Mother Earth Living

8 Tips for a Natural Lawn

Follow these eight easy steps for a sustainable yard.
By Paul Tukey
May/June 2007
Add to My MSN

Using a push mower to cut the grass reduces air pollution.

Content Tools

1. Obtain a soil test to get an analysis of what nutrients you need. Check with your local university cooperative extension service or visit for information.

2. Grow the right grass. The most common lawn grasses, Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass, need the most water and fertilizer. Species such as perennial ryegrass, fescue and centipede grass may be better for your region.

3. Water well in the morning so the lawn surface dries during the day. Water deeply and infrequently so grass roots grow deep into the soil.

4. Soil is alive. “Dirt” is what you track into the house, but soil is filled with living organisms. Nurture it with natural amendments to achieve a successful lawn without toxic chemicals.

5. Mow properly. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn provides half its fertilizer needs for the season. Keep your mower blades sharp. Depending on the species, lawns should be cut no lower than 2.5 inches—even higher in summer.

6. Avoid synthetic materials. Lab-manufactured fertilizers can burn grasses and soil. Fertilizers and soil amendments should contain mined minerals, such as lime or sulfur, or materials that were once living plants or animals.

7. Add compost. Compost contains beneficial microorganisms that interact with organic fertilizers to provide a lush lawn.

8. Think of weeds as messengers. Weeds appear when something is wrong with the soil. If you kill weeds, they’ll return unless you fix the underlying soil problem.       

For more information, visit , a nonprofit organization that promotes environmentally friendly lawn care and resource conservation.


Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here