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

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  • 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 a lawn green and Repairing a lawn.
leaves on a green lawn
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Let the worms do the hard work for you and keep your lawn green.

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.

 

Caring for your organic lawn

 
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.
 
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. 
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.

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. 

General Lawn care Tips 
  • Mow lawns if the grass is growing being careful not to cut to short.
  • Add the clippings to the compost heap in thin layers.
  • New lawns can be seeded from April but wait until it has reached a height of 5-7.5cm (2-3in) before giving it a light trim at the highest setting.
  • If moss is a problem moss-killer will help make the lawn better but won't solve the underlying problems like waterlogged soil or to much shade.
  • Lightly rake lawns to remove any leaves and dead moss the worms haven't yet turned into lawn food.
  • Repair thin lawns by sowing seed over the existing grass, around 25g per square metre.


     
How to Grow a Chamomile Lawn

Step on a Chamomile lawn and smell the sweet fragrant aromas of apple to your garden 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,