Using organic lawn-care products doesn’t mean you have to change your entire lifestyle. It just means that you need to do a few things differently. Is it worth the effort? Absolutely. Once you switch to organic fertilizer, you’ll wonder why you ever used chemicals on your lawn. Organic fertilizers offer many benefits over more traditional approaches to lawn-care, including:
Organic fertilizers are non-toxic to plants, humans, and animals. Chemical fertilizers may not be able to claim this kind of safety. Some fertilizers are made from dried, ground, plant matter. The most common would be alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, and soybean meal. Soybean and cottonseed are excellent sources of nitrogen, with alfalfa being a more balanced fertilizer.
Organic fertilizers can also be made from animals and animal end-products, wood ashes, and manure and biosolids. All of these have distinct advantages including a natural and balanced level of phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium.
Since organic fertilizers are nutrient-rich, you may find yourself needing less of them. This, naturally, reduces the requirement to purchase more and more fertilizer to keep your lawn healthy. You also only need to water your lawn one time, deeply, once per week. This cuts down on your water bill. You can supplement your organic fertilizer with glass and hedge clippings (as well as leaves). Use them for mulch, create a compost pile, and then recycle your weekly mowing.
Your lawn may be stripped of vital nutrients through heavy rain or through an overgrowth of moss or other weeds. However, a properly fertilized lawn has a more balanced pH, which makes it more difficult for harmful plants and weeds to overrun your lawn. Any soil that’s washed away can be replenished with fertilizer rich in nutrients that your lawn needs to survive.
Chemicals aren’t always safe. By using chemical fertilizers, you may have to keep an eye on your pets and children so that they don’t end up playing around in the yard with fertilizer down. Chemical fertilizers can be absorbed into the skin, and the way they work is to burn everything. This burning isn’t confined to just weeds. They can burn skin too. Runoff after a rainstorm can wash these chemicals into your neighbor’s yard, or into the sewers. These chemicals may even make it into the groundwater.
Less Likely To Burn Roots
The general approach that chemical fertilizers use is to burn everything – good and bad. This is a”napalm” approach to lawn care. It’s pretty destructive. By contrast, organic fertilizers feed the grass and provide an environment that encourages growth of your lawn while providing an unattractive environment for unwanted weeds, moss, and other plant-life.
They Release Nutrients Slower
The slow-release of nutrients gives your lawn what it needs, when it needs it. This isn’t really possible with chemical lawn fertilizers. Because of the gentle nature of organics, you won’t have to keep reapplying the fertilizer week after week. It will continue to provide benefits for a while after you’ve got a good ground covering going.
Ben West, the author of this article, is a lawn care specialist and consultant. He enjoys sharing his insights through blogging. Visit LawnCare for more organic lawn care ideas.
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