold, pest infestation, root rot, and a host of other problems. Not to mention a major waste of water!
On average, your lawn will require about an inch or so of hydration each week. Keep in mind this could be by rain, sprinkler, or both.
While you can’t control the weather, you could soak your front lawn once a week or create a bi-weekly watering session during weeks with minimal precipitation. Just make sure to use water sparingly and adjust as the weather and season dictate.
Tip #5: Fertilize Organically
You can’t leave grass clippings on your walk, but to maintain an organic lawn, you should be using cuttings as a natural fertilizer to feed your lawn. Don’t blow away or bag up clippings for disposal; leave them where they lay.
Not only will your grass enjoy a boost of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, but cuttings will reduce your fertilizer costs.
Do walk around with a rake after mowing and break up heavy clumps of cuttings to ensure even distribution.
This small effort will support a healthy ecosystem in your yard and enhance the growth and lush appearance of your property’s landscape.
Tip #6: Not All Pests Are Harmful
One aspect of organic lawn care you might not expect is the benefit of some insects to your soil. Before you break out a pesticide and lay waste to pests, understand that you’re potentially killing needed pollinators and waste processors.
While butterflies and bees help your flowers bloom, smaller insects like ladybugs and ground beetles are aerating and breaking down harmful bacteria that threaten lawn health.
Consider adding plants that attract these beneficial bugs to support healthier grass growth in thinning and compacted areas of your yard. This natural solution supports your efforts to create a healthier soil that nurtures root structure.
Tip #7: Feed Grass with Compost
Gardening often comes to mind first when discussing composting, but your lawn can benefit from the added nutrients it brings. Compost feeds your grass and supplies additional bacteria and matter to enrich soil further and loosen up compacted ground.
The best time to add compost to your lawn is during the fall or spring seasons. Just make sure you do so when there isn’t any threat of frost and distribute an even top layer of ½” or less.
You’ll Love Organic Lawn Care
Whether you maintain a small urban yard or need a canopied riding mower to cut a few acres, maintaining your lawn organically creates a lush property scape you’ll enjoy working and playing in.
Incorporating a more holistic approach that supports and nurtures the delicate ecosystem in your yard means less exposure to harsh chemicals, benefiting your household and the environment.
So, before you sign up for a lawn treatment service, consider putting a few of these tips to use first and see how your grass responds. You’ll love how great the results are for so little effort, and your pocketbook will love not having an added expense to budget for each month.