6 Simple Steps to Organic Lawn Care

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Organic lawn care may sound like a difficult, labor-intensive process, but this isn’t true. Taking care of your lawn organically can actually reduce the amount of work you do in your yard. By following just a few simple steps, anyone can get beautiful, healthy grass that’s completely safe, too. Forget about the pesticides, the expensive watering equipment, and the after-mowing maintenance. Here's some simple steps to replace them all with.

1. Don't Mow Your Grass Too Short

Grass is healthier when it's taller. In fact, you want to mow your grass no shorter than two inches. Taller grass grows longer roots, which can more easily access nutrients and water to maintain a healthy, green appearance. Keep your lawn mower blade short to avoid doing trauma to your grass. You want to make quick, clean cuts. Dull mower blades can damage grass and create ragged edges that are more prone to disease. Replace mower blades regularly, once or twice every growing season.

2. Stop Bagging Your Clippings

A close-up of grass clippings.

If you want to practice organic lawn care, practice leaving your grass clippings on the lawn rather than gathering them up. The grass cuttings work as natural lawn feed. When they decompose, they add their nutrients to the soil to nourish the still-growing grass. This is an extremely simple organic lawn care technique that requires no extra work, and actually reduces a bit of extra work, to boot.

3. Get Rid of Weeds

Weeds absorb nutrients, robbing them from your grass, which can inspire more weed growth. They can become a self-feeding machine that takes over the lawn if you don't treat them. Remove weeds with organic weed killers, rather than chemical pesticides. Homemade weed-killing recipes are simple and easy to use, and won't do any damage to your lawn when used properly. Apply weed killer to weeds as soon as you notice them, and stop the problem before it becomes bigger.

4. Aerate Your Lawn

A large aeration machine poking holes into a lawn's soil in an effort to maintain organic lawncare.

Contrary to proper belief, it's not grass clippings or weeds that create thatch in your lawn. Thatch is a thick layer of growth that can absorb moisture and nutrients before it reaches your grass, and it happens when soil isn't getting enough aeration. Soil needs air, just like plants. Use an aeration tool to poke small holes throughout your lawn to expose it to air and open it up for water and nutrients to sink down inside. Good aeration will remove and prevent thatch to make your lawn look much more beautiful.

5. Water Properly (and Sparingly)

Your grass probably doesn't need to be watered as often as you think. Many homeowners are guilty of overwatering and using bad watering techniques that negatively affect the health of their grass. To start, don't ever water your grass at night, which can cause fungus to grow. The best time to mow grass is early in the morning, when it can be absorbed by the soil through the day and dry out under the sun before nightfall. Water your lawn only if it becomes discolored or starts to curl, which are signs that it is too dry.

6. Fill in Bare Spots

A hand holding a palm-full of grass seed with a lawn in the background.

Don't wait for bare spots in the lawn to take care of themselves because they'll do it the wrong way. Bare patches in grass invite weed growth that can begin to encroach upon healthy grass over time. Keep some grass seed handy, and place it on bare spots when you notice them in your lawn. Cover grass seeds with a thin layer of natural compost to encourage healthy growth, and those bare spots will fill in beautifully.

It’s not as difficult or as maintenance-intensive to grow an organic lawn as many people think. With a few simple changes, you can practice organic lawn care that's easy to implement. Organic lawn care gives you gorgeous, healthy grass that’s pesticide-free and safe for your children, your pets, and you.