In recent years, homeowners across the United States have been taking steps to follow organic lawn care practice. But “organic lawn care” means different things to different people, which complicates things.
Some people see organic lawn care as simply using natural and organic materials while completely avoiding chemicals and synthetic products. For others, it is a more responsible way of taking care of their lawn and the environment as a whole.
Regardless of your reasons for choosing organic lawn care, this article is designed to offer you a look at the benefits of organic lawn care as well as how you can use fertilizer to maintain your lawn.
Going Organic Will Shift Your Mindset
When you decide to go organic, you will no longer think about lawn care like you did before. Instead of solely focusing on the lush, green lawn you want to produce, think about the soil.
Having a beautiful lawn requires feeding the billions of microorganisms that live in the soil. Those organisms feed on organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings, buried wood, manure, shed grass roots, and any other biodegradable material that enters the soil.
When these microbes feed on the organic material in your lawn, they release nutrients that plants feed on. For this reason, maintaining a healthy, organic landscape requires a shift in thinking. If you can create an environment that feeds the microbes, it will then produce the nutrients (mainly nitrogen) your grass needs to thrive, which will help your plants grow strong. Everything about your landscape is interconnected.
Natural Organic vs. Synthetic Organic Fertilizer
The lawn care industry offers two kinds of organic fertilizer: natural organic and synthetic organic. Natural organic fertilizers are made from natural resources such as manure, animal, fish, or plant byproducts. When you start browsing organic fertilizers at your local garden center, you’ll discover that commercial organic fertilizers are granulated for easy measuring and spreading, which is an added benefit. There are liquid options but those can be tricky to apply.
Synthetic organic refers to the “urea” or nitrogen source found in most synthetic organics. Chemical reactions with other chemicals can alter urea, producing different varieties of slow release products. Because urea contains carbon in its structure, it is considered organic.
Many people choose to blend synthetic organic nitrogen with natural organic fertilizers because of the variety of nitrogen evens and release responses it produces. The industry refers to these products as “bridge products.”
Regardless of which fertilizer option you prefer, you should complement it with organic compost as that will help the soil in your lawn resist compaction in high traffic areas. Once your lawn gets used to regular organic fertilizer application, you’ll start to see fewer problems and diseases. The organic material will also correct the pH levels in your lawn, so don’t be afraid to go this route.
Use Earthworm Castings
As weird as it sounds, worm feces is one of the best things for your yard. Yes, that’s right.
The technical term for this material is earthworm castings, which are rich with live biological organisms including fungi, actinomycetes, beneficial bacteria, pseudo monads, yeasts, molds, trace elements, and plant growth regulators.
Earthworm castings are revolutionary because they make more NPK available to plants and contain less of these elements. They’re also odorless, child-safe, pet-safe, and improve plant growth and soil structure. Most lawn and garden centers sell earthworm casting fertilizer by the ba, case, pallet, cubic yard, or in bulk.