Monday, March 23, 2009

Organic Lawn Care

Ah lawns. The great "easy care" landscape that's more work then you'd imagine. I'm conflicted about lawns. While my eye does like the aesthetic break they provide with their low profile and open expanse, they do suck a lot of time, *water* and chemicals (generically speaking). The lawn is my last hold out for chemical application (of which my application is spotty at best; I'm quite inconsistent). I'd really like to change all that. While I don't have a lot of lawn (maybe 500sq/ft or less) it does require some attention. Sadly I've been ignoring my little patches of green and it shows. So my plan is to eliminate the chemicals and do a bit more hand weeding as needed and try this method of organic lawn care:

"I visited a local reader and when he mentioned that he used worm castings on his lawn I asked for more info, please. So he wrote to tell me exactly what he puts on his good-looking lawn:

"WOW pre-emergence weed control" - this is basically 100% corn gluten with a slow nitrogen release, and I apply it with a hand-cranked hand-held spreader when the forsythia bloom each spring.

"100% Pure Earthworm castings" - again, I apply it with a hand-crank, hand-held spreader about a month after I’ve put down the corn gluten.

"Gardener’s Gold Premium compost" - goes down at the same time as the worm castings. (About every three years or so I’ll pick up a small 10-lb. bag of fish emulsion and I’ll mix that into the compost before I spread it onto the lawn).

Then he concluded: "And that’s it; that’s all I do for lawn care - I don’t apply anything else during the year. As I think I told you, I use no chemicals in this garden at all. I do mulch the fall leaves into the lawn with a mulching mower. I hand-weed throughout the growing season when/if necessary (and that’s pretty rare - the corn gluten really does suppress the weeds). I also keep my lawn high - I let it grow to 5 inches or so and then cut it down to three and a half inches - that keeps the sun off of the soil and helps discourage weed germination as well. In the hottest part of summer, if we’ve had no rain for 10 days I’ll give it a half inch of water via a sprinkler.

"I’m continuously mystified by the far more complex and expensive lawns regimens that I read and hear about."

And can I just say, his garden looks maaarvelous, and in no small part because he avoids a huge swath of lawn like the one you see here. His garden is mostly borders, and they’re filled primarily with conifers. The model of the sustainable garden looks good every day of the year, and costs the gardener very little in time or money."


2 comments: said...

Hi, I’m a relatively new blogger you can find here at, and your site is very related to mine; I thought it would be beneficial for both of us to do a blogroll link exchange. Please let me know if you’re interested.



Cris said...

Organic lawn care should really be implemented in the whole world! I hate people who still use chemicals and not aware of its effects. Come on! Be wise!