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

What's Hybrid Organic Lawn Care

March 29, 2017 by Alec McClennan

What is Hybrid Organic Lawn Care? (Spoiler Alert: Its a wolf in sheeps clothing) It seems that choosing an organic lawn care company is getting more difficult. Back in 1999, when Good Nature Organic Lawn Care was founded, there was one type of lawn care company and they all used the same lawn care chemicals. Nobody really questioned whether using chemicals on their lawn was a good idea or not. People assumed that since the chemicals are approved by the government, they must be safe. Truth is, lawn care chemicals are not safe and any lawn care company that tells you that they use safe lawn care chemicals is breaking the law. At Good Nature, we use vegetable meals, proteins, sea plant extracts, humus containing products, plant oils, and micronutrients to keep grass and plants healthy so that they can defend themselves from insects and disease while defending their territory against weed invasion.It might surprise you to know that youll find many of our ingredients in the food you eat and

Your Lawns Could be Harming Your Cats

September 30, 2016 by Leigh Marcos

This guest post is from Leigh Marcos, a lover of all animals, especially cats. You can read more about how to care for your pets at the Shield My Pets website. This article is personal to me. As a cat lover, I have seen first hand what going all out to have the perfect lawn can do to your cat. In my case this was the piratic Mr. Spot. The great wanderer and mischief maker supreme. This is a summary of what Ive learned the hard way about how our lawns can affect our cats if we are not careful. How Pesticides Affect Cats In short, the fertilizers and pesticides we use on our lawns are poisonous to cats. As cats spend a large chunk of their time outdoors, this puts them at a higher risk of interacting with these toxic substances. Cats often nibble at grass and plants for medicinal reasons, but even if they do not, they step in the fertilizer and brush against plants sprayed with pesticides then they lick their fur and their paws while cleaning themselves. If ingested in large enough

This Summer's Weather Promoted Lawn Disease

September 27, 2016 by Alec McClennan

Conditions This Bad Not Seen In A Decade! What a summer! Drought-like conditions in July followed by rain, rain and more rain in August. Unfortunately, those are perfect conditions for infectious lawn diseases. Honestly, we havent seen this type of disease-favorable weather in 10 years! Think of it as the perfect storm for lawn disease. Diseases like brown patch, dollar spot, Pythium blight, leaf spot diseases and the appearance of symptoms of summer patch and necrotic ring spot. While temperature and moisture can bring on these diseases, there are other factors that take over once the disease becomes established. Also, some grasses are more affected than others by lawn disease...but all lawns are affected... Kentucky Bluegrass * Less prone to brown patch, dollar spot, gray leaf spot and Pythium blight * Very susceptible to root diseases such as necrotic ring spot and summer patch * Can tolerate some infection * During periods like is past summer, infection-impaired plants cannot

"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 Virteom