Healthy Lawns

Consider Alternatives

Turf grasses are typically exotic monocultures, in other words, they consist of a single species, a species often not native to the area where they are planted. The widespread use of turf grasses has lead to a number of environmental concerns. Before investing in turfgrass, consider alternatives, like native grasses, clovers, native plantings or a meadow. But if you like to have a lawn, here are some tips to create a healthy, more sustainable lawn

Keep It Natural

A healthy lawn will endure drought, diseases, and pest infestations better than a stressed lawn, and healthy grasses will compete better with undesirable weeds, so the best way to avoid using chemicals is to build up a healthy lawn, naturally.

Tips For Healthier Lawns

  • Nourish the soil. Don’t use pesticides and synthetic fertilizers because they kill the natural bacteria and fungi that nourish your soil and protect you plants.
  • If needed, aerate in the fall. Core and slice aeration of the soil before seeding will improve germination and alleviate compaction.
  • If you have problem areas, test the soil and replace only what is missing with certified organic supplements. For more information visit:
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. The clippings and the mulch break down to provide all the nitrogen a healthy lawn needs.
  • Mow fallen leaves on your lawn. Just like grass clippings they break down and provide the soil with nutrients
  • Seed in the fall to outcompete Weeds
  • If necessary, fertilize with dried compost in fall
  • Appreciate flowers in your lawn. Dig up or pull the weeds you really can’t stand. A good method to combat weeds is to use a little grass seed to outcompete weeds, but some people like to use an organic corn gluten product that prevents weed seeds from germinating on established lawns (but it also prevents grass seeds from germinating). It may take several years to control problem areas. For spot weed control on driveways and walkways, use a horticultural vinegar or vinegar/citrus oil combination product. Steam machines are highly effective. If you take pride in a weed-free lawn, it might be worth to invest in a steam machine
  • A mixture of compost and grass seed is the best solution for filling in bare spots.
  • Seed in early fall with a mixture of native grasses.
  • A mixture of compost and grass seed is the best solution for filling in bare spots.
  • Mow High. Let grass grow to 4 inches allowing it to shade its roots, conserve moisture and keep out weeds.
  • Keep mower blades sharp so they do not tear the grass, making it vulnerable to disease.
  • Control Pests Without Chemicals. The best bug controls are other bugs and birds. There are more beneficial insects in nature than bad bugs. If you encourage a robust insect population in your yard, nature will find a balance and the bad bugs will be kept in control. For instance, common lawn pests (grubs, sod webworms, chinch bugs) can be controlled with applications of beneficial nematodes. Milky spore powder is an effective control for Japanese beetle grubs.

The best bug control are other bugs and birds.