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The calibre of your lawn is not the plants and grass that you see. The lifeblood of a lush green lawn is the soil underneath it. A pesticide-free lawn has countless beneficial organisms within it creating a well-balanced system capable of sustaining itself. Having a healthy soil will result in you having a healthy lawn!
Soil is composed of rock particles (sand, silt, and clay) and organic matter (humus). The texture of your soil depends on the proportion and distribution of these different particles.
Do You Have Loam At Home?
The best kind of soil for growth is a loamy soil containing all 3 particle in ideal proportions. Loam naturally contains a good proportion of air spaces and is easily aerated. Loam also absorbs water easily, yet allows water, air, nutrients, plant roots, and organisms to move through it. A sandy loam type of soil supports plant growth best.
Soil Analysis – You Can Do It!
What type of soil do you have? Take a handful of soil and squeeze it into a ball. If your soil is “Sandy” it will not hold shape. “Clay” soil forms a lump that won’t break up. If your soil forms a ball but breaks up easily than you have “Loam”. You may have to add different types of topdressing to get the soil type you desire.
What about pH?
The pH of your soil represents its acidity or alkalinity. pH is measured on a scale of 0-14; 0 being very acidic, 14 being highly alkaline, and a measurement of 7 represents a neutral reading. Your soil should be around 6-6.5pH for a healthy lawn to grow. If your soil is too acidic (below 6) add lime to bring up the pH. Sulphur should be applied if the pH is above 7, as sulphur will lower the pH of your soil.
Pesticide – Free = High Biodiversity
Soil organisms free from pesticides will form a balanced food web where dead plant materials will decompose, organic material will be mixed as well as digested, and air pockets and channels for water will be formed. All these little critters found in your soil will ensure a healthy, self-sustaining lawn.
Protect these beneficial insects, spiders, mites, worms and microorganisms by reducing your use of insecticides and fungicides. A pesticide-free lawn ensures organically balanced soil.
The best weapon against infestation is prevention and maintenance of a diversified environment in which competition among multiple organisms prevents the domination by any single one. A healthy lawn is the best way to prevent problems with insects and weeds.