There is only 9 weeks left, and winter will be over! This is a great time to start planning for the Spring, and if you want to transition from chemical to organic, there are just a few things you should do, before you start applying products to your organic lawn and garden.
I have always said, that organic gardening and lawn care, is about the soil. In an organic program we manage the soil in order to grow healthy plants. The first thing we will do (as soon as the snow melts) is to take a soil sample. The results from the soil sample will determine the quantity of the products needed for the season. This is also a great way to asses the quality of the soil. If you have been using chemicals on your yard, you will need to bring back the biology in the soil, and feed the microbes with organic fertilizer. A great way to learn more about organic gardening and landscaping, is to attend seminars, or search for a local organic landscaper.
And now, how can I start an organic lawn care program?
Many years ago, when I started to get interested in the organic gardening approach, I reached out to several companies, organic gardeners, and friends, to learn more about organic lawn care. These are some good examples of places where you can get additional information.
NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association), offers organic lawn, landscaping and gardening classes to homeowners, and landscapers.
MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) also offers classes and seminars.
On the West coast Oregon Tilth offers educational events throughout the state of Oregon.
From them, I learned that organic works, if you are willing to learn just a few things. But it will not work if you can’t be patient, or if you can’t tolerate a few weeds, while the lawn is in transition from chemical to organic.
So, from now until the snow melts, think about the soil. Get a soil sample as soon as you can, and send the sample to your local soil test lab. Most universities offer this service for a small fee. Feed the soil. Use organic fertilizer. Be tolerant, and don’t go crazy if you see a few weeds on your lawn. In the Spring, leave the grass clippings on the lawn to feed the microbes. Re-seed the lawn, and spend more time playing outside, instead of worrying about weeds.