If we were to ask you what the ultimate goal of a lawn care service should be, you'd probably say "a healthy lawn." We would venture a guess that you're thinking in terms of thickness and color-and perhaps most importantly to you-a lawn that is weed-free.
But what's the real secret to achieving that? Why do golf courses and ballparks often have the nicest appearance around, and what are they doing that you may not be?
The secret that the most successful professionals know is that the health of the lawn comes down to its soil. But not every lawn care service focuses on the soil, choosing instead to use a quicker and temporary fix that gives the impression of fast results.
That's why some lawn care companies get amazing results while others do not. Lawn soil health matters, and here's why.
Why Soil Health is Important
While a lot of people are focused on the visible part of their lawn, above the surface, the real secret to a healthy lawn lies underground. It is the health of the soil that determines the health of the entire lawn.
Naturally healthy soil is full beneficial microorganisms like fungi and bacteria, which help a plant to digest nutrients. These microorganisms also help strengthen your lawn against disease and pests. Healthy, biologically active soil has a highly diverse array of this microscopic life.
While fungi and bacteria are the most well-known, it also includes protozoa, mites, and micro arthropods, to name just a few. There can actually be as many as 50,000 species in just a teaspoon of soil. It is this healthy blend of living organisms that helps create optimal growing conditions for the lawn.
Tangible Soil Health Benefits - Why Should This Matter to You?
You’ll be able to see the difference between a lawn that has healthy soil and one that does not. Over time, a lawn care service that is focused on the biology of soil health will have less weeds and a thicker, greener lawn. It will also need less water - as much as 20 percent less.
That’s because healthy soil retains moisture better. By increasing good bacteria and allowing it to dominate the root zone, you can improve plant growth and boost its ability to fight off pests. Your lawn will have deeper and healthier roots and also become more naturally resistant to disease.
Unfortunately, very little thought is often given about how to make soil healthy. In fact, most lawn care companies don’t focus on soil health at all. This is a fact that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right lawn care service provider for you.
Instead, they treat symptoms only, practicing reactionary lawn care. This may keep your lawn green and address problems as they arise, but also has you stuck in an endless cycle of treating the symptoms of underlying problems instead of achieving true health so that less chemicals are needed.
Even worse, too many chemicals on your lawn can actually begin to destroy the soil’s beneficial microorganisms, depleting the soil of what it needs to thrive.
How to Improve Soil Health for a Healthier Lawn
A program that is focused on how to make soil healthy is one that applies the essential elements without applying unnecessary product when it’s not truly needed.
Working with the lawn’s natural biology is important. A bionutritional lawn care program is focused on regularly introducing those beneficial microbiological organisms into the soil, throughout the year, to help the lawn naturally thrive and adapt to its conditions.
This kind of program does not rely on bionutrional products alone. Instead of applying liberally and without reason, control products should be applied as needed, particularly in the beginning when there are a lot of problems to address.
However, as the bionutritional materials start to make progress, it’s very common that spot-treatment for certain issues will be needed, versus blindly applying control products over the entire lawn. This is a better strategy than what most lawn care companies in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky employ.
Organic Lawn Care Vs. Bionutrition
You might ask yourself why not go the organic route? Is organic fertilizer the same thing as bionutritional materials?
A completely organic lawn service is one that does not use any control products at all, and that’s not always in the ideal interest of a healthy lawn either. Sometimes the use of a select number of products can help reduce weeds and ultimately lead to a healthier lawn that will require less treatment in the long run. A lush, thick lawn will help naturally choke out weeds. But in the short-term, weed control products may be necessary to achieve that healthy state.
While organic fertilizers offer a good source for nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, they do not contain bionutritional materials that are teeming with microscopic life. A lawn care program that also continuously adds these microorganisms back into your soil will help your lawn reach its natural balance dramatically sooner than just straight organic fertilization.
At the end of the day, the best lawn care service is one that combines all the necessary tools, such as organic fertilizers, control products only when needed, with bionutrition for truly optimal soil health.
How Lawn Care Companies Approach Soil Health
If you’re talking to lawn care companies in Cincinnati, Dayton or Northern Kentucky, ask them specific questions about their approach.
Ask lawn care companies these questions, without suggesting bionutrition at all:
- How does your lawn care program address the health of my soil?
- How many times will a technician go over my lawn in each visit, and what is being applied? Is it all mixed together? Do you just treat the whole lawn with everything?
- Then at the end ask them, “What do you know about bionutrition and soil biology?”
- What is your long-term approach to weed control?
If a prospective lawn care company can’t explain an approach that sounds different than traditional reactionary lawn care, keep looking. Their representative doesn’t have to be a soil biologist, but they should know why it’s important and what their program does to address it.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, our lawn care service uses a two-step process that includes an organic base as well as bionutritional materials over the entire lawn so that the soil is getting what it needs to thrive naturally. Then we inspect and treat areas of the lawn and apply control materials on a second pass over the lawn, only where they are needed. It may cost a little more upfront, but the investment in your lawn’s soil will pay off for you in the long run.
Our lawn care program puts the secret of amazing lawn care into action on the homeowner front. By focusing on soil health, our clients’ lawns get those professional green results that you might have only thought possible on the golf course.
If you live in the Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northern Kentucky areas and are ready for your lawn to be its very best, give us a call at 513-697-9090, or let us provide you with a free estimate.