A healthy green lawn is something that most homeowners look to achieve. Unfortunately, many times in the pursuit of such a goal we overlook the effects that it has on the environment around us. It’s a fact that many common lawn care activities can pollute the world around us and directly damage the environment. That doesn’t have to be the case though! In this article we’ll look at ways you can be environmentally conscious while at the same time maintaining a beautiful lawn your neighbors will be envious of; that’s also not to mention that many of these environmental tips will also be kind on your wallet.
Leave Grass Clippings for a Natural fertilizer
An easy way to keep your lawn healthy while also looking after the environment is to simply leave your grass clippings after you cut them. These will become a natural compost, and provide your lawn and soil with key nutrients to promote growth.
The plus here is that you won’t need to fertilize as often or at all. Many fertilizers are harmful to the environment, so this is an easy way to stop the removal of chemicals from leaching into the surrounding areas. It can also save a lot of time over having to bag and dispose of all those lawn clippings. If you’re worried about the clippings appearing unsightly on your lawn simply set your cutting to a bit higher or do so more often. When properly clipped you likely won’t even notice they’re there.
As an added tip, you can do the same thing in the fall with leaves. Properly mulched leaves will readily decompose and provide nutrients back into the soil.
Favor Electric Over Gas
When possible, it’s best to favor electric lawn equipment over gas powered ones. Electric equipment is usually more efficient, and less of a pollutant to the environment. It also uses less energy overall, which is good both from an environmental and cost perspective.
One important thing to keep in mind here though is the proper disposal of batteries. Simply throwing them into a landfill is horrible for the environment and should not be done. Many cities offer some sort of electronic or battery disposal program, look for these as the proper way to cleanly get rid of old batteries.
Grow the Correct Grass for Your Climate
One big waste of energy is trying to grow the wrong type of grass for your climate. While it can be done, it generally requires a lot more water, time, and chemicals to offset the less than ideal growing conditions.
Choosing the correct type of grass for your climate has the effect of making it that much easier to grow. This means less fertilizer, energy used, and effort to maintain it. This is good from an environmental standpoint, but is also sure to let you relax more in the summer and be less costly overall. Trying to grow the wrong grass is just bad all around.
Create a Buffer
This tip is specific for those who have property next to a lake, river, or other waterway. If you do, it’s a good idea to create a buffer zone between your actively maintained yard and it. This is as simple as letting a few yards grow wild, which will form a natural barrier between yard runoff and the water way. This will prevent excess fertilizer from getting into the water, which can have multiple negative effects on the local ecosystem.
It’s also important to cut grass in the best way to support future growth. Longer grass is typically healthier, so it’s important not to cut too much at once or cut it too short.
In terms of length, you’ll want to cut your short no less than 2 ½ – 3 inches long. When you do cut, aim to not cut more than an inch at a time. Leaving it in these ranges keeps your grass healthy, which consequently means less effort will be needed in maintaining it.
Water waste is another big problem with maintaining your lawn, doing so smartly not only helps the environment but also your wallet. Most grass needs about an inch of water per week, and in most places natural precipitation will provide more than enough.
For those in areas that don’t, look to water deeply infrequently rather than many short waterings. This helps the water soak into the ground which in turn leads to deep root development. This is important as deeper roots are more resistant to droughts in the future. Lots of short waterings will encourage shallow roots that are more susceptible to droughts which is a self reinforcing problem.
Use Organic and Compostable Materials
Lastly, when it does come time to put ingredients into your lawn it’s important to reach for organic or decomposable materials. There are many fertilizers that are perfectly good for your lawn that don’t come packed with tons of harsh chemicals.
There are also items like compostable pots that can help add a touch of environmental friendliness to your garden. The goal is to limit the amount of chemical and inorganic waste that goes into your lawn. The less of all this the better.
Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care Tips
Following the above tips you can help maintain the environment while still having a beautiful, healthy lawn. We can all do our part for our planet without having to sacrifice the little things in life that we enjoy.