Go Organic for a yard that’s as easy as it is green.

Go Organic for a yard that’s as easy as it is green.

Know your grass blends.
Getting the proper grass blend for your area makes it easy to keep your lawn looking great without herbicides or artificial fertilizers. For Portlanders, a ryegrass and fine fescue blend should do the trick. For something more unusual, but with even less maintenance, consider an ecolawn blend that combines grass seed with flowering plants. These can go even longer between mows, they require less fertilizer, and some added plants (such as white clover) even contribute a natural fertilizing effect to the grass.

Water, but not too often.
Proper watering encourages grass to flourish, but over-watering can actually allow the weeds to take over. When your grass seems to wilt or shows footprints then its time to water. During most of the year one inch of water per week is sufficient.

Select natural fertilizers.
Compost or compost tea (made by soaking compost in water and then straining) make excellent lawn fertilizer. No compost? Try Ringer or another brand of all natural fertilizer. Whatever you choose, you can apply it up to twice a year: once in May for a greener lawn and again in September to encourage new growth.

Mow, but don’t rake.
Setting your mower to its highest setting will take a bit off the top and prevent a crabgrass invasion. If you’re mowing regularly, leave the clippings behind. They’re are high in water content which allows them to decompose quickly and act as a compost fertilizer for your lawn.

Controlling thatch.
Aerating your yard will help you avoid developing a thick thatch that could prevent water from soaking down to the roots of your grass. Proper aeration can also encourage healthy soil, a crucial element of a luxurious yard. You can rent a hand aerator from many of the Portland tool libraries, or rent a power aerator from a rental company or hardware retailer.

For a more in-depth look at any of these topics including tips on watering see this handy guide put out by the Portland Water Bureau.

Click here for a list and links to the tool libraries in Portland.