As a full time landscaper for a number of years, I tried as much as possible to use organic lawn fertilizer to keep grass healthy and green. In many regions of the country, rainfall is scarce, and because of that things like weed killer and fertilizer accumulate over many months and then are suddenly washed into the storm drain on the first big rain, causing hazardous conditions at beaches for swimmers and beach goers. That’s pretty sad if you ask me, especially when there are a lot of alternatives to weed killer and fertilizer that are organic and friendly to the environment.
In my last article, I wrote about vinegar as an organic weed killer and how to use it effectively. In this article, I want to talk about organic lawn fertilizer. What is an organic fertilizer anyway? An organic fertilizer is defined as a fertilizer that is unprocessed and naturally occurring. One such substance that most people are familiar with is cow manure. Cow manure is used very often in agriculture and is generally unprocessed and definitely is naturally occurring. So what are some different kinds of naturally occurring unprocessed chemicals that are good for fertilizing lawns?
In order to properly give an answer to that question, we’ll first have to overseeding lawn of what exactly a lawn needs in the first place? Before you start looking for an organic lawn fertilizer, you need to make sure that your soil is in the right condition for good growth. In order to do that, you might first need some:
Gypsum is basically the same as chalk. It gets into the soil and breaks up the hard clay that often makes it difficult for nice lawns to grow. Gypsum is not a fertilizer though. It doesn’t contain any nutrients that help plants grow. But it’s also not a harsh chemical either and is considered ecofriendly. The good news about gypsum is that it can be applied to already established lawns. It comes in powder form and can be spread on top of the grass. The unfortunate thing about gypsum is that it is very slow acting, and in reality might take up to a few years time with multiple applications a year in order to break up the hard clay content in the soil. It’s worth it though.
In order to get your soil in the right condition, you’ll need compost. Besides being generally very nutritious to plant life, compost holds a host of positive microbes that help the lawn stay healthy and in peak shape. It’s similar to the human stomach, which has a host of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that help digest food. In order for organic fertilizer to be effective, you have to have beneficial micro-organisms to be established and working in the lawn. Depending on your location, you may or may not be able to find compost at your local nursery.