Taking a green approach to lawn care will not only help improve the quality of your yard, it will also drastically cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. It’s not easy being green, but with hard work and some determination, you’ll be doing a great service to both yourself and the environment.
Start by Switching to an Electric Lawnmower
Gone are the days of causally sitting on your self-propelled lawnmower as you emit tons —literally tons —of carbon dioxide into the air. Electric lawnmowers are not only eco-friendly, they’re cheap, easy to use, and don’t emit any obnoxious gasses—they’re also a lot easier to start. Most models are self-mulching, which means you don’t have to worry about emptying your clippings every five minutes.
Push lawnmowers (shown above) are also a great alternative to gas-powered ones, but while they’re cheaper than both electric and gas powered lawnmowers, they may require a little more work on your part when cutting your grass.
Don’t Cut too Short
When trying to maintain a healthy and green lawn, cut often but cut high. Regular mowing is good but also make sure to leave your lawnmower on a higher setting. Taller grass, around 3-4 inches to be precise, is the ideal height to leave your grass. Grass that is cut too short will allow for more weeds to sprout up, whereas taller grass will look healthier, fuller and will generally have a more lush appearance.
Many unhealthy lawns suffer from an overabundance of water. Believe it or not, grass doesn’t need to be watered continuously. Grass is an extremely resilient plant and even in dryer months will continue to grow. Cutting down on the frequency of how often you water your grass will result in healthier sprouts and roots.
Choose the Right Pesticides
Your lawn is an ecosystem, so by adding a lot of nasty pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, you’re throwing off the entire balance of your lawn. Try switching from toxic pesticides to more natural and organic ones, or at least limit your use of them to a minimum. The last thing you want to do is kill off the good bugs that are beneficial to your lawn. Worms and other insects, for example, help to aerate the lawn, improving the soil’s ability to supply water and nutrients which are necessary for plant growth.
If you do decide to use pesticides or other substances, it’s important to make sure you choose ones that will be safe for people and pets as well. Choosing substances that are less toxic is an important step in keeping your lawn and family happy and healthy.
Know the Right Fertilizer
Experts say that when trying to go green it is important to make sure you use fertilizers that are more eco-friendly and contain lower levels of nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential element in plant health, but having an overabundance of nitrogen can cause rapid growth and can leave your lawn wilted or dried out; however, not enough nitrogen may cause your lawn to turn yellow. So when choosing the right type of fertilizer it’s important to choose one with proper nitrogen levels—particularly ones that have a slower release time.
Depending on your type of grass, you may only want to fertilize once or twice a year. If your grass grows quickly, fertilizing may need to be done more often. More fertilization means more lawn care, so only fertilize if you plan on doing a lot of yard work. Also, be sure to only fertilize your lawn in the cooler hours of the day and properly water your lawn afterward.
Look for Better Ways to Trim Your Lawn
Using manual clippers to trim your lawn is another great way to help decrease your carbon footprint. By using clippers and other tools, you’ll be using a much more natural and hands-on approach to maintaining your lawn. Be sure to properly spread your clippings throughout the grass, as clippings and mulch act as a natural fertilizer and will help keep your grass green and healthy.
About the Author: Today’s guest post is courtesy of Philip Brown, a lover of green, healthy lawns. A former lawn care professional, Philip now spends his time sharing what he knows with others and blogging about it at The Lawn Enthusiast. Connect with him over on Google+.