My organic lawncare tips will help even the novice homeowner in their quest for a healthy and beautiful organic lawn. You can grow the lawn you desire without synthetic chemicals by knowing your soil and preventing common lawn problems (weeds, disease and pests).
Bird and insect populations are dwindling. Part of the reason is due to the pesticides people use on their lawn and gardens. Scientists have found links between higher rates of cancer in kids and lawn pesticides. In Connecticut, it is illegal to use pesticides near schools and daycare centers. Also, lawn chemicals are partially responsible for a 30% to 40% increase in mortality of our pets. I personally, limit the chemicals that I use on my own lawn for the health of my two dogs (Sasha the golden retriever and Koda the siberian husky).
Natural lawns use fewer fossil fuels, water and fertilizer. Over time it can be less expensive and save you time. Just think you would have the extra time to relax or start a hobby.
The key ingredient to a healthy organic lawn is knowing the type of soil you have in your yard. In fact, all of my organic lawncare tips for you are related to soil. Knowledge is powerful. Once you know your soil type, you can determine the type of grass that will thrive in your yard.
Putting my organic lawncare tips to work for your lawn.............
When learning about the type of soil you have there are four elements that are important for you to research:
The texture of the soil refers to the sizes and proportions of particles that make up the soil.
Warning, you need to get your hands a little dirty for this test. Is the soil, light, medium or heavy?
Light Soil - This type of soil is coarse sand. It is gritty and loose whether it is wet or dry. This type of soil mostly contains sand. The sand particles are large.
Medium Soil - There are three different textured soils that fall into this category: sandy loams, clay loams and silt loams.
Heavy Soil - This type of soil usually contains a little sand or silt. When it is dry it forms hard clumps and it is sticky when it is wet.
Sandy Loam – This textured soil is made up of ½ sand, ¼ silt and ¼ clay. It crumbles easily and holds together when it is wet.
Clay Loam – This textured soil is made up of 1/3 clay, 1/3 silt and 1/3 sand. The soil is very heavy and holds together well when it is wet.
Silt Loam – This type of soil, hardly contains any clay or sand. It easily clumps together and when it is rolled across your hand it breaks apart.</li>
Most grass prefers medium textured soil because it allows for the easy passage of air, water and nutrients into the grasses root system. The grass struggles to survive in heavy textured soil and water & nutrients drain off too quickly in light textured soil.
The soil's structure refers to how particles stick together to form crumbs and clumps. Good soil structure is essential. Organic matter (compost, ground up leaves, manure, etc )makes soil structure possible. How your lawn is used and too much rototilling can impact your soil's structure. Bad soil structure can impact your soil's ability to fight off erosion. If you are trying to alter your soil's overall structure, your best bet is to add compost or organic matter.
Depth refers to the amount of good soil that is available for grass plants to develop roots. Grass needs 6 to 12 inches of top soil to thrive each season. When you don't have enough topsoil on top of heavy clay, your lawn could hold too much water which will cause the grass roots to rot and become diseased. To solve the problem of a lack of topsoil in your lawn, gradually build it up each year by top dressing it.
Drainage refers to the ability of the soil to gradually absorb water. When water forms puddles on your lawn or saturates the soil, your grass will struggle. Fungus and weeds that thrive on moisture are attracted to lawns that have drainage problems. If the problem is minor, aerating your lawn may be helpful. However, if your drainage problems persist you may need to regrade your soil or install drainage tiles. Nobody's yard is perfectly level on it's own. If you have low spots, you may want to regrade the area to fill in these low spots where puddles will form and even out the yard. Not only will this help with the drainage problem, but aesthetically your lawn will look more pleasing to the eye as well.
My best organic lawncare tip to you is to know your soil. This will help sideline lawn problems. Weeds, disease and pests that are typically treated with synthetic chemicals.