Organic Lawn Care – Fertilizers

Q: I’ve been reading some lawn care forums on the internet where many people advocate an organic lawn care program.

For fertilizer, a protein based feed, such as alfalfa or corn meal is used. It supposedly works by feeding the food chain (insects, microbes) in the soil which, in turn provides nutrients for the grass.

Do you have any opinion on this?

A: I think organic lawn care can be a valuable option if you have an inexpensive source of alfalfa or corn meal and if you have the right grass.

Fescue would be problematic because it needs nutrients when the soil is cool. Protein-based fertilizers depend on soil organisms to convert them to inorganic N for the grass…..and few organisms are active in cool soil.

Warm season grasses would be better subjects, although the soil is still pretty cool when they are ready for a first feeding in April.

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