Here are some tips to get started transitioning to organic lawn care on Earth Day!

Research organic lawn care providers in your area, or take a few basic steps to go organic on your own and still have a beautiful lawn:

1. Test your soil to learn what needs to be added to it. You can do it through the Cooperative Extension Service of a state university or soil lab. Since laboratories tend to give recommendations for fertilizer in the chemical-based form, ask for recommendations for organic, vegan fertilizer.

Here are some vegan store-bought suggestions: Down To Earth™ Vegan Mix 3-2-2, Grow Veganic: Steady 5 – 1 – 2, Grow Veganic: Zippy 7-1-1, Lady Bug Cottonseed Meal 7-2-1, Growmore Vegetarian 5-2-2, FloraBlend Vegan Compost Tea (.5-1-1), Yum Yum Mix 2-1-1, VeganSea Water Soluble Seaweed Powder and General Organics BioThrive Grow Plant Food.

2. Aerate Compaction is an invitation for weeds. If your lawn is hard, compacted and full of weeds
or bare spots, aerate to help air, water and fertilizer to enter. If you can’t stick a screwdriver easily into your soil, it is too compacted. Get together with your neighbors and rent an aerator. Once you have an established, healthy lawn, worms and birds pecking at your soil will aerate it for free!

3. Buy grass seed and fill up any bare spots, otherwise a weed might get there. Apply corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent to weed prone areas. Use a flame weeding machine that uses a targeted flame to kill weeds. For really pesky weeds, spray them with horticultural vinegar, or acetic acid.

4. Cultural practices like maintaining healthy soil, using at least two native turf grasses, proper watering and mowing high so the grass blade is three inches afterward are key to weed management.