Does Your Yard Have a Landscaping Theme?

Swaps You Can Make for More Organic Lawn Care

by Dan Mckinney

Do you think of lawn care as involving lots of pesticides, herbicides, and other strong chemicals? These methods can work, but they do have their downfalls. For instance, these chemicals can be tough on insects, and they can also rinse into lakes and streams. If you would rather avoid these consequences, then you can look into more organic lawn care options. Those options certainly exist. Here are a few simple swaps you can make.

Swap fertilizer for manure and compost.

Fertilizer is good for your lawn, but it's not so good for the bodies of water that it rinses out into. Fertilizing your lawn with manure and compost is much healthier. These substances provide nutrition for the grass, but they do not rinse off so easily and are much less concentrated. Spreading manure on your lawn may sound stinky, but it really isn't because the manure you use has been composted and has mostly lost its stink. Scattering a thin layer of manure over your lawn once or twice a year before a rainstorm will give it plenty of nutrition. If you don't like using manure, you can buy a general-purpose mixed compost instead.

Kill your weeds with vinegar or boiling water.

Instead of using a lot of herbicides, you can kill your lawn weeds with boiling water or hot vinegar. Vinegar works better in the moment, but it can acidify your soil, so you want to use it sparingly. If you have a lot of weeds to kill, it is better do to so by simply dumping hot water on them. They'll die within a few days since their leaves will be cooked. Try to do this early before the weeds develop seeds, and you won't get as many new weeds growing.

Use diatomaceous earth for grubs and insects.

Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from the shells of tiny, sea dwelling creatures. It won't hurt you, but it will dry out insects and kill them. You can spread it over your lawn, and it will kill grubs and other insects. It's much healthier than pesticides and won't harm bees since they don't typically come into direct contact with the ground where it's sprinkled.

Organic lawn care is not as tough to arrange for as you might think. By making the three big swaps above, you can make your lawn care protocols friendlier for the planet and all its creatures.