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Organic Landscaping

from: Lawn and Garden Magic

People nowadays are very interested in using landscape tactics that don't harm the earth. A great way to do this is organic landscaping, which can no only be good for the environment, but also provide benefits for your pocket book and for your personal health. People are alarmed by the fact that some pesticides and fertilizers can harm their children. If you have children or grandchildren, it seems kind of a dumb if they can't play on the lawn because there is fertilizer all over it.

Likewise, the improper use of pesticides -- or sometimes even the proper use of these chemicals -- can result in sickness. If you make use of the resources that you have on hand, you can actually save money with do-it-yourself organic landscaping, rather than paying money for chemicals to unnaturally enhance your plants.

One of the best ways to practice organic landscape is to make use of native plants. It's much easier to naturally promote the health of your landscape when the plants you use thrive in your area. Bringing in exotic plants or non-native plants from areas with very different conditions only results in frustration and the possible reliance on chemicals to help you take care of them. If you want to keep a landscape that works with the natural setting, native plants or plants from areas with similar conditions, can help you accomplish this.

The lawn is most often the most visible part of a landscape. It seems as though many people think it's necessary to use a great deal of chemicals to keep pests from ruining the lawn or to help the lawn grow well. However, the truth is that by actively caring for the soil in your lawn as well as the grass, you can create a healthier lawn. This can be done in a number of ways that don't involve chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and to your health.

You can easily do this by using an organic fertilizer. There are compositions of fertilizer made entirely of organic materials, that do cost more up front, but as they are used regularly reduce the cost in the long run. They decrease the need for chemicals that can become expensive (and if applied improperly, can actually damage your lawn more than help it) and they don't need to be applied as often. So, the cost often evens out eventually, as you have to apply the synthetic fertilizer much more often.

Another way to take care of the lawn is to use practices that promote healthy soil and better grass roots. One of these practices is aeration. Aeration relieves soil compaction by punching holes in the ground. This helps by making the soil easier to go through. This means the roots have more room to go deeper and organisms, like earthworms, that actually help the health of your grass, have more room to move about and make their homes. This results in naturally healthy grass that withstands pests better and keeps weeds out on its own.

Top dressing and over seeding are other organic practices that improve the health of the lawn. Top dressing is the act of taking composted organic matter and mixing it half and half with sand. A thin layer is then spread over the lawn. This actually improves the lawn rooting, creating healthier, hardier grass, without fertilizer. Over seeding is a method that makes use of more than the recommended amount of grass seed about one and a half times more than the recommended amount. Over seeding promotes quicker germination and results in a thicker lawn that fights weeds better.

Fertilizer, organic or otherwise, isn't even necessary if you practice common sense in using organic gardening techniques. You can even create your own compost and mulch by using grass clippings from the lawn mower and leftovers from the garden. Raked leaves and pine needles and weeds can also be used. By leaving them to decompose, you are creating nutrient-rich organic matter than can be used to, in turn, improve the health of all the plants in your landscape, not just grass. Organic gardening can be a very rewarding and money saving effort when you do it yourself.


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