My Green, Organic, Carbon-free Lawn

When I first read Dr. Alan Greene’s Raising Baby Green, I found it strange that he devoted an entire chapter to gardening. What does gardening have to do with a baby? I wondered. Now I think my view of green parenting was a bit limited. Sure, we should reduce, reuse, and recycle, but it’s also important to avoid polluting the environment with chemicals–chemicals your baby will be exposed to if you plan to spend time in the yard this summer.

I’ve been a homeowner since 2004, and my organic lawn has always looked like something off the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. (Slight exaggeration.) How do I do it?

Use a push mower. I have fear of power tools–and they use energy to run. My yards have always been small enough to mow without gas or electricity. The clippings decompose on the lawn or go into the compost bin. I also have manual clippers, edgers, and other tools.

Prevent weeds. Applying corn gluten (available at nurseries) in the spring and fall keeps weeds from growing, though it does nothing to the weeds already in existence. I’ve never used anything to kill weeds–I simply pick them myself with my handy weed-picking tool.

Use organic fertilizer. Instead of buying chemical fertilizers, buy organic ones.

Believe me, I am no gardening guru, but I’ve managed to maintain a pretty decent patch of grass without resorting to chemicals or power tools.

Are there any organic lawn tricks I’m missing? Let us know!


  1. I use a push-mower, too. I am also working on eliminating portions of my expansive lawn so that I will have to mow less space. I’ll be replacing lawn with “islands” of mulch (I use cardboard underneath, not plastic landscaping cloth) with patches of plants. I also put in more garden beds over my lawn. I’m looking forward to mowing less!

  2. We used corn gluten this year and have been AMAZED at how well it works! We also bought some “Burn Out” which is a weed killing organic product made from clove oil. We sprayed the dandelions with Burn Out and then used the corn gluten. It’s both a fertilizer and a weed preventer so our lawn looks great without the guilt! Some of the dandelion plants are still there, but they no longer send up flowers, which works for me. I’m very glad we switched to organic lawn care and am quite pleased with the results.

  3. Here are my tips for green lawn care:

    I just wrote about it the other day.

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