Preserving your yard in a traditional method isn’t always the “greenest” endeavor. Whether it’s using chemical-laden pesticides and fertilizer or working with greenhouse gas-producing lawn tools, some methods of lawn upkeep can be tough on the environment. Thankfully, there are plenty of eco-friendly ways you can keep your yard looking lush. So reduce your carbon footprint, and try some of these simple tips:
- Conserve water by watering your lawn more heavily but less often. By doing this, you’re ultimately using less water because the heavier watering lasts longer, allowing you to spread out how often you have to water your lawn. Also, watering in the early morning or early evening gives water a chance to soak into the soil without evaporating as it would during the hottest parts of the day. Finally, consider switching to water-saving sprinklers and hose nozzles.
- Leave grass clippings on your lawn after mowing. This is an easy way to nourish your lawn because clippings help replenish your soil after they decompose, which in turn encourages healthy grass growth.
- Don’t cut grass too short. Keeping your grass at the tall end of its optimal mowing height (usually between one and three inches depending on the type of grass) helps ensure that the root systems are deep enough to protect the grass from getting scorching by the summer sun. To avoid stressing the grass, a good rule of thumb is to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass’s current height. Be sure to cut your grass often so that you don’t have to take off too much with each mowing.
- Consider trading in your gas-powered lawn mower for an electric or battery-powered mower. Gas-powered engines contribute significantly to air pollution, so switching to an electric or battery-powered mower reduces carbon emissions. Both types of mowers are easy to start, and battery-powered mowers rechargeable and run up to 70 minutes. Electric and battery-powered versions of other gas-powered lawn tools, such as weed whackers and leaf blowers, are also available, so consider swapping those out as well.
- Go organic when choosing a fertilizer. Organic fertilizers take longer to show results than chemical fertilizers; however, organic fertilizer will improve your soil quality in the long run and yield a much greener lawn. Conversely, chemical fertilizers can deplete your soil of minerals, pollute ground water runoff and cause soil to become too acidic.