Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Organic Lawn Care is Finally Going National!

Finally! According to a blurb in The American Gardener, there is a new non-profit organization being launched in March known as SafeLawns. They've got a website up already ( with some great information and videoclips on how to care for lawns without all of the insecticides and herbicides and chemical fertilizers normally considered mandatory for a nice-looking lawn.

These guys have been involved in organic gardening on both a personal and professional level for over 20 years, including one who has successfully run an organic lawncare service. It can be done. And it can be done throughout the country.

And I personally know it can be done, because we did it in Mobile, where everybody said it was impossible.. Our lawn may not have always been perfect, but it was just as nice or nicer than all those folks around me who drenched their yards in chemicals.

A couple tips that I picked up as I read the site:

1) To control crabgrass in a lawn, corn gluten should be applied as the forsythia begins to bloom. By the time the forsythia are done blooming, the crabgrass will have germinated and the corn gluten (which has a 9% nitrogen level, according to SafeLawns) will act as a fertilizer for the new young plants instead of killing them. The application rate is 20 lbs./1000 sq ft.

2) They've coined an acronym for weed control: RILE.
Identify (the weed).
Listen (to what the weed species is telling you about your lawn conditions).
Eradicate (the problematic lawn conditions, as well as the weeds).

As with so many organic changeovers, the first several years may be more time and energy intensive, but within a couple years you will be spending much less in all categories, as well as watering less and having the satisfaction of knowing that you are not inadvertently poisoning your yard and everything living in it.

And your lawn will look great.


Anonymous said...

You may want to edit this one, your link is broken. I think when you mouseover the link it should show you "", and its showing "" or some such. get PW to help you out.

Gaia Gardener: said...

Okay, I fixed it...if not in the "elegant" way, it will work (I hope). By the way, did you notice the timing for corn gluten application? As the forsythia start blooming.

Thanks for alerting me to the problem.

Note: forsythia are those bright yellow-flowered shrubs that bloom early in the spring.

Anonymous said...

A forsythia picture please

Gaia Gardener: said...

When the ones by the garage bloom, I'll take a picture and post it!