Protecting Your Lawn the Organic Way
by: Jack Greenwood
Many lawn owners like to use chemical pesticides and herbicides to control the pest and weed growth in their lawn. However, these chemicals are harmful to the environment if they are not used in the proper way. They may also kill insects that are actually helpful to the lawn. Runoff from these chemicals may find their way into the nearby water supply.
The two main categories of lawn issues that you need to deal with on a regular basis are weeds and pests. Before you can properly implement any form of control, you need to identify the type of weeds and pests that your lawn has. Once you identify them correctly, you can look for an organic solution to control these weeds and pests.
Weeds are broadly categorized as broadleaf or narrowleaf. They are further divided into perennial weeds and annual weeds. The perennial weeds are harder to control as they live from year to year and produce seeds that help the weeds spread. The annual weeds grow for one season, produce seeds and then die off. This cycle repeat again the following year.
If you are unsure of what weeds you have in your lawn, you can take some samples to your county extension or nursery and they will help you identify them.
Organic Lawn Weed Control
Once you have them identified, you can formulate a plan to bring them under control without the use of chemical herbicides. The simplest method is to use your hands and pull out the weeds together with their roots.
However, the best way to control weeds is to focus on building a healthier lawn. Check that you are mowing at the right height and ensure that your lawn is getting the right amount of nutrients and water. Too much or too little nutrients and water will weaken your lawn and allow the weeds to prosper.
Pests are another problem that you will face constantly and you can also control them using organic methods. Some of the common pests you will face include armyworms, cutworms, billbugs and Japanese beetles.
You can control these pests the natural way. Many organic pest control products use natural ingredients such as citrus oils, garlic and hot peppers. Some product use lemon as its base and they are quite effective in killing various pests without harming your lawn.
You can try to use a spray that use sesame oil, clove oil and thyme oil as base for repelling insects like grasshoppers and ants. Another type of spray use black peppers and garlic for its base and can be safely used on lawns and gardens. This type of spray will help control mosquitoes, gnats, fleas, and ticks.
You can also use insecticidal soaps to kill most of the soft-bodied pests like chinch bugs and sod webworms. This type of insecticidal soap work fast, breakdown quickly and are harmless to humans. You have to mix the insecticidal soap with water and apply them to your lawn.
By the way, if you discover a particular type of insect is constantly giving you problems, you may want to consider planting another type of grass that is resistant to that type of insect.
Regardless of what type of pesticides or herbicides you are using, you must use it safely. Pesticides that are non-toxic to your lawn may be harmful to human beings. Always read the product labels when using such products. You should always opt for those products with natural ingredients as its base if you have the choice.
A healthy vigorous lawn has fewer problems and it should be your primary focus for all your maintenance efforts. Proper aeration, watering, fertilizing and mowing will help your lawn grow healthily and make it non-conducive for weeds and pest to thrive.
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