Organic Lawn Care vs. Traditional Programs: Comparing Approaches & Results


It’s hard to argue with the idea of organic lawn care.

1. Do you want to be gentle to the earth? Of course!

2. Do you want fewer chemicals entering groundwater? Definitely!

3. Do you want green, healthy grass, hardly any weeds, and fast results?

You bet! Oops — darn that question number three. It’s the stickler, every time.

What do we mean? Let’s take a look.

First Things First: What Is Organic Lawn Care?

Unlike more traditional lawn care, a truly organic lawn care program doesn’t contain any added synthetic weed and insect controls or fertilizers. A main element is the use of compost or manure as fertilizer.

Maybe the most famous organic lawn care product comes from right here in Wisconsin. If you live in Milwaukee, you’re part of it. Literally.

Manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milorganite is one of the oldest branded fertilizers on the market. It’s composed of heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic matter in Milwaukee’s wastewater. Yes, by “organic matter” we mean poop. That's what the microbes eat.

Using large-scale processes that mimic nature, microbes digest the nutrients found in the water. The cleaned water is returned to Lake Michigan while the microbes are kiln-dried into small pellets.

Being Honest About Results

If you’re pondering an organic lawn care program, the first question you should ask yourself is the question we ask customers who say they’re interested in it: What kind of results do you want?

Are you OK with weeds in your lawn? (Usually the answer is no.)

Are you willing to wait awhile for results? Like, several years?

Wait, what?

S-L-O-W Fertilizer

Organic fertilizer takes a long time to break down, much longer than traditional fertilizer. Plants absorb synthetic fertilizer much more quickly, so you get faster results.

healthy lawn with fertilizer

Organic Weed Control? No Such Thing

There’s no true organic weed control. Weeds are just too tough.

There are things you can do to make your lawn thicker and healthier so it resists weeds, like mow higher and aerate and overseed once or twice a year.lawn team aerating a lawnBut there’s no organic weed killer that will get rid of your weeds.

Organic Lawn Care vs. Organic-Based: An Important Difference

Here at RainMaster, we use an organic-based fertilizer.

That means it starts with the good qualities of organic fertilizer — organic matter — but it also includes important nutrients to help your lawn thrive, like potassium, nitrogen, and iron.
lawn team preparing fertilizer for a lawn When you add these extra nutrients, you can tweak the fertilizer formula to meet different lawn needs. You can also adjust the time the fertilizer takes to release.

Know What You're Getting

Beware of the wording when you’re shopping around.

Some lawn care companies say their fertilizer is organic-based, but they’re not exactly quick to clarify that it isn’t totally organic. Just partially.

It’s easy for a customer to just hear the “organic” part.
Don’t be misled. It’s not an organic lawn care company if it uses an organic-based product that includes synthetic control products and fertilizers.

Here’s a clue: Did they spray for weeds or apply materials for insects? Then you’re likely not getting organic lawn care. As we explained earlier, there’s no real organic versions of these products that actually work.

Why an Organic Lawn Care Program Costs More

Your lawn needs three or four times the amount of organic fertilizer to equal the same amount of synthetic fertilizer.

That means several hundred pounds of organic fertilizer for just one treatment.

So, if it’s organic and it’s done correctly, it should cost you significantly more.

If there’s not a considerable cost difference, that should be a red flag.

All that material requires transportation, storage, and labor to apply it.

Lawn care trucks only hold so much, so crews have to drive back and forth several times a day to reload.

That means extra fuel and emissions. If you’re looking for a Minneapolis organic lawn care company because of environmental concerns, this is something to consider.

We Care About the Environment, Too

You want a healthy green lawn, but you care about the rest of the environment, too.

We’re in this together.

RainMaster lawn care professional with customersWe don’t just blanket your lawn with control materials if it doesn’t really need it.

Maybe all you need is a targeted spot treatment that will take care of that pesky problem area that drives you crazy.

No overkill.

And our fertilizers are phosphorus free, to protect our precious waterways.

Trust Your Lawn Care to RainMaster

Like most people, we love the idea of organic lawn care.

But we don’t offer it.

It just doesn’t provide the results that our customers expect and that we want to deliver.

We offer three different levels of lawn care programs, based on the results you’d like, how fast you want to see results, and your budget.

When you’re ready to put your trust in us, we can’t wait to meet you — and help you make the best choices for your lawn.

Ready for real lawn care results? Request a quote today! We’ll review your lawn care options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care, Hiring a Pro

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