Why should we make the change to organic?
Much research has lead experts to believe that chemical fertilizers and pesticides could be having a negative effect on our health, the environment and our water quality. Although this can be debated many local, county and state governments (including New Jersey) have begun to enact legislation banning the use of many commonly used products. It is our opinion that if there is a way to create healthy turf without using these products why should we be taking the risk in the first place.
What makes organic lawn care different than chemical lawn care?
Much like organic farming, organic lawn care employs techniques and products to improve the soil biology and health as opposed to using chemical inputs to create growth and control problems. A healthy soil creates healthy plants.
What will we do differently on your lawns?
Our goal is to TRANSITION to a chemical free approach and to not make a cold turkey switch. You will see us begin to implement a program that uses products that are based on increasing organic matter in your soil. These products contain things like kelp, humates and actual strains of biologically diverse inputs. A simple way to think about it is that we are trying to create compost under your lawn.
What about weeds and crabgrass?
Remember, we are transitioning to a chemical free approach. We will continue to use all means necessary to eliminate unsightly weeds from your turf. We are implementing a three-year plan and by the end of the third year we should have no need to use any chemical inputs. However, in the event that an outbreak occurs we will not allow turf qualify to suffer. If you have weeds, we will make them go away.
Can you control Grubs without using chemicals?
After the soil underneath your turf has been improved organically and the natural ecosystem has been restored that turf will essentially be resistant to many insects and disease infestations. Chemical inputs eliminate as many beneficial insects as they do harmful insects. Truly organic turf does not require preventative insect controls. HOWEVER, during our transition period we may still employ a chemical control product. New research has created many safe and natural controls as well.
Can I prepare in the fall for a healthy lawn next spring? How?
Now is the time to give your lawn an extra boost before it goes into dormancy for the winter. And a small boost is all the incentive your lawn needs to reward you with a quick green-up in the spring.
In our climate the majority of our turf consists of cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, Bentgrass Rye and fescues. These grasses are in their prime as the day and night temperatures dip a little cooler. When this happens, a period of root growth and development occurs from the end of August to the middle of October.
The three best things you can do to keep your lawn happy and heathy are, increase your mowing height (except for the final cut of the season, see question below), complete an aeration and over-seeding program and keep on top of fallen leaves.
Why does mowing height matter?
We set our mower blade to a height of at least three inches, year-around. This is most important when your lawn is in an active growing period. With cool-season grasses, that would include Spring and Autumn. Plants produce food through photosynthesis. This food production process takes place primarily in the leaf issue. Mowing too low negatively impacts the plant's ability to produce and store food. The end result is a plant (and lawn) is weakened and less tolerant to heat, cold, drought, disease, insects and traffic.
A lawn too short is in danger of becoming damaged through scalping, disease and insect infestations and temperature impacts.
For the last cut of the season, before your grass goes dormant for the winter, we lower cutting height to 1-2 inches. This will keep your grass from bending over on itself under the weight of snow and ice. Grass bent over in these conditions are prime targets for different types of molds.
*This information was taken from the NaturaLawn of America Fall Newsletter.
For more information about NaturaLawn of America, visit www.nl-amer.com.