Lawn care tips to help grow a green lawn without using chemicals

On this page 

  • The three main minerals lawns need to stay healthy and green are; Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium,       
  • Feeding and caring for your new lawn.           
  • Spring and summer lawn maintenance.           
  • Organic lawn seasonal maintenance and care  
  • Keeping grass green and repairing a lawn.
  • Are worms good for lawns.
Lawn care tips
Lawn care tips

Are worms Casts good for my lawn?

Don't Liston to green-lawn-man (Every neighbourhood has one, he's the guy in love with his hosepipe and box of chemicals). He hates worms! He can't stand seeing the tiny worm casts on the grass, so untidy ughhh. So, he kills worms using chemicals.

He just can't understand, or let it sink in that the castings are actually nutrient-packed remains of digested plant matter and soil. A material that is extremely beneficial to the lawn. Instead, he rushes out to buy expensive chemical "remedies" that claim to fix poor soil when in reality what he is actually doing is wasting money. Creating a lawn that becomes shallow rooting and dependent on chemical fixes and wasteful watering schedules. Chemical companies love him.

Could also be a Covid denier like nutter Piers Corbyn, reliant on chemical fixes!

No apologies for the rant.

 

The answer is Yes, worms are essential for a healthy lawn,

 

 Worms do the hard work helping keep your lawn grass green by pulling fallen leaves and plant debris into the soil. Adding organic material which improves the soil structure as well as its fertility.

Worms also dig and aerate the soil by burrowing through the ground swallowing mineral particles and small amounts of plant material as they go. Mixing this up inside them and excreting it as casts on the surface. Worm casts are richer, finer and less acidic than the surrounding soil, and contain around 50 per cent more calcium, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and bacteria.

 

If worm casts really are a problem for you, let them dry out and brush them in. 

 

Earthworms are in fact the best natural fertiliser your lawn can get.  

 As I said in my rant. I have seen people kill worms! Spraying fertiliser and weed killer on the grass and then sending their kids out to roll around on the freshly sprayed lawn less than an hour later. Meanwhile, the grass roots absorb the artificial stimulates. Just like feeding junk food to kids, giving them no need to grow deeper to look for the natural fertiliser the worms and micro-organisms which were just killed would have produced in the lawn. The grass becomes dependent on junk food (chemical fertiliser)

 

Lawn care for organically grown grass

New lawns on poorly draining clay soil.
Lawns on heavy clay soils  with poor drainage will almost certainly present problems, including soggy areas, moss, weeds and lawn algae. To help combat this lay the lawn on a layer of sand to draw water into the soil away from the surface.
After preparing the soil, spread about 3in of sharp sand over the top. Level and firm as necessary. This will help surface drainage. However, won't solve the underlying drainage problems. The only sure way is to install a lawn drainage system before laying the lawn.

Feeding and caring for your new lawn.
It is important to keep your lawn healthy, grass needs a continuing supply of nutrients in the right balances.  Feeding a new lawn in a balanced way is key in keeping it healthy with deep roots. Most chemical feeds encourage shallow roots, causing the grass to become dependent on watering in dry weather. Natural healthy feed has the opposite effect, actually encouraging the roots to go deep in search of nutrients.  I have included some organic lawn feeding tips below. 
Chemical lawn food, together with all the plastic dispensing equipment you will need, can be bought from garden centers at silly prices, but read the label. 
Much cheaper and better to feed your lawn naturally, consider giving your lawn an organic treat and the chemical factory a miss this year.
 

What can I use to grow and maintain a healthy lawn

Lawns need three main minerals. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

What do Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium do for my lawn? 
  • Nitrogen  for leaf growth will help keep the lawn looking a nice green colour and is spread in spring and summer time when the grass is  growing.
  • Phosphorus  for root development, deep roots mean less watering and will make your lawn more tolerant to drought and disease.  Feed your lawn with Phosphorus in early spring and autumn.
  • Potassium also  helps the grass build resistance against drought and disease and  works best when you feed your grass in spring or autumn.

    Your compost heap contains all three of the minerals your lawn needs. Especially if you are adding manure that is very rich in minerals and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to the compost heap. You can also apply well rotted manure direct to your lawn during the growing season.

    Seaweed
    If you are lucky enough to live near the sea, Seaweed is also rich in the nutrients your lawn needs. It can be added to your compost heap or washed and added direct as a lawn feed. If you have a mulching mower, mow over the seaweed to cut it up. 
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Spring and summer lawn maintenance

 

  • Good growing conditions are important for organic lawns too thrive. A healthy cared for lawn will overcome weeds, be more tolerant to drought and be able to resist grass diseases. 
  • In early spring gently raking the grass will remove winter leaves and fallen twigs and lift the grass ready for its first cut of the season. Cut the grass when it's just over 1/2 in higher than you want it. In spring, autumn or drought 1.25in is about right, in summer 1in. Try not to scalp the grass because this will encourage moss and weeds to seed in the grass.
  • Re-sow bare patches to keep the weeds out, first fork the soil over and gently firm it with your foot and sow the grass seed. Sow enough for the birds and germination. Or if you don't want to share with birds, cover with fleece or chicken wire to keep them off. It is important to water regularly. If the area is in shade sow a shade tolerant grass.
  • Leave the clippings on the lawn in spring and summer when you cut the grass.
  • The worms will take them down into the lawn and those clippings will release up to a third of the nutrients lawns need. When the growing season is over. It is best to remove the clippings from the lawn and add them to the compost heap ready for next season.
  • Regularly dig out perennial weeds before they take over. Clover is good for organic and non organic lawns because it collects nitrogen from the air and releases it into the growing grass. You can sow clover into the lawn during spring.
  • Keep the lawn fed during the growing season by adding a thin sprinkling of homemade compost. This can be swept or raked over the lawn and don't forget to leave the cuttings for the worms to take down into the lawn.
  • A mulching mower is a worthwhile buy if you think you are going to stay organic. If you can, collect seaweed and mulch it with the mulching mower, it makes a really good feed to keep the lawn green.
  • A lot of this will be trial and error at first, but the look of your lawn will tell you if you are under or over feeding the grass.
  • Over feeding will produce to much lush growth and make the grass prone to disease. Not feeding your lawn enough will show in yellowing and thin weak grass. It's worth persevering, as once you have mastered the feeding and lawn care bit. You will have a lovely green, low maintenance lawn at a fraction of the cost chemical man spends on his lawn. A lawn to be proud off. 
  • During periods of prolonged drought your lawn may turn brown, don't panic, as soon as it rains it will be back to green. To much watering will encourage the grass roots to stay near the surface and the lawn will become dependent on watering. Leave the chemicals and excessive watering to green lawn man. Your organic lawn won't need to much work to keep it green.


  Lawn in a shady area

If you have a lawn growing under trees or in shade and in poor condition. You might want to replace it with a special shade grass seed. Visit my shady lawn page.

Organic Lawns are naturally green Lawns without using chemicals

This is a summary of what makes Organic Lawns Green Lawns
  • Mulch your grass clippings and leave them there! They are full of water and nitrogen! Just what your lawn needs!
  • Organic may cost a little more and take a little longer to establish, but once you're there, it's easier and less expensive to maintain because it's healthier!
  • We spend so much on chemicals, creating weak, dependent lawns with shallow roots leading to weak plants that are easily damaged by drought, pests, and diseases. Destroying the very organisms that control many of the larvae of pests that live in the soil. So what do we do? We spray more pesticides making the problem worse.
  • Removing grass clippings from your lawn is a real waste, as you are taking good fertiliser and soil conditioner away. Worms take the clippings deep into the soil, leaving castings (time-released food), and tiny tunnels, aerating the soil. Eventually, you will find yourself watering less, and spending less! And you will have a green, thriving lawn, with a lot more time and money to enjoy it. Try it for a year.

Repairing mossy lawns

  • Early spring is a good time to repair lawns. Warm enough for the grass to grow along with the rest of your lawn, and gradually blend in.  If the lawn is 60% moss and weeds you would be better off killing the existing lawn and turfing or seeding a new lawn.
  • Begin by choosing lawn seed that is fresh and the same type as what you have growing. Most lawns are a variety of different grass, so in any one bag you may have five to seven different types. This is because certain grass grow better than others under certain conditions, and the more variety you have, the more likelihood you have of finding something that will work reliably.
  • Loosen up any compacted soil and sprinkle lawn seed liberally over the soil. Water thoroughly, but gently being careful not to wash the seed away. 
  • As the grass seed germinates and begin to grow, you will need to continue to water the area to keep the area moist. The roots of young grass are especially tender and will die quickly if allowed to dry out.
  • Continue to let the grass grow until it is well established, and then begin mowing it.
  • Don't cut it to short in the first year, as the blades of grass, shade and protect the roots, encouraging them to grow stronger. 
MOSS PROBLEMS IN LAWNS

Moss is a small plant which does not flower.

It's not the reason for the poor lawns condition, but a symptom of something wrong! To much shade, cutting to short, mowing the lawn to often or not often enough, but most likely soggy areas brought about by poor drainage.

Waterlogged lawns or those with poor drainage produce moss very quickly.

Chemicals do not offer a long-term solution and won't solve the problem. For some effective drainage solutions that are installed under the lawn, see my lawn drainage page.

 
Tips on how to prevent and control Leather jackets ruining your lawn. 
How to Grow a Chamomile Lawn.
Step on a Chamomile lawn and smell the sweet fragrant aromas of apple. Its not difficult to grow a chamomile lawn you need to have a well-drained acidic soil. Chamomile is low growing and ideal for a lawn and these days can be suppled and laid as chamomile turf. planting a chamomile lawn tips,