Many homeowners are getting their lawns ready for the summer by spreading herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals. There are alternatives, including organic lawn care, that still gives you a lush, green lawn. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) March 15 Soils Matter blog post explains why you might consider an organic approach.
"The grass in your front lawn is, biologically speaking, related to the grasses animals eat on farms and ranches," says Joseph Heckman, a professor at Rutgers University. "That grass, by itself, can grow just fine, with no human help. But, Americans like to manage their lawns. Sometimes this is fine; sometimes it leads to unhealthy soil, fertilizer getting in watersheds, and other possible side effects. How can you minimize those?"
Heckman details several steps homeowners can take with their lawns:
1. Mulch the clippings when you mow and leave them in place. This follows "the law of return" prevalent in nature.
2. If you have too many clippings, start a compost pile.
3. Encourage biodiversity in your lawn. A few clovers and dandelions are actually good for the soil.
4. Make sure your soil is well-aerated.
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