If you want to keep your lawn green and healthy, but don't want to use chemical lawn supplements such as weedkillers and fertilisers, there are organic alternatives available. Organic fertilisers, or lawn foods, and weedkillers can come in different types, in both liquid and solid form, that have undergone different levels of processing to alter them from their purely natural state.

Unlike with the chemical lawn supplements not all the organic products combine both fertiliser and weed control but there are some available. It is more common to find weed control products that have a fertiliser element than fertilisers that also control weeds.

Organic Fertilisers

The most obvious solid organic fertilisers such as manure have more than a few disadvantages, with smell being the primary one. Once they are applied it is going to be noticeably pungent, which is not going to make the garden that pleasant an area to be in. In this form it is also not really suitable, as it tends to be "lumpy," for using on lawns, rather than borders, as the lumps of manure block out sunlight from the grass, which can initially harm it.

Jobe's 09526 Organic All Purpose Granular Fertilizer 4-Pound Bag
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(price as of Jun 2, 2015)
Manure and other similar organic fertilisers are best used after they have gone through some sort of processing to make them into a more suitable form, such as dry, mostly odourless granules.

Organic Weed Control

It is rare for organic supplements to be genuine weedkillers; instead they focus more on weed control by inhibiting the growth of weeds in the first place, rather than killing them after they are established. Rarely are they 100% effective at preventing weeds, and may need applying more frequently. Even then, it is quite common for them to contain some chemicals.

The main advantage to organic, or near-organic, weed control supplements is that they are not as harmful; accidentally getting them in fish ponds will not cause the problems that chemical weedkillers do (fertilisers can also cause problems with these, but they aren't usually as rapidly fatal) and pets and children do not have to be kept off treated areas until the supplement is "watered in" either by rain or applying water using a hosepipe or similar.

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer - 25 lb. CGP25
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(price as of Jun 2, 2015)
When choosing an organic weed control supplement, choose one that is designed to be used on lawns and not on borders, as lawns and borders have different needs.

How to Apply the Fertiliser and Weed Control

For large areas a grass and seed spreader can be used for granulated supplements which can give a more even distribution of the product over the entire lawn than can be achieved by a manual method.

Liquid supplements, whether those that are diluted with water or used as is, or water soluble supplements can be dispensed with a watering can, which is usually the cause for those that need dissolving or diluting, whereas those that are applied neat frequently come in a spray bottle. Those dispensed with a hand operated sprayer are only usually suited for treating small areas and spot treatment, and not an entire lawn, as the spray bottles are often too small to cover a large area and spraying an entire lawn is hard on the wrist.

Green GrassCredit: SXC.HUChoosing your Organic Supplement

Be careful when choosing an organic, processed product, as it's rather pointless trying to treat a lawn organically if you buy one that started off as being organic but was processed in such a way that it no longer really is, so check that the organic supplement is actually organic.

If the supplement is going to be applied with a seed and fertiliser spreader, make sure that it is of a type that the spreader can cope with; if the granules are too large, the spreader could suffer a blockage.

Organic supplements tend to be more environmentally friendly than chemical ones and, as mentioned earlier, are generally safer to use around pets, wildlife and children. Make sure you check the instructions before purchasing and supplement to ensure that is going to be suitable for the use to which it is going to be put. If you want one that is safe to use around children and pets, make sure that this is stated. The fertiliser or weed control supplement should be designed for lawn use, rather than on borders.

Supplements will often state the amount of area they will cover, which will normally be measured either in square metres or square feet. Calculate the area of lawn that you are going to be applying them to, and decide whether to buy sufficient for an entire season, which will normally result in a bulk saving, as long as there is a method of storing it without it going off, or just a one off use. It is best to treat the stated coverage as being an overestimate of how much area the fertiliser or weedkiller will actually cover, so more than the numbers suggest will often be needed.