Does organic lawn care work as well as chemical lawn care?

The short answer to this question is, "Yes, organic lawn care definitely works as well or better than chemical lawn care." Would you expect a different answer from an organic lawn care provider?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from prospective Crownover Green clients, and we understand that it is a common misconception that organic lawn care is less effective than chemical lawn care. The fantastic advertising by the big lawn chemical companies gives one the impression that the only way to grow good grass is to use their products. You will even find several lawn care "experts" who assert that you will have to lower your standards if you don't go with a chemical cocktail program or that your lawn will look worse before it will look better if you go with organics. We have not found this to be the case with the Crownover Green Lawn Care Solution, and our clients seem to agree.

Close-up of an organic lawn by Crownover Green
Really? I tried using organic fertilizer once and it didn't work.
The key to an effective organic lawn care program is implementing a comprehensive plan. There is not a one-bag-does-all organic product like a chemical weed and feed product, and one application of an organic fertilizer that you buy at the garden center may not produce the results you are hoping for. A good organic program should at least include soil organic matter (which is found in good organic fertilizers), soil microorganisms (which are contained in compost teas), and natural weed controls. Given the clay soil that is common in the Raleigh, NC area, annual core aeration is also particularly important.

What if I switch from a chemical program to an organic one?
A lawn that has been treated with synthetics over time is likely deficient of the biological components that are necessary for natural plant growth (i.e., the lawn is dependent on the synthetics to look good). Therefore, you may need to kick-start the biological process by applying extra soil organic matter and soil microorganisms in the first year at the right times of year based on your type of grass (more on timing in a future blog post perhaps). If these extra materials are not applied, then your lawn could actually look worse for several months before it will look better depending on when you make the switch. New Crownover Green clients get the extra materials at no extra charge.

What about weeds? How can I get rid of them organically?
Pull them and work on getting your lawn as thick as possible to prevent more from popping up in the future. A homeowner may not have many other organic options. Crownover Green uses various methods. We pull a lot of weeds (read We. Pull. Weeds.). We freeze weeds (read We. Freeze. Weeds.). The spray solutions that we use routinely are the safest available, including one that is certified organic, one that is mineral-based (non-synthetic), and two synthetics that are classified by the EPA as a Reduced Risk Pesticide (low impact on human health, low potential for groundwater contamination, and low toxicity to birds and fish).

Organic lawn care is better than chemical lawn care.
Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Organic lawn care is safer for people, pets, aquatic life, and our water supply.
  2. Organic lawns are less susceptible to pests and diseases; whereas chemically maintained lawns require even more chemicals to fight pests and diseases.
  3. The roots of organically maintained grass grow deeper and the grass resists heat and drought stress better.
  4. The soil under an organic lawn holds moisture longer which reduces irrigation needs and saves you money over time.
  5. Crownover Green organic lawns look as nice or better than chemical lawns. Seeing is believing.