The Pros and Cons of Organic Lawn CareFebruary 15, 2018
For many homeowners in Maine, organic lawn care is an attractive option and a growing trend. Many in our community are working hard to be more environmentally conscious, and lawn care is a big part of that. However, moving from a chemical to an organic lawn care regiment will take time and require an adjustment in immediate expectations.
To make an educated, informed decision about what will work best for you, your family, and your lawn, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each approach. Remember – if at any time, you’d like to speak to a trusted lawn care professional, the team at Lucas Tree Experts is here to help! Whether you are looking for a completely organic solution, a bee-safe grub prevention product, or just seeking to minimize pesticide use in your lawn care, Lucas Tree Experts has a solution. In the meantime, we’ve explored some of the most significant pros and cons of organic lawn care to help you decide what works for you:
Pros of Organic Lawn Care
1. Chemical exposure is reduced. While most lawn care chemicals have been proven safe, there is peace of mind in knowing that you’ve reduced exposure for yourself, your family, and your pets. Also, when you use organic lawn treatments there won’t be days that you have to avoid your lawn after treatment.
2. It is difficult to over-apply. Organic fertilizers slowly break down over time to nourish your soil, whereas with chemical treatments the plants absorb the fertilizer quickly. Use too high of a concentrate of chemical fertilizers and they can easily burn your lawn. Organic fertilizers release slowly based on the needs of your soil and turf, so that over time soil quality will improve.
3. Organic lawn treatments revitalize the ecosystem of your lawn. Chemical fertilizers inherently strip your soil of the nutrients your lawn needs, this includes microbes and earthworms. Your grass may look healthy after a chemical fertilizer, but chances are, that’s only skin deep, as it’s easily susceptible to pests or disease. Organic treatments actually enhance your soil and enable it to keep its own natural nutrients.
4. Organic conditioning improves soil function. Organic fertilizers increase the soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients. Why? Because it helps the ecosystem of the soil to flourish, helping those fabulous microbes to do their part to make the soil the best it can be.
5. It’s more environmentally friendly. Chemical fertilizers can leach from the soil and into groundwater. Since organic fertilizers are slow to release (and made of natural materials), they are far less likely to have a devastating effect on the watershed and surrounding environment.
Cons of Organic Lawn Care
1. Patience is required. Unlike with chemical treatments, you’re unlikely to see immediate results with organic lawn care. You may even see a slight decline as your lawn works to recover from chemical fertilizer dependency. Quite literally, your soil and turf will need to detox.
2. More time and effort will be needed to maintain your lawn. Organic lawn care is a more holistic approach that requires you to be more in tune with your lawn and recognize its needs. To make sure you get the right combo of nutrients at the right time, consult a lawn care professional. Your mowing and watering schedule may need revisiting as well.
3. There will be weeds. There are no adequate organic weed control products on the market currently. For a thick, healthy lawn, occasional hand-pulling remains the most effective weed control method out there. It’s also a great idea to redefine what a beautiful lawn looks like – for example, dandelions are great for bees! And remember, those weeds were probably there before anyway, they were just masked by the chemically dependent grass.
4. It can be more expensive. The long-term goal for going organic is to create a lawn that is part of a healthy ecosystem and is sustainable and can care for itself. The initial investment will pay off in the long-term when it comes to applications.
5. It’s harder to combat grubs. If you’re looking to be 100% organic, there are few effective treatments out there. However, if you are faced with an outbreak, there is an organic treatment option available. Microscopic organisms called nematodes are a 100% organic curative grub treatment. Nematodes aren’t as effective as preventive options and may require multiple treatments to win the grub war.
Developing an Organic Lawn Care Plan
While the choice to go organic is yours, it’s important to know the pros and cons and make an educated choice. After all, the success of your picturesque lawn is dependent upon the care that it receives.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or still not sure that an organic lawn care plan is for you, give the tree and lawn care professionals at Lucas Tree Experts a call. They will set up an appointment to explore your lawn, talk about your needs, and recommend a lawn care approach that’s customized just for you.