Organic Turf Management programs are different in that they employ a larger field of view – they consider the bigger picture. Unlike conventional lawn care and management methods, they don’t look at the grass as an end in itself, but as a vital element in a larger eco-system.Organic lawn care focuses on building and maintaining healthy, natural soil – which in turn, naturally feeds and supports healthy grass.
It all Starts In the Soil
Organic soil is rich and fit to prosper. In addition to elements like Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium – which occur naturally and are common in soils across the board – organic soil is full of beneficial bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
These microorganisms – as well as healthy patrons like earthworms – build and maintain the structure of the soil to mirror Mother Nature’s incredible capacity for growth and sustainability. The object of a strategic organic soil management program is to enrich and encourage these organisms with natural fertilizers and soil amendments.
Mow, Water, and Aerate
When you mow – keep your grass on the longer end of the spectrum. This helps to create a natural, shaded system for seed germination and for the development of thicker, fuller root systems.
Your lawn will only require water-levels of about an inch per week. When you do go out to water, attend to it as infrequently as possible, and water in concentrated periods to allow for your grasses to mature.
Aerated soil is essential for sufficient drainage and retention. In the beginning, your soil may need mechanical aeration – whereas eventually, as it matures, the microorganisms and attendant creatures will aerate it naturally.
Organic fertilizers are made from naturally occurring sources. Materials like alfalfa, corn, bone meal, manures, limestone and sulfate of potash act as sources of sustenance for each of the soil-dwelling organisms in your healthy turf.
Synthetic fertilizers overstimulate grasses to a precise extent – hence the immediate, pure emerald sheen of conventional lawn treatment methods. Working with organic fertilizer is a slower process, but it’s the healthier, longer-lasting alternative.
It takes time for all the microorganisms to consume and digest the sources in the fertilizers. Once they have, however, the organisms’ excretions flood your grass with organic nutrients and produce much the same rich color and character as synthetic fertilizers.
Ditch the Synthetic Stuff
There’s no need to employ toxic and synthetic means and chemicals to rid your turf of unwelcome hangers-on; organic turf eliminates most weeds and pests naturally.
Maintaining longer grass helps immensely to stunt and manage the spread of insurgent weeds and pests – the higher “canopy” shields the soil from direct sunlight and makes it difficult for them to become established. Deeper root systems are naturally better-equipped to withstand the effects of grubs or chewing insects – which allows you to ditch the toxic pesticides and run your fingers through safer, more sustainable turf.
There are all sorts of organic additives available to help encourage the maturation of your lawn. Added compost, seaweed, and compost teas are useful for enriching the condition of your turf.
Overseeding is underrated. It’s essential to know that grass plants aren’t immortal. Overseeding overcompensates for the reproductive efforts of grass plants – slowing down their life-and-death cycle by natural means.
You want your lawn to lay thick throughout the seasons. Overseeding does the job – and can be managed manually with a spreader and rake, or else mechanically with a slice-seeder.
Research the grasses in your region and take note of sunning and shading needs before you buy seed. Remember, you’re taking up your place to aid in the natural efforts of the eco-system.
Let it Grow
Like we mentioned above – the results of an organic turf management system aren’t overwhelmingly rapid, and they certainly aren’t immediate.
If you can take the time and do the work to establish and maintain a fit setting for healthy soil and grasses – you’ll see the difference. Your grass will continue to grow, and to hold its own against the onslaught of nature’s yearly efforts.
Just imagine the long-term difference – organic turf that’s safe, secure, sightly, and sustainable.