Many companies and products claim to be organic, but what does that actually mean? Obviously, organic means chemical-free, but there’s much more to having an organic lawn care service. Understanding a lawn and the ecosystem of your yard is a huge component of providing organic lawn care for your property, this isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” kind of deal.
When choosing organic supplies and products for your lawn, it is important to pay attention to the label. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Marketing Service, you must meet these criteria:
- Produced without excluded methods (e.g., genetic engineering), ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge
- Produced per the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances
- Overseen by a USDA National Organic Program-authorized certifying agent, following all USDA organic regulations
Also, pay attention to the wordage on the label:
- 100% Organic – made entirely from 100% organic ingredients
- Organic – at least 95% of the product is made from organic ingredients
- Made with Organic Ingredients – at least 70% of the product is made from organic ingredients, and the other 30% needs to meet strict criteria, but doesn’t have to be organic
If you want a truly organic lawn, you will want to only purchase supplies and products that are labeled 100% organic. The whole idea is to keep everything balanced and natural, as if human interference weren’t really a factor.
The first step of organic lawn care is testing the soil. The composition of your soil might not match the composition of your neighbor’s, and depending on the season, your soil’s nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus levels will fluctuate. You can either have a lawn care professional test your soil, or you can purchase a DIY soil test kit.
Once you understand the composition of your soil, the rest slowly falls into place. Pick a grass that is native or recommended for your region, manage your watering, and mow often (but not too short). Create a natural compost to fertilize your lawn using ingredients you would find in nature – aka organic items. You can also create a rain garden to naturally divert acid rain or other pollutants from getting washed into our natural water source.