Our organic lawn

Our organic lawn ©Janet AllenOur organic lawn

I'd say that the lawn we have left (a miniscule fraction of what we started with) is a combination of an organic lawn and a Freedom Lawn, a term coined by L. Herbert Bohrmann et. al. (see Resources).

However, I think we're a little too careful about weeds in our lawn for it to qualify as a real Freedom Lawn.

Our good enough lawn  ©Janet AllenNot a perfect lawn when seen up close, but good enough

On the other hand, seen up close, no lawn care company would use it on their poster.

We definitely use organic lawn care practices, though the usual goals of organic lawn care seem to me to be to approximate that perfect suburban lawn but without using chemicals.

We're happy with a "good-enough" lawn—good enough meaning that it's a decent lawn, even if not perfect.

Our lawn care principles

Our mini-lawn ©Janet Allen
Our mini-lawn

These simple principles are pretty effective:

  • Mow high so the grass plants can produce more food
  • Leave our clippings on the lawn, becoming its own compost
  • Hand pick the most obvious weeds
John hand-pulling weeds  ©Janet AllenJohn hand-pulling weeds

Actually it's not that hard to hand-pull weeds when you first reduce your lawn to a reasonable size (i.e. small) and you keep the turf grass plants healthy by using organic methods.

The lawn John is weeding in the photo is a new No Mow grass section that we hadn't tended to sufficiently when we first planted it. We could have avoided most of these weeds, but now that they're out and the No Mow grass is growing, it shouldn't be much of a problem.

If there's a drought or summer heat wave, we simply let the lawn go dormant. We never water it.

Even so, we think our lawn compares very favorably with other lawns on the street—even those that have professional chemical-based lawn care (which makes us wonder all the more why on earth so many people are still using this harmful stuff!)

The nice thing is, though, that even if the lawn gets a little less green, all our other plants are bursting with life. Who notices the lawn with so many other plants to enjoy?