Organic Lawn Service Company Insight on Nurturing a Lawn Organically
A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll for the National Association of Landscaping Professionals found that 67% of Americans find hiring professional landscapers would help them nurture a better yard. It’s especially the case for homeowners who have decided to go organic. While organic lawn care nurtures healthy, green grass, and soil, the process can be quite time-consuming. Enlisting the help of an organic lawn service is critical to understanding essential lawn care practices for nurturing it. We look at some of them.
1. Use the Right Fertilizer
When it comes to natural lawn care, your mantra should be to feed the soil, not the plant. This means factoring in the effects the fertilizer has on macro and microorganisms, soil quality, and if it leads to groundwater pollution. Inorganic fertilizers usually contain three primary ingredients: potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. If applied three times a year, it only causes the grass to grow fast but provides little nutritional value to the soil.
Conversely, organic fertilizers contain additional nutrients beyond the regular N, P, K composition in chemical fertilizers. This is because the fertilizers are a by-product of animal and plant sources. They release nutrients slowly, allowing the grass and soil to get essential nutrients.
Organic lawn service experts recommend using fertilizers with labels like ‘natural organic’ and ‘slow release’ when tending to a lawn. If applying a slow-release fertilizer with high nitrogen content, for example, you only need to apply a tenth of a pound every week. Applying more makes the grass grow faster, so you have to mow your lawn frequently. You may also ask the experts to perform a soil test to identify any nutrient deficiency in the soil. Such information helps purchase the right fertilizer to boost that lacking nutrient.
2. Get the Timing Right
If you’re going organic, you need to get the timing for fertilizer application right. If in doubt, consult an organic lawn service professional. Be sure to aerate the lawn before applying the fertilizer to reduce compaction, improve water absorption and air circulation. Then apply the fertilizer. Slow-release lawn fertilizer is the most effective as it breaks down nutrients over an extended period.
As such, essential nutrients like nitrogen are released gradually, allowing grass to use it throughout the summer. A pro tip is to leave the grass clippings on the lawn to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer needed during the year. Once the clippings decompose, they increase nitrogen supply.
If you’ve applied the fertilizer during spring (mid-to-late April) the second application should happen after four weeks, then every six to eight weeks until October. If applying the natural fertilizer during fall, look for a product with high potassium and phosphorus content to promote root growth.
3. Mow Grass to the Appropriate Length
When nurturing a natural lawn, the grass shouldn’t be too short; mowing it to three or four inches should suffice. Extremely short grass leads to a short root system causing weed growth and increasing the need for water and food. Using a sharp mower blade helps cut the grass to the right length while preventing browning and the development of shredded edges.
4. Reduce Irrigation
Contrary to popular belief, you should reduce the number of times you water the lawn when using natural fertilizers. The idea is to encourage the roots to go deep in search of water. Frequent shallow irrigation promotes shallow root growth (you want the former effect). As such, you want the water the lawn when the grass looks distressed, e.g., during a drought. Some grass types like the cool-season grass can go for weeks without water.
5. Cover all the Areas When Applying Fertilizer
Start applying the fertilizer around the lawn’s perimeter and then fill out the middles section in one direction. Continue to spread it, moving the spreader in a perpendicular direction. The premise is to ensure full coverage and prevent over-applying the fertilizer. Over-application can kill and burn the grass, causing it to develop unsightly brown patches.
These lawn practices should help you nurture healthy turf organically. You want to hire an organic lawn service company if transitioning from synthetic to organic lawn fertilizers. The professionals provide valuable insight into making the changes without causing disease, pests, or browning.