Is Organic Lawn Care Better?
Is it better for you, your family and your pets?
After some research, Alec McClennan began to fertilize his own family’s lawn naturally, without chemicals. After college, he founded Good Nature Organic Lawn Care, serving Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, and Indianapolis with plans to launch in the Chicago area next year.
Alec Explains Traditional Chemical vs. Organic Care
Chemical Lawn Care
The traditional chemical-based approach feeds and supports the plants directly, but ignores the soil, kills the bugs, diseases, and weeds.
Unfortunately, it also kills anything that would organically and naturally support the grass.
Organic Lawn Care
The organic approach doesn’t focus on pests or problems but it feeds the soil and microorganisms to build a diverse microbial life that supports the desired plants. Pre- and probiotics support our human gut health similarly.
Organic Lawn Care Won’t Hurt Water Resources
Things to consider with chemical lawn care:
- Chemical fertilizer isn’t necessarily harmful to humans but it becomes harmful in the water. Those same nutrients feed the algae, which robs the water of oxygen, so when it becomes too abundant it creates dead zones, a serious problem for Lake Erie.
- Also, fertilizers contribute to Toxic Algae in Lake Erie, starting its growth in shallow areas and spreading out from there. Five years ago, Toledo, Ohio had to shut down the drinking water for two days.
- Chemical pesticides may be a lesser problem with water but personal exposure to you, your family and pets? That’s questionable. Pets are on the lawn in their “bare feet,” so much lower to the ground, carrying the chemicals into your house, also.
Alec loves the outdoors and his own children play in his yard. He says, “Better to have a couple weeds than to risk other issues.”
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Clover Is Beneficial to a Lawn
Until recent years, grass seed was combined with clover but at some point, clover got a bad name.
Clover pulls nutrients out of the air, affixes nitrogen, and feeds itself and the grass. Besides that, clover shades the soil surface, helping to minimize weeds. And clover flowers feed the bees, too!
Now, micro clover is available for people who don’t like the flowers but it’s still a healthy part of a green lawn.
Organic Weed Control
As for dandelions, they have deep roots which actually promotes better soil, and you have to admit they’re beautiful in the spring, but people don’t usually like them. Organic lawn care uses nutrients that encourages grass growth but the weeds don’t like it so dandelions are minimized.
Rather than a chemical weed killer, eliminate weeds organically in mulch beds, patios, and driveway cracks using a homemade recipe that includes vinegar, clove oil, lemon juice or other safe household products.
Organically Repel Insects
If you want to go outside without being the main course at your backyard BBQ, Good Nature has natural sprays from garlic and cedar oils that repel mosquitos, ticks and fleas. Although there may be a strong scent for just a few hours, the bugs continue to stay away for weeks.
Alec’s Ageless Advice
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Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Did anything about this interview surprise you?
Are you now considering organic lawn care?
Please contact me if you know someone else you think should be interviewed!
6 thoughts on “Should We Care for Our Lawns Organically?”
Outstanding interview as usual. It sounds like each yard is different and must be evaluated. Questions for your next interview. How could what your neighbor applies (chemicals) to his/her lawn affect your lawn?
How do you control clover (without using chemicals) from taking over the yard? Although it is good, it seems to smother out the grass and take over the yard. I am looking forward to your follow up interview. It seems like you just scratched the surface of this subject.
With the next interview ask him to explain pre-emergents and what he has been successful with (corn meal and molasses).
Talk about the beneficial way to build and use a compost pile.
Talk about good hygiene around the plants… clean tools between shrubs.
Alec is such a smart guy. He spoke around 10 years ago at the local library.
He evaluates the weeds on your property and can tell what kind of nutrients the soil needs due to what is presently growing.
Nice job, Kathryn.
Thank you, Jen! We’ll definitely have Alec back again!
Fertilizer is fertilizer. Synthetic, Organic, Natural organic: they all have Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, as the three major elements.
Thank you for commenting. Maybe we can touch on this in the sequel!
Agree with you to a point, the difference between organic fertilizers and synthetic is that the synthetic feed the plants directly and are water soluble in the forms the plants will use right away…whatever doesn’t get used can evaporate or wash off into the water. With an organic fertilizer the nutrients are typically in a form that can’t be used by plants until it is converted by the soil into something the plants can use. In this process, you’re feeding soil biology in an effort to mimic the way nature feeds plants. Feeding this way results in less runoff, healthier soil and ultimately healthier plants. That’s just the fertilizer, the pesticides are a whole different conversation. Thanks for your feedback!
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