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.
leaves on a green lawn
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Are worms good for my lawn?

The answer is Yes, worms are essential for a healthy lawn, they do the hard work helping keep your lawn grass green by pulling fallen leaves and plant debris into the soil adding organic material to the soil which improves the soil structure as well as its fertility.  

They 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 are a problem for you just let them dry out and then brush them in. 

 

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

 

I've 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 badly drained clay
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 but 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 a organic treat and the chemical factory a miss this year.
 

What makes and maintains a healthy lawn

Lawns need three main minerals.  Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.
 
  • 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 which 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 and 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 chop it up. (If you are using a mobile more info lower down the page)

Spring and summer lawn maintenance

Good growing conditions are important for organic lawns to thrive. A healthy cared for lawn will overcome weeds, be more tolerant to drought and be able to resist grass diseases. 

In early spring a gentle rake of the grass will remove winters leaves and fallen twigs and lift the grass ready for its first cut of the season. Mow 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.....

flowerpotman.com

......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. Its important to water regularly. If the area is in shade sow a shade tolerant grass.

 In spring and summer leave the clippings on the lawn when you cut the grass, the worms will take them down into the lawn and  they release up to a third of the nutrients lawns need. When the growing season is over remove the clippings from the lawn and add them to the compost heap.

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 home made 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 get your hands on seaweed  and mulch it with the mulching mower, it makes a really good foliar 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. Its worth persevering, once you have got the feeding and lawn care right 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 will 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 you watering. Leave the chemicals and excessive watering to green lawn man. Your organic lawn won't need to much hard 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. Try replacing it with a special shade grass seed. Visit my shady lawn page.
Organic Lawns are 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. Organisms that control many of the pest larvae that live in the soil are destroyed by the chemicals, So we spray more pesticides,making the problem worse. 
Taking grass clippings off 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'll find yourself watering less, and spending less! And you'll have a green, thriving lawn, with a lot more time and money to enjoy it. Try it for a year. 

REPAIRING  LAWNS

Now 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 grasses, so in any one bag you may have five to seven different types. This is because certain grasses 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 to mow it. Don't mow 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 your 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 offer a temporary Solution but won't solve the problem. For some old fashioned, low cost and very effective solutions that are laid under lawns and wont spoil the lawn see my lawn drainage page  and this one will add interest and colour to your garden
 
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,  

Guest Post by Lucy 

 

Hi there! I’m Lucy - founder of GardenAmbition.com and I’m a self-confessed garden fanatic. Gardening has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and have one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other garden enthusiasts like me.

How to Store Grass Seed in Three Easy Steps and Preserve it for Up to 6-12 Months 

 

If you’ve ever experienced grass seeding your lawn, you’d know that there’s a great chance of having leftover grass seed when the whole area is covered. By then, you would consider saving these leftovers and store it in a way that would somehow increase its shelf life, which is often limited as any other seed. The question then would be “how?

 

Leftover grass seed is no good when it can no longer germinate. In this article, we will educate you on how to store grass seed and keep it healthy and viable for the next season or when it is needed. Preserving these seeds is great for filling future lawn spots that are thinning. But before we get started on those storage and preservation tips, let us first learn about some of the main factors that contribute to grass seed spoilage to better understand the concept.

 

Quality of Seed

High-quality seeds should never be mixed with low-quality ones that already show signs of damage, whether it’s from moist conditions or mechanical processes. Otherwise, this could lead to an accelerated decline in quality over a relatively short period of time– we’re looking at a few months at the very least.

 

Improper Storage

You’ll be surprised to know that some packed grass seeds still in transit aren’t stored within ideal conditions, allowing moisture and decay to set in before we’ve even grabbed hold of them. The same is true with some farms and retail stores, so it pays to know where you’re getting your grass seed.

 

Moisture

All seeds interact with air and exchange moisture. When the seeds are harvested in dryer conditions, they absorb less moisture as they go through the packaging and storage processes. Moisture increases the likelihood of premature decay and fungal problems, decreasing the seed’s shelf life. Then, there are also damaged seeds. Regardless of the way these seeds are stored, moisture will easily find its way through cracks and vulnerabilities, allowing decay. So naturally, you would have to keep leftover grass seeds away from humid air, rainy weather, and leaky pipes.

 

 

AVERAGE GRASS SEED SHELF LIFE

 

When you learn how to store grass seed the right way, it remains fresh and fully fit to germinate for up to one year after its germination test date. For every additional year of storage, the rate of germination decreases by up to 20%, and even more if the grass seed was poorly stored.

 

HOW TO STORE GRASS SEED

 

Storing leftover grass seed doesn’t really take much. One of the most important things to consider on how to store grass seed is the container in which the seeds will be placed. For larger quantities, it is a good idea to use packaging made of a breathable material, such as burlap or cloth sacks. These materials promote a steady flow of air, slimming the chances of rot, molding, and other fungal issues.

 

For added protection from, you may use a plastic container that is rodent and bug-proof. Follow these three easy steps on how to store grass seed using a plastic container:

 

  1. Take the plastic container and make sure it is dry and squeaky clean. Make sure the grass seed is as dry and clean. If the bag is already opened, then pour the grass seed into the container and secure it closed with its lid. Otherwise, if the bag is unopened, simply put the bag inside the plastic container and close with its lid.

  2. Attach labels. Mark your plastic container/s of grass seed with important information. This includes the type, brand, seed germination test date, and the current date. You’ll find these data on the bag it originally came in.

  3. Take the plastic containers in a dark, dry and cool place, typically a basement with ideal storage conditions.

 

As an added step, it is best to check these containers for any form of damage from time to time. If the presence of moisture is unavoidable, you can always use desiccants or baking soda to keep the grass seed dry.

 

HOW TO TEST FOR GERMINATION

 

Before planting the seed that’s been stored, a germination test should be performed. Not sure how this is done? We got you covered.

 

  1. Sprinkle a teaspoon of grass seed on a moist paper towel.

  2. Secure the paper towel inside a ziplock container and place in a bright and warm part of the house. You would know if the seed is still viable if most of the scattered seeds sprout in seven days.

 

 

ADDITIONAL TIPS ON HOW TO STORE GRASS SEED THE RIGHT WAY

 

A steady air flow is essential in keeping the grass seed fresh. If you really want to encourage optimum grass seed longevity, you can build air vents with a protective mesh-like material to filter unwanted moisture and buildup. This is also effective in keeping pests and rodents from passing through and ultimately contaminating the grass seed.

 

If you have several grass seed-filled bags or plastic containers, it is best to provide enough breathing space in between them. Bear in mind that compacted objects can generate heat and contribute to humidity, which is the number one cause of grass seed spoilage. Piling the bags on top of each other can be harmful.

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

Storing leftover grass seed for future use is a means of conserving our resources. Along with the lessons on how to store grass seed properly, may we also keep in mind that nothing in our environment deserves to be put to waste. So, go ahead and start storing and preserving your grass seed with the efficient tips presented above. Why buy new grass seed every season when you can store your leftover ones for the next seasons to come, right?

 

We hope you find these tips helpful! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share with your fellow homeowners and gardeners!