Don’t be intimidated by the idea of organic lawn care. Natural and simple to follow once you get started, embarking on this type of maintenance and care for your lawn is an adventure. Think simple and let your grass be your guide. These five easy tips will get you started on organic lawn care and the success you have with it will be motivation to keep going.
Tip 1 – Choose the Right Type of Grass
This is an important first step. With the right variety of grass planted in your lawn, care will be that much easier. Much like the native plants that do well in the garden with little to no fussy maintenance, well chosen grass will thrive in the same manner. Northern climates should look at the cool-season grasses, while those in the southern parts of the continent will do better with warm-season grass. In the mid regions it can go either way, so figure on the overall climate and average rainfall to make the best choice.
Tip 2 – Leave the Grass a Little Longer
Letting the grass grow taller delivers a variety of benefits. Longer blades of grass result in deeper root systems, which means the plants will be healthier and less prone to damage even in a drought. Longer blades also shade the soil more and help to hold in moisture and reduce the drying effects of the sun. A healthier lawn that has the necessary moisture will be stronger and naturally block out the weeds and pests, resulting in less work overall for you. Good plan.
Tip 3 – Maintain the Right PH Balance in Your Soil
Weeds like an alkaline or acidic soil, while most grasses prefer soil that is a little closer to neutral. By adding lime or hardwood ash you can reduce the acidity in your soil, making it less hospitable to weeds and more attractive for your grass. It’s best to test the level of pH in your soil first and then apply the necessary amount of lime or wood ash in small doses until you reach the desired level. This is best done in the fall, as the dormancy of winter allows the additives to break down, but it can also be effective when applied in the spring.
Tip 4 – Aerate and Dethatch
These simple processes will make a big difference to your lawn and should be done at least every few years. Aerating is when shallow plugs of soil are pulled out of the ground, adding pockets for nutrients, air and water to pass through the soil. Dethatching removes the layer of thatch that will naturally build up over time, again providing better air and nutrient flow and eliminating a haven for pests and disease in your lawn.
Tip 5 – Water the Right Way
Watering your lawn is only necessary when less than one inch of rain has fallen in the last week. Use a rain gauge to decipher whether the grass has gotten enough to drink. If not, water in long, soaking periods as opposed to short bursts and do so in the morning when evaporation will have a chance to dry off the foliage and deter disease from setting in.