Uncover the ways to treat your lawn organically.
By Guest Author George Alaniz
Spraying chemicals on your lawn can irritate your eyes, skin, or lungs, and even cause poisoning, according to the National Capital Poisoning Center. Thus, many homeowners are looking for ways to take care of their yard without using chemicals and opting for organic lawn care.
Organic lawn care is a way of taking care of your lawn that involves no manmade chemicals. It makes the yard safe for your pets and kids, and has environmental benefits, too. However, basic lawn care will still be applicable, such as cutting at the proper height, fertilizing, and seeding.
To better understand how you can care for your lawn organically, here are 6 tips.
Six Tips for Organic Lawn Care
1. Mow higher
Set your mower’s blade height to 3 1/2 inches to 4 inches. Mowing your lawn at this height can help you mow less, and it also promotes a more robust root system that is drought tolerant. Mowing higher also provides the following benefits:
- Mowing higher prevents “scalping” – cutting too low – that can have damaging effects on your lawn. Scalping weakens the roots by denying them enough solar energy from the blades of grass above. This makes the grass susceptible to stress, insects, and disease. Scalping also promotes weed growth. Weeds compete for the nutrients in your lawn soil, which means less nutrition for your grass.
- Cutting higher encourages a more extensive root system for your grass. The deeper and more plentiful roots make your lawn more drought-tolerant. A taller lawn also offers broadleaf weed and crabgrass control by shading more soil surface.
- Mowing higher builds a grub-tolerant lawn as root volume grows.
2. Don’t bag your grass clippings
Another tip for organic lawn care is to leave your grass clippings behind. Clippings are useful as a natural fertilizer when they start to decompose. According to the University of Missouri, grass clippings can provide up to 25 percent of your lawn’s total needs for fertilizer. Your grass clippings include nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous (NPK), the same chemicals you’ll find in bagged fertilizers. The phosphorus and potassium help form new roots, fight diseases, encourage growth, and make the grass stems strong. The decomposition of the grass clippings also serves as a food source for bacteria in the soil, which creates a healthy turf environment.
3. Seed at least twice a year
Seeding your lawn at least twice a year can help your grass grow thicker and make it lusher and greener.
Before seeding, mow your grass at the lowest blade setting to loosen the soil surface, according to the University of California. Then, use a rake to dethatch the turf and loosen the soil surface.
The University of Maryland Extension also advises aerating compacted soil to alleviate soil compaction and let air, water, and nutrients reach grass roots. Compacted soil struggles during heat and drought. Although you may be watering your lawn, when the soil is compacted, it will not get to the roots, depriving the grass of enough nutrients, water, and air. This causes stress for your lawn and results in unhealthy growth and losing its vibrant color.
4. Deep water your lawn less often
According to the USGA, deep and infrequent watering produces more roots. It also results in a larger root system that supports turfgrass during higher temperatures.
Infrequent irrigations – meaning once a week or less – that penetrate 6 inches into the soil will help your grass be healthier. Deep but infrequent drenching allows the roots of the grass to grow deeper and stronger. The thicker the root system, the less susceptible your grass is to periods of drought.
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, providing your grass the right water volume will be easy. However, if you are watering your lawn manually, it could be a little complicated. It can also get laborious as you position and reposition your sprinkler to ensure the proper amount of water discharged is at a suitable depth throughout your lawn area. This task may be demanding, but your efforts will be worth it.
5. Use organic lawn fertilizers
The use of organic fertilizers has become a popular option for homeowners. Aside from the fact that they’re safe to use, they also benefit your lawn’s soil. Organic fertilizer has been shown to improve improves the quality of soil texture, resulting in longer water retention and improved bacterial and fungal activity. Bacterial and fungi activity contribute to nutrient bioavailability and help restore degrades soil (soil that has been depleted of nutrients).
6. Add compost to your lawn
If you have a sandy type of soil, adding compost will help your soil retain water and nutrients. It also helps loosen the tight-bound clay or sediment soil which allows the roots to spread, water to be absorbed, and air to penetrate the soil. Compost also invites and feeds different organisms in the soil. Bacteria, fungi, worms and other life contribute to the healthy growth of your turf.
Guest Author Bio:George Alaniz has been in the lawn service industry for over 30 years. He started with his father and now he has started a company with his son to keep the tradition going. George enjoys learning about how to truly care for a lawn to better serve his customers and make their lawn beautiful. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his wife and dogs. His lawn mowing San Antonio team has been utilizing these tips for years to produce quality results.
this article was firstly published by https://www.bigblogofgardening.com