Make Your Neighbors Green with Envy

How does your grass grow?

 Did you know April is National Lawn Care month?  I have to tell you  the designation was started  years ago by the Professional Lawn Care Association of America.  But, regardless of its self-serving roots, this seems the ideal time to shine a light on the choices available for lawn maintenance.  We’re so indoctrinated to believe the only way to have a lush, green, healthy lawn is to follow the 4-step program that many homeowners don’t even consider an organic alternative.  Or, if they do, there are so many misconceptions about organic lawn care that many people decide not to even try it, thinking it’s too expensive or will result in a lawn full of weeds.  

As a landscape designer, I encourage my clients to think about how much lawn area they actually require, since most of us have way too much lawn grass, and then shrink their lawns whenever feasible.  Having said that, I also realize there is no better way to showcase a beautifully designed foundation planting or mixed border than with a lush, healthy lawn.  I also encourage clients to care for their property, including their lawns, in an organic approach.  Making the switch from chemical lawn care to organic lawn care can be rocky at first but the long-term benefits are worth it.    

Since I am not a certified lawn care professional, I won’t even try to discuss the pros and cons of one approach versus the other.  Instead, I’ll share some links to experts that can do exactly that.  

  • If you think organic lawn care is much more expensive than chemical lawn care, you can read about the results of a 5-year study of chemical vs. organic lawn care on school athletic fields.  The results may surprise you and should be easily transferable to a regular home lawn that is not used virtually round the clock for sports activities.



  • One of the hardest parts about making the switch from chemicals to organic is managing expectations about how your organic lawn will look in the short-term.  Here’s a comprehensive Q&A about making the transition to organic lawn care.


  • This Organic Lawn Care Schedule is published by the CT Department of Environmental Protection.  It provides a simple timeline of when to do what for organic lawn care here in CT.  It can easily be adapted to other locales.




I hope this will be the spring you make the change to organic lawn care.  And why not, your neighbors will be green with envy!

2 thoughts on “Make Your Neighbors Green with Envy

  1. Debbie, thank you so much for this very helpful post! I’m going to bookmark this for future use. It’s a really important topic, because while some people are removing lawns, many people still enjoy a patch of it for playing, walking, or just as a green “negative space” to help highlight the beauty of the beds.

    • Gen,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, that’s high praise coming from you. I’m not sure how lawn care trends are in northern CA, but out here they are slooowly changing toward organic. There are still a lot of misconceptions. I was at a new client’s house yesterday and she had lovely wild violets growing in her lawn and she started to apologize for them so I told her I loved them. Then she ‘confessed’ she liked them too but so many of her neighbors think they’re weeds. It’s an uphill battle.

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