Get a Professional-Looking Yard with These 7 Organic Lawn Care Tips
If you dream of having a yard that could rival the front lawn of the Biltmore Estate, you’re in luck! It’s easy to assume your lawn could never look that good, considering the amount of maintenance the Biltmore grounds require — especially if you’re only interested in using organic lawn care methods.
However, we’re here to tell you it’s possible to achieve a similar level of perfection with the use of organic lawn care products. To get you started, here are some of our expert organic lawn care tips. We will tell you though, these methods may require a little more work on your part since you’re not getting by with chemical shortcuts. But trust us, the end result is more than worth it!
Professional Organic Lawn Care Tips
1. Test the Soil
We recommend having your property’s soil tested so you know your lawn inside and out before starting the process of organic lawn care.
Soil is a combination of several types of dirt, clay, rocks, and other organic matter and has a very delicate pH balance that needs to be maintained. Testing will show the components that make up the soil and what nutrients are needed to successfully grow any type of vegetation.
If the pH of your soil is imbalanced, you may begin to notice certain symptoms in your plants and lawn. Yellow spots or veins, stunted growth, wilting leaves, and discoloration are common signs of a low or high pH balance. To organically correct an imbalanced pH level in soil, we recommend a lyme application. You can learn more about this yearly lawn treatment, here.
Pro Tip: Certain grasses require different pH levels to thrive. If your lawn is suffering due to varying pH levels, your yard may not be growing the ideal grass type. Read our blog, How to Choose the Right Grass for Your Lawn, for additional information. You may also want to consider landscaping alternatives for areas where grass won’t grow as well!
2. Aerate the Grass
One key factor to a healthy lawn that many homeowners forget is aeration. Aerating is the process of creating holes in the soil so water and nutrients from fertilizers can fully absorb into the grassroots. Typically, aeration should be done in the fall, around September and October, to prepare your lawn for growth in the spring.
Aeration is especially important if you live in the Carolinas and have clay-heavy soil underneath your lawn. When the soil becomes too compacted, it causes poor drainage which can lead to mold and a host of other diseases. While it’s possible to aerate your soil on your own, the process can be tricky, which is why we always suggest contacting a professional.
3. Topdress Soil with Compost
Composting is a simple organic lawn care solution that benefits the environment and your lawn. Composting:
If you’re looking for a way to naturally enrich your lawn, composting is the way to go. If you’re not practicing composting already, take a look at our Guide to Composting for Beginners to learn how to create compost for your lawn.
Related: 10 Things You Can Do to Positively Impact The Environment
- Fertilizes better than anything else. Because it’s an entirely natural product, compost contains both macro and micro-nutrients — nutrients that can’t be found in synthetic fertilizers sold in stores.
- Encourages the best kind of plant growth. Compost aids in plant growth, acts as a soil conditioner, and a natural pesticide.
- Increases worm count in your garden (yes, that’s a good thing). Compost prevents soil from eroding and therefore stops the spread of plant diseases, increasing the presence of beneficial garden insects like worms!
- Retains water. Compost improves the soil’s ability to retain water and therefore decreases runoff. (Runoff is what pollutes our water systems!)
4. Naturally Fertilize with Lawn Clippings
As tempting as it may be to clean up the lawn after mowing, leave some grass clippings to naturally fertilize it. Lawn clippings make an excellent natural fertilizer because they’re high in nitrogen. Most importantly, the clippings come from your own lawn, so you know exactly what products it has been treated with.
5. Don’t Overwater the Grass
Save the environment (and your water bill!) by watering the lawn sparingly. Doing this also keeps grass from drowning which causes mold and other water damage. Rather, try watering with the weather and refrain from keeping your sprinklers on an automated schedule.
6. Kill Weeds
Weeds can be difficult to control, especially if they’ve gone untreated for quite some time. Luckily, there are many organic methods for killing off weeds without the use of harmful chemicals. Weeds steal nutrients from your lawn and can cause your grass to die. By eliminating weeds before they start, you can work towards a healthier lawn.
Pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are both organic lawn care solutions for eliminating weeds. These herbicides are best applied early in the year to catch weeds before they have a chance to root, as well as catch any weeds that may have slipped through the cracks (no pun intended). Read our blog, Spring Weed Control: 7 Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Lawn, to discover other organic weed solutions.
7. Attract Beneficial Insects
Yes, there is a difference between beneficial insects and harmful pests — we even wrote a blog about it! Attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs, butterflies, and honeybees is an organic way to improve the health of your plants and lawn while eliminating harmful pests such as aphids, Japanese beetles, and termites.
Beneficial insects pollinate plants, aerate the soil, devour invasive insects, and break down dead materials and waste that feed your lawn. Do your research to determine which beneficials you would like to attract to your lawn and learn how to attract them. Ladybugs, for example, are attracted to plants with lots of pollen and nectar. By planting these in your lawn or garden, you can attract more ladybugs and eliminate plant-destroying insects like aphids.
While you can’t live at the Biltmore Estate, you can achieve a professional and beautiful lawn with these organic lawn care tips. Remember, a beautiful lawn can be obtained naturally without chemical shortcuts that harm the environment around your home.
No one knows lawns like Killingsworth. Schedule an appointment with our lawn care professionals today!