In recent years, more people are turning towards the benefit of using organic lawn care techniques and products. Usually the choice to use organic care for the yard is motivated by health and environmental concerns, but there are several other benefits of organic lawn care for homeowners to enjoy.
What Does Organic Lawn Care Include?
Organic lawn care includes a variety of organic lawn treatments that don't rely on the use of synthetic chemicals or conventional products such as herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers. Organic lawns take advantage of treatments like:
- Organic lawn fertilizer for essential nutrients
- Aeration techniques to oxidize soil, reduce compaction, and improve the health of grass roots
- Natural methods to discourage lawn pests instead of pesticides, such as maintaining naturally healthy lawns that are not good environments for pests and insects
- Hand removal of weeds rather than herbicides
What Is the Difference Between Traditional and Organic Lawn Care Products?
Synthetic fertilizers are manufactured and contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K), which are necessary for plant growth.
Organic lawn fertilizer comes from plant or animal waste. Manure, compost, and bone meal are commonly used. Most organic fertilizers are composed of natural, biodegradable materials that release nutrients to soil as it decomposes.
Organic fertilizers tend to have lower amounts of N-P-K, but these nutrients are fed more gradually for a longer effect.
How Do Organic Fertilizers Work?
Organic lawn fertilizers break down to release nutrients. They add organic compounds and matter which have the valuable nutrients your lawn needs into your soil. Unlike synthetic fertilizers, organic ones also contribute microorganisms, which helps with soil quality and water retention for a healthy lawn.
So How Is an Organic Fertilizer Better?
Better Looking Lawn
For those looking to keep their lawn green throughout the season, organic lawn fertilizer is excellent. Synthetic fertilizers can release nutrients too rapidly, and can burn leaves and roots. On the other hand, organic fertilizers release the nutrients gradually, because they are broken down by bacteria and fungi in the soil first, so there is less risk of overfeeding, and better ongoing feeding of the lawn. Because organic lawn fertilizers release their nutrients over the long term, they are better for promoting healthy root growth, which means a greener, more beautiful lawn.
The other advantage is that organic lawn fertilizer is harder to wash away through frequent watering or rainstorms.
Better Soil Health
Healthy soil has microbes; the organic material in organic fertilizers encourage growth of these, which also help break down the nutrients. The microorganisms also help with aeration and long term soil fertility, further enhancing soil health. Organic lawn treatment can help the soil hold water and other vital nutrients. As a result, the soil’s ecosystem will flourish due to the benefit of microbes.
Synthetic fertilizers, on the other hand, while carefully formulated to have the essential nutrients a plant needs, can cause acidity in the soil.
Synthetic fertilizers leach nutrients from the soil over time causing microbes and beneficial creatures like earthworms to die off. The results that synthetic fertilizers offer tend to be more superficial, and only while you use them consistently. With soil health not being encouraged, pests and weeds can flourish, and the lawn become diseased. As a result, organic fertilizer is the best solution for actually improving soils.
Better for the Environment
One of the biggest benefits of organic lawn care is that you are not using harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment. This, as well as being safer, is the main reason most people choose organic methods
All fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides sprayed on your grass or garden flows into stormwater systems, groundwater, and water sources. In fact, the majority of the nitrogen in conventional fertilizers is washed away like this, unlike the nutrients in organic fertilizers with their slower release and biodegradable elements.
The chemicals in commercial fertilizer sucks moisture out of the soil of its groundwater, too, for another negative impact that you don't get with organic fertilizer. Organic manure actually increases water retention, which both provides more available moisture for grass and prevents minerals from leaching away, so is better for the environment.
Better for Pet and People Health
Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, create a health and safety risk for people and pets. With most, you have to keep your pets and family off of a lawn that has been sprayed with these for several hours or more, especially for pets and small children who may have greater exposure. It is also harmful to wildlife and birds. They are carcinogens, and exposure to these can lead to serious health complications, including lymphoma.
However, you can walk on the grass immediately after using organic lawn fertilizer or using organic methods of treating the lawn, making this option more convenient, as well as safer for pets, birds, wildlife, and people.
Better for Beneficial Insects and Pest Control
In a healthy lawn, you want beneficial soil microbes and creatures like earthworms, while wanting to discourage destructive organisms. Organic lawn fertilizer and other products and methods maintain a better balance for your lawn so it is strong enough and defended against opportunistic threats.
Organic care works by strengthening the lawn, making it less vulnerable to disease and pests by being healthier. Chemical lawn care kills off beneficial organisms, leaving the grass more vulnerable to harmful ones.
Get Professional Help for an Organic, Beautiful Lawn
One downside to organic lawn care is that it is harder work to establish and maintain, especially in the first stages of moving from a traditionally-maintained to organic lawn.
At Riverwood Landscape of Kitchener, we can help you with the process. Whether you need new sod to start off with a healthy lawn to make your organic care easier, or need aeration and other maintenance services to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful, we work hard to ensure you have the yard of your dreams.