Fertilizer – Chemical Vs. Organic

Q: What are your thoughts on switching from chemical fertilizers and weed killers to organic products on a lawn? I’d like to hire an organic lawn contractor to do this.

A: I think healthy lawns can be managed safely with either synthetic or organic products. There are environmental costs to both systems but I have no beef with folks who choose one or the other. That said, the emphasis in either maintenance system needs to be focused on maintaining the grass’s vigor. Weed control is easier when you have healthy grass plants working with you to choke out the bad guys. Fertilization should be done based on a soil test and scheduled appropriately. In addition, you must match the grass to the spot. Trying to grow bermudagrass under oak trees or fescue in baking summer sunlight is a recipe for failure. When you find an organic landscape contractor, ask them to give you addresses for some of their current properties and go check them out before making a commitment.

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