The Organic Lawn Care Manual

The Organic Lawn Care Manual

4.5 2
by Paul Tukey, Nell Newman

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In the modern suburban landscape, beautiful, green lawns are perhaps the most ubiquitous feature of all. It’s difficult to imagine a friendly neighborhood without broad, clean stretches of neatly shorn grass. More and more in recent years, those lawns are evolving into organic systems as homeowners — concerned about the long-term effects of chemicals…  See more details below


In the modern suburban landscape, beautiful, green lawns are perhaps the most ubiquitous feature of all. It’s difficult to imagine a friendly neighborhood without broad, clean stretches of neatly shorn grass. More and more in recent years, those lawns are evolving into organic systems as homeowners — concerned about the long-term effects of chemicals on their children, their pets, and the environment — turn to natural methods to keep their yards healthy and inviting, and, yes, still green and lush, too.

Paul Tukey, a self-confessed mowing addict, answers the growing demand for organic grass with a comprehensive volume of natural lawncare information. Step by step, he takes readers through the many elements that work together to form a healthy, organic lawn. Well-treated soil, fed properly with compost and natural fertilizers, is the foundation of every great lawn. Plant it with a grass cultivar matched properly to the climate and sunlight, nourish the soil and grass with the proper amount of water, and maintain the height with a good mower equipped with a sharp blade. A beautiful, naturally maintained lawn can be as simple as that.

An organic, healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds and pests, but when unwanted visitors creep in, Tukey is ready with Weed and Thug ID Guides and advice on dispatching them naturally or learning to live with the benign offenders. Tukey also provides helpful advice for lawnkeepers making the transition from a synthetic to an organic lawn system. It’s all here — everything today’s homeowner needs to keep his lawn off drugs, and make it an inviting living and play area for the whole family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

For homeowners tired of their chemical-saturated lawns, this book provides step-by-step guidance for "get[ting] your lawn off drugs." Tukey, a lifelong lawn lover, started mowing as a teenager, and as the owner of a successful lawn care company, he was well entrenched in the "weed 'n' feed" method prevalent since the 1940s: "With one pass of a lawn spreader, we could feed the grass" (with chemical fertilizers), "kill the weeds" (with pesticides) "and still have time for a round of golf at the course we so envied"). When, after years on the job, he began to experience nosebleeds and shortness of breath, his doctor ordered him to stop using lawn chemicals, and that was the beginning of his commitment to organic lawn care. His lively and passionate instruction—on soil structure and how to improve it; grass varieties; "starting a lawn from scratch"; natural lawn foods; "watering dews and don'ts"; and how to deal with moles, voles, grubs and bugs—are interspersed with inspirational tales of natural-lawn activists. With an appendix on lawn games, from croquet to badminton, this book will delight lawn fanatics and provide sound advice for those who simply want to maintain their yard. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The popularity of all things organic has made it to the lawn. And award-winning magazine editor/publisher Tukey, host of the HGTV show People, Places & Plants, attempts to bring it to the masses. Rather than stating the dangers of chemical lawn care, Tukey gently eases grass snobs into a new, holistic way of thinking. He offers detailed programs to "Get Your Lawn Off Drugs" by improving soil texture and structure, planting the right grass, and employing correct mowing and watering practices. He also covers new construction, lawn renovation, and the nearly no-mow lawn. His RILE (relax, identify, listen, eradicate) method of weed control may once and for all rid your lawn of the crab grass next to the driveway. Geared to do-it-yourselfers, Tukey's book is more approachable than Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley's well-noted The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control. Clear photos and illustrations make the instructions accessible; an overview of grasses and a handy weed identification guide also add value. Recommended for all libraries with lawn care collections.
—Tracy Mohaidheen

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Product Details

Storey Books
Publication date:
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8.75(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.81(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"I grew up playing on and mowing clover-filled organic lawns in the 1950s. We rarely used fertilizers or pest controls. Paul Tukey's book is arriving at the perfect time to guide us back to enjoying healthy and environmentally smart lawns."– Will Raap, Chairman & Founder of Gardener's Supply Company

"This is an invitation to a lawn party where the Stay Off the Grass signs have all been replaced by bare feet. With a copy of this smart, common-sense guide to lawn care, you'll be rolling up your sleeves and taking off your shoes. Read it and wiggle your toes."–Roger B. Swain, Science Editor of Horticulture magazine

"Lawns should be as safe and friendly to earth's environment as they are to the kids and pets that roughhouse on them. Paul Tukey has written a hard-working guide for those who want to keep their lawns as natural as a mountain meadow."– Robert Smaus, former Garden Editor of the Los Angeles Times

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The Organic Lawn Care Manual 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Tukey calls The American Gardener's Calendar the first gardening book published in the New World. In 1806, it pushed 'grand and spacious' lawns. In 1830, Edwin Budding invented mechanical lawn mowers. By the mid-20th century, chemical lawn care took off. For synthetic fertilizers and sprays get results now. But in the not-so-long term, their side effects hurt people's health and nature's well-being. And it doesn't have to be that way. For example, visit the organically-cared-only town lawns and athletic playing fields of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Or the compost- and compost-tea-only-fed grasses on the Ross Farm, growers of Texas' organically-cared beef cattle. The author gives a three-year program for saying no to chemicals and yes to aerating, composting, dethatching, mulching, and overseeding. He goes through a yearly calendar, month-by-month. He shows how to fight diseases and pests by weed-reading, soil improvements, plant-based sprays, and good-guy insects. And he summarizes it all in 'one long sentence'. The book is clearly organized and solidly grounded with step-by-step guides, recommended reading, photos, Internet resources, index, glossary, and appendix on lawn games.