Lawn care in the US or UK is no small matter. Industry statistics estimate that up to $40 billion is spent on lawns, and that in the US alone, they account for 30 million acres of land. The vast amount of money spent on lawn care is no testimony to their being healthy however. Organic lawn care on the other hand, can lead to rich green surfaces, the reduction of use of harmful chemicals and be of enormous help to the environment. That's the emphasis of this article.
A lawn has to be seen as a living organism. Once you have this understanding, you will then tend to treat your lawn with all the care it needs. When you start with organic lawn care, the first step is to test the soil. This will enable you to know the nutrients that are lacking in it, and thus allow you to use organic fertilizers or additives to compensate the lawn with. The soil must also contain worms, bugs and other microorganisms that will aid growth. Compost can be the best fertilizer. This can easily be obtained from local nurseries, but you will do well to learn how to set up your own compost heap, so that you produce such compost yourself. Information on making such compost heaps is widely available over the Internet, with a number of sites giving very clear instructional videos, that will make setting up such compost pits a very simple affair. This can also help you to get rid of your household waste in an environmentally friendly manner. You can also use organic protein based fertilizers like coffee grounds, alfalfa meal and corn gluten meal. Each of them release nitrogen slowly while they are digested by the microorganisms present in the soil. Seaweed can also make a good fertilizer for organic lawn care.
Once you have your soil tested and the nutrient deficiency attended to, you then need to select the right grass for your lawn. Look around your neighborhood and get details of the lawn that most impresses you from your neighbors. Decide on whether you want to start with your lawn by going through the seeding process, or will prefer to buy sods (or turf) from the local nursery, so that you can unfurl natures carpet.
Once your lawn has been treated with seed or sod, you need to ensure that there is no footfall until the grass takes hold and becomes established. Seeding may demand you restrict footfall for a prolonged period, or until the blades have gained sufficient length. Hydration is very important during these initial stages and must be done with a lot of care, so that the growing seed or new sod is not disturbed.
Once the lawn has become established, you need to keep up a regular schedule of maintenance for watering it, mowing it and de-weeding it. An excess of water must be avoided. Weeds need to be removed from their roots and mowing restricted to one third of leaf height. Occasionally, it can also be a good idea to aerate the lawn. This ensures that the roots of the grass remain healthy. Aeration also helps the lawn to retain water that can help its growth. There are some very simple ways of ensuring such aeration, the obvious one being walking over the lawn with spiked shoes. Attachments are also available for lawn mowers that can achieve the same effect.