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Organic Lawn Care

Organic vs. Traditional: Which Lawn Care Program is Best for You?

Believe it or not, now is the time to get started on a lawn care program if you want to see a lush, green yard while you sip your iced tea on the patio this summer! There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about the best way to get the lawn you really want. Often the decision comes down to whether to choose an Organic or Traditional lawn care program.  While Traditional Programs give quick results, Giroud’s 100% Natural Organic Lawn Care Program will take time to produce great results. Keep reading to see what kind of program is best for your lawn, and also how a Giroud Lawn Care Expert can help you decide!

Which Lawn Care Program is Best for Your Property?

You might feel overwhelmed when deciding on a Lawn Care Program!  Giroud takes a three-step approach to help you get the lawn you really want:

  1. Your Goals: When it comes to your lawn, we want to know what’s most important to you.  Having a lush, thick green lawn? Concerns about children and pets?  Chemical free treatments? Targeted treatments for a specific part of the property?   
  2. Lawn Evaluation: The current condition of your lawn must be evaluated.  We’ll assess many health and beauty indicators including thickness, color, weed or insect issues and soil pH. 
  3. Choose the Best Program: Based on your lawn’s current condition and your goals, your Giroud Representative will explain what you can realistically expect from a Traditional versus Organic program.  Then, he will develop a plan custom-tailored for your property. 

Organic Lawn Care Program

Giroud’s Organic Lawn Care Program is 100% chemical-free. No herbicides, fungicides, or synthetic pesticides are utilized in this program. Instead, Giroud relies on non-chemical strategies to address any problems and only 100% Natural Organic, non-synthetic materials are used in all of the processes. Some companies use products that are organic-based, which means they have organic fertilizer within the product. However, the rest of it is synthetic and costs less. Giroud’s 100% Natural Organic Lawn Care Program only uses products that comply with the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) standards for Natural Organic.

If completely chemical-free lawn care is what you are seeking, patience is key to the process. Much of the focus of an organic program is on strengthening and improving the condition of the soil and the grass root system.

  • First, your Giroud Representative will do a complimentary test of the pH Level of your soil. Test samples are pulled from several places around the property. If your pH level is low, he will recommend a natural Lime application to cut some of the acidity and create a thriving environment for growing grass.
  • Fertilizers feed everything from the grass to the weeds. Since herbicides are not used to treat the weeds in an organic program, Giroud starts off with an organic soil conditioner with a lower fertilizer. Concentrating on the overall health of your soil first creates an ideal environment to strengthen the root system.
  • As the weather warms up, Giroud switches to another natural organic product which contains a higher amount of fertilizer. It also has a higher nitrogen content to green up the grass and promote top growth.
  • In late summer after a few fertilizer treatments, another round of Organic Soil Conditioner is applied. This will give the soil an added boost of conditioning to last through the season.
  • The lawn is treated a few more times with Natural Organic Fertilizer at the end of the season. That last treatment is so important because, even when the cold hits, the soil underneath stays warm and the root system continues to benefit from the nutrients applied.

Crowding out Weeds

Since herbicides and pesticides are not used in the Organic Lawn Care Program, weeds are combated by slowly crowding them out while strengthening the grass roots. This process can take a longer time. But, you can trust that Giroud only uses 100% Natural Organic certified products. The formula is completely safe for kids and pets. It’s also safe for pollinators, like bees and butterflies, and it does not deter them either. Your garden vegetables are completely safe if they’re near organically-treated areas, and it’s safe for any nearby streams and water wells.

Aeration - Organic vs Traditional Lawn Care

The Importance of Aeration and Seeding

Aeration and Seeding in the fall is important, especially if you choose Organic lawn care. Aeration breaks up heavy, compacted soil or heavy thatch. It allows your lawn to breathe and grow by opening access to air, water, and nutrients. It promotes deeper grass root growth, makes turf more tolerant of heat and drought, and provides an excellent base for seeding. 

According to Mike McGrath, organic gardening expert and host of the popular WHYY radio show You Bet Your Garden, “Occasional aeration is an absolutely essential element of any lawn care plan: chemical, organic, or anything in between.”

Traditional Lawn Care Program

Giroud’s Traditional Lawn Care Program uses fertilizer treatments that are custom blended to match the season and growing conditions at each of the six visits. Insect and weed problems are treated only as needed, eliminating unnecessary use of chemicals.

  • First, your Giroud Representative will do a complimentary test of the pH Level of your soil. Test samples are pulled from several places around the property. If your pH level is low, he will recommend a natural Lime application to cut some of the acidity and create a thriving environment for your growing grass.
  • The first few treatments of fertilizer also include Pre-emergent Crabgrass control and Broadleaf Weed control. Some of the most persistent weeds pop up early, and it’s smart to get a head start to crowd them out and allow for grass to grow in those places.
  • In early summer, a preventative grub control is added to the fertilizer treatments to prevent them from feeding on the grass roots and damaging sections of your lawn.
  • As the weather warms up, Giroud switches to an organic-based summer formula fertilizer treatment. Synthetic treatments can burn a lawn if used in very hot weather, so this organic formula works beautifully to feed the grass during the hottest stretch of summer.
  • In early fall, broadleaf weed control is brought back into the formula. Also, a surface feeding insect control is introduced to combat damage done by hungry late-season bugs.

Spot treating is done as needed for intense weed growth. However, Giroud’s Lawn Care Technicians are trained to only apply what is absolutely necessary. Plus, Giroud has carefully selected formulas that have low chemical content.

The Giroud crew is also careful not to get herbicides and pesticides in vegetable gardens, flower beds, or streams. We follow the industry standard, which requires that treatments are applied at least 15 feet away from any water sources. We don’t broadcast spray the whole lawn unless it is very weedy and has not been treated for years. We always account for the weather; sprays are not done on windy days when it could drift into undesirable areas.

Want Organic, But Your Lawn has Problems?

If you prefer organic but your lawn is thin or weed-infested, you can jump start with Giroud’s traditional program to make your lawn thick and healthy. Then, shift to Giroud’s 100% Natural Organic Program to keep it green and chemical-free. Many Giroud customers have had great success with this process, especially if they are earth conscious and still want that weed-free, vibrant property.

“You can have a completely organic program and have a green lawn that has different kinds of grasses, clovers, even some weeds,” explains Giroud Lawn Care Technician Tom McMonagle, “and it’s still going to look vibrant and healthy. But you’re not going to get that green carpet affect with an organic program. If you want that green carpet effect, you need to start with traditional. When you get your lawn to where you want it, you can ease into an organic program.”

The Bottom Line to Choosing Your Lawn Care Program

Every lawn is different, so it’s important that homeowners work with a lawn care specialist to custom tailor a program that works best for their property. All Giroud Representatives have had extensive training and education in best practices for lawn care.

“Lawns are not natural,” Tom explains. “They’re a cultivated product. They’re under stress all the time from recreation, from being mowed, from surrounding elements and acidity in the soil. If left alone, they would revert back to their natural, weedy state. If you want a great lawn, you have to keep on top of it!”

Organic vs Traditional Lawn Care

What to Consider for Your Program

  • Aeration and Seeding are incredibly helpful additions to any Lawn Care Program.
  • Have your pH Levels checked annually and add Lime when needed to counteract the acidity.
  • Always mow grass high, at least 3”- 4”.
  • Water your grass regularly.

If you’re concerned about water usage and waste, Mother Earth News has some great tips on how to collect rain water. Just be sure to check if your state has any restrictions on rainwater collection.

An Inspection is the First Step to a Green Lawn!

Get started today by calling Giroud at 215-682-7704. Inspections are always FREE, and your Giroud Representative will custom design a program that fits your specific wants and needs.

Do something Today that your lawn will thank you for Tomorrow!


Author: Cindy Giroud

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