Going green with your lawn is easy, and there’s lots of good reasons to do it. More and more Americans are making the switch from synthetic products to organic lawn fertilizer and other organic practices, and I wanted to run through a few of the reasons for interested readers:
Downsides of synthetic chemical fertilizers:
1. Up to 50% is leeched away to run into groundwater and waterways, where it upsets the balance of nutrients and contributes to “dead zones” in the oceans that are too oxygen starved for marine life.
2. Created using lots of energy.
3. Cause microbe blooms in soil that eat all up available carbon, which starves the microbe and cause them to stop producing nutrients for your lawn. This is a short term gain for a long term disruption in nature’s way of keeping your lawn green and healthy.
4. Potencial risk for children and pets. Asthma and other health effects have been attributed to chemical lawn care products.
5. Synthetic fertilizers typically come hand in hand with fungicides, pesticides, and herbicides, which have their own list of side effects and will generally cost more than a simple organic lawn care program.
Benefits of an organic lawn fertilizer:
1. Slow release of nutrients feeds soil microbes, which work to nourish your lawn
2. Safe around children and pets
3. Won’t “burn” your lawn
4. Restores nutrient balance in soil that will help prevent lawn moss and lawn mushrooms
5. Shown to keep your just as green as chemical products
Other organic lawn care techniques to keep your lawn healthy:
1. Water only one time, deeply, once a week. When a healthy lawn this is all that is needed.
2. Leave clippings to mulch after mowing to reduce fertilizer needs by 25%
3. Prune back other vegetation to increase sun light on your lawn. This will help prevent lawn moss as well.
4. Don’t mow your lawn shorter than 2″ or 3″.
4. Compost once a year with a thin layer spread over your lawn. This will add organic matter to your soil, which will help with water retention.
5. Don’t forget to fertilize with a natural organic lawn fertilizer! Even an organic lawn still needs fertilize to stay green.
While the results may not be as quick, taking on an organic lawn care program will keep your yard healthier and safer in the long run with little downside.