What is Organic Lawn Care?
Organic lawn care is quite simple and probably a less costly lawn care and maintenance alternative. In organic lawn care, mowing the lawn is very important. And even more important is how you mow the lawn.
Lawns always seem to have some stiff competition from weeds. This is the reason why in organic lawn care, we mow as high as possible to choke the weeds. Like with all plants, sunlight is very important for good healthy growth. Both the weeds and the grass will fight for enough sunlight. When you mow high, the grass will shade the weeds and help destroy them.
So when mowing, in organic lawn care, set the mower as high as possible (3 to 4 inches).
Most folks think that when the mow grass as low as possible, they will not need to mow often. Actually the very opposite is true. Grass grows much quicker when mowed too low.
Here’s how. The grass plant requires as much leaf surface as possible for photosynthesis which is the conversion of sunshine into sugar to feed the roots. When you cut the grass too low, the grass has to make leaves or blades as quickly as possible to survive. Apart from using up plenty of grass plant’s stored sugar and this greatly weakening the grass plant, it also make the lawn very vulnerable to disease and pests. It also means that the grass will grow a lot faster.
In contrast taller grass will tend to be healthier and will therefore tend to use the extra sugar available to grow more grass and thus make your lawn thicker. It will not grow quicker, it will tend to grow much more slowly than grass that has been mowed very low.
There is another way you can in fact use mowing to fight off weeds. Mowing twice as frequently as you usually do (still mowing high) you will affect the weeds and have no effect on the grass plants in your lawn. Unlike grass, the sensitive growing point for weeds is near the top, so when you keep on cutting off the tops of your weeds, you will tend to kill them, which is exactly what you want.
In organic lawn care it is very important to leave the clippings on your lawn when you mow. The clippings add organic matter and important nutrients to the soil.
Water your lawn only when your grass starts showing signs of lack of water. And when you water, you should ensure that the grass gets at least one inch of water. By watering less frequently you will be forcing the grass roots to go deeper into the soil. Naturally this will tend to be a lot deeper than most weed roots. The idea here is that as the soil dries the weeds with their shorter roots will die first and quickly as the grass roots still have access to water deeper in the soil. Actually weeds do very well when you water a lawn daily.
Usually the way to tell when to water your lawn in organic lawn care is to carefully watch the grass. Usually it will curl before it turns brown. When it starts to curl, that is the best time to water. The way to water your lawn when the grass is on the verge of drying is to do half your watering, wait for about 3 hours and then do the other half inch of your lawn watering.
If your organic cared lawn requires it, you should fertilize it with organic fertilizer in the fall and spring.
Another trick to use in organic lawn care is to have your soil pH tested by an expert. Never trust the cheap Ph testing equipment being widely sold - it could give you the wrong reading and cause you to take the wrong action with often fatal results.
If your soil pH is less than 6.0, add lime to the soil. If it is above 7.0, add gardener’s sulphur. The ideal soil pH for grass is 6.5.