It’s hard to over state the importance of good cultural practices for a successful organic lawn. That doesn’t mean you have to invite a string quartet over for tea. It means you have to leave the grass high, recycle the clippings and water correctly.

I visited a lawn recently in Newton that was loaded with weeds. It was cut short and scalped around the edges. “How often do you water?” I asked the home owner. “Every day.” she replied. I wasn’t surprised. The lawn had a thick layer of thatch, which when kept moist, is a perfect breeding ground for fungal disease and weed seed germination. Meanwhile, the grass is not developing the deep roots it needs to thrive.

Each time its cut short, the plant is stressed and has to grow back the blade. The roots don’t have to go deep to get water because there’s plenty at the surface. Too much water fills the spaces between the soil particles where air should be and creates a condition similar to compaction. As they say, the roots don’t grow in the soil, but in the spaces between the soil particles. It starts with good soil structure.

good cultural practicesA happy lawn waves in the breeze and basks in the sun. It has plenty of leaf surface for photosynthesis and making food, activities the grass plant loves to do. Most of those starches and sugars go to the roots for growth and keeping the soil biology well fed and productive. You don’t want those bacteria and fungi sitting on the couch collecting unemployment and playing X-Box all day!

Grass clippings add nitrogen and organic matter while keeping weeds at bay. The soil has stayed fairly moist on its own this year. If you wonder if your lawn needs water, stick a shovel or a spade in the ground and see if the soil is dry. If the grass doesn’t bounce back when you walk on it, it needs water.

Someone told me that the lawn at Tanglewood is organic. If it is, it thrives because of good cultural practices.

For more information, read Ten Tips for a Great Organic Lawn or contact us today for a free consultation.


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