Organic Lawn Care for the DIY Crowd

by Nate on February 19, 2011

Organic Lawn Care for the DIY Crowd

Organic Lawn Care for the DIY Crowd 

Do you want a healthy lawn that is safe for people, pets and the environment; a lawn free of dangerous chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides?  Go organic!  It’s, easy to maintain, and, cheaper in the long run.   

How and where do you begin?  Your lawn is as healthy as the soil it grows in. Healthy soil is the most important aspect of a healthy lawn.  Extensive research has shown that healthy soil has many benefits for the organic lawn. Many weeds are simply choked out. Root systems develop to provide drought-resistance and hardiness. Insect and disease problems are minimized.

Healthy soil contains naturally occurring potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus as well as billions of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and larger creatures like earthworms that build soil structure. Chemically treated lawns, in contrast, have very little life because, over time, the fertilizers and pesticides kill or slow down these helpful creatures. The underlying basis of organic lawn care practices is the management of a soil in which the biotic character is preserved.  

Weeds, insects, and lawn disease are messengers that tell you what’s wrong with your soil. “You can hide the message and kill the messengers with chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, but it doesn’t kill the message.  A green lawn is not necessarily a healthy lawn.  Organic lawn care eliminates or greatly lessons the message.

Healthy soil needs organic material.  Organic matter provides nutrients, moisture retention, texture, and an environment to sustain high populations of microorganisms. Fertile soil is essential for a healthy lawn.  There are two classes of organic material: green organic material such as fresh grass clippings, manure and other living plants (weeds) and plant products contain large amounts of nitrogen, and brown organic material such as dried leaves and plants, branches, and woody materials (leaf stems) have high carbon content but are relatively low in nitrogen.

Basically, Green materials supply food for the biolife (bacteria, fungi, and small invertebrates such as worms) which intern manufacture, supply, and facilitate nutrient uptake for the plants.  The Brown materials provide a home for the Green material biolife. The decomposition of both green and brown organic materials becomes organic matter or Humus.

Compacted soils cause unhealthy lawns.  They stay soggy when wet, and turn rock hard when they dry out in the summer. When soils are “tight”, necessary air, water and nutrients cannot move through the soil easily. Disease occurs. Roots are stunted. Beneficial micro-organisms can’t survive. Plants are stressed and weakened. When you are doing everything else right, soil compaction will ruin all your efforts.  One of the secrets to a great lawn is having a porous, well-aerated soil where roots can grow deeply and biolife can thrive. According to the experts, the best soils should contain about 25% air.  When the soil is well aerated and bioactive, roots grow deeper and plants are much healthier. The soil drains faster when wet, but it actually holds more water when the conditions are dry.

Until recently, lawn aeration was accomplished using heavy, expensive mechanical core aerators that poked holes (cores) in the lawn every 6 inches at a depth of 2-3 inches and leaves a big mess.  Now there are bio-enhanced liquid aerators with added bio-activators to help speed up your soil’s regeneration and detoxification that can be applied with a garden hose with a hose end sprayer (less than .00).

Natural Lawn Aeration:

Helps loosen clay and reduce compaction
Eliminates the need for mechanical aeration
Improves water retention during drought
Bio-activates and detoxifies the soil
Helps reduce disease
Improves rooting
Helps wet soils drain faster
Maximizes fertilizer benefits
Safe around sprinklers and trees

Organic control of insect infestations

Brix value and Insects

A liver is necessary to digest sugar. If an insect, which does not have a liver, ingests sugar, that sugar will eventually turn to alcohol and kill the insect. Insects instinctively know this, and plants with high Brix value (and, as a result, high sugar content) will emit different UV light patterns and electrical charges which communicate to insects that they should stay away.

Unfortunately, it has become the norm to ignore those warning signs and simply kill off all the bugs – either with some toxic chemical or with some natural alternative. Of course, of those two options, the natural insecticide is certainly the better option, but it still does not address the central problem of this situation. The bugs are there for areason. The plant is not healthy. Make the plant healthy and the

Pages: 1 2

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: