Friday, June 12, 2009

Organic Lawns

Organic gardening is the practice of engaging in gardening practices that do not use chemical pesticides. The benefits of Organic farming are obvious and non-debatable.
The less toxic chemicals are used, the less toxic chemicals seep into our water to later contaminate all life including ourselves. We owe it to our future generations to engage in such practices and salvage what is remaining of our world.

But what does this all mean for your Lawn. Unfortunately Organic Lawn Care is not for the lazy. You will need to substitute synthetic fertilizers and pesticides chicken manure and plant fibers and the results are in many cases disappointing. It may take a while for this movement to take hold in India, one reason is that organic lawn products are probably not available. We however wanted to raise awareness of this practice with this article.

I end by posting a ORGANIC LAWN 101, Courtesy of Scott Meyer editor of Organic Gardening magazine.

  • Get Soil Test
    This shows what fertilizers and soil amendments, such as limestone, you need. Tests can be done by pros or with do-it-yourself kits available in stores and online at sites such as www.gardensalive.com (Anytime)
  • Control Weeds
    Clean up debris and apply organic corn gluten herbicide, such as Cockadoodle DOO Weed Control or WeedBan (www.purebarnyard.com, (www.extremelygreen.com). Safe for kids and pets, but not when seeding new grass. (Early spring & late summer)
  • Fertilize
    Non-synthetic organic brands can be found in gardening centers and most home improvement chains, including Home Depot and Lowe's. Look for a seal from Organic Materials Review Institute. Follow directions. (Early and late spring, late summer or early fall)
  • Mow and Water
    Keep grass on the high side -- 2.5 to 3 inches -- to fight weeds. Don't cut lawn while it's wet, and leave clippings to feed the soil. Rake out clumps. Lawns need about one inch of water a week. Water early -- 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. is best -- and for concentrated periods. Light sprinkling fosters weak roots.
  • Feed Turf
    Nutrients like compost tea sprays, liquid seaweed and grub deterrents may build soil's biology and fight pests. Some brands can be found at www.gardensalive.com and www.extremelygreen.com. (See directions for best application times)
  • Seed
    When nights are cool, grass grows best. That's the best time to over-seed lawn and fill in any bare spots. (Fall)

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