Organic lawn care is relatively straight-forward. But as usual, it will be much easier if you get a couple of things right from the beginning. Here is an organic lawn care overview.
A lot of people believe that organic lawn care makes it almost impossible to get a good-looking lawn. After all, plenty of chemical products are being promoted as the best way of getting a great lawn. But it is possible to have a good looking lawn also without using any chemical products.
Like so much else, the key to a good looking organic lawn is the right preparations. If you prepare the soil and select the right grass, you are on your way to a great lawn. The right preparations are always important but it is especially true for organic gardening. If you select an unsuitable grass for your lawn, you can, to some extent, make up for the mistake by using chemicals. But such a solution is not possible in organic gardening.
So what grass is right for you? It depends on your climate and soil conditions. Note that grass is often sold as blends, containing several grass varieties. This is a good idea, in a good blend the varieties complement one other.
Grass is divided into two big groups, cool-season and warm-season grass. As the names imply, cool-season grass is best for colder climates while warm-season grass needs mild winters and like hot summers. Note that planting cool-season grasses in warmer regions is not a good idea. They tend to go dormant in hot weather and are also prone to attacks by pests in hot climates.
Regardless if you use sods or seeds, you need to prepare the soil first. First make sure that the soil is pH neutral or slightly acidic. If necessary, install drain tiles to get rid any wet spots. You need to add organic matter for the grass roots. Make sure that you mix it to a depth of at least six inches. The last thing you need to do is the most tedious task, remove all weed roots.
By using sods, you get a lawn quickly. Seeds of course take longer time but seeds are cheaper and generally you have more varieties to choose from than with sods. You will have more trouble with weeds if you go for seeds instead of sods.
A good lawn must be mowed regularly. Mowing does not only make the lawn look good, when done correctly it will also make the grass grow thicker. The same rules of thumb apply to mowing an organic lawn as a normal lawn. You may want to mulch the clippings and use them as fertilizer for your lawn.
Other maintenance tasks include fertilizing, watering, dethatching, aeration and weeding. Obviously, only apply natural fertilizers. Apart from that, maintaining an organic lawn is not much different from caring for normal lawns. Note that in a healthy organic lawn, thatch should not be a problem, or at least very seldom be a problem. The same goes for aeration, is should be taken care of by the microbes in the soil. Unfortunately, getting rid of weeds will still be your responsibility. The best way to keep weeds under control is to remove them as early as possible.
Pests are a problem in organic gardening. The best strategy is to avoid them in the first place. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. While weeds can be time-consuming to get rid of, they are in most cases easy to control. Diseases are much more difficult to deal with. The good news is that a healthy lawn generally fights off diseases on its own. Insects can also harm your lawn. Fortunately, some grass varieties are resistant to attacks from many insects. By selecting a grass that is pest resident, you can save yourself a lot of hassle.