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An organic lawn doesn't have to be out of reach. Here's how you can have healthy, eco-friendly landscaping.

Having a lawn with the space to entertain or for the kids to play is one of the many advantages of being a homeowner. Traditionally, maintaining an attractive lawn has meant using chemical-laden fertilizers, weed killers, and other products, but more homeowners are recognizing the benefits of having an organic lawn. In addition to being better for the environment, organic lawns are healthier and reduce your family's exposure to toxic chemicals. Although you'll need to take some time and effort in the beginning to help transition your lawn to organic, you'll be rewarded with a healthier place for your family to relax and play.

Our real estate agents suggest the following steps to make the move to an organic lawn:

  • Have a soil test performed.
    A soil test lets you know exactly what you're dealing with before you eliminate chemicals from your lawn care. Pick up a soil sample kit from N.C. Cooperative Extension in the Brunswick County Center, and follow the directions that come along with it. After your sample is tested, you'll receive a report that includes the nutrient content and pH of your soil, along with recommendations for fertilizer and amendments to add. If, for example, your soil has a low pH, you can add lime to improve it.

  • Prepare your lawn.
    Mow your lawn to a height of about two inches and pull up as many weeds as you can. Also, remove any dead grass and roots from the surface of your lawn before aerating it to allow your amendments to better penetrate the soil. You can rent an aerator at a lawn and garden store if you don't already own one.

  • Add compost.
    Compost is one of the most important components of an organic lawn since it helps promote strong, healthy growth. If you're just now starting your own compost pile, buy some made from decomposed organic plant material from a lawn and garden store to get started.

  • Apply fertilizer.
    Your lawn needs fertilizer to help provide it with essential nutrients. Instead of buying one that has chemicals in it, choose an organic fertilizer that contains natural ingredients like seaweed, bone meal, and manure. These are released more slowly than ingredients in conventional fertilizers, providing a steady diet of nutrients.

  • Add grass seed.
    If you have a lush, thick lawn, it helps crowd out weeds, making it more difficult for them to grow. Overseed your lawn with a turf grass seed mix that's recommended by your lawn and garden store for the area, so it performs well and blends in well with your existing grass. Then water it every day until new growth is established.

  • Keep up the fight against weeds.
    Fighting weeds without using chemicals can be more difficult, especially for the first year or two as your soil and grass improve and can control them naturally. Try spreading corn gluten meal on your lawn to prevent weeds from germinating, but make sure you don't do it when you're overseeding since it also prevents grass seeds from germinating. If you spot weeds, pull them by hand or use an organic weed killer with an ingredient like citrus oil to dehydrate them down to the roots. These weed killers are less effective than traditional ones, so you may need to ignore a few weeds or eliminate them by hand.

Contact us if you'd like a yard and home of your own and are ready to see Southport homes for sale. We've been a market leader in Brunswick County, NC, for over 30 years and will put our experience, insight, and knowledge to work for you.