A lush, green lawn is high on many homeowners’ lists. But as green as green grass is, is it really green? Environmentally green? The color green symbolizes health and freshness but, in the case of a lawn, it may not be the healthiest option for you and your family.
If you want a truly green lawn in all senses of the word, try these 7 tips.
• Stop obsessing about a few dandelions! Dig them up or mow them down before they form a seedpod. Don’t worry about weeds in general. Worry about your yard’s health in general, and skip the herbicides.
• While you’re at it, leave the fungicides and pesticides at the garden shop, too. Would you keep your body permanently on antibiotics, just to keep any little bugs from growing in your body? No, we know that a little adversity is good for our bodies. Our lawns, too.
• Don’t fertilize your lawn. Fertilizer’s job is to create quick, green growth, but that speed only invites diseases and pests because it’s artificial health. A single application of a low-nitrogen organic fertilizer in the fall is a good idea.
• Water less frequently and more deeply. You want the roots of your lawn to go deep so they’re up for the times of drought. When you do water, do it in the early morning for best results.
• Set your mower blade as high as it will go and keep it sharp. A higher cut enables roots to grow deep, which helps keeps the grass more resilient to disease and pests. No need to rake, either, if you’re keeping everything organic. The clippings will compost and feed the soil.
• Planning a brand new lawn? Ask your landscaper for a grass blend native to your area. A blend is more resilient, and all native grasses will be suited to your climate. A resilient lawn will need less care. Win-win!
• Rethink the amount of lawn you have. Areas that are awkward to mow (under your kids’ swing sets, for instance) are best covered in something other than grass. Grassy areas are definitely worth having, in most cases, but reducing their footprint will save you time and hassle.
Don’t have a lawn simply because that’s the expectation. If your HOA requires one, begin the process of educating your neighbors. Your space may be better used as a vegetable, herb, or flower garden—and it may be much prettier that way!
Think about providing an oasis for birds, butterflies, and bees (not wasps, but actual neighborhood honeybees). Chemical lawn care deters or even kills these beneficial friends.
What about you? Are you committed to having a green lawn…or is it more important to have an environmentally green one?
*Photo from Creative Commons