Prepping Your Lawn for Spring: The Organic Edition

Prepping Your Lawn for Spring: the Organic Edition


Spring lawn prep is easy. Clear things out a bit and put down some fertilizer and a great weed-killing mix. Wait for spring rains and…one-two-three, done. Right?

Except if you’re an organic gardener. If you are, what do you do? What fertilizer should you use, and if it’s a natural preparation, is its application different from commercial grade soils? And what about those weeds?

It’s actually easy to prepare your lawn for spring growth – without using chemicals or less-than-natural methods. Follow these steps for a happy, stress-free and beautiful lawn this year.

Perform a Thorough Cleanup

If you live in an area with high winds, winter storms or periodic rain, it’s likely that your lawn has accumulated a fair amount of debris these past few months. This can be particularly true in winter, when dormancy of the grass means you may not be mowing frequently (or at all), so you’re not giving your lawn a weekly “once-over” the way you’ll be doing for the remainder of the year.

Pick a reasonably nice day and go over your lawn and remove fallen twigs and branches. Rake the last of last year’s wet fall leaves (tip: collect these for your compost heap). If things are a bit drier, use a blower to clear away lightweight debris.

Trim Trees and Bushes

If you’ve pruned during their correct season, it’s unlikely that your trees or hedges will be overgrown during the early spring. On the other hand, if it’s been a while since you climbed the ladder to get at tall growth, now is a good time to cut back.

DON’T overprune (if you’re not sure when to prune a specific variety v, just doing a little trimming, ask your local nursery). At this point, your goal is to cut broken or dead (not dormant) growth so it won’t fall into the yard or allow for disease to enter the tree during warming spring.

Apply Fertilizer and Organic Weed Killer

We recommend homemade compost for fertilizer. If you prefer to go with a commercial variety, go as organic as possible with your selection.

At the same time they fertilize, most lawn-owners will also want to put down some weed killer. (In fact, many chemical fertilizer and lawn prep materials already contain this.) Because you’re an organic gardener, you almost certainly wish to avoid these measures, but it’s a given that home-cured/crafted compost can contain a few blown weed seeds no matter how careful you are. What to do?

Try some chemical-free, homemade weed killer (here are some great ideas). Better yet, in the first few weeks of spring, nix the herbicides altogether and pull weeds as they come up so you not only rid the lawn of the weeds but of the seeds they’d otherwise have released.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Garden Articles

Winter Gardening Blues? Grow an Indoor Healing Garden!
Winter Gardening Blues? Grow an Indoor Healing Garden!

Potted herbs and small flowering plants not only add a little life to your winter kitchen, they may just improve your health. Some double as flavorings and health-boosters. Here are our favorite indoor plants that can help you stay healthy and happy all winter long.

Continue Reading →

Learning Self-Sufficiency Through Community Organic Gardens
Learning Self-Sufficiency Through Community Organic Gardens

Look around your neighborhood.  In a ten block drive, how many places can you count that could potentially become a community organic garden? Experts say community garden initiatives are a great way to give a parent and family a sense of self worth. They also bring people together so they can get to know their neighbors - something that's becoming rarer in the era of tablets and cell phones.

Continue Reading →

Simply Berry Jam Recipes
Simply Berry Jam Recipes

Late summer is an exciting time for the hobby or pro gardener. Why? Because for many fruits and veggies, it's harvest time! But did you get even more than you wished for? If you have an overabundance of berries, we have just the solution for you. Make a wonderful jam you and your family can enjoy all through the autumn and winter months.

Continue Reading →