We include organic fertilizers in our lawn fertilizer program because they feed the soil’s microbial population, and this in turn releases nutrients to the grass plants. It is a two-step feeding process. Synthetic sources of nitrogen largely bypass the life in the soil because they are water soluble and readily absorbed by lawn grass roots. The soil microbes are responsible for recycling organic wastes in the soil. They also are involved in complex relationships with the lawn grass plant, providing them with a better resistance to disease, fungus, insects and stress.
Organics and the New American Lawn Plan
In Jonathan Green’s New American Lawn Plan, both organic and synthetic fertilizers are used to encourage lawn grass growth. This balanced approach produces great results! Synthetic fertilizer works more quickly in cold, spring soil. Later in the year, after the soil has warmed to approximately 57 degrees Fahrenheit, organic fertilizers work very well.
Great New American Lawns result when genetically superior turf-grass varieties, like those in our Black Beauty Grass Seed Mixtures, are grown in healthy biologically active soil.
Growing your own great looking carefree New American Lawn is as Easy as remembering U-S-A
U – Use Black Beauty Grass Seed Mixtures
S – Stimulate Soil Biology and relieve soil compaction with Love Your Soil
A – Adjust Soil pH Upwards rapidly with Mag-I-Cal
What about Weeds, Insects & Turf Disease?
Your best defense against the lawn pests is a healthy, thick lawn.
In reality, it is the control products – weeds, insects, fungus, etc. – that are the chief concern of people who want to use organic products exclusively on their lawns. Years ago, these concerns would have been more valid. However, the products currently available to control weeds, insects and fungus have a very low environmental impact. What’s more, in many instances it is the only effective means of control available. By following my New American Lawn Plan, you will be targeting your use of control products to where and when they may be needed.
Organic, Inorganic… What’s It All About?
The mineral and organic constituents of the soil, along with air and water, are inextricably intertwined.
In order to make satisfactory growth, grass plants must obtain from the soil adequate supplies of mineral elements. Of the twenty or more mineral elements which are present in the soil, some are essential for lawn grass growth such as potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, iron and magnesium. Nitrogen is an essential element, however, it is not derived from the minerals of the soil. The ultimate source of nitrogen is in the atmosphere, which consists of about 79% nitrogen gas, but exists in a form that plants cannot use.
Three processes are responsible for most of the nitrogen fixation in the biosphere.
1. Biological fixation by microbes alone or in a symbiotic relationship with some green plants.
2. Atmospheric fixation by lightning.
3. Industrial fixation.
Elemental nitrogen is the same, however it is produced. Lawn grass plants make no distinction as to the source of the nitrogen. In the early 20th century, two German scientists, Haber and Bosch, developed a process for synthesizing nitrogen fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen gas.
The soil forms a thin covering over much of the earth’s surface.
It is a complex material consisting of minerals (derived from rock), water, gases and organic matter in various stages of decomposition. In this complex mixture live an astonishing number and variety of organisms, mostly microscopic. These organisms contribute to the soil’s formation, while using the soil as a habitat and source of energy. These organisms are also recycling energy, nitrogen, to be used by green plants to promote their growth. They are also capturing atmospheric nitrogen that is used by lawn grass plants.
By following the Organic Method of Lawn Care we work with nature in support of the natural processes described above. When your lawn and soil are in harmony, a natural balance is achieved by which the lawn and soil are able to ward off most weeds, insects and diseases without you intervening with chemical control products.