Organic lawn management is the practice of establishing and caring for a garden lawn using organic horticulture, without the use of chemical inputs such as pesticides or artificial fertilizers. The primary element of organic lawn care is the use of compost to reduce the need for fertilization and to encourage healthy soil that enables turf to resist pests and disease.
The top 6 reasons for using compost for organic lawn management:
- It incorporates organic material into the soils which raises the CEC percentages (Cation Exchange Capacity). This is the soil’s measure of its ability to hold and release various elements and compounds into the soils for the lawn to be able to uptake.
- A reduction of synthetic (inorganic based) nitrogen-based fertilizers and chemicals added to the lawn.
- Increased root depth of the lawn which in turn allows a reduction of water requirements.
- Creates a thick and healthy lawn which in turn allows for a reduction in water requirements.
- Compost topdressing for 1 to 3 years is part of the rehabilitation process required to restore the soil to its natural, biologically active state.
- Increasing the organic matter content of soils will provide more holding points for iron, and will also increase the biological activity.
Trimmers Landscaping also offers organic lawn care services to our clients. Organic lawn care solutions can be tricky in New Hampshire. We have cool season turf grasses and a short growing season. Treatments like milky spore disease for controlling grubs take several years to establish because of the short season. Crabgrass and clover are difficult to control with organic measures.
Organic lawn care treatments inevitably have a small percentage of weeds and require patience to get the desired results. Applying the cultural practices of good topsoil, adequate watering, and thatch management will greatly improve the success of an organic lawn care program.
The cost of a natural turf management program is incrementally higher during the first two years, but then decreases significantly as soil biology improves and water requirements diminish. Total expenditures over five years show a cost savings of more than 7% using natural turf management, and once established, annual cost savings of greater than 25% or greater can be realized.