Choosing a Lawn Care Company

Life is busy.  You probably have a long list of things that you consider more important than what you treat your lawn with right?  You're not alone, most people devote about 10 minutes thinking about their lawn when they see the dandelions sprout.  At that point they either make a trip to the local hardware store or pickup the phone and call someone to come out and "take care of" the weeds.

boy with dogs on lawn

ll argue that what you put on your lawn is worth a little more thought. 

Why to Avoid Lawn Chemicals

Traditional lawn chemicals have the potential to cause all kinds of health issues and there is very good reason to consider a healthier organic approach to your lawn care.  Your lawn is supposed to contribute positively to your overall health.  It should be a place that you and your family can run around, get some exercise and enjoy the fresh air.  Why then, would we consider putting chemicals on the lawn that according to many can actually cause health issues?  Visit Beyond Pesticides for more information about some of the health effects of commonly used lawn and garden chemicals

How to Avoid Lawn Chemicals

The good news is that the lawn care industry is finally catching on that the public is interested in healthier alternatives and organic lawn care options.  The bad news is that there are a lot of companies starting to pop up touting a Natural Based or Organic Based approach that are really using the same old chemical approach. It can be confusing!

Read on for some tips about what to look for and how to choose an organic lawn care company that is safer for you, your family, and your environment. 

What to Look Out For

Here are some standard chemical programs that appear to be organic programs until you look a little more closely.

Bio Based

The lawn program below touts Bio-Nutrients and claims to reduce chemical usage by up to 50%.  If that's the case, then it is an improvement on the old fashioned standard chemical program.  Upon further inspection, you can tell that they still use all the same pre emergent chemicals, post emergent chemicals, chemical insecticides and synthetic fertilizer that a standard chemical approach uses.  So, for all practical purposes, it really is a chemical lawn care program.  If you don't mind the standard chemical lawn care program, then it is probably a good approach for you.  If you don't want to use the chemicals though, it isn't so good.

chemical quote

Natural Based

The lawn care company brochure below is a great example of the confusing marketing out there.  It touts a "natural based" fertilizer.  Sounds good - who wouldn't want a natural based fertilzer?

Natural Based and Organic Based are a little tricky.  In order to call something natural based or organic based it needs to contain at least 25% of it's material by weight from organic sources.  That means it is 75% synthetic.  Often the organic in organic based products is composted sewage.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it really is a standard chemical program that adds in a little organic materal as a nutrient source and still requires the same old chemicals to prevent and kill weeds, insects, and diseases.

natural based fertilizer

Questions to Ask Your Lawn Care Provider

Here are a few questions you can ask to get a better sense of what you'll really be getting.

1.  What do you use for Pre Emergent Weed Control?

Genuine organic companies will use a plant-based, pre-emergent weed control...usually Corn Gluten Meal.  If a company uses a chemical pre-emergent weed control, remember that this forms a chemical blanket that sits on your lawn for 3 to 4 months in order to prevent weeds.  But, natural, Corn Gluten Meal is found in many of the foods you eat and is a much better, and safer, choice for pre-emergent weed control. 

2.  What do you use for Grub & Insect Control?

Genuine organic companies will use Milky Spore or beneficial Nematodes to control grubs.  Beneficial nematodes may be the better choice for controlling grubs because Milky Spore only controls Japanese Beetle grubs.  Both are non-toxic.  If a company uses Imacloprid (Merit, Mach II, Bayer Advanced, GrubEx) or some other form of Grub Control, that's a chemical and sits on your lawn's surface for the entire season.  Milky Spore and Nematodes are the safer choice.

3.  How do you control weeds?

If a company uses organic fertilizer that does not suppress weeds, then you'll probably have a fair amount of weeds.  If they use Corn Gluten, there will be fewer weeds.  If they rely only on chemicals to control weeds, you'll be getting more chemicals than you want. 

4.  What's in your fertilizer?

Organic-based or Natural Based fertilizers contain 25% organic material...the rest is synthetic.  Plant-based, feed-grade fertilizers and good quality compost and compost tea are generally the highest quality fertilizers and help your landscape thrive without chemicals.  

5.  Do you offer both Organic and Chemical Fertilizer Programs?

Companies that do mostly chemical lawn care but offer an organic option are generally less committed to helping you reduce or eliminate chemicals in your lawn than companies who focus solely on providing an organic approach.

In Conclusion...

Hopefully these tips will help you choose an organic lawn care company that will provide you with a beautiful lawn and peace of mind, naturally.  If you're in Ohio, there is a good chance we can help you with our services.  If you live outside the state of Ohio, you might consider visiting our online store.  You can purchase products we've used and tested in our service business.  If you really want to hire a company and can't find one in your area, give us a call and we might be able to refer someone to you or help your landscaper treat your lawn organically for you.

Most Recent

How To Stop Animals From Digging Up The Lawn

September 10, 2018 by Alec McClennan

There are a variety of critters who sometimes frequent our lawns and can cause issues while theyre looking for food. Moles tunnel under the ground and can create a mess, especially in the Spring. Skunks and Racoons are more of an issue in the Fall as they work to fatten up for winter. Why are Animals Digging In My Lawn? Animals will dig because theyre hungry. Moles, Skunks, and Racoons all eat a variety of worms, insects, and grubs. Just because you have Animals Digging, it does not mean that you have a grub problem. Animals will dig in search of food and return to places where theyve found food in the past. How Many Grubs is too Many? A healthy lawn can tolerate up to 5 grubs per square foot. An average size lawn is 5000 square feet, so that is 25,000 grubs! Its not possible to kill all the grubs, even if you resort to using a chemical that sits on the lawn for months. Using a natural grub suppression treatment like beneficial nematodes is a good idea to minimize one of the food sources

Urban Pesticide Use and Water Quality

July 03, 2018 by Danielle Kohan

Conventional lawn maintenance includes regular use of synthetic lawn chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, which are typically applied repeatedly throughout the season. After every application a portion of the chemical is taken up by the soil and plants, but the remainder may be washed away during rainstorms where it can make its way into streams and lakes. This type of pollution is known as runoff. There is already clear evidence that links runoff from roads and farms to pollution in rivers and lakes, but, more recently, research indicates that the contribution from urban lawns is also significant. These chemicals dont discriminate they act as fertilizers and pesticides wherever they go. Nutrient pollution from fertilizer is essentially a too much of a good thing type of problem. In lawns and on farms they are intended to help grow desired plants, but when this fertilizer reaches a lake it spurs the growth of aquatic plants and algae and may have negative effects. For example,

Starting Your Family's First Compost Project

April 09, 2018 by Maureen Wise

If your family is looking to reduce the weight of the trash can you pull to the curb every week, composting your organic waste could cut your landfill trash by up to 30%, according to the US EPA. By composting your kitchen scraps and garden waste instead of landfilling, youll also help reduce greenhouse gases produced by landfills and end up with a locally made plant fertilizer (local, as in your own backyard!). We like natural fertilizer here at Good Nature Organic Lawn Care and are here to help you with some steps to start your familys first compost project. Choosing Your Location There are lots of options of where to let your compost decompose. Ideally, you need a spot where the compost will get a bit wet but not saturated so under a tree or behind a shed are optimal spots. Youll also need to have your compost contained in some way. A rotating drum is a popular alternative. These models often have wheels which makes for easy dispersal of compost when ready but they can be on the pricier

"Making the world a little better place, one organic landscape at a time"
Cleveland (216) 641-9800
Columbus (614) 885-5296
Akron (330) 836-9800
fax(216) 641-9805
Good Nature Organic Lawn Care - Corporate
7621 Old Rockside Road
Cleveland, OH 44131

And always stay informed of the latest Good Nature news and events!

© 2015 Good Nature Organic Lawn Care. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by VirteomVirteom Logo